Thursday, October 1, 2015

Online and Offline Learning For Work At Home Freelancers and Some Events To Attend this Q4

Our progress as a work at home freelancer depends on our hands. Nobody will tell us to do this and that. Hence, we have to design our own career path. While we are enjoying the flexibility of our work and freedom from any corporate rules and policies, let us not forget that we are still doing business.

We have to change our employee mindset to being a business owner or entrepreneur. We need to understand that we have to take charge to where our business is going.

For our business to grow and for us to improve, we need to prioritize our education. It could be through self-study or attending seminars or workshops.

If we have problems, we can always talk to our friends. Regarding our business, we need to talk and learn advice from people who are experienced and expert in our field. Many of our concerns are not the concern of our family and friends. So, basically they won't understand what we are going through. Some people may see that we are lucky because we work at home or we are freelancers--we don't go to the office, we don't have to face the traffic and we don't have a boss. But they never know our difficulties with regards to finding a place to stay with reliable internet access, finding coffee shops that are open 24/7, comfortable seats or work space, paying our monthly contributions, handling distractions at home (like uninvited guests, phone calls, kids, chores, etc.), marketing ourselves, finding new clients, and getting enough sleep.

Online Learning

Everything that we need to learn is now online. Almost any topic that you can possibly think of is searchable. And what amazes me most is that you can consume all the information for free. In the past, we have to spend thousands of pesos to buy books and encyclopedia. And, gosh, they are heavy and they accumulate dust. Now, learning can happen in our finger tips.

We have to thank SEO and Google's algorithm that makes relevant content easy to find. You can just type your keywords and in just a matter of seconds, Google can give you thousands of searches. Of course, you don't have to browse everything. Often, we just click the first few pages of the search results. Well, not unless if you are desperate enough to check the next 50 pages.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Gardening, Cats and Finding Your Passion

When was the last time you did something that made you feel so alive that you sort of lost yourself and forget the time while doing it? You want to experience it over and over again, do you? This could be our hobby that make us feel great. Nothing compares to the happiness we feel that we simply don't care what's going on around us.We are not being paid to do it but it's effect is immense and priceless.

Recently, I found myself living in the province where the air is less polluted and technology has not totally corrupted the relationships between man and nature. After living in the city for decades, it is therapeutic to be staying in a less complicated environment. Now, I actually care less about how I look. What matters to me is that we have food on the table and sufficiency with the other things. I thought, life is awesome just the way it is. I didn't feel same way while living in a huge, busy and crowded city because I was too busy earning and looking for things that makes me tick. Happiness for me then has a cost. It is elusive but I keep on searching and rushing into it, only to end the day alone, tired, unhappy, and confused. I defined happiness as a cup of coffee, a slice of  sinful chocolate cake, and travel to a different place--fleeting and shallow.

I once thought that I won't last for 6 months. I thought that I would eventually decide to stay in the city. But, as I stay longer, I actually feel more happier and peaceful. I got acquainted to new things and discover new passion. As I entangled myself to my old me and went back to my roots, the more I learn about myself--I learn what is valuable, and realize my strength and weaknesses. And because I left my old life, I feel that God has given me the opportunity to rewrite some areas of it by myself.

There are couple of things that I discovered about myself: one, I love plants and flowers, and I enjoy gardening; second, I am surprisingly a cat lover (I hated cats before. I would often throw or stone them.)

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Top Rated Badge on Upwork: What It Means To Freelancers

A top rated badge certainly looks good on your Upwork (previously oDesk) profile. But more than the aesthetic, this insignia means so much to freelancers who are taking their jobs seriously.

Last March, oDesk, now Upwork, introduced their Top Rated Freelancer Program. Less than 10 per cent of the freelancer population qualify for the top rated status. If you are among those who received an email from the The Freelancer Success Team, Congratulations! You've ranked higher than the 90 per cent.

I am happy to earn the top rated status despite of the struggle I had and a lean season towards end of my 2014.  This is the email I got:

Monday, March 2, 2015

Important oDesk-Elance Announcement

Outsourcing has inevitably become a very dynamic industry. A lot of companies either big or small relied on outsourcing important tasks like their sales and marketing, accounting, IT, and web development. As the demand of these outsourced jobs increase, more professionals choose to work independently as freelancers, who very much enjoy the time flexibility and location independence.

oDesk and Elance are the big platforms that freelancers often go to for outsourced jobs or projects. These two were directly competing in the past until last year when the freelance community got surprised of the merge. We hear a lot of different feedback from freelancers. Some were excited and happy but others were quite reluctant.

So, the merge happened. Since then, oDesk had introduced several changes including the blocked invitations and saved jobs feature, the portfolio and contract linking, and the improvements to the freelancer profile. But what I loved the most was the minimum rate, which have reduced the huge pricing gap among freelancers.

And today, oDesk-Elance freelancers are still expecting for more changes to roll out. Probably, you have read the email sent last week from Fabio Rosati, Elance-oDesk's CEO announcing the initiatives that we should be expecting for the next several months. The changes are as follows:
  • Improvements to how clients and freelance professionals meet each other, including better matching and redesigned profiles
  • New collaboration and productivity tools for both desktop and mobile devices
  • More resources to measure quality, screen jobs and help our community succeed
  • Expanded customer service to provide fast, friendly and reliable support
  • And so much more based on your input and a large number of R&D efforts
Furthermore, quoting from Rosati's message:

"We are eager to bring these improvements to you. To accelerate innovation we will focus the majority of these initiatives on one of our platforms, oDesk. Members of the Elance community will be able to experience the improvements via a bridge we are developing between the two online workplaces. Within a year or two we will have a new platform where everyone will access the latest innovations at the same time."

With that said, oDesk and Elance will eventually meet in one platform a year or two from now. Exciting? Somehow, it is. On the other hand, this may mean a meaner competition among freelancers all over the world

Feel free to share your thoughts. And share the love, share this blog to your friends. Thanks.



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