Online freelancing has gained popularity over the years as a growing number of people desire to work from home.
Everything was different back in 2014 when I first started.
It seemed that the possibility of working online anywhere, especially at home, was so unbelievable. If you wanted to help people know that you were actually working and getting paid through the internet, you have to take time to explain everything. Every. Time.
I used to explain a lot because I wanted to be recognized–most especially to my mom, who was discouraged about my career–an entirely different path from my education.
But after years of seeing me earn weekly and going to company events, she had a change of heart and started to understand my line of work. I think that’s what’s more important for her–to see me making a mark of my own even just behind a laptop screen.
Do I have regrets?
To be honest. No.
Just like any other career, online freelancing has difficulties. It takes time to establish roots, hard work, ability to manage time, resilience during downtime, loneliness, and above all, a growth mindset.
But despite the hardships, I am thankful for all the opportunities online freelancing has brought into my life. I could discuss the many ways it has helped me, but nothing beats the fact that it enabled me to fully experience motherhood and parenting.
How I Started
Before 2014, I already had a hunch about online careers. Curious, I created my own profile on Odesk (now Upwork). I searched for jobs on the platform but was intimidated by the skills required. Eventually, I landed a job from another site, teaching English to Korean students through Skype.
I enjoyed online teaching but only saw it as a temporary means to earn an extra income. Pregnant at that time, I knew it had to end once my baby comes.
So I rested from online work. In 2013, I joined the workforce of the RNHeals program of the DOH, serving the community. My then 2-year-old son would come along with me because I couldn’t find a well-trusted yaya for him.
It was then that I dreamed of just staying at home with my son and earning at the same time.
So after my RNHeals contract ended, I knew what I had to do. Criselle, my friend, introduced me to her then employer, an online company based in San Francisco. They were hiring, and I took the chance.
An Answered Prayer
I applied for the proofreader position, around January 2014. Though it was what I wanted, I didn’t have the confidence to claim it. Four months passed. I didn’t hear anything from the company.
My attention focused on my grandmother who was bedridden at that time. But my husband, Mark, just took an exam. Both of us were jobless. It depleted our funds to the point that we had nothing to spend.
With tears one morning, as I was changing Nanay’s clothes, I whispered to her ear.
Please help me secure this job so that I can earn and still continue caring for you.
It’s really a humbling experience. Even until now, I shed a tear remembering that moment.
Within a week after that morning, I received an email asking my availability for an interview. On May 12, 2014, I became an official member of the proofreading team.
Motherhood and Online Freelancing
This online freelancing career was not written in my yearbook–the part where you have to answer where do you see yourself 5 years from now.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think of this path. But becoming a mother gives birth to new dreams. And these dreams are even more beautiful than the former ones.
At this season of my life, I don’t want to give up my capacity to earn. At the same time, I want to give my kids a nice and cozy nest, a strong foundation of values, and everyday guidance. Things that are easier for me to give when I am present at home with them.
These things are now because of how God answered my grandmother’s and my plea, one morning of May.