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I can’t remember the number of times I got asked by friends:
“Uy, work-from-home ka? Pano ba yan, paturo naman parang gusto ko din niyan ah”
I’ve been working from home as a freelance writer online, full-time, for exactly 2 years now. And while that’s not exactly “veteran” numbers compared to some, I’ve learned a couple of things that anyone genuinely interested will find useful.
- Where and how to get your first client/job
- How to build and set up your online profile (that gets the attention of clients)
- How to create a killer pitch that will have prospective clients want to hire you on the spot
- What type of computer to get and how much they typically cost
- What type of work-from-home online jobs are available and popular right now
- The right mindset to thrive and be successful working from home
…and a whole lot more.
As you go through all these, I promise you’ll learn a thing or two that will help you land that first work-from-home gig. So without further ado, let’s jump straight into this (X-thousand-word guide).
What is a Work-From-Home Job?
Home-based jobs could mean a number of ways depending on the nature of the company’s business, but essentially it means working outside of the office (usually through telecommuting or online jobs).
It should not be confused with working freelance, because with remote (or work from home) jobs you are still employed by the company, you’re just not required to show up in its physical office. It can be full-time or part-time.
Some companies require employees to show up in the office a few hours a day or a couple of days a week, depending on their needs.
3 Ways to Work From Home in the Philippines
To be technical about it, there are actually 3 main ways you can work from home:
- Remote setup with your company
- Your current company offers the option to employees to work outside of the office
- Full-time freelance/employee
- You offer services to multiple clients and do it full-time (freelancer). Alternately, you can commit to a single client with a fixed schedule and be a “full-time employee”.
- Part-time freelance/employee
- You do it on the side while doing your main job.
What Do You Like Doing/What Are You Good At?
Back in college, I wrote a 3000-plus word strategy guide for a little-known PC game. I didn’t care if I wasn’t getting paid for it, I didn’t care if it wasn’t good or was laden with (grammatical) errors. I simply wanted to *gasp* share my passion for that game.
I wrote to my heart’s content, imagining some other kid might find it useful. I was pumped when I saw it got approved for posting at this then uber-popular site (it still exists today in all its notepad-style-looking guides glory). I even received a couple of emails from fellow players abroad who thanked me for the guide and wanted me to include their deck strategy submissions. Sweet.
Fast-forward a couple of years later, I heard some fellow Pinoys were making money online through oDesk. “Uy, ayos to ah”, is what I thought. As I was browsing through the list of jobs I thought, “E ano naman trabaho gagawin ko dito?” And like a stage spotlight focussing on the main actor, my eyes read the category, “Writing”.
“Ahh. Dito tayo”, I said to myself, smiling.
For me the answer was simple: I knew from experience (making that game guide) that writing was something that I enjoyed.
If I have a passion for creating digital art and have the experience, then I’d go with that as my main niche. If I’m good at photography then maybe I can sell some photos online. If I can type fast then maybe I can check out some transcription jobs and give that a try. You get the idea.
But what if you don’t have those types of inclinations or skills? What if you simply just want to try out if you can do the same thing (your current job) but with a work-from-home set up?
Answer: You can start by signing up on online job portals and looking for jobs similar to your current one. Take the side hustle approach, only this time the plan is to get paid extra doing stuff similar to your job.
Have a marketing background and currently work at an agency? Try looking for digital marketing jobs and see which ones match your skills. Currently working as a graphic artist? There are plenty of clients out there looking to get some design projects done.
The idea is to get a feel of what it’s like to work from home, to see if it’s sustainable and worth doing full-time.
The Pros & Cons of Working Remotely
1. Say goodbye to commute
In the Philippines, where long queues of passengers in MRT are a daily source of news, this is a godsend. No need to experience MRT’s usual hiccups and delays that cost you time, energy, and money on a daily basis.
You can say goodbye to EDSA’s legendary heavy traffic, where a typical 30-minute commute turns into a 2-hr long fiasco of noise, pollution, and general source of stress—and you haven’t even started your workday yet.
2. Save on Money
Since there’s no commuting required, you don’t have to spend your hard-earned pesos on fare or gas. It also means not having to pay expensive toll fees if you live far from the metro when driving your car to the office.
Recommended Reading: How to Save More Money
It saves your car from early retirement and costly maintenance since you won’t be racking up miles as quickly. Food expenses go down dramatically, as lunch and breaks at the office are typically more expensive versus eating at home.
And did I mention coffee? You’ll spend a fraction of what you pay outside if you brew your own cup at home.
3. You get more sleep
Not waking up early to prep for work means having an extra hour or two of sleep. More sleep means better health.
4. You’ll have perfect attendance (almost)
Even with mild inconveniences, remote workers can still get some tasks done when working from home.
5. You have a flexible schedule
You can adjust your day to align with your most productive hours. Traditional office setting requires us to stick to the usual 8 to 5 schedule. When working remotely, you have the power to decide when you want to start and stop working, as long as you get the job done.
Note that some companies may still require you to be constantly “present” during the day through company-approved messaging apps for collaboration.
6. You can work anywhere you want
In the mood for some mocha latte? Pack up your laptop and head to the nearest coffee shop for a quick fix and a few hours of work.
Most home-based jobs only require an internet connection for actual work and communication, so you can virtually set up your workspace anywhere as long as you’re online.
7. More time for yourself and loved ones
Filipinos love being around family. Having an online (or telecommute) job means you’re getting back the hours you spend on daily travel and commute. Precious hours you now can spend leisurely for yourself and loved ones.
Read Next: How to Become a Minimalist.
8. You get more productive
Some studies show that working remotely increases an employee’s productivity. Why? Part of the reason this happens is because offices can be incredibly distracting places.
To quote one of the people who ran the study, “Also, people at home worked more hours. They started earlier, took shorter breaks, and worked until the end of the day. They had no commute. They didn’t run errands at lunch.”
9. You are your own boss
And of course, the potential to earn more money.
Being your own boss means you get to set your own terms. You decide how you want to work, how much you want to get paid, set the number of hours, decide where you want to work, who to work with, and more.
Being your own boss means there’s no limit in terms of earning capacity, you can leverage your time and effort in projects that will give maximum profit.
Hat tip to Bryan Villarosa for the following tips:
You get to experience a wider range of diversity by working with other ethnicities and nationalities in remote work.
Especially working with foreign clients, you may get exposed to varying degrees of mindsets, cultures, and behaviours which could widen your outlook in life and deepen your global understanding of peoples.
11. Access a global pool of employers
compared to local employment, you are not limited by the distance radius from your home as long as you have the technologies with you. When your work ends, you could find another client the moment you land on the homepage job feed- this can somehow add to your job security.
Some may argue that remote work has no security of tenure, but I would say that there are clients as well that offer an employee-type of hiring, with all the entitlements of paid leaves, vacations, and benefits. You could also use that remote work experience as part of your resume when you apply to local companies in the future, or even updating your LinkedIn profile.
I would further comment that the common notion “security of tenure is only applicable to government or local jobs” is not true, because no one really is certain about the future e.g. pandemics, natural disasters, etc. and what matters is our preparation and response.
12. Avoiding office politics
In my 11 years of experience with Upwork clients, I have never experienced the so-called “office politics” phenomenon.
Work is work.
You are hired (or fired) based on your outputs, performance, and project availability. If you are the kind of person who wants to avoid these classic unsightly episodes and simply compete against yourself, remote work is one better option.
1. Lack of social interaction
Since you’re away from your colleagues, it’s difficult to interact with them naturally. Sure you have chat and other team messaging platforms, but you’re still missing out on the usual face-to-face banter you can only get from working in the office.
2. There are a lot of distractions at home
Netflix, YouTube, online games, social media—time sucks that can consume your whole day if you’re not mindful or disciplined. For most remote workers, this is perhaps the biggest hurdle they face at the start.
Family members can also have a negative effect on your output if they do not cooperate with you regarding your setup and not respectful of your schedule.
3. You’re output highly depends on your time management
If you’re a slacker, working remotely might not be a good idea. You’ll only expose yourself to procrastination since you’ll have more freedom to do stuff you want to do. If you don’t develop and follow a strict schedule, your productivity will suffer.
4. You’re dependent on technology
A remote job depends on the Internet and all devices that allow you to work away from the confines of the office. If you have connection or device issues, it can severely damage your output.
5. Security and Data Risks
Since you’re always connected to the internet, there’s always the chance of security breach. If you’re working on confidential company data, there’s a higher chance of these types of risks occurring versus working in the office where they have strict security protocols in place.
