Hello again. Last time (read it here), I shared how I made sense of the growing number of people choosing to explore and thrive in the growing online community of business and professional services.
Offline, friends would ask me what made me switch to this career path. I’m putting this out here as a compiled list because I’ve seen how some could relate to my reasons and tried looking for home-based jobs, too; while some, despite having shared some of my reasons, decided that they are not fit for work that doesn’t require them to change into office clothes and leave the house daily.
My hope is that, somehow, this would help you weigh your options and next steps as a young professional.
T R A F F I C
In Tarlac City, my place was just in walking distance from our office. SM and nearby restaurants were just a tricycle away. But on Friday nights that I commute to Dasma, the bus was where I would have dinner, half of my night’s sleep, and a kdrama episode or two.
Three years of travelling between Dasma and Tarlac and the occasional work trips to other parts of the Philippines got me physically exhausted. My posture worsened with years of slouching in buses. Every time I pass along EDSA, I always muttered that I can’t imagine commuting everyday from Dasma to Makati/BGC/Manila and back.
Needless to say, my top-of-mind reason for choosing to work from home is to avoid Cavite and Metro Manila’s heavily congested roads.
F I N A N C I A L F R E E D O M
Our family isn’t rich (as most of the Filipino families I know). See, you have to be rich to know a lot of rich families.
I was privileged enough to have education but even that privilege had cost my mother loans after loans. I was privileged enough to be a youth leader in our church which helped me discover my skills and put them to work. I was privileged enough to have my eyes open to the needs of our society, our country.
What I did not have back then is the privilege of choosing a career that doesn’t pay well just because it’s fulfilling. I went against that though. I have responsibilities that I put aside because I was taught and convinced that my great potential should be used for a greater cause. I didn’t mind not being rich, I’m fulfilled and blessed. But overtime, not being rich meant getting more loans when my old parents are sick, or when I have to pursue further studies that no one else would support because I’m an adult now, or not taking time off work even when my body needs it because every peso counts, or not having enough power and influence to help those in need.
Now, I recognize that I could have spent 2, 3, even 5 years pursuing a career that really pays well (locally or overseas) even if it’s not for a great cause so long as it is decent. I realize now that there is nothing wrong with jobs that pay bills and settle loans and help raise a family’s living standards.
I recognize now that had I recognized that earlier in life, I would now have the means to pursue further studies, master my skills, and help more people.
But let’s go back to the point of this post… I chose a home-based career because with the right client/s, I would get paid well.
Getting paid well means financial freedom. This freedom would mean I’d have time to use my skills and resources for the greater causes I believe and support. This freedom would mean I could help my community. And maybe, just maybe, this freedom would lead me to a life that is privileged enough to choose a career that doesn’t pay well enough.
M E N T A L H E A L T H
I loved my last job but its environment was a bit too far from being stress-free. After some time, it took a toll. I was depressed, and I would forever be grateful for the support I got from family and close friends who loved me despite all the bad decisions I made on impulse during those tough times.
I was mid-management in my last job. My mistake was taking it personally and growing frustrated when the top management and the staff could not see eye to eye. When it was clear that it’s time for me to leave, I didn’t know what to do next. All I knew was I didn’t want a repeat of the issues I experienced from a mid-management post.
Should I establish my own business? Ha, not enough capital (see previous point). If I join the government, I might get exposed to more frustrating scenarios that could trigger depression once again. If I go back to corporate, will there be an individual contributor post that will not force me to socialize when I literally don’t have the energy for it?
Needless to say, the setting of a home-based job offered me the room to recuperate. Without the usual pressures put on by corporate culture, I was able to focus on my deliverables and still have moments of the day for healing and rest.
It took me some time to go out again after coming home. I prayed, read a lot, spent a lot of time consuming content online and just being home. I got my confidence back as I proved myself still able to deliver excellent work. I quietly sought healing and grace. One morning, I found myself reconnecting to old friends and to people in general. I found my niche. I began writing dreams and goals again. And I’m keeping the hard lessons from previous experiences as I’m opening myself up again to new things.
F L E X I B I L I T Y
I admit that part of the attraction of working from home is the flexibility it offers. From being the person who has to check her schedule before meeting with friends, I can now adjust to the availability of my friends. I also don’t have to rise up early, doll up for work and get home late just to have dinner and sleep.
When I’ve cleared my financial obligations and have achieved my personal goals next year, I’m sure I’d want to travel again. And with a remote job, I can take my laptop wherever I go and work there.
I also have time to work on personal projects like this blog, and pursuing creative hobbies with my multi-potentialite sisters.
With the flexibility of my work schedule, I have time to study, too. There are tons of continuing and further studies available online and I’m thankful that my client supports my drive to learn new crafts and improve my current skill set.
And those are my reasons. I say it’s personal because I don’t want to be that person who had a personal aha! moment and then went on to convince everyone else that this should be their path, too. While I’m very glad to discuss this with people, I only ever recommend this to friends whose stories I personally know. Even though I said in my previous post that our generation is generally multi-potentialite, I’d say there will always be people who are specialists and are fit & very much needed in big corporations and government offices. Also, there are companies who encourage multi-potentiality and they pay well, too.
But if you’re in a state in your life where you also don’t know what to do next in your career path and you find these reasons sort of relatable, come back next week and I’ll write about how I determined the kind of jobs I’d be looking for, which online sites I explored, and how I got hired in two weeks.