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  • This Mom Left Her Job Abroad For Her Family: Now She Earns P500 Per Hour Online

    She relies on her online job to complement her husband's earnings.
    by Dahl D. Bennett .
This Mom Left Her Job Abroad For Her Family: Now She Earns P500 Per Hour Online
PHOTO BY courtesy of Elvie Amiscosa
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    Elvie Amiscosa has been working as an online freelancer where most everything she has learned is self-taught.

    Her drive was triggered by her yearning to be with her family in the Philippines. Before landing online jobs, Elvie worked abroad.

    "I felt really homesick"

    "I used to work in the sales and marketing field in Singapore for around four years but when my husband got relocated back from Singapore to the Philippines where he works as computer programmer, he took our daughter with him and I felt really homesick being alone in Singapore," shares Elvie.

    She tried looking for a high paying job in the Philippines for a year but all the offers were not enough for their expenses that time.

    "We were paying a hefty home mortgage and other bills," she said.

    It was through a friend that she was first introduced to online freelancing. "She switched from working in a BPO to online and has been very successful at that time. She introduced me to several online platforms like Upwork, LinkedIn, and Fiverr."

    Her first client was based in Australia

    From Singapore, Elvie created a profile online and luckily snagged her first client who was based in Australia.

    However, she was offered a full-time job that involved field work in Singapore. "I did not accept the job he initially offered because it would be illegal for me to work in Singapore outside of my Employment Pass, which was only valid for the Singaporean company that sponsored me."

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    Elvie was instead hired part-time—10 hours a week—by the same Australian employer and that became her very first online job.

    From there, she learned how to 'score contract online.' At one point she went to Australia for a job training.

    A year of doing her online job in between her regular work in Singapore also meant being away from her toddler, whose many first milestones Elvie has missed.

    "Although my husband and my in-laws provided her love, support, and attention, I thought there was still no match for a mother's care," she said.

    "I guess what triggered my desire to be in the Philippines was the fact that my daughter would often treat me as a stranger and cry whenever I took her from my in-laws or husband during visits," she shared.

    Earning well while being close to family

    When she finally decided to settle in the Philippines, Elvie relied on her online job to complement her husband's earnings.

    Since then she has worn so many hats to keep up with the different demands of online jobs. To date, she has done project management, administrative work, e-commerce store management, and digital marketing/social media and customer service.

    She also often works as executive assistant/operations manager of some CEOs or companies overseas. Most of her clients are based in Australia, UK, Europe, and North America.

    Elvie now earns somewhere between $8- $11 per hour where she says, the pay depends on the difficulty of the job.

    Her rates also take into consideration the fact that some online platforms take 20% or more from her earnings. She would also balance multiple jobs because, being a freelancer, she doesn't know when her next gig may be.

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    "I am just lucky I am one of those highly-rated freelancers online and clients often contact me to offer me work. Plus, I benefit from the word of mouth of my previous clients who also keep in touch with me whenever they have work for me to do."

    As for the challenges, Elvie enumerates that there are quite a few: the need to be updated with digital trends; the no work-no pay situation; the on-call expectation of some clients ("they think you take your computer with you wherever you go"); and the many distractions at home such as Netfilx and K-Dramas.

    But she has no regrets as to the online path she chose because it does give her the opportunity to be hands on with her family.

    "As a wife and a parent, I have had the luxury to earn while looking after my daughter, cook food for my family, take care of our house and my plants, and attend school/ PTA events in between my work. My daughter has become my best friend since we are always together at home when she finishes school daily," she says.

    Tips from an online freelancer

    From someone who was gainfully-employed in Singapore, to a successful online freelancer today who is able to earn while taking care of her family, the career path Elvie chose certainly works for her.

    It could work for other moms as well and here are some tips on getting that first online break:

    Be prepared to communicate in English

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    Most of the time, applications and interviews will be done in English so you must speak the language well to be understood.

    Know the tools of the trade

    Elvie is mostly self-taught and has learned through Youtube tutorials, web research and years of experience.

    "They should be familiar with Cloud apps like Google docs/spreadsheet and Dropbox. If they are applying to be a bookkeeper or accountant, they should know how to use software like Quickbooks, Xero and so on."

    Don't be discouraged

    "If it's too hard to find that first online job, try and try and apply diligently," says Elvie. "Once you have established an online profile/portfolio and know the ropes, it will be easier next time."

    Don't waste the chance you have been given

    Work hard and be productive and impress your client so they'll leave you with good ratings/ commendation on your online profiles.

    Find balance

    Earning while taking care of your family is good but you also have to take care of your physical and mental health. Love yourself, too—go out, feel the sun, stay fit, and eat healthy.

    It has been so good so far and her relationship with her daughter and with the rest of the family has been most ideal.

    "I have had the luxury to earn while looking after my daughter, cook food for my family, take care of our house and my plants, and attend school/ PTA events in between my work," she said.

    "My daughter has become my best friend since we are always together at home."

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