6. Less job security
As work can be inconsistent (particularly for freelancers). And projects/contracts under this type of work setup typically don’t have benefits.
What You Will Need (Equipment/Space)
- A computer
- A full desktop or laptop computer with specs that match your workload comfortably. For example, if you are a content writer, you can get away with an entry-level computer. But if you’re a video editor, animator, or the like, you’ll need a pretty powerful computer. IMHO, don’t get anything that has less than 4GBs of RAM.
- Fairly fast and stable internet connection
- Most should get by with a stable 8Mbps minimum connection. It doesn’t hurt having a blazing fast internet connection though, just make sure that it’s stable.
- A dedicated space at home for working (ideal)
- Separation between work and home-life is crucial in keeping productivity up and ensuring your surroundings are optimized for work. While working in bed or sofa sounds great, try to have your own private space for work where you can focus on the job completely and without any distractions.
- Headset (for jobs that require calls)
- Get something that has a noise-cancellation feature if you’ll be constantly talking on the phone.
Top 44 Home-Based Online Jobs in the Philippines
Editor’s note: We’ve collected the salary and compensation data from PayScale’s Philippines Salary Data & Career Research Center and Indeed.com.ph’s Salary Comparison Tool (data for 2022).
1. Project Manager
Median Pay: P81,298 per month (P975,580 per year)
Industry: Technology / Development
- Graduate/Undergraduate with a Business or Engineering degree preferred
- Keen attention to detail
- Well-versed in cost analysis
- Excellent interpersonal skills for dealing with vendors and contractors
They oversee the execution of a project from start to finish. They ensure that all elements are working and within the desired time frame and budget.
Tips & Resources on How to Become a Project Manager:
- How to become a Project Manager in 6 easy steps – Capterra
- The complete guide to becoming a Project Manager – Paymo
- 10 tips for Project Management prosperity – Villanova University
2. Digital Marketing Manager
Median Pay: P42,790 per month (P513,485 per year)
- Computer science graduate/undergraduate preferred
- Mastery of SEO tools and analytics
- Can produce timely and top-notch content for the web
- Lead generation
Creates and develops strategies for promoting a website, brand or business online. They are knowledgeable in the fields or web analytics, content creation, search engine optimization (SEO), social media, email marketing, and more.
Tips & Resources on How to Become a Digital Marketing Professional:
- How to become an SEO Expert – Kaiserthesage
- How to become a Digital Marketing Specialist – SimpliLearn
- 10 tips on how to kick-start your Digital Marketing career – Digital Marketing Institute
3. Web Content Manager/Editor
Median Pay: P56,416 per month (P677,000 per year)
Industry: Creative Services
- Excellent writing and editing skills.
- Native English-level proficiency, both oral and written
- Ability to manage deadlines and handle multiple tasks simultaneously
- Familiarity with digital marketing and SEO is a plus
They work hand-in-hand with writers and other personnel whose main task is to produce content for the client. They evaluate, design, and oversee the development of material that will be used.
The main job of a content editor is to ensure top-notch quality of content being produced. This involves checking for grammar and style errors and making sure it is readable and tailor-fit to the target audience.
Other tasks may include generating the content plan/schedule and making sure that the content writers are on track.
Tips and Resources on How to Become a Content Manager:
- What skills do I need to be a Content Strategist – Digital Marketing Institute
- The Free Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing – Moz
4. Client Services Specialist
Median Pay: P28,533 per month (P342,396 per year)
- Graduate of any business/marketing degree preferred
- Strong management and client-relationship skills
- Excellent account management skills
Spearheads and leads teams in communicating with existing and potential clients, maintains good relations, develops more connections, managing sales teams, handling escalations, acts as chief point-of-contact for contacts abroad.
Tips & Resources on How to Become a Client Services Specialist:
5. Business Analyst
Median Pay: P36,038 per month (P432,456 per year)
- Graduate/Undergraduate with a Business or Engineering degree preferred
- Excellent verbal and written skills
- Excels in solving problems and issues
- Improves and develops current processes through research and feedback
- Strong knowledge of advanced MS Excel, including Pivot Tables, VLOOKUP and VBA
Serves as the account specialist capable of handling complex issues. Creates solutions by analyzing, documenting, and developing processes to improve and maintain business workflow.
Tips & Resources on How to Become a Business Analyst:
- 5 steps to becoming a Business Analyst – Bridging the Gap
- Become a Busines Analyst free online course – Coursera
- How to become a Business Analyst – The Balance
6. App Developer
Median Pay: P44,155 per month (P529,860 per year)
- Computer science graduate/undergraduate preferred
- Skilled with the use of programming and design software
- Main skill sets are programming (coding) and design
The main job is to conceptualize, design, create, produce and test software for mobile and desktop.
They take the client’s vision for the finished app (functionality, design, etc.,) and use code to build the app from the ground up.
Tips & Resources on How to Become an App Developer:
- How to become a Mobile App Developer (a complete newbie guide) – BuildFire
- How to become a programmer: 8 steps to building an App from scratch – CodeMentor
7. Software Engineer
Median Pay: P34,909 per month (P418,908 per year)
- Graduate of computer science or related courses preferred
- Well-versed with Multiple Coding Languages
- Ability to Analyze Complex Technical Information
They create and develop software through the use of engineering principles and programming code. They also manage and maintain network control systems and databases.
Tips & Resources on How to Become a Software Engineer:
- 11 step guide to becoming a software developer – Learn to Code with Me
- Want to become a software engineer? Here’s how to get there – Hacker Noon
8. Systems Engineer
Median Pay: P31,048 per month (P372,576 per year)
Industry: Information Technology
- Expert in the following fields: Computer science, software engineering, IT and Networking systems
- Able to install and configure systems being run by the business
- Routine systems and software audits
Main task is to provide expertise in technical issues around processes that the company runs. They maintain and manage all systems which include installation, testing, operation of both software and hardware support.
Tips & Resources on How to Become a Software Engineer:
- Tech Career Profile: Systems Engineer – The Balance
- How to become a Systems Engineer – Online Engineering Programs
9. Technical Writer
Median Pay: P32,651 per month (P391,812 per year)
Industry: Creative Services
- Graduate or undergraduate degree in computer science or engineering preferred
- Strong writing skills
- Working knowledge of Office-based suites, familiarity with Java, CSS and HTML is a plus
Contrary to what most think, a Technical Writer’s job is not to create hundreds of pages of documentation explaining complex processes. Rather, it is his/her job to take in all technical details and present them in an easy-to-understand manner.
They create not only written content but also handle interactive tutorials and guides.
Tips & Resources on How to Become a Technical Writer:
- How to become a Technical Writer – Instructional Solutions
- Clueless about Technical Writing? Get started with these essential tips – Copyblogger
10. Quality Analyst
Median Pay: P22,937 per month (P275,244 per year)
Industry: Business Processes & Development
- Graduate/Undergraduate with a business/technical degree preferred
- Strong working knowledge of software QA methodologies, tools, and processes
- Superb technical and analytical skills
- Researches and develops new tools, technologies, and processes
They review and check for errors for products and services. They develop steps and test workflows/processes to make sure that all produced goods and services meet the company’s standards.
Tips & Resources on How to Become a Quality Assurance Analyst:
11. Web Designer & Developer
- Web Designer: P23,051 per month (P276,612 per year)
- Web Developer: P31,831 per month (P381,972 per year)
- Computer science graduate/undergraduate preferred
Creates and designs websites. Can be classified into two types: Front-End & Back-end Developer. Developers geared towards design typically tackle front-end while those that are more into the coding part of web design (databases, logic, problem solving, etc) leans towards back-end development.
Tips & Resources on How to Become a Web Designer / Developer:
- Become a Web Designer Guide by Lynda
- How to become a Web Designer – Creative Market
- How to become a Web Developer – Website Setup
- The Web Developer Roadmap – Code Burst
12. Marketing Specialist
Median Pay: P22,120 per month (P265,440 per year)
- Graduate/Undergraduate with a Marketing degree preferred
- Excellent verbal and written skills
- Expertise in using social media and other outlets to promote content
Researches current trends and expands social influence for clients local and abroad. Creates programs and campaigns to ensure the success of the client’s products or service.
Tips & Resources on How to Become a Marketing Specialist:
- Become a Marketing Specialist – Free Online Course by Coursera
- Become a Marketing Specialist Guide by Lynda
13. Video Producer/Editor
Median Pay: P24,098 per month (P289,176 per year)
Industry: Creative Services
- Ability to create and edit videos, animations, and images for distribution across social media platforms, websites and others.
