Remote or Work From Home Jobs in the Philippines

Work From Home with Remote Jobs: A Complete Freelancing Guide for Filipinos

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Whether you want to stay close with your family, seek for a higher income, earn while travelling, or seeking an extra income, this detailed guide is for you.

Remote work is the nature of my career since 2010 (Fresh Grad). I’ve been working remotely at home or at places with my device plus other tools. Sometimes I work from vacation spots, coffee shops, hospitals (while attending the sick), or the beach.

As I look back on the road I’ve traveled, I see so many blessings remote work has done to me. So, I logged them in this post plus did some research.

What is a Remote Job / Online Job?

A remote job or online job is a type of work arrangement where you provide services for a client remote from you. 

It requires that you provide the skills necessary so you can satisfy the job requirements. 

Usually, an online job requires skills that can be “digitalized”, meaning, they can be done via a computer. Other jobs that involve commodities or deal with physical matters cannot be under the scope of a remote job. 

However, there are online jobs that may require you to handle physical goods such as shipping items, documents, and face-to-face meet-ups. 

 

Delimitations of this STudy

This blog post is mostly delimited by the bounds of my experience as an independent freelancer providing services via online platforms. 

This does not comprehensively cover other areas such as the “work-from-home” policies of your local employer during an imminent crisis, an “independent contractor” set-up of you providing “as-needed” basis to local clients through a tech platform such as Grab, XSend, FoodPanda, TaskRabbit, Uber, etc. 

This post also has less coverage for “freelancers” working on behalf of an agency, most especially providing voice-based services such as customer support, English Tutorials, and other transcription services. 

What are the Requirements for Remote Jobs?

The requirements can be summarized into three: “soft skills”, “hard skills”, and tools. The more you develop these three, the better will be your qualifications and caliber. 

  • Hard Skills – skills that ‘can be taught’ and primarily science-driven. Examples are programming skills, writing, math. 
  • Soft Skills – skills or traits that make you a good employee such as listening, empathy, going along with people. 
  • Tools – assets that you acquire or invest in that can help you become better more productive. Examples are a good computer, fast internet connection, books/course access, software.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Remote Jobs

To succeed in any endeavor, knowledge of pros and cons and how you manage them is crucial. Same principle if you are considering remote-jobs. 

“But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it.” – The Christ said.

Advantages of Being a Freelancer

  • Freedom of location – You can work while spending time with your family beside you, or be present in caring for a baby, caring for a sick or elderly person. If traveling is what you prefer, you can work while being on several locations across the globe.
  • Save the drama – the tendency with local employment is you could be attached to the locality, meet them downtown, or they know your friend of friends. In freelancing, you can focus on working for your client and building your profile, while saving your emotional equity and reserve it for something else. 
  • Save time on the commute – deduct the hours you spend on traffic, channel the time to more worthwhile things like learning a new skill, spending quality time. You then reduce the carbon footprint or reduce pollution by not spending too much on gas
  • Possibility of a higher income – depending on the job and the local job you compare to, an online job can bring you higher pay as compared to the equivalent position in the local company. 
  • Less judgment on exercise – this may sound minuscule, unlike being in an office, you can exercise in any way you want while in your pajamas
  • Access a global pool of employers – in office-based employment, you can only expect for work within a 30-mile radius from your home. 
  • Diversity – remote freelancing exposes you to diverse cultures, age, color, orientation, and experiences. 
  • Disaster Continuity – the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has shown that some industries and jobs are very vulnerable to public health disruptions. By investing yourself in remote-working skills, you can become “resilient” when things get hard.
  • Avoiding Office Politics – in my more than 10 years of remote working, I have never experienced any form of office politics. Work is work. You are hired (and fired) based on your work evidence, and the quality, honesty of your output, not because of some sort of “connections” at high places. If you are the type of person who hates “

DisAdvantages of a Remote Worker

  • Zero or less social interaction – there are no office mates to talk face-to-face at the coffee dispenser or the dining table. Your family members may not relate to the topic of your work. Loneliness and boredom may set it, but this can be addressed by occasionally working in crowded places like coworking spaces or coffee shops.
  • Let go of company benefits– as of the moment of this writing, there will be no Department of Labor to protect you for issues, usually no health insurance where the employer pays for you partially. Unless, of course, if your work-from-home scenario is causated by your local employer. 
  • You shoulder your operations and assets– you pay for the maintenance of your own computer, pay your internet, water and electricity bills. Usually, you will be your own admin, janitor, HR and assistant. If you work on an office, usually coffee is free, repairs of computers, cellphone, etc., but in freelancing you have to give these up.

