Action-packed, adventurous, daring, caffeinated, ambitious memoir.

Action-packed, adventurous, daring, caffeinated, ambitious memoir.
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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Date A Guy Who Buys You Ice Cream


I know, I know... The 'Date' or 'Don't Date A Guy Who' blog title is such a cliché. However, I haven't had my version, so let me be. Note that I wrote 'buys you ice cream' and not 'likes ice cream' because almost everyone likes to have some serving.

Me and my amazing beau are celebrating another milestone in our relationship and just like a much anticipated movie, this one's worth the wait. Anniversaries are always a good time to honor one's beloved - so here's some excerpt of love.

Date a guy who buys you ice cream. They're the one who knows how to cherish every flavor of life and appreciate each and every moment. They are always up for the surprise. They don't worry whether the new flavor is good or if it's worth the buck, all they wanted was to savor the experience. They buy you ice cream so you too can do the same.

Date a guy who buys you ice cream when your day didn't went as planned, and you get frustrated or upset, they just know how to soothe your aching head. They are most of the time calm, cool, and collected just like a tasty cup of ice cream.

Date a guy who buys you ice cream when you're mad, sad, or your hormones kicking in. They know you're just having a bad day and they're always willing to listen when you rant about work or life in general.

Date a guy who buys you ice cream even if you're not feeling blue. They know that diamonds aren't always a "girl's bestfriend," chocolates aren't so bad, and ice creams won't always make you fat. Nevertheless, if it does add a pound to your weight, they will still love you the same and support your next diet campaign.

Date a guy who buys you ice cream after long walks, hikes and rides, and especially when you're in the beach feeling the breeze. They have the same inner desire to travel and they know that the journey sometimes can be better than the destination. They love to sleep when alone, but when seated next to someone they love, the conversation won't cease no matter how bumpy the road is.

Date a guy who buys you ice cream, they will appreciate you for who you are and who you're not. You may have awful breakouts, bad hair days, flaws and all, but they'll buy you anyway. They're the ones who may look distant and cold, but when you let them in, they know how to warm your heart. When you're with them, time will freeze and everything seems pleasant. The taste of their company will always be better than any of your taste buds could try.

And when you finally found and dated one, be sure to buy them ice cream too, and never let them go.


Saturday, November 5, 2016

How to Smoothly Transition From Your Corporate Job to Full-time Freelancing

smooth-transition-freelancing

It isn't just a trend, it's actually here to stay. As technology keeps on progressing, business processes becomes sophisticated, and work advances in a more efficient manner. The idea more or less started with the SME community and start-ups looking for a way to lessen costs without sacrificing productivity and quality. Presently, a multitude of big corporations have outsourced jobs to remote freelancers and there has been an incremental increase in numbers.

Business analysts and respectable magazines and blogs like TIME, Forbes, and Huffington Post published a number of articles about the rise of the freelancing industry and why it's predicted to replace the traditional employment setup. Countries around the globe, including the Philippines, have a pool of a thousand-plus registered online freelancers. The Philippines is also rising as a top provider of independent contractors next to India. The prevalence in the U.S. alone, as they house a million-plus successful freelancers, makes it encouraging for other countries to model.

These facts may be assuring to those who fancy a quaint way of working. Albeit it's still safe and wise to consider the cons before the pros. (Some of these were written in my previous post, "How to Tell If Freelancing Is Right For You"). If, however, you feel like you are ready and firm with your decision to take this narrow career road, then let me give you the best advice I can think of on how to smoothly transition.

I can't promise it will be a really smooth journey, all I can say is it will lessen your risk and cost. On a personal note, I didn't do the first step written below (I wish I did), because when I started four years ago, my recklessness and impatience got the better of me...

Anyway, here are some tips to have a better chance in succeeding your way as a freelancer in the most sober way possible.
Don't quit your job yet. Instead, make it a priority to save more money and develop your skills.