- Proficient in use of popular video editing programs like Adobe Premiere, After Effects, Final Cut, etc
- Brainstorm video concepts and storylines
They edit and assemble video footage to create a polished final product ready for viewing and broadcast. They edit using software and work on the footage, sound effects, visual effects, dialogue, and making sure the project matches the client’s vision.
Should also be able to generate concepts and ideas that will best capture the content being promoted while grabbing the audience’s attention at the same time.
Must be highly experienced in operating both hardware and software-related video equipment.
Tips and Resources on How to Become a Video Editor:
- How to Edit Videos: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners – WonderShare
- The Basics of Video Editing – Life Hacker
Median Pay: P26,292 per month (P315,504 per year)
Industry: Creative Services
- Excellent command of the English language both oral and written
- Ability to research and create engaging copy for various forms of media
- Familiarity with internet marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or web development is a plus.
They leverage the power of words to write persuasive and compelling written content that will engage and draw interest from readers. They are masters of the psychology of selling and utilize what they know to help businesses gain more customers and make more sales.
The main role is to create well-written content for use in both web and print.
The modern copywriter should be versatile and can craft engaging content for client websites, blogs, email campaigns, video scripts and newsletters, and social media.
Tips and Resource on How to Become a Copywriter:
- 101 Copywriting Dos & Don’ts – CopyHackers
- How to Become a Copywriter (no experience, portfolio or degree) – Freelance to Win
- The Ultimate Guide to Copywriting – KISS Metrics
15. Virtual Assistant
Median Pay: P23,505 per month (P282,060 per year)
Industry: Marketing/Digital Services
- Minimum of a High School diploma
- Superior organizational and interpersonal skills
- Excellent command of English, both written and spoken
- Internet and computer savvy
One of the most popular work-from-home jobs in the country, VAs are responsible for providing all sorts of services to clients and organizations. Social media marketing, e-commerce, web design, email, managing calendars, setting appointments, and a whole more—these folks are the swiss army knives when it comes to remote jobs.
Tips & Resources on How to Become a Virtual Assistant:
- How to become a Virtual Assistant with no experience – Work from Home Happiness
- How to become a Virtual Assistant – Amylyn Andrews
16. Web Content Writer/Producer
Median Pay: P24,285 per month (P291,420 per year)
Industry: Creative Services
- Degree Holder/Undergraduate in Marketing/Advertising/Media preferred
- Can conceptualize and create new ideas for fresh content
- Familiar with Digital Marketing tools
- Well-exposed to news, sports, and pop-culture
- Strong writing skills
Main tasks include generation of digital content covering a variety of media channels. Needs to be well-versed in Social media, marketing, news, and publishing.
They write content to be used for all sorts of formats: blogs, e-books, videos, podcasts, and the like.
Tips & Resources on How to Become a Web Content Writer:
- How to make money with paid content writing – Blog Tyrant
- 9 simple tips for writing persuasive web content – Enchanting Marketing
17. Customer Service Representative (Home-based CSR)
Median Pay: P20,156 per month (P241,872 per year)
Industry: Business Processes / Sales
- Strong English communication skills
- Ability to provide solutions to customer inquiries and concerns
- Fulfill customer expectations in a manner that complies with policies, practices and procedures.
The main role is to provide timely and appropriate answers to customer inquiries.
They field calls and email inquiries from customers. Their main job is to educate and assist customers, which includes providing assistance with complaints and requests.
Tips and Resources on How to Become a Customer Service Representative:
- 16 Customer Service Skills of Great Customer Service Agents – ZenDesk
- What does a Customer Service Representative do? – Sokanu
18. Online English Teacher/ESL Tutor
Median Pay: P19,131 per month (P229,572 per year)
- Superb English communication skills, both written and spoken
- Should have an enthusiasm for online education and a passion for helping individuals improve their lives through learning
- Strong teaching ability and an academic mindset
- Degree in Education or Teaching is preferred
ESL teaching became one of the fastest-growing niches among work-from-home Pinoys in the last couple of years. They teach foreign students to read, write, and converse in English.
An online tutor must be able to adhere to the curriculum and explain the material effectively to the student or class.
Tips and Resources on How to Become an Online Tutor:
- How to become an Online Tutor – BizFluent
- 15 sites that offer Online Tutoring jobs – Dream Home Based Work
19. Sales Account Executive
Median Pay: P19,227 per month (P230,724 per year)
- Graduate/Undergraduate with a business degree preferred
- Strong salesmanship skills
- Master communicator with emphasis on managing client accounts and maintaining relationships
- Good numerical skills for presenting sales reports
The main role is to generate new clients. Make phone calls to potential customers to build new contracts. Does on-site visits and asks for referrals from existing clients. Conducts meetings and provides client support as needed.
Tips & Resources on How to Become a Sales Account Executive:
- What it’s like to be a Sales Account Executive – The Muse
- 81 one-sentence sales tips every rep should know – HubSpot
20. Graphic Artist/Designer
Median Pay: P23,737 per month (P284,844 per year)
- Multumedia or Fine Arts graduate/undergraduate preferred
- Skilled in Adobe Photoshop and other Graphic design software
- Can do photo manipulation/edit, typography, illustration, logo design, motion graphics, UI/UX, and other multimedia content.
They use software and digital tools to design, create, and develop visual concepts. They are in charge of the layout and production of designs for different mediums: digital or print, which is used for stuff like magazines, advertisements, digital media, brochures, and many more.
Tips & Resources on How to Become a Graphic Artist/Designer:
- How to become a Graphic Designer without going to school – Creative Market
- How to become a Graphic Designer – The Art Career Project
21. Human Resources (HR) Manager
Median Pay: P43,903 per month (P526,836 per year)
Industry: Human Resources
- Leadership, organizational, and people management skills
- Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Management, Psychology, and/or other related courses
They serve as administrators of the organization. Tasks like recruiting new staff, interviewing and hiring applicants, are their main roles.
They also direct and coordinate day to day admin operations with the executives of the company to ensure a thriving work environment between the management and employees.
Tips & Resources on How to Become an HR Manager:
22. Technical Support Representative
Median Pay: P23,598 per month (P283,176 per year)
Industry: Business Processes
- Finished at least 2 years in College – with relevant work experience
- Strong background in technology
- Excellent English communication skills, both written and spoken
Same as with a customer support rep but their main focus is resolving and troubleshooting technical issues of customers (hardware or software).
Tips & Resources on How to Become a Technical Support Representative:
Median Pay: P28,355 per month (P340,260 per year)
Industry: Business Processes
- Bachelor’s Degree in Finance, Accountancy, and/or Banking
- Relevant work experience in financial accounting
Certified Public Accountants analyze financial records and reports to ensure that budgets, tax returns, and assets meet the company’s targets and are efficiently executed.
Whereas, Bookkeepers manage a company’s general ledger, which contains all transactions like debits and credits. They also create financial statements and other related reports.
Tips & Resources on How to Become an Accountant:
Median Pay: P21,571 per month (P258,852 per year)
- Excellent English communication skills
- Relevant work experience in sales & marketing
They sell products and services over the phone, through cold calls or leads. The job may include answering queries from existing and potential clients about the services and products they offer.
Tips & Resources on How to Become an Telemarketer:
25. SEO Specialist
Median Pay: P30,321 per month (P363,852 per year)
Industry: Digital Marketing
- Excellent research, organizational, and analytical skills
- Proficient in using web-based tools such as Google Analytics, Search Console, Google Tag Manager and more.
- Strong grasp of how web search and search engine optimization works.
- Experience in HTML, CSS, WordPress.
A Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist is tasked with analyzing a website’s performance in terms of search results and applies the necessary tweaks to make it optimized for improved web search rankings.
Tips & Resources on How to Become an SEO Specialist:
- How to become an SEO Expert – Kaiserthesage
- Definitive guide to becoming an SEO Expert – Backlinko
- How to become an SEO Expert in 8 steps – Ahrefs
26. PPC Specialist
Median Pay: P42,126 per month (P505,512 per year)
Industry: Digital Marketing
- Solid background in running Facebook Ads and Google Adwords campaigns.
- Excellent communication, organizational, and analytical skills.
- Deep understanding in creating sales funnels
A PPC Specialist is someone who’s in charge of internet pay-per-click advertising campaigns. This includes analyzing, strategizing, designing, and implementing advertising performance.
