Wednesday, December 23, 2015

5 Health Tips for Freelancers and Remote Workers

Nowadays, more and more people are seeking for a balanced lifestyle. Working remotely or freelancing become a very appealing option especially in busy cities with intense traffic. By working  remotely, we become more in control with our personal lives and health.

During my 6-year work in graveyard shift at the corporate world, I gained 30 pounds. Those were the years of sugar, carbo and caffeine which were like my coping mechanism against stress and sleepiness. Fast forward to 2011 when I decided to work freelance, I got stuck with my old routine. I often work at night, eat a lot with less physical activities. Before I know it, I already put on additional 15 pounds in 3 years.

In a span of 10 years, I've gained a total of 45 pounds. I just hope we are talking about savings here.

It was a wake up call when somebody thought that I was pregnant! And I am not even married yet! 

So, even if it is the holiday season, I made a decision to be on diet and to live in a more active lifestyle. So far, in a span of 3 weeks, I lose 8 pounds without starving myself and over-exercising.

Here are some health tips that I would like to share to freelancers and to virtual or remote workers who are living in a sedentary lifestyle.

1.  Active break from sitting

Everything done in excess is not good. Hence, prolonged sitting is hazardous to our health. The American Cancer Society made a connection between sitting and obesity.

Prolonged standing, however, is not good either. It is not the cure. Standing desk can be part of the solution if it will lead you to do more walking.

Expert suggest an active break from sitting every 30 minutes. This could be doing tasks while standing or walking to get some coffee or water.

Personally, what I do is to work standing while I can. I would often move my legs that way. But I would also sit down if I need to.

From article: 2 Hours of Standing at Work May Boost Your Health

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Upwork's In-Demand Skills

Are we going to acquire new skills or improve what we already have? What are the most in-demand skills in Upwork?

2015 is almost coming to an end. Soon, we will be facing 2016 with our resolutions or goals. Before
this year ends, it would be helpful to review what we've done so far, what's the situation in the industry and what are we going to do about it.

Photo Credit: Upwork

Last November, Upwork listed the top in-demand skills. Here are the top 20:
  1. PHP Development
  2. Graphic Design
  3. Data Entry
  4. Content Writing
  5. Internet Research
  6. Javascript Development
  7. Web Design
  8. HTML5 Development
  9. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  10. Social Media Marketing
  11. Logo Design
  12. Virtual Assistant
  13. Lead Generation
  14. MySQL Administration
  15. Android App Development
  16. jQuery Development
  17. iOS App Development
  18. Email Marketing
  19. Customer Service
  20. Illustration
To have a thriving freelance business, it is high time that we consider on positioning ourselves in any of the skills enumerated above.

Upwork's prediction for 2016 will soon be posted in the blog. Let's watch out for that.


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.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Who’s hiring? Score a new job at Monster.com’s Virtual Job Fair (Press Release)

by Monster.com

Job seekers in the Philippines can connect with employers for hundreds of  vacant jobs – without having to leave home.

Highlights:
  • Monster.com Philippines offers the fastest hiring for 2015 graduates
  • Monster.com Philippines is excited to announce its record-breaking Virtual Career Fair (VCF) that brings the fastest and biggest hiring scheme for job seekers to land a job especially for graduates of Batch 2015. 
  • Job seekers can simply register to http://vcf.monster.com.ph/ and drop their resumes. By this, it will also allow job hunters to interact directly with potential employers.

Young, skilled and determined job seekers in the Philippines have an opportunity to directly interact with companies searching for fresh talent at the upcoming Monster.com Philippines Virtual Career Fair.

This is the fifth time Monster.com (Philippines), a leading online and career recruitment solutions provider, has run the popular event, taking place this month from February 23 to 27.

Combining a number of employers with vacancies for a huge range of jobs, the career fair aims to virtually connect local skilled professionals with new job opportunities. Companies participating in the upcoming Virtual Career Fair (VCF) include a range of business process outsourcing (BPO), Information Technology (IT) and Information Technology Enabled Service (ITES) businesses, and more.

At the event, students and candidates across industries and experience levels, will have the opportunity to communicate with top employers and speak with recruiters over Skype to find out more about available jobs. Participating companies will have the opportunity to interview and interact with a breadth of talent in an environment that optimises time and efficiency.

To start linking up with recruiters and HR teams from across the country and the world, budding job seekers simply need to register on Monster.com and upload their updated resume.

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