It's exhilarating to think that freelancing can give you more freedom with your time and helps you pursue your passion, but don't get too excited. There's always a risk in everything we do, and switching career is something not to be taken lightly. Unless you've already established a foot as a freelancer, never take your other foot off your current work.

If you don't have a savings good enough to pay the bills (and buy you extra strong, good tasting coffee) for at least six months, then by all means don't quit your job. Not yet. And even though you have money enough to pay your living expenses for a couple of months, are you willing to let go of that hard-earned cash without the security of replenishment? 

The best thing to do is, while you're still learning your way to succeed as a freelancer, stay put. You need a stable income to help yourself be mobile in exploring opportunities. Do not be hasty; it is never wise to burn bridges without crossing safely on the other side first.


Another reason to stay in your present job is that it will be easier for you to find your passion (if you don't know it yet) without sacrificing a steady source of income. In your current work, you can develop and master skills that you think would be profitable to you. If encouraged in your workplace, you can opt to volunteer for opportunities where you can develop the skill that you wanted to focus on like organizing events, creating presentations, or engaging in project management. 


Know what kind of work you would like to do as a freelancer.

Knowing what you wanted to do, something your passionate about, is very important. Remember, you're leaving a stable job for good reasons, right? And not just because you're looking for a greener grass but it's something you really wanted to do. Freelancing can be profitable and the income potential is limitless, but then there's a catch - you have to be really good in doing things.

You're going to be an independent contractor and you have to sell yourself (your skills particularly), all the time. In order to get clients (the good-paying and loyal ones), you have to be able to do the job, and do it so well.

That's why it is imperative to do the work you love, it will fuel you to keep improving and bolster your staying power. Most successful freelancers were passion-driven. Most of the time you will work alone, so you should be result-oriented, take ownership for quality, competence, and commitment. The road is already rough, don't add tough by doing work you don't even like.

Try doing part-time, fixed price, or open as-needed freelance job.

Once you've found out what kind of work you'd like to concentrate as a freelancer, try taking the next small step to transitioning. If you're working eight hours a day for five days, you can jump start your freelancing career by taking part-time jobs for 1-2 hours a day or a couple of hours during weekends (or your rest days).

This will allow you to better assess your readiness in becoming a freelancer before quitting your day job. Also, experiencing it firsthand will give you more insight about this kind of work setup. You can add this too in your portfolio so that when you decided to take more projects after resigning from your present job, you already have a solid foundation of work experience as a part-time freelancer.

Another benefit of doing this is that you will be introduced to clients and learn to filter which of them you wanted to pick and work for a longer period of time. You can also ask them for referral or recommendations, and feedback. And if you're lucky and they like your work, they might hire you for bigger projects.


Secure a full-time or full-load project before quitting your corporate job.

The previous tip is your stepping stone in taking full-load projects before quitting your job. Before you send your resignation letter, make sure that you have a contract with the client you will be working for as a freelancer. It doesn't need to be a full 40-hours-a-week job, what matters is that you get more than enough payment to cover your bills, add to your savings and investments, and personal expenses.

In your contract, for security purposes, make sure the specific time or period is clearly stipulated as well as your mode of payment and your job responsibilities. Do not accept a trial job that does not indicate a payment. Do not work for free and never ever spend any amount of money just to do the work or get an experience. A lot of newbies have been victimized by these schemes, always exercise discernment before agreeing to do some work.


Determine if you wanted to do purely home-based job or be a nomad.

This will help you better recognize what job to take, for how much, and how long. Most home-based jobs require you to have a stable connection at home, login or report to work at specific hours and needs you to stay online for several hours. It's linear to corporate setup with the exception that you are doing the work at home. Majority of clients also requires you to use a webcam, a headset (for conference calls, etc.) and a very quiet environment.

If staying at home all the time is not your style, then you can instead accept fixed-priced or flexible work hour's jobs. These setup are great for people who wanted to try nomadic freelancing. You can work any time and anywhere, without the need to always stay online or send report in a consistent time-frame. The only requisite is that you complete the job on the agreed time and date. This is my personal pick because if I'm not trekking or beach-bumming, I'm most likely writing some blog posts or managing our printing business with my beau.