Tips & Resources on How to Become a PPC Specialist:
27. Lead Generation Specialist
Median Pay: P23,421 per month (P281,052 per year)
Industry: Digital Marketing
- Excellent communication, negotiation, and entrepreneurial skills
- Tech-savvy and have a deep understanding of different online marketing channels.
This person is responsible for acquiring and developing leads that have the potential to be converted to a sale. They take the steps to analyze and engage with potential clients/customers and determine if they qualified for a sales call.
Tips & Resources on How to Become a Lead Generation Specialist:
Median Pay: P27,246 per month (P326,952 per year)
Industry: Digital Services
- Strong command of the English language, both written and spoken
- Can type at least 40 words per minute
They listen to voice recordings and convert them into written documents. Fast typing and a good ear are required for this job.
Tips & Resources on How to Become a Transcriptionist:
29. Data Entry Specialist
Median Pay: P15,617 per month (P187,404 per year)
Industry: Digital Services
- Intermediate Internet skills (chat, email, and web browsing).
- Good English communication skills
The job is all about encoding gathered information into systems that the client uses. This could range anywhere from personal data to business or company reports.
Tips & Resources on How to Become a Data Entry Specialist:
Median Pay: P39,557 per month (P474,684 per year)
Industry: Digital Services
- Excellent English writing and oral skills
- Candidates will usually take a translation exam
There’s a notable distinction between the two: Translators convert written communication from one language to another while interpreters do it in real-time (spoken).
Tips & Resources on How to Become a Translator:
31. Ecommerce Specialist
Median Pay: P25,411 per month (P304,932 per year)
Industry: Marketing / Digital Services
- Experience in using eCommerce platforms and CMS such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, Wix, and/or BigCommerce.
- Superior problem solving, analytical, technical, marketing, and organizational skills.
They manage all e-commerce related activities and interactions which include systems management, payment gateways and merchants, and third parties.
Tips & Resources on How to Become an Ecommerce Specialist:
32. Social Media Marketing Specialist
Median Pay: P26,041 per month (P312,492 per year)
Industry: Digital Marketing / Creative Services
- Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, Marketing, Business, or any related course.
- Excellent English communication skills – both written and verbal.
- Internet-savvy and have advanced experience in using social media platforms.
- Good analytical, organizational, and design skills.
Their main focus is to develop content that will appeal to the client’s target demographic. They do this by creating, curating, and managing content that will build the client’s brand and persona.
A social media marketing specialist’s job also entails identifying the strategy that will be used. They audit and do competitor analysis to see what works and what doesn’t.
Tips & Resources on How to Become a Social Media Marketing Specialist:
- How to become a Social Media Marketing Specialist – GetSmarter
- Social Media Marketing for Philippine Businesses
33. CAD Designer/Operator
Median Pay: P24,801 per month (P297,612 per year)
Industry: Design Services
- Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering or Architecture
- Proficient in both 2D and 3D drawings
They generate technical drawings to be used for building and manufacturing the actual project. They work with architects and engineers to ensure the blueprints are 100% accurate and complete.
Tips & Resources on How to Become a CAD Designer/Operator:
Median Pay: P25,968 per month (P311,616 per year)
Industry: Design Services
- A knack for storytelling, and character design/development.
- Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts, Animation, Architecture, or any related field.
- Portfolio and/or demos.
They are artists who create motion graphics for various forms of visual media (film, digital games, websites, etc.,).
Tips & Resources on How to Become an Animator:
35. Internet Researcher
Median Pay: P21,794 per month (P261,528 per year)
Industry: Digital Services
- Proficient in online research and documentation
- Excellent English communication skills – written and oral.
- Strong analytical, quantitative, and interpretive skills.
Leveraging their skills of navigating the web to extract information, internet researchers gather data to be used in all sorts of projects. They must be resourceful and have a knack for analyzing and interpreting data.
Tips & Resources on How to Become an Internet Researcher:
36. AI Developer
Median pay: P48,200 (P578,400 per year
Industry: Information technology
- Ability to do exploratory data analysis
- Proficient in machine learning algorithms and when to apply them
- Can implement machine learning models from scratch
- Able to consider parameters like performance, fault tolerance, availability, and scalability
An AI developer is tasked to develop artificial intelligence software and applications used by a business. These professionals program systems that change to suit the needs of businesses based on the data collected and analyzed.
AI Developers usually work with machine learning engineers, data engineers, and data scientists. Part of their duty is to ensure that systems are running smoothly.
Tips and resources on how to become an AI Developer:
- How to Learn AI from Scratch – Springboard
- How to Become an Artificial Intelligence Developer – Techrrival
- So You want to Be An AI Developer? – With the Best on Medium
37. Financial Advisor
Median pay: P34,733 per month (P416,796 per year)
- Bachelor’s Degree, preferably in Business Administration, Finance, or Economics
- Ability to do analytical thinking
A financial advisor is someone who is either employed by a financial firm or works independently to give guidance to clients about money decisions.
These professionals make money through commissions or advisory fees. The duty of financial advisors can range from investment, tax, financial planning, accounting, and many more.
Tips and resources on how to become a financial advisor:
- How to Become A Sun Life Financial Advisor During This Pandemic – Money Talks
- How to Become a Financial Advisor: What Beginners Need to Know – Rasmussen University
- Complete Guide for How to Become a Financial Advisor – Indeed
38. Operation Specialist
Median pay: P21,000 per month (P252,000 per year)
Industry: Applicable to any industry
- Ability to establish, implement, and maintain new strategies
- Attention to detail
- Can work with minimal supervision
- Experience in project management
- Verbal and written communication skills
- Problem-solving and analytical skills
This professional is someone who lends their expertise to a company that is in the process of improving its operation. Operation specialists identify the weak spots in operation and seek ways to improve them.
These professionals usually work with administrators and managers to establish new objectives to improve a company’s operational efficiency.
Part of their duty is to review current operational procedures, interview employees and assess their performance, and develop reports based on their data and analysis.
Tips and resources on how to become an Operation Specialist:
- How to Become an Operations Specialist – Zippia
- How to become a Business Operations Specialist in 6 Steps
39. Recruiting & Talent Acquisition Specialist
Median pay: P21,969 per month (P263,628 per year)
Industry: Human Resources
- Preferably a degree in Human Resources Management, or something similar
- Knowledge of candidate sourcing techniques
- Understanding of staffing tools and job boards
- Working knowledge of the industry
- Ability to establish working relationships
This professional is in charge of determining job requirements, selection criteria, hiring profiles, screening candidates, and most importantly, forecasting the hiring needs of certain companies.
To do this, they must constantly liaise with various company departments. This person is also in charge of sourcing candidates through job boards, social platforms, career portals, and even print media.
A recruiting specialist may also be required to promote a company’s brand through recruitment events and initiatives.
They must attract the best candidates for each role they post, and be always attuned to the hiring needs of companies because a reliable candidate greatly contributes to a company’s success.
Tips and resources on how to become an
- How to Become a Recruiter: 6-Step Guide – Top Echelon
- How to Become A Recruitment Specialist – Get Smarter
- Recruiting Specialist Career Guide – Western Governors University
40. IT Specialist
Median pay: P27,000 per month (P324,000 per year)
Industry: Information Technology
- High School Diploma
- Preferably a degree in computer science or any related field
- Must know information technologies and systems
- Strong diagnostic, analytical, and problem-solving skills
- Must be able to coordinate at multiple develops and provide customer service
- Knowledge of various operating systems and programming languages
In today’s hyper-competitive and tech-savvy world, IT Specialists are constantly in demand in all organizations.
These professionals focus on the technical needs of businesses, particularly when it comes to the implementation, maintenance, and monitoring of IT systems.
These people may specialize in IT audits, database administration, system administration, security, web administration, or network analysis. They can also focus on addressing the needs and concerns of end users.
Tips and resources on how to become an It Specialist:
- How to Become an Information Technology Specialist – HP
- How do I Become an Information Technology (IT) Specialist? – Online Engineering Programs
- How to Become an Information Technology Expert – Best College Reviews
- IT Specialist Guide – Great Learning
41. Paralegal & Legal Assistant
Paralegal Median pay: P19,290 per month (P231,480 per year)
Legal Assistant Median pay: P27,500 per month (P330,000 per year)
Industry: Law / Legal Industry
- High school diploma
- Must be highly organized and detail-oriented
- Ability to work independently and manage huge workloads
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Strong knowledge of Microsoft Office (such as Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint)
A Paralegal and Legal Assistant’s main job is to help legal professionals, especially lawyers, prepare for court cases and trials.