Where to Find Remote Jobs

I have seen many work-from-home platforms out there, but my advice is to pour out your energy in building on a platform that is stable. The last thing we want is to invest so much time only to find that we won’t get clients, or get our profiles deleted. 

Upwork

Upwork – one of the largest marketplaces in the globe. Once called as oDesk, this company merged with Elance last 2013 to form Upwork. This is the platform where I have more than 10 years of experience now.  Here are Tips to Succeed.

Why Upwork?

  • It’s one of the largest marketplaces for online talent
  • It’s one of the pioneers of freelance home-based jobs
  • It’s a publicly-traded company in NASDAQ
  • The platform allows you to be sustainable over the long-term by providing you with support, opportunities for the showcase, webinars from other freelancers, a big Facebook group where you can chat with other freelancers for advice, job referrals, and crowdsourcing.

But I know that many newcomers are having a hard time finding a job or even getting their profiles approved in Upwork. Two advice:

  1. Learn a rising skill
  2. Learn a not-so-saturated skill
  3. Build your profile on other platforms. When you’re stable, devote your extra time on upskilling. Other platforms you could start outside Upwork:
    • Fiverr
    • Onlinejobs.ph
    • ACADSOC / 51Talk
    • Join Facebook groups, search for hiring or reach out to admin / members

Other Platforms

 
  • Freelancer – based in Australia, this platform has been around for quite some time like Upwork. This has 42.7 million employers and freelancers as of March 2020. 
  • Fiverr – is more of a “gig” platform where you have already determined your package/s of services. Package starts with five USD, that’s why the name.
  • 99Designs – a global creative platform that makes it easy for designers and clients to work together to create the designs they love. 
  • 51Talk – in the Philippines, this is one of the most popular freelancing platform where you can be a home-based English teacher. You must undergo a short training and do some computer tasks while teaching.
  • Acadsoc – same with 51Talk, this is a global English learning platform where you’ll mostly teach Chinese students at different learner levels.
  • LinkedIn – although LinkedIn is primarily for corporations looking for office-based jobs, I included it on this list because there are times clients are looking here for remote workers.
  • Facebook Groups – search for local groups in your country dedicated to home-based workers. Time to time, there are remote workers looking for applicants in their company.
  • Your Own Website – though we have plentiful of freelance platforms already, it’s still best to build your own portfolio on your own self-hosted webhost because you have the 100% on your website. 

Skills for Remote / Work-From-Home Jobs

The number of skills you can possibly offer as a freelancer is enormous! It’s just a matter of time, training, experience, and the right character to be a successful work-from-home person. 

For beginners, I’d say you should start small. Then there are three paths you could possibly take: (1) “Grow wide, (2) Grow deep, (3) Grow wide and deep in one (but takes more time).

Online Skills Development Path

  • “Growing wide” – what I mean by this is you have some sort of a “jack-of-all-trades, master of some or one” mentality. You say “yes” to available projects offered. But this strategy could cost you to be always trying to learn new fields, and becoming less competent in a certain specialization. 

  • “Grow deep” – you have a singular focus, you’re not a jack-of-all-trades, but you master one. Disadvantage of this is that if the skill is no longer in-demand, or a certain crisis comes, you may have a hard time looking for a job. 

  • “Grow wide, grow deep in one.” – this is being a jack-of-all-trades, but master of one or some. This takes time to develop as you have to focus on one vertical, yes develop your skills on some. I think, when it comes to ‘freelance security’, this so far is the best course.

