According to Merriam-Webster a risk-taker is a person who is willing to do things that involve danger or risk in order to achieve a goal. Totally not me. Why? Well, I have a daughter for starters. I like the idea of security and safety of having a stable job to ensure that I can provide for her, that there will be food on the table, afford groceries, pay for school and bus fees among others month after month. I am a 40-year-old single-mom to boot!
I used to work in the call center industry for 12 years, and 9 years of those I was a team leader. It was a fulfilling job! In between, an opportunity arose where I got to be a part of an events company and was able to travel to the US for training. After my short stint there, I returned to the call center industry.
Two years back in the industry, my father needed an assistant in the business. I grabbed the opportunity to manage the shop as it was a chance for me to work in normal PH time and stay at home since our shop is at the first level of our house. Though, I worked long hours since we open 14hours per day, 7 days a week, I am home most of the time, which means more time for Gab, my daughter. I was able to save more, even had a small business of my own on the side. Almost perfect!
Just when you think things are working out, life throws you a curveball.
3 swift years passed. There was a change in our business that has affected my ability in being a mom. Due to this change in process, even with having an assistant, made me work almost non-stop except for lunch and dinner.
I lost time for my daughter. I don’t get to check up on her school work anymore, find out how she’s doing, help her with assignments, projects, and tests. It broke my heart to see her grades plummeting. She’s not failing, but I know she can do better if I had been there. I know we often tell ourselves, as parents, that we are working hard for them, to give them a bright future. But we often forget that money alone won’t give our kids a bright future if we fail to guide them and nurture them.
It was a wakeup call. I have to find work where I can earn enough and still be the mom I wish to be. I remember my cousin telling me about her work months before regarding home-based work. I contacted her and asked more about Freelancing. She invited me to join Facebook groups and voila!
A whole new world opened up to me. I scour the FB pages, trying to learn as much as I can. I read through several tips that led me to blogs, classes, websites and YouTube videos. All these at my fingertips!
To start with, I converted the corner of the bedroom to a small office side by side my old study table now seized by Gab so I can monitor her while she studies. I made sure it’s an area where I can work quietly with less disruption, no one walking behind me while I’m on a video call. It was also suggested to me that I put egg trays around my working area to lessen background noise because I live in a commercial area near market and highways. When my office is set, time to get the tech stuff ready because I won’t let my tech specs get in the way of me getting hired.
Nothing fancy, something midrange as long as it gets the work done, so I got a laptop with a Core i5 8th Gen with 12GB RAM. Got a headset with noise cancellation as well. I am ready.
Well, it turned out to be not all that easy. There were so many types, specialisations or what they call niches in freelancing. There’s Property Management, Bookkeeping, Social Media Marketing, SEO, WordPress, Webmasters, Lead Hunter and Appointment Setter, Copywriter, Ecommerce Specialist are among the few. Where do I fit in here?
I researched further about the jobs and noted down the ones that I think matches my skills and experience. My goal is to find work ASAP! I discarded the niches that are too technical and will take time for me to learn. I further researched online about the jobs that I think I can handle with additional upskilling. I watched YouTube videos for free training and plan to enroll myself in classes.
While I was soaking up as much knowledge and skills that I can handle online, I started applying for jobs. I was fortunate enough to come across a job post of VaVaVoom and I applied. My application moved forward. I almost gave up on the essay as I haven’t written an essay since I graduated in 2000. I was literally pulling my hair to complete 200 words per question! I passed the interviews and little did I know that they give pieces of training for free focusing on Property Management! I found my niche! Something I know I can be successful at. Well of course I still plan to upskill myself with the other niches so I can be more clientsirable (client desirable just made that one up ).
Little did I know, God opened another window for me and got a chance to be considered for an assistant recruitment post.
Not at all what I have foreseen! Guess the hundreds of interviews for the four ramp seasons I did way back when I was a Team Leader has another purpose after all. Currently, I am proud and blessed to be part of the VaVaVoom team and still learning my way around. But I’m sure glad that I was no longer an outsider just looking in the Freelance World but now a part of it. I still have my eye on being a Property Management VA in the future, but I will focus on being in recruitment for now. I’ve never felt freer and Gab can attest to that.
So, when life gives you a curveball… grab a bat and swing!
How about you, are you ready to take up the bat and swing?
~Kathrina Bulante, Assistant Recruitment Advisor, VaVaVoom