These are amazing jobs for people who are highly interested in the legal industry but are not ready to commit to a lengthy education to become a lawyer.
Their main duties may include greeting clients, gathering documents, drafting legal papers, answering calls, fact-checking, compiling data, and communicating with court employees.
It’s worth noting that their specific responsibilities usually depend on the lawyer or law firm they are assisting.
Tips and resources on how to become a Paralegal and Legal Assistant:
- How to Become a Paralegal in 2022 – Online Master of Legal Studies Program
- What Is A Legal Assistant? Their Role and How It Helps Lawyers – Clio
- How to Become a Paralegal in the Philippines – Chron
42. Medical Transcriptionist
Median pay: P20,148 per month (P241,776 per year)
Industry: Medicine and Healthcare
- Preferably a background in medicine/healthcare
- Fast typing speed
- Knowledge of speech recognition software
- Great spelling and grammar
- Must know medical terminology
These professionals document diagnoses, medical histories, assessments, treatment plans, and orders in medical records. They are also tasked to review and edit documents to keep up with the fast-paced healthcare environment and ensure the safety and care of patients.
Many doctors and physicians simply dictate their diagnoses, findings, and reports using voice recording equipment. The major duty of a medical transcriptionist is to ensure that these medical reports are translated into text accurately.
They must also store and transmit this information in a confidential manner. Medical transcriptionists usually use dictation, word processing, and other equipment to do their duties.
Tips and resources on how to become a Medical Transcriptionist:
- Surefire Ways to Become A Medical Transcriptionist – Outsource Accelerator
- How to Find Medical Transcription Jobs from Home – Indeed
- How to Become a Work from Home Medical Transcriptionist (In 4 Short Months) – Work from Happiness
43. Marriage & Family Therapist
Median pay: P26,490 per month (P371,887 per year)
Industry: Psychology and Counseling
- Must have a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology or any related field
- Preferred experience in clinical care
- Must have a license to practice counseling
- Listening and communication skills
- Must practice patience and non-judgment at all times
- Observant and respectful
These professionals work with individuals, couples, and families to preserve their well-being. They are there to guide people dealing with issues that affect their lives.
Usually, Marriage and Family Therapists have a holistic approach that highlights the strengths of their clients.
They may also diagnose, treat, or discuss issues such as child and adolescent behavioral problems, substance abuse, marital conflicts, domestic violence, infertility, grieving, and depression and anxiety, among many others.
During their job, they observe how individuals interact with each other, and they also diagnose psychological disorders within a marriage or family context, as well as guide clients through crises like death or separation.
Their main goal is to replace unhealthy dysfunctional behaviors with better alternatives.
Tips and resources on how to become a Marriage and Family Therapist:
- What Is a Marriage and Family Therapist? – Psychology School Guide
- Marriage Counseling Toolkit: 30+ Best Questions and Worksheets – Positive Psychology
44. Loan Officer
Median pay: P30,145 per month (P361,741 per year)
Industry: Credit Intermediation / Banking Industry
- Preferably a background in the finance or customer service industry
- Great communication skills
- Sales skills to promote loan-processing services to customers
- Organizational and time-management skills
- Ability to communicate loan information in a conversational and non-technical manner to others
A loan officer is tasked to help customers research the best loans and navigate the application process to make it more seamless.
They must be able to recommend several options to clients, explain the terms, and determine the risks involved. They are also tasked to gather and prepare the materials needed by clients to secure a loan. If there are missing data or mistakes, they must correct them.
Lastly, loan officers must always be aware of application deadlines to ensure the customer stays in the loop about it.
Tips and resources on how to become a loan officer:
- How to Become a Loan Officer: A Career Guide – Coursera
- 5 Ways to Stand Out as a Loan Officer in 2022 – AP Mortgage
- 10 tips on How to Become a Successful Loan Officer – Rate Alert
Where to Find Work-From-Home Online Jobs in the Philippines?
There are plenty of websites that serve as talent marketplaces where clients and contractors can connect.
Here are the top 20 online job sites you should check out in the Philippines.
1. UpWork – Elance and oDesk merged to become the world’s largest talent marketplace right now. It offers thousands of job postings daily categorized by specialization.
2. Freelancer – Similar to UpWork, but smaller in terms of size. According to CEO Matt Barie in a 2017 interview with ABS-CBN, there are currently 900,000 Filipinos using their service right now.
3. OnlineJobsPH – A popular talent hub for Filipinos. Per their site, they don’t mark up contractor salaries.
4. Craigslist – Not as structured like the other sites mentioned above but offers plenty of job and gig openings. Think of it as an online bulletin board where people can post inquiries both as a client and jobseeker.
5. JobStreet – Arguably the most popular job site in the Philippines.
6. Monster PH – One of the biggest job search engines in the world, and now operates in the country too.
7. Kalibrr – A very promising job search platform (which also has an app), that matches companies with highly talented people (and vice versa).
8. Virtual Staff Finder – Another local online talent marketplace. They claim to be “The Number One Provider of Long-term, Well-paid Home Based Jobs in the Philippines.”
9. Virtual CoWorker – A recruitment company that links Filipino talent to companies from Australia, New Zealand, US, Canada, and UK.
10. Outsourcely – Founded in 2014, this online talent marketplace boasts of a talent pool 300,000 home-based workers from over 180 countries.
11. WeWorkRemotely – The site prides itself for being one of the largest communities for remote-only work – with over 1.5 million individuals visiting the site annually.
12. Stack Exchange – This website is dedicated to software developers looking to learn and share their knowledge. If you’re a developer, you can check out their job postings page for some gigs/remote work.
13. People Per Hour – Once a contractor sets up a profile, they can indicate how much they want to get paid by the hour. Clients can designate the number of hours they would like to book with the contractor.
14. Fiverr – A popular online talent marketplace that offers services starting at $5 (hence the name). It became popular since it first launched due to the wide variety of tasks you can have someone do for you if you’re a client.
16. Raket.PH – Local online talent marketplace focused in project-based contracts.
17. Hire the World – Logo, Web & Graphic Design talent marketplace boasting an on online talent pool from over 148 countries.
18. 99 Designs – The world’s largest and most popular graphic design marketplace with over 1 million graphic design freelancers.
19. Essays.PH – Local site dedicated to offering freelance writing talent to clients worldwide.
20. Design Crowd – Another graphic design-focused talent marketplace featuring jobs for categories like: Logo, business cards, web, flyers, graphic, and T-shirt.
21. FastJobs Philippines – Available as a mobile app for Android and iOS devices, FastJobs allows job seekers to find jobs on the go. Most job opportunities on the online platform are office-based, but there are also several home-based jobs available such as ESL teachers, online researchers, and customer service representatives.
22. RareJob – One of the largest and most popular online English schools that offer remote teaching jobs for Filipinos who are well-versed in the language. The job entails teaching English to Japanese students via Skype video calls. To become a RareJob ESL teacher, you have to pass an online English proficiency test and an interview.
23. Remote Staff – This online remote job platform has been operating for over 10 years, matching Filipinos with clients worldwide. Remote Staff takes pride in having an all-Filipino in-house team that provides support to job seekers. Most open positions are in marketing, administration, and software development.
24. Crowdspring – An online job platform for creative professionals such as graphic and web designers. Currently, Crowdspring is not accepting new registrations, but it will open a registration period once every quarter.
25. Outsourced – A business process outsourcing (BPO) company in the Philippines that provides remote staffing services. Offers a mix of home-based and office-based jobs, mostly in IT, customer service, admin, and sales.
26. Toptal – Short for “Top Talent,” this freelance job search platform connects the top talents with renowned companies such as Airbnb, Zendesk, and Shopify. The most in-demand online jobs here include web developers, web designers, and project managers.
27. Sourcefit – A US-based BPO company with mostly office-based job openings. But it also hires home-based workers for the Help Desk Support position that serves clients in Australia and New Zealand.
28. Freelancercareers.org – An online job marketplace for freelance writers, especially for newbies. There are currently more than 800 active writers on the Freelancercareers platform, writing content on a wide range of topics and earning an average of US$ 750 per month or US$ 5 to US$ 40 per page.
Bryan Villarosa also recommends tapping into the power of social networks for getting remote jobs:
For starters, I advise you to also join Facebook Groups such as Work from Home Philippines, Upwork Philippines, Online Filipino Freelancers. These communities are filled with very supportive pinoys who will genuinely give their collective help when you need them.