In this section, I used two sources: 

  • Linkedin – a top professional networking site
  • Udemy – a top online learning site

For Udemy, here are the Top 10 rising skills of 2020:

Top 10 Tech Skills

  1. Tensorflow
  2. Chatbot
  3. Microsoft Azure
  4. OpenCV
  5. Neural Networks
  6. Linux
  7. Ethereum
  8. Splunk
  9. QGIS
  10. Kotlin

Top 10 Softskills

  1. Growth Mindset
  2. Creativity
  3. Focus Mastery
  4. Innovation
  5. Communication
  6. Storytelling
  7. Culture Awareness
  8. Critical Thinking
  9. Leadership
  10. Emotional Intelligence

United States

  1. React Native
  2. Kotlin
  3. CAPM (Project Management)

India

  1. IT Security
  2. IP Addressing
  3. OrientDB

Japan

  1. Adobe Creative Suite
  2. Business Strategy
  3. AngularJS

Singapore

  1. Django
  2. Hibernate
  3. Tableau

Australia

  1. Microsoft Power BI
  2. Algorithms
  3. ServiceNow

New Zealand

  1. Data Science
  2. Data Analysis
  3. Excel VBA

United Kingdom

  1. Microsoft Azure
  2. Express (Web Framework)
  3. Data Modeling

I got the data below from our recent visit to Linkedin Asia-Pacific headquarters last June 2019. To see the future trajectory of your freelance career, it’s best to consider top rising skills per country so you can also gain support along the way, plus it is what your country is known for, at least to one of the top employment network site. 

According to LinkedIn, here are the top skills of countries:

Philippines

  • Social Media Marketing
  • Front-end Web Development
  • Human-Centered Design
Top Rising Skills in Asia Pacific According to Linkedin
The top rising skills per country, according the Linkedin

Top Rising Skills – Malaysia

  • Human-Centered Design
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Workflow Automation

Singapore

  • Blockchain
  • Workflow Automation
  • Human-Centered Design

India

  • Robotic Process Automation
  • Compliance
  • Continuous Integration

Australia

  • Continuous Integration
  • Workflow Automation
  • Social Media Marketing

Thailand

  • Frontend Web Development
  • Human-Centered Design
  • Gesture Recognition Technology

Vietnam

  • Front-end Web Development
  • Gesture Recognition Technology
  • Blockchain

Indonesia

  • Social Media Marketing
  • Human-Centered Design
  • Gesture Recognition

Taiwan

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Frontend Web Development
  • Blockchain

Pre-Assessment: Knowing Your Profile Before Starting as a Home-based Worker

Before you begin freelancing, there are things you must first consider. “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it.” – The Christ said.

Know Yourself Skillset

Know thyself. Assess your strengths, favorite topics, past training, background, achievements. Use psychometric standards such as MAPP Assessments, Myers Briggs, etc. Present them in a document format or a prepared CV. Make sure to make it editable so you can update it. Use Google Docs, then download as PDF if you are applying.

English Proficiency: Indicate you command of the English language: Basic, Intermediate, Advanced or Native. This will help recruiters or clients in adjusting their communication with you. 

Software Proficiency: Include to your profile the software tools that you have a good hold of, as this adds to the “SEO-ness” of your profile. It can make you stand-out on searches.

ASSESS YOUR AVAILABILITY

Determine if you’re up for full-time (30+ hours a week), part-time (less than 30 hours), or as needed. This is needed especially in Upwork. Recruiters will know if you meet their criteria if your available time matches theirs. For example, if they’re looking for a full-time worker, but then you have clearly indicated you’re only up for part-time, it will save the client’s or the recruiter’s time, and your time as well. 

ESTABLISH Your PORTFOLIO

Invest time in posting relevant works you have done in the past. Put vivid images, link them to your client’s website or profile when you have secured permission. If you will name the client, make sure you have asked for their permission first. Build your portfolio on the platform but also update in on your Linkedin and website. Take hold of Your Previous Work/Employment Details, Certifications, Experiences

COMPUTE YOUR RATES

My suggested formula to compute your rate is (Monthly Expenses / 20 days / 8 hours ) * Percentage of your desired margin = Your Hourly Rate. It’s good if you have a log of your previous 3 months of expenses. Note that your desired margin will determine your savings so you can devote money to upgrade your tools, or sustain your needs as you upskill, or support your family. Think long-term. 

