Some of my friends and colleagues called me crazy for quitting a high-paying job in Manila. What they did not understand was that what I was leaving was just that — a job — something that’s replaceable and temporary. As I keep on moving forward in life discovering new career opportunities, there will be one thing I vow not to sacrifice — precious time with my family.
My family lives in Pampanga. Since I worked full-time in Manila, I only got to see them during my rest days. After almost eight years of traveling back and forth twice a week, the seemingly irresolvable traffic problems of Metro Manila finally caught up to me. And because of the frequent and extended commute time (because of the heavy traffic), not to mention I am not getting any younger, I started having back pains.
I knew I had plenty of miles to go despite the back aches, that it could be treated, and I could continue working. What I overlooked was that while most of my time was spent earning a living, worrying about the bills or thinking about expensive stuff to buy, I forgot how it is to fully live my life.
I want to be there when he graduates, when he nurses his first heartbreak, when he recovers from it and finds true love, guiding him when he’s also learning about life itself.
It was my son’s 12th birthday that I resolved to leave Manila. While he was having his pancakes and milk for dinner, looking at him, I realized that I wasn’t there in his important firsts — when he started to walk, when he uttered his first word, when he rode his first bike, or when he first said “mama”. There was one consolation, though. I got his first smile. And I want to be there when he graduates, when he nurses his first heartbreak, when he recovers from it and finds true love, guiding him when he’s also learning about life itself.
So now, here I am at home, training as a virtual assistant, writing this blog entry for our class activity. I was just supposed to complete the 200-word assignment. But, hey, here are the facts of life which I hope you can get a lesson or two from.
It took me about five months before I landed this pretty sweet gig with The VA Hub. A competitive per hour rate was what enticed me to join them, primarily. Plus into my second week of training, the learnings continue to be challenging, and I intend to forge on and succeed.
Do not sell yourself short. If someone offers you a $1 per hour VA job, run.
There are plenty of “horror” stories to tell with some of my applications to other online VA agencies, but I’ll just save them for now. Just a word of advice to those who are newbies like me in this telecommuting industry: Do not sell yourself short. If someone offers you a $1 per hour VA job, run. Here’s how much you ought to receive for specific online jobs, according to the 2016 Pinoy Freelancer Salary Guide.
Research about the company as well. Read the job specifications very carefully and see if you fit the bill. If not, you may want to sign up to online courses that will help you improve your skills or learn new things before applying. Online courses expensive? If you can’t pay for it, try to search for the basics on YouTube and go from there. Watch tutorials, read whatever you can, and practice, and before you know it, you’ll be hired in no time.
As for me, I still have (many) bills to pay. But I’m happier than I’ve ever been. No more traffic woes and back pains from commuting to work. 🙂 Plus, I have time to cook and share my daily meals with family.