There are workers that occasionally post job opportunities when their clients are looking for a certain skill. I am also one of the moderators of Work from Home Philippines, and there is a feature called Mentorship where you can share your experience or learn valuable skills from someone in the group.
Recommended Reading: Passive Income Ideas: 11 Ways to Make Money While You Sleep
How to Start Working From Home
Now on to the meaty part of this guide. In this section, I’ll share a couple of key steps for boosting your chances of getting momentum and quick wins when you’re just starting out.
1. Identify your skills and talents
What do you have to offer? Are you good at crunching numbers (great for an accounting/bookkeeping gig)?
Do you love to write (copywriting/blogging)?
Are you a social media savant (expert at getting people’s attention and building solid viewership/following)?
It’s imperative that you identify a skill that you are passionate about and profitable at the same time.
Your niche should be something that people would gladly pay for and at the same time satisfy your own interests.
This, my friend, is important. If you are in it only for the money—you’ll burn-out quickly and hate every minute doing that job.
When I was still writing content part-time (almost a decade ago), I remember being tasked to write 50 coffee machine reviews/articles.
At around a dozen finished pieces, I remember dreading the keyboard and got super anxious if I can finish the next piece. I was able to finish all 50 (still can’t believe I was able to do that), but right after that I promised myself not to commit to a job that doesn’t spark my interest.
At the very least, it should be something that I’m good at and don’t mind doing.
Pick a niche one that satisfies your own interest, gives you enough of a challenge (if it’s too easy you’ll get bored and burn out too), and (hopefully) pays decent money. Your passion will serve as fuel to push you through days when you don’t feel like working.
Because trust me, those days will come. Working from home might sound fun and easy, but in reality, folks like me constantly struggle with discipline and procrastination. And your best ally in combating these two time-monsters is your love for what you do.
- 100+ Best Free Online Courses for Filipinos
- Top Free TESDA Online Courses
- College Courses in the Philippines [Complete List]
2. Be clear on the type of service you offer
When I started doing part-time writing jobs, I had only one goal in mind: score as many gigs as I can. Once the contract was locked in, I did whatever the client asked of me.
Once, I got myself into a semi-permanent gig writing content for a website. Prior to this job, I was used to getting assigned stuff to write, clients just show me the topic and I’ll send the finished piece afterward.
But this particular client was extra hands-on, and I remember having too much back-and-forth with him and other members of his team with each and every writing assignment.
I hated it.
It ate up too much of my time, time that could’ve spent just writing the damn thing. They asked me to come up with article ideas, look for photos, write snippets, etc., —stuff that I wasn’t expecting to do.
But it’s not their fault, really, it’s mine. If I clarified early what my services are and how I get things done, then perhaps both parties would have realized it’s not a perfect fit.
I don’t mind working with others and taking additional tasks, but I should have at least prepared myself for it by setting the right expectations.
3. Learn how others in your niche are doing it
It’s your way of “getting in the game”. Knowing how other people are doing the job you wish to have will give you some helpful insight.
There are plenty of FB Groups for particular work-from-home niches (Virtual Assistant Groups, Writing Groups, Graphic Artists, etc.,) that have members who happily share their experiences and give advice to novices.
Know which set of skills get paid/rewarded the most, where to get clients, get help creating job bids, etc., There’s a lot of free content online for this, and I recommend you read about them to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the job.
Also, they can give you an idea of how much the going rate is for the type of services that you offer.
That’s not to say you should blindly follow their suggestions, rather, use it as a guideline for determining how much you want to get paid.
A quick reminder though: Action beats waiting around. So don’t get caught up “forever learning” about something. Better to start applying for jobs and learning from experience than sit around waiting for the perfect client to mysteriously appear
4. Have a computer and fairly fast internet connection (and a backup)
More important than a solid computer (any model 2 years onwards should suffice in most cases for undemanding workload), IMHO, is having a decent internet connection (at least 8mbps is my personal recommendation).
Especially if your job requires that you maintain a constant connection with your boss or other members of your team (video calls, Skype, Zoom, etc.,), need to upload and download large files, or simply need the speed and bandwidth (jobs that require it).
Have a back-up for both computer and internet connection (work somewhere else (coffee shops/coworking spaces or use mobile data).
In cases of power loss and bad ISP connection, having something to switch to and continue working on the job is essential and will save you from a lot of headaches (and difficult conversation with your boss)
If you want to know more about how to choose a work-from-home computer, you’ll find this guide useful.
5. Set up your payment collection scheme
How do you want to get paid? PayPal still leads the pack with its global popularity and wide-ranging integration with other payment schemes.
You can easily transfer money from your PayPal account to the bank, and also use it to fund your GCash or PayMaya accounts. I heard Stripe, Skrill, Venmo, are popular PayPal alternatives to local freelancers.
6. Create a solid online profile with portfolio
There’s so much to gain simply by having a well-thought-out and highly-persuasive online portfolio.
Clients always check an applicant’s resume and credentials and work experience before hiring to see if that person is a good fit.
If you’re just starting out, you can upload a couple of sample work and focus your portfolio’s theme on your credentials and reasons why they should hire you.
Most people don’t know this, but your online description should not highlight the stuff that you do. Rather, it should emphasize what you can do for the client.
Merely listing down your skillset like a plain old resume won’t make you stand out. Your choice of words should put the client’s wants first, so you should make it about them.
For example, instead of writing “I have a decade of experience writing copy that converts into sales”, it would read better if you put something like: “I will help you double your sales through entertaining and info-packed copy that your audience will love”.
The word “your/you” puts the emphasis on the client, which highlights what you can do for them (which is music to their ears).
Social proof works, so when you can, ask your previous/current clients for testimonials and include them in your online profile. Potential clients will see that as a positive sign and help convince them to hire your services.
7. Leverage Connections
Ask clients if they know anyone who could use your service. As a freelancer, you’ll develop long-term connections with clients.
If the relationship is good, they wouldn’t hesitate referring you to other clients. Don’t be shy to ask, if you have the skills and proven experience, your current network will help you connect with other customers.
Ask friends and colleagues if they know anyone looking for the type of services that you offer. You’ll be surprised by the potential connections and referrals they can make.
8. Make accounts on online job portals
My first work-from-home gig (a decade ago) was writing 500-word articles about eyeglasses for a US-based client. oDesk was one of the biggest online job marketplaces back then (it’s where I got the job) until eLance gobbled them up via a merger and became UpWork.
Online job marketplaces are popular among work-from-home peeps because you get to bid and connect with clients looking for your services. Competition is tougher nowadays though (versus when I was starting) so you might want to leverage other similar sites to find gigs.
Don’t know where to look? Here are some most popular online job marketplaces today:
- People Per Hour
- Monster PH
- Virtual CoWorker
9. Start looking for jobs in your niche
Once you have an account in these job marketplaces, the next step of course will be to look for jobs that fit your specialty. Bid for those that fit your niche well, so you can guarantee excellent deliverables.
You can even “branch-out” a bit to expand your options.
For example, I used to look for product reviews and tech-oriented writing gigs mainly when I was starting. But as I was browsing through the available postings, some looked doable even if it’s not my main preference (topics/formats that were not my forte).
Doing this will earn you two things: (1) Test and find out if a particular niche works for you; (2) Learn more about that niche and expand your capabilities. I recommend being a “generalist” when you’re starting out as it expands your options and lets you soak in more experience and knowledge.
As you go on, you’ll find out which ones you really like and absolutely hate, and that’s when you can begin specializing and doubling down on your chosen niches.
10. Write compelling job pitches
I always like putting myself in the client’s shoes when writing pitches. Your job is not to boast about who you are or what you have accomplished. What they really want to read about is how the heck you can help them.
Try not to use generic-looking templates that look like they were written by a chatbot. An overly-formal approach ain’t good, neither is a too-casual style.
A fine balance of direct and relaxed tone focussing on how you can help them (be specific) combined with related proof (share your experience, specialty) is what I found to work best.
This format cuts straight to the meat of the letter (why they should hire you) which clients/hiring managers like since they’re usually busy and don’t want to read long and boring pitches about the person’s accomplishments.
11. Review the terms and agreements of your contract
Once you get the job, be very specific about the terms. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and be clear on the services that you will (only) provide.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, you should be specific about these things as some clients may take advantage of your kindness (naks) and start slipping in additional rules and tasks that weren’t included in the original discussion.