If you want to get the job ASAP, place a low rate, telling the client that you’re entry level, and willing to be assessed by him or her. If you feel that your expertise is higher than the value of your low rate, I suggest that you be honest with the employer you’re applying for that you can give a low rate as ‘probationary period’, let’s say in 3 months. This can make them feel at ease with you, because they also don’t want to shell out much money for someone they don’t know yet. Tell them, for example, that your actual rate is X.00 USD/ hour but you’re willing to give it at X.00 USD for a start of your relationship. When you’re hired, do your best, over-deliver. If you use Upwork’s platform, the minimum rate is 3USD per hour.

Research Competitors' Rates

Do a search of other competitors offering the same skills as you, and see their rates, their experience and rating. Use it as a benchmark. In Upwork, you can upgrade your profile to a ‘Plus’ account, and you’ll see the bid range of other competitors when you apply to a certain job post. 

How to Succeed as a Remote / Home-Based Worker and Win Your CLients Over

Have a Good Understanding of the Job

Read Job Posting Well and Verify and Special Requirements

Create Good Profile Overview, No Grammatical Errors

Use free grammar correction tools such as Microsoft Word, Google Docs or Grammarly to ensure that your works are error-free.

Make Sure You Have Done Similar Work / Samples in the Past

Choose a Professional / Friendly Photo

Make a Good First Impression by having a professional profile photo. If possible, be on a formal attire, look straight to the camera, and let your eyes be clear.

Keep Your Job Title Short but Focused

Before Sending a Proposal, Read the Job Post Thoroughly

Does the job fit your skills? Does it fit your bandwidth? Is the client someone you want to work with? Are their values align with yours?

In Sending an Application / Cover Letter

  • Start with a warm and professional greeting
  • Get to the point
  • Hit the highlights
  • Follow directions
  • Condense everything

Tips to Succeed in the Interview

  • Make sure eye-level directly infront of you
  • Ensure your lighting is good
  • Remove distractions from the background
  • Remove unpleasant noise
  • Be aware of your speech volume and rate
  • Test your internet connection
  • Prepare a power back-up in case of brownout – a fully-charged laptop, and mobile data. Prepare power generator or access to a coworking space. 
  • Positive body language
    • Professional look
    • Make eye contact
    • Show your interest and energy in your voice
    • Listen carefully and make sure you understand what they say
    • Ask or clarify with questions if you need to
    • Summarize at the end of the interview 
  • In Introducing Yourself
    • Keep it brief but well-summarized
    • Site previous samples of your work, highlight the challenges and what solutions you introduced to the equation

Where to Learn

At the time of this writing, the COVID-19 epidemic and many learning platforms are offering access for free or at a discounted price. You may take advantage of opportunities like these or try to subscribe to newsletters.

Some of the learning platforms below are free, and some are paid. Just like traditional school, better assess first what course is good for you, and what courses you can finish. 

Online Jobs Learning Platforms

  • Linkedin Learning – the beauty with this is that potential clients or recruiters will see the courses you’ve finished or are going through as you enroll in Linkedin Learning courses. 
  • CodeAcademy – this is one of the top platforms I used to learn web development. This has a good user interface and very friendly for learners. 
  • Udemy – very rich resources, this is where I learned many skills and the learnings here will be very useful for you.
  • Coursera
  • W3Schools – this is a ‘master’ site for web developers, and this is for free! It’s a great resource for those trying to learning the basics as well as advanced programming skills. 

Tools for A Remote Worker

  • Google Suite
  • Microsoft Office
  • Slack
  • WhatsApp
  • Dropbox
  • Zoom
  • GoToMeeting
  • Asana / Basecamp / Trello
  • GitHub
  • Trello
  • Jira
  • Monday.com
  • Google Hangouts

A Typical Schedule of a Remote Worker

  • Morning run
  • Coffee and eat breakfast
  • Plan schedule via calendar to set expectations in yourself
  • To get away with repetitive routine, go to a coffee shop in the afternoon for change of environment or to get away from social isolation. Bring headphones to avoid distraction if you’ll be doing ‘heavy tasks’ such as writing and research.
  • If there are in-person meetings, do it in the coffee shop before or after your work, or book a coworking space nearby
  • After work, balance your life by hanging-out with friends, shop for groceries, doing some sports, gym or hobby, or watch movie with lovedones

LIFE INSURANCE IN THE PHILIPPINES​

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