Recently updated on: October 13, 2023
The Great Resignation has reached the Philippine shores after more Filipinos are looking for better working opportunities through online, flexible, or work-from-anywhere arrangements.
I also saw the tides coming in since I also wanted a way out and to experience a more unrestricted sense of job opportunities.
I've been teaching college students for the past three years, one of the most rewarding things I have done. However, it is time for me to move forward and finally step outside the rat race.
During the past years, I've realized a lot about my work as a college instructor, the few years that passed only increased my frustrations with the systemic inefficiencies, limited job flexibilities, limited career upside, and other factors beyond my control. So now I want to explore another industry. This time, I am trying freelancing.
I started this blog in 2017 but only fully committed to it in 2020, and I'm currently on a two-year writing streak. I think I can do more, so I chose freelance writing as my next career.
If you're a multipotentialite like me, you'll know that one of our qualities is we have so many things we want to explore and not just be stuck in a single interest.
Table of Contents
Never Be Afraid of Starting Over
This is the second time I will change career. The first was in 2019 when I shifted from IT to the academe—this time, from academe to freelancing.
I know it is not easy for everyone to do - especially for those with heavier responsibilities. But what I learned the first time is still applicable this time.
I learned that as long as you continuously learn and grow, everything you do will contribute to a better future.
When deciding to start over again in your career, one of the most important things to do is to build the necessary skills, social connections, and experience to jumpstart your next career.
Through this mental process as my guide, I started looking for freelance writing opportunities in May 2022. I landed my first client during the first week.
However, since I am still fully committed to full-time teaching, I can only take limited freelancing opportunities, so my students will still be my top priority.
Nothing is Truly Lost.
Contrary to the top concern of those afraid to take the leap of faith to change their career paths, nothing is truly lost.
You may think your job should always be connected to your degree, but that is not always true.
There is something we call sunk-cost fallacy, wherein when someone doesn't want to 'waste' all their initial investments in time, energy, money, and effort, so they continue doing what they are doing, even if they don't love it and desperately want to explore other things.
Remember that nothing is truly lost if you change a career. What you are truly losing is your love and desire to do something that better suits your interests and strengths.
I've always been curious about the digital nomad lifestyle -someone living a work-from-anywhere lifestyle and traveling to other places. And in this age where creators are valued, entering this lifestyle has never been simpler.
For instance, I've been away from home for the past three weeks but have continued working away from my usual desk.
I've been on vacation for the first two weeks and teaching online the previous week. I've been to Mandaluyong, Rizal, Baguio, Bohol, Cebu, Manila, Pasig, and now back in my home province, Camarines Norte.
Through this time, I saw a glimpse of what it's like to work anytime, more importantly, from anywhere. Hence, work from anywhere.
My Realizations From Working-From-Anywhere
1. Work-from-anywhere is a misnomer.
Work-from-anywhere, like any other digital job, requires capital. The most important of which is a stable internet connection.
But unlike other jobs where you'll perform repetitive manual tasks or spend time in the office, the main requirements are only a smartphone or laptop and a reliable Internet. You may upgrade from there.
However, the "anywhere" part may be a misnomer since you can't probably work if you will spend your time in a place without an Internet connection.
2. There are a lot of opportunities.
I only started a month ago out of curiosity. Still, I already have seen a lot of potential and job opportunities. Unlike working in a fixed-salaried job, working freelance can provide a higher upside if you spend more time.
You are also more in control of your time. You don't have a time-in or time-out, but you need the discipline to finish each job your clients require.
You may also find different job opportunities outside your degree or previous experience. Unlike many other jobs, the freelancing industry places a premium on people who offer more value - regardless if they have the proper titles or degrees.
3. There are also risks.
It is essential to understand that for every opportunity, risks are always involved. The common risks are if you fail to secure a client or lose your Internet connection.
This is where you always need to have a buffer fund. A buffer fund is different from an emergency fund. Unlike an emergency fund, which you'll only use in times of emergency, the buffer fund will be used so that you will not be afraid of not having an income in the short term.
It is also helpful to have other sources of income aside from your freelance clients.
4. This is not for everybody.
Another realization that I learned during the past few weeks is that freelancing is not for everyone because not everyone is willing to let go of certainty.
Certainty is about the salary, job security, and tenureship that whatever happens, you will always receive your paycheck every month. So, if you don't think you can let go of certainty, freelancing may not be for you.
Work-from-anywhere is a dream come true for anyone trying to work their way out of the rat race. I know this is relatively new, but the opportunities it presents are something I cannot let pass by.
I still see myself as a teacher, but right now, I know that formal education is not where I can teach the lessons I learned. I will continue to guide through this blog that there is more to life than work. We need to continue striving to be the best version of ourselves.
This is only the start, so I know that there will be follow-up posts from here on out about my journey away from the rat race.
See you soon outside the rat race.