Last and most certainly not the least: keep learning and mastering new skills.

Do this for three main reasons: to stay competent, to ask for a higher pay, and to land the best jobs.

You have to keep sharpening the saw if you want to stay relevant. The competition is tough, the more you know the more chances of keeping your job or clients. You have to stay updated especially to trends and new discoveries and techniques on how to do work efficiently and effectively.

You also cannot ask for a higher pay if you're not doing well. I mean seriously that's a no-brainer. There must be something you can offer that clients would willingly want to pay your price just so they can keep you.

And lastly, if you want to get the best projects out there you have to be the best. And in other for you to be the best, you have to keep improving and learning. You have to be a master in your field.
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Friday, October 28, 2016

Dear Twenty-Something Self: Where You End Up Isn't Where You're Meant to Stay


Life changed after College. It's busier, but less crazy; less because you're more tamed than before. And it's not like you're missing it or that you prefer crazy over busy. Sometimes it's because busy can sometimes mean monotonous, never-ending work. You would rather pick those crazy days because it feels warmer and you feel happier than earning your cold hard cash.

Nevertheless, maybe it wasn't life that changed, maybe it's you. Maybe it's how you look at yourself now and how you see the world. You weren't sure if you're missing out on something or that you were not doing what others were doing at your age, but heck, what matters most to you now's to live in the moment.

Dear twenty-something self, your days now routinely consist of workloads, drama, and paying the bills. You see new strangers each day, but less face-to-face time with friends, and it's also when catching up with your siblings and planning a get-together almost always a pain. These were days when you're constantly bombarded with notifications of new jobs and promotions, engagements and weddings ... And never tiring what ifs and should haves.

It's like seating in front of life, and it's showing a presentation, slowly and intricately explaining why and how things have turned to this and that, yet never fully comprehending or be on the same page. You rack your brain and still couldn't understand why days pass us by so fast. Time flies and you're still on the ground - digging, even clinging to something old and comfortable. Too late to realize that sometimes, you're already being left behind, and that everything's up and you must keep moving forward, if not, upwards.

You were confronted with ironies and illusions and you have to take action because where you end up isn't where you're meant to stay. 

You were not meant to stay in a job that doesn't satisfy you in a sense that it wasn't your calling because you know your meant to do great work on something you love. It's lazy and unacceptable to continue letting yourself become a victim of what society thinks you should do.

What I say you do is to value your worth by following your passion. Work hard, it may tarry, but persevere and take heart. Slowly, but surely you will arrive in the destination you want, but only if you commit yourself to do so. You cannot just dream, and you must not let your dream remain a dream, it's a treason to yourself. You have to be proactive in accomplishing your life goals. Satisfying you dissatisfaction may mean never settling down and bargaining with mediocrity.

You were not meant to stay with friends whose only goal was to serve themselves. Just because you've known each other for years doesn't mean you have to keep them. Yes, you're on your twenties and soon to be on your thirties and it won't stop there... Will you stick with people who not only doesn't add value to your life, but drags you down and suck the life out of you? These were the years to cultivate healthy relationships with real friends, and these were the best time to drop toxic people in your life. Just take the good, learn from the bad, stop wasting your time with the wrong people and don't give your power away.

You were not meant to stay on what feels safe. You've been trying to be safe since you were a baby! You got to know that the best things in life, they're free indeed, but only when you take the risk! Break up with boring because it's your last chance before you make some babies and send kids to College or take care of your aging self and spouse. The best time is now my dear twenty-something self!

This is the best time to make lots of mistakes, take detours and really learn from it. Leave your pretentious ways and make wise investments. Pursue your passion and make a way to earn from it. Take some vacations and get some new friends. Make the most of it because there's still so much to do but so little time. Do not stay for so long in a familiar ground, do everything you can to keep moving. Don't settle for good, aim for the best.



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