NAVIGATING THE LIFE

Metro Manila, Philippines

As you may not know, I am now working as a freelance Social Media Manager for my own clients locally and internationally. It was early this year when I decided to accept the inherent “risk” of the world of freelancing. I honestly had no idea how it works back then.

For the past three years, I worked my way into digital and social media marketing with an all-prestigious advertising agency here in Makati. My job came with paid vacation leaves, health care benefits, and other fun freebies/trips/parties every year. I loved my colleagues, the mentorship I receive from my bosses, and the challenges that required my brain to work non-stop. Every day at work went very fulfilling. I gladly took on several added responsibilities although it required extending hours in the office most of the time.

But there will come a point when you’d step back and think deeply about how you’re doing in your career. I started wondering if it was the kind of life I wanted to live in for the next few years – should I really have to be in the office every day from 10AM to 7PM, then spend 4 hours in public transport, come home all burnt out, prepare dinner (or often skip it), feed my dog, and work my way through the piles of kalat I left in the morning? I don’t think so. I knew I could spend so much of my time with something more meaningful - take up extra Digital Marketing courses, get certifications, invest in workshops, go to the gym, travel more, name it!

To tell you honestly, I had a very, very difficult time. Choosing freelancing over a day job wasn’t a rushed decision. Back then, I was already at the verge of making a name for myself in this highly competitive but rewarding industry. But I also had to weigh my ambitions – I have so much in myself and I’m rebellious enough to make sure I live with them. It hurts that I needed to back out, but at the top of my mind, I already knew what I wanted to do.

So here I am, 3 months after I started, feeling like a legit girl boss! I am overwhelmed yet grateful by the amount of long-term projects and awesome clients that I get to work with. Alongside, I’ve been attending several workshops, reviewing for exams and courses, going to the gym, and traveling as my usual prize. And with a work I have already scheduled, the following months look even better!

It’s not always simple though, there are ups and downs and things I could do better. Times would suck when you think about how you often have to work from home, don’t have colleagues anymore, and are responsible for everything. Being a freelancer is being in a one-man band and it takes a great deal of motivation to finish tasks well and on time.

But still, the payoff is a job that makes you do ALL that you love. Once you have it, it only takes a little more effort to figure everything else. I remember a quote that says, “If you can’t find a perfect job, CREATE it.” 

I hope I’ll be in for the long haul, though. Let’s see.   


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