Deadlines and schedule details should be crystal-clear. When and how you’ll get paid and by how much should be discussed at the onset, so as to set proper expectations.
12. Always be upgrading/expanding your skills
What you know and can do today won’t guarantee you work in the future. That’s just the way it is.
More and more jobs become more interconnected, lines being blurred.
For example, social media managers are also well-versed in email marketing. Content writers who can write about a dozen niches and topics. Virtual assistants that handle social media, web content, and e-commerce like a boss. There are SEO specialists who can also create dazzling content for blogs and commercial sites. And many more.
That’s not to say you should always be branching out to other specialties, in fact, you can take the opposite route and specialize as deep as you can in your niche.
There are plenty of successful freelancers out there who have a long waitlist of clients simply because they’re the best in their chosen field.
However, if you’re just starting out or have been doing it for a couple of years, it would be a good idea to learn as much stuff as you can.
Not only will it make you more valuable (making you more hire-able), but it also lets you try out a bunch of stuff that can lead you to something that (you’ll realize) that you like. Keep learning and upgrading ‘em skills, it will pay off later. I promise.
13. Know your rates
It’s better to determine your negotiable ranges and minimum rates from the beginning. This is important because once you are inside the contract, you may not be able to request increases for a period of time.
Failure to do so could lead to you getting underpaid or see your operations become unsustainable. This could lead to lower job satisfaction and performance.
Also because asking the client for rate changes without prior agreement may lead to unpleasant feedback.
The simple formula is Rate = (x / y) * z, where x = your total monthly expenses, y= 40 working hours (even you are part-time), and z= your desired margin.
For fixed-rates or project-based, estimate the number of hours and multiply your rate.
When you do this homework, you are confident to say “no” to a client whenever he asks for a bargain or gives a “big project” but you doubt the pay.
You can give your data as evidence that you have already calculated how low you can go. Your desired margin can determine your extra savings which you should use for tools upgrading, upskilling or other investments. The better your investments are, the better professional you become.
Some platforms also offer a default minimum rate (e.g. Upwork $3USD/hour). – Thanks to Bryan Villarosa for this tip
Best Work From Home Tools
While you’re on a home-based job-hunting mode, take the time to familiarize yourself with the commonly used tools for remote work. Once you know how they work and how to use them, your first work-from-home job will be a lot smoother and less stressful.
Companies that hire remote workers typically require the use of the following software or apps.
Best for: Team Communication
Slack is a popular and user-friendly instant messaging platform. Suitable for remote work, this communication management app allows users to collaborate effectively without the need for clunky emails.
Conversations are organized through channels that can be created for every team/department, project, or topic.
You can ask questions and get answers quickly, make video calls, share files, bookmark important messages, pin documents for easy reference, and even have non-work-related chats with colleagues.
Best for: Meetings & Presentations
Zoom makes virtual face-to-face meetings possible between team members from any corner of the world. It’s the go-to app for video conferencing because of its ease of use and plenty of useful features that enhance work collaboration.
Zoom lets meeting participants share their screen or files and even change their actual background into a virtual one (like turning a messy bedroom into a professional office background). It also allows real-time chat and local video recording.
Best for: Project Management
With a simple Kanban-style interface, Trello is a great tool for remote teams that need to stay on top of their tasks and projects.
Users can create, assign, and monitor tasks, and those who are assigned responsibilities can update the progress of each task by dragging and dropping a card into its appropriate list.
Everyone in the team sees the updates, and so they can keep track of the progress of each task.
4. Google Drive
Best for: File Sharing
Google’s file storage service has been the collaboration tool of choice for individuals and teams—whether working in the office or from home—since it started in 2012.
Google Drive provides free cloud storage as well as the ability to share and edit files simultaneously by multiple users. It also makes files more accessible by allowing both online and offline access through mobile devices.
Best for: Time Management
Whether you’ve started working from home or not, it’s important to have your own system for managing time.
A free online tool for time management, the Google Calendar app helps you stay productive by letting you plot and track your schedule.
It integrates well with Gmail—events in your email such as upcoming flights or hotel/restaurant reservations are automatically added to the calendar.
Best for: Taking & Organizing Notes
A digital notepad at your fingertips, Evernote is useful for documenting and sharing meeting notes, project plans, to-do lists, images, web pages, and all the data team members need to get work done.
You can even use it to jot down your own ideas or brainstorm ideas with your teammates.
Work from Home Checklist & Tips
Confession time: This section resonates with a lot of the stuff that I went through (and still go through) on a daily basis as a full-time freelancer.
So when I was researching for the best tips and meaningful advice for this section, I was really curious to know what my peers are doing to ensure that most days as a freelancer will be smooth-sailing, cause it can get really hard at times being your own boss.
The following is a collection of some of the most useful advice that any aspiring and seasoned freelancer can apply to their own routines and workflow.
1. Have a dedicated workspace
Having a dedicated workspace helps you reach maximum efficiency and helps your head get into “work mode”.
2. Get the right equipment and tools
I once had to create multiple tables in Google Docs for an article I was writing but I forgot to bring my Bluetooth mouse (I was working outside).
Not only was it more time consuming, but it was also harder to do. If you’re working from home and constantly work on multiple tabs and windows at a time, getting a second (or third) or bigger monitor will help.
Having a comfy chair that’s easy on the back is underrated (trust me). When it comes to software, if paying for full versions of the essential apps and programs in your work will make your job a lot easier then go buy it.
Or find cheaper alternatives.
The bottom line is, you should try to get the right tools for the job. The time and effort you’ll save will be worth it.
3. Make a schedule and stick to it
If you have complete control over your workday (which sounds easy but actually hard to execute right), you should make a schedule.
If you don’t, the hours will go poof and you wouldn’t even know how it happened. Even a couple of “time-blocks” around specific hours of the day will work wonders for your productivity.
4. Keep communication lines open
Keep your team and clients regularly updated on your progress. This helps ensure everybody is on the same page and working toward the most important goals.
Plus, it helps to chat with the team and colleagues every once in a while especially when your bored to your wits from working at home for days straight. Helps keep loneliness at bay.
5. Eliminate Distractions
As I try drafting the intro for this section while watching old Angry Video Game Nerd videos on YouTube, I realized my efforts are futile. It’s just not working for me.
I can’t concentrate. Same with having too much noise in the background, having a messy desk, or having my phone with me while working. The lesson here is clear:
Distractions kill your productivity. It eats away your precious work hours. And it’s your duty to identify them and ensure they’re not around when you’re working. And yes, that includes your phone.
6. Manage your energy levels
When I once read life coach and entrepreneur Tony Robbins say that managing your energy levels is one of the key secrets for maximum productivity, I was skeptical.
I thought, “How exactly should I manage my energy?” A year later as a full-time freelancer working from home, I realized the truth in his advice.
Whether it’s getting enough rest, exercising, eating healthily, taking supplements and vitamins, having some “me-time”, making a flexible working schedule, identifying my peak hours (which you’ll learn about in a bit), it’s crucial that you do everything you can to give yourself enough energy to do your work and on time.
You have to be proactive in keeping your strength and brain power reserves well-stocked (or at least not empty) especially when you have to do a lot of non-work related tasks throughout the day.
7. Know your peak hours
I’ve read countless success stories of famous entrepreneurs and founders who hustled like crazy to reach their goals.
Some of the ones I read about shared how they worked on their personal projects as soon as they get home from their full-time jobs.
When I tried it myself, (I used to freelance on the side years ago) I found myself drooling on the keyboard minutes later.
What I realized is that each one of us have our own prime working hours. And for me it’s in the wee hours of the morning until lunch. So I try to pack in as much work as I can during these hours because I know they’ll give the most returns.
Check out Mason Currey’s excellent, Daily Rituals, and see the various prime working hours and rituals of some of the most influential individuals in history.
8. Take breaks
Like muscles, our brains get tired. Our backs and hands get stiff from sitting for too long. Our tummies growl when it’s hungry.
Our eyes feel dry and sore from staring too much at screens. Taking frequent breaks helps avoid all these and let’s you chill a bit and prevent stress from creeping in.
9. Use the Pomodoro Technique
I’ve been a fan of the Pomodoro technique for years. When the call of procrastination is too much, I lock down and run a 15-minute timer and do nothing but work on the task.
Once the timer expires, I take a 5 minute breather. Rinse and repeat. You’d be surprised at how much you can accomplish when you’re seemingly “forced” to work within a small pocket of time.
At least for me, it’s a great hack for improving focus and productivity.
Pro tip: Install a Pomodoro timer extension in your browser for quick access.
10. Keep a routine but always be flexible
It’s frustrating to get your workday derailed by an unexpected event. And as a work from home dad, I get a lot of these everyday.
It’s a good idea to have some form of buffer or back up plan to not get buried under too much work.
Perhaps waking up a bit early or before going to bed and getting an hour or two of work in will solve your problems. Whichever way you see fit, the important thing is to have a contingency plan.
11. Have a dependable back-up solution
You’ll never know when the random brown-out or Internet disconnect could happen (choosing the right ISP is crucial). That’s why you should always be ready for those kinds of interruptions.
Some clients may understand the delay, but some may not, and it may end up costing the whole contract.
So whether it’s having a UPS for your laptop or power banks for your mobile devices, or even having enough load balance to use mobile data to finish your work, you should always have a back up plan.
12. Don’t underprice yourself
Before I started freelancing full time, I made a rough estimate of how much I should get in order to make the whole thing work, income-wise.
And I promised myself that whatever happened, I won’t go below my minimum required income.
Why do this?
It helps you avoid the trap of underpricing your services. It’s easy to underbid just to win the contract which you’ll likely end up hating in the long run simply because it pays too low.
Always position the value of what you do to the client, because as long as they’re getting what they want, they wouldn’t hesitate giving you your asking rate (even higher sometimes)
13. Be prepared to market yourself
Most people get uncomfortable when it comes to promoting their skills, talents, and services. And I get it, as I’m someone who has the same tendencies.
But here’s what I learned in my years of doing freelance work: You’ll never land any contracts if you’re too shy to promote and highlight your skills.
This is especially true when you’re starting, I’d say you should double the effort since you’re basically trying to get them to hire you even without any prior experience.
You don’t need to brag or be overconfident about it, just have the right mindset and enough confidence to show what you can do.
Contrary to popular belief, clients love it when you can confidently present what you can do for them.
14. Always be honing your craft
More and more folks are getting in on the world of freelancing. It means there’s more competition, more people to bid against, which makes getting clients harder.
Aside from doing the right steps to market your services, the one other crucial thing to do is continuously hone your skills.
By both expanding your skill set and improving the existing ones, you’re making yourself more valuable against your competition.
If you continuously do this, it won’t be you who’ll be looking for clients, it will be the other way around.
Why? Because they can see that you’re among the best, that they will be getting their money’s worth (and more) when they hire you.
15. Never leave your clients hanging
Imagine asking your friend about something urgent and important but ended up getting zero response. Even after you followed up several times. How would you feel?
That’s how clients feel if you don’t respond to their queries or fail to update them on the status of what you’re working on.
As a rule, never be shy or embarrassed to reply even when you’re in hot water. Actually, you should let them know sooner if there are problems or issues that need to be raised.
They appreciate it if you give them a heads up if you need more time to do something. Same goes for any project-critical tasks.
16. Build positive rapport with clients
It’s simple: build a good working relationship with clients and they’ll likely keep your services for a long time.
Building open communication lines and having positive rapport with them helps build an excellent working relationship.
17. Set proper expectations
It all goes back to being reliable and true to your words. When you deliver on a promise, clients love it.
Don’t miss deadlines, keep them posted on anything else. In return, they’ll be more likely to be easier to work with too. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.
18. Don’t overcommit
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. The way to avoid this is to not be afraid or shy to say no.
Have an honest assessment of your workload, determine if you would still really have sufficient time and resources to take on a new project.
You’d avoid a lot of headaches if you maintain a good balance between productivity and rest.
19. Look for ways to make your workflow more efficient
Have you ever tried editing an Excel spreadsheet on a smartphone?
I have. And it’s a big pain in the you-know-where.
Or maybe your workspace at home is so cramped it just won’t let you work for more than an hour without your back and neck feeling like you have an early case of arthritis.
Maybe you’re using legacy apps and programs that are no longer the best in their respective fields. Perhaps it’s time for you to try more efficient software that’s easier and more efficient to use.
All these things make working remotely harder, and you owe it to yourself to make sure that your workflow is optimized for speed and efficiency.
Anything that will help you do your work in the most productive way possible is worth trying out.
20. Batch your tasks
Batching your tasks is a life hack that works by grouping similar or related to-dos together and doing them on a specific period of time.
An example would be someone assigning all household chores and other miscellaneous activities on a non-busy workday, or perhaps responding or making calls only during the latter part of the day.
I personally do it on some days, grouping together little tasks (paying bills, grocery, laundry, etc.,) that would otherwise be more of a hassle if a try to clear them on a busy day.
21. Ask satisfied clients for testimonials
It helps you build credibility to position yourself as a specialist in your field.
Ultimately, it helps you market yourself better to land better deals and clients.
22. Level up and expand your brand
As you get more work and experience and get exposed to a wider range of duties and clients, you’re essentially building your presence and personal brand.
You can position yourself as one of the go-to persons or authority on a certain niche simply because you’ve put in the work and have the positive testimonials from previous clients to back it up.
23. Set up a personal website to showcase your portfolio
If you’re really keen on attracting clients aside from your regular pitches, one of the best ways is to set up a personal website (or a blog).
Having a place where you can showcase your portfolio and testimonials makes your presence more polished and professional.
It gives you a leg up over those who simply pitch using emails or social media because its content will be actual projects that you worked on.
24. Have a “Screw-You” fund
This works like an emergency fund but for the sole purpose of acting as your defense against low-balling or hard-to-deal with clients.
By having a few months worth of income stashed aside (different from your actual emergency funds), you’ll have the ability to turn down offers and clients that don’t meet your standards.
You can “fire” your problem client (maybe they pay late, treat you badly, over-demanding, etc) because you wouldn’t be at the mercy of their pay because you have some money to sustain you while you look for better deals.
25. Keep your body in tip-top shape
Having a healthy mind and body is like running a well-oiled machine ready to do the work, day in day out.
When you let your health slide (not get enough sleep, pick the wrong type of food, lack of exercise, etc.,), it will reflect on your work.
You’ll feel stressed all the time, miss deadlines and be less productive. And you’ll probably feel stressed all the time, which
26. Freelance on the side before deciding to do it full-time
This lets you test the viability of working from home without taking a big risk. You can apply the exact same steps above to get started without worrying about getting paid ASAP.
This is an important step. If you’re really committed to working from home, you should be willing to do the work and carve out freelancing time from your schedule while still working full time.
If you end up not scoring a part-time gig after applying all the steps mentioned above, then perhaps a work from home setup is not your cup of tea.
But if you get some early wins and score a few jobs and end up liking it (with all its pros and cons), then you now have solid proof that you have what it takes to make this type of setup work.
27. Ask your boss if there’s a possibility of working remotely
It’s a rare option I know, but there are companies that allow employees to work semi or fully remote. If you’re working for a company that offers this perk, you can try it out and enjoy the benefits of working from home while at the same time still have that safety net of a regular employee set up.
28. Build a solid LinkedIn profile
Most companies nowadays leverage LinkedIn for checking out potential candidates. It wouldn’t hurt taking an hour from your day to make a strong profile that will help boost your chances of getting hired.
29. Create strong profiles on online job portals
Online job portals link clients and contractors making it easier for both parties to find what they need. Building a strong profile on these sites will help convince potential clients to hire you over others.
Put yourself in the client’s shoes: would you hire someone whose profile looks like it was put together in less than 10 minutes?
Remember, you’re competing with the world, people from different countries with various skills and specialties. It’s a tough arena, and having a winning profile (and portfolio) is essential if you want to get hired.
30. Check online reviews about the company/client
I always Google everything I can about a potential client before making a connection or pitching them for a job.
It lets me understand what they’re all about. I check if their business is legit and not shady-looking. More importantly, I get to see if we’ll (me and client) be a good fit.
31. Be confident during interviews and calls
We Pinoys tend to be overly formal and shy during interviews (especially if you’re a newbie freelancer) and this gets in the way of really showing your skills and character.
Working for years in BPO and as a freelancer taught me that they actually prefer if you speak as you do normally. Drop the “sirs and ma’ams”, avoid words that are too formal, speak with a clear and confident voice that goes straight to the point.
The same applies with email too. Write direct and always be on point (while still being a bit casual).
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Contributors & Peer-reviewers:
- Bryan Villarosa – Accredited Realtor & Insurance Advisor
- Venus Zoleta – Grit PH columnist
- MJ de Castro – Grit PH columnist