It's Alive!
"The king is dead and long live the people who aim above
All the simple stuff never understood
Like right from bad and wrong from good
Deny that You were ever tempted by the lie
That there's an answer in the sky" -- Never Stop, Echo and the Bunnymen

I'm actually reminded of an EATB (Echo and The Bunnymen) song in the not so distant past category.  At that time, the lyrics sounded profound but counting "x" number of years forward...it all rings true particularly the lyrics I posted above.  For a certain amount of years I have slaved myself in the confines of four walls and strangers of different malevolence and benevolences.  Did my thoughts fit in?  Maybe yes and maybe no but I did learn the process of conformity which oftentimes I have detested as most were made of inconsequential inconsiderable norms that oftentimes debase even the basics of human thinking.  Howver, that is life which I must learn to live by. During a quarter of that time, I denied the truth and accepted the idealistic lie. After my final bow, I decided to open a laboratory which I myself am the test subject that waited for the lightning to strike.  I was my own Frankenstein!  I named my lab "Freelance" which spelled independence in another territory in the sky.  I re-christened myself by a new identity of "Freelancer".  Another apt description would be a modern day jouster except that his horse has been replaced by a chair and the lance has been replaced by a computer while the other forms of weapons would explicate into hardware, software, skype, magic jack, other calling tools, knowledge in spreadsheets, word, types of Customer Relationship  Management sites and tools, Contact Manager Softwares etc. for professions that require calls and emails inclusive of technical support.  For a welcome change, people who have the knack for writing can try their hand in being a writer in many forms such as blogging, being a ghost writer, or even a technical writer to name a few.  Working online doesn't always translate to being a web freak because you usually get paid in dollars then converted to your own currency usually via bank transfer or through Paypal worldwide or, it can be via Western Union or Xoom which, based on personal experience, I did not have any issues on except when the payroll date hits a bank holiday.

With this new lease on life.  The sun rose on the west with these following advantages, disadvantages and clarifications on common misnomers:

1.  You work on your own time:  Whether the rate is fixed or otherwise, it would still depend on the job.  If the job requires you to submit on a certain date and time then you could truly say that you work on your own time.  Not all freelancing jobs offer that luxury.  If you work on a US account and on an hourly rate and your payment is guaranteed (mostly) in sites such as Odesk or Elance in which your time is being tracked, your time would be based on US time.  If you prefer to work in the afternoons, then you work on UK time but if you want to work on mornings, an Australian account would be most suitable.  

2.  Fixed Rates vs. Hourly Rates are guaranteed:  Rule of thumb then, if you are working on a fixed rate that only pays either per project or per month, try to ask for a down payment as a show of good faith from the prospective client.  You will never know nor be guaranteed if you would get paid after the work is completed.  For hourly rates, this is a much safer avenue since you are paid by the hour in which payment is made once a week.  However, if you are new in this, your payment will reflect the following week.  

3. You can work in your pajamas:  Work with whatever comfortable clothes you have.  Clothes that inspire you to feel good to work.

4.  Earnings are big when you work online:  Here's the skinny on it.  It depends on your country's conversion rate.  That's one factor.  Another factor is that if you work in the US, that's tax deducted.  However, depending on the country that you are in, you can choose to break the law by not declaring this income tax wise, not paying the social security system or the government's medicare program and other labor related payables owed to the government.  The choice is up to you!  However, the biggest practical savings that any freelancer could have is that it lessens the transportation, food and clothing expense.  Again, that depends on your lifestyle and how you spend your money.  One thing that would be missed though, if we're talking about the Philippine setting, is the 13th month pay, the SPIFFS and other bonuses given during Christmas time.  The key here is still the same:  TO SAVE for the rainy day and the holidays.

5.  Redundancy vs. Diversity:  If you've worked in a call center such as myself, no matter what position you held.  Working online is fast paced and yes, their is training and MOST trainings are paid.  If you're looking to have that shining title of being an Account Manager, Client Manager, Trainer or Supervisor, this could very much be fulfilled online in no time.  You learn many types of systems and accounts and you could even discover or hone a hidden and undiscovered talent that has been in slumber or on invisible mode somewhere within the mind's crevices.

6.  One thing to remember, it's just like working in an office in which you have to punch the time card except that you can work in any part of your house or at any given part of the world.  No Work, No Pay and there are no paid vacations as well.  Oh yes, you get to interact with fellow humans via chat and if you are just in one locality, you could even party up together and do those team building bonding moments and even hold your Christmas parties.  And yes, there are also cycles of dramas and every episode rivals a mini-telenovela even if the project has ended.

7.  If you want to work on different accounts, make sure to get enough rest and only accept jobs that you can really attend to.

8.  The jobs are unstable:  It depends!  In any workplace, if people get bored or if the gossip birds would entice you to transfer to another office for a higher pay, it's the same here.  People quit for different reasons, accounts close, projects only last for hours, days or a span of three (3) to six (6) months and there are those that last for a year and going on two (2) so it really depends.  What's important is that you always have a back up account just in case one project ends.

9.  If the employer is a bastard then politely quit.  Unfortunately, the arms of our labor laws, since I'm from the Philippines,does not extend to other territories plus the crime committed does not cover the confines treason or overthrowing the government.  Cyberbullying is a crime and unless the Philippine legislature passes a law on this that covers foreign employers online, it's better never to take the abuse and walk away.  This is not the age of slavery and if you have respect for yourself, I guess you know which way to turn aside from giving the finger or jabbing that imaginary baseball bat to a place where no sunlight nor sunbeams would ever reach.

10.  Age wise, no one is too young or too old to learn or to do work online.  It's just a matter of learning, re-learning and un-learning.  If you're mind is open then go for it.  If you want career growth then working online would be, as far as personal experience is concerned, would be a huge stepping stone.  What you would just need is a stable connection and a good computer with an updated hardware or a sturdy laptop.  The only time that work would be hampered is through natural and unavoidable natural disasters or if there is a network outage and lastly, the dreaded black/brown out.

In my case, the door to this new dimension worked but it doesn't work for everyone.  The lightning struck and it awakened another persona which I am with right now for two years.  In fact, a US office has gotten me full time that I had to quit on both labor global marketplaces. 

In finality, the age old question for beginners and the most interesting topic of all, PAYMENT!

Whether or not you're on Odesk, Elance or Craigslist, Paypal would be the number one weapon of choice.  For the Filipinos and Filipinas starting to tread the waters of online work, what you need are the following:

A.  An email account.
B.  A Bank Account and it doesn't necessarily have to be an EON Account in Union Bank however, it is SUFFICIENTLY FUNDED.
C.  What you simply need to do is Sign up in Paypal and link your email address with this.
D.  Fill in the page with the name that appears on your Debit Card or your ATM card inclusive of your address as listed in your bank and the email address that Paypal will email you regarding your payments, online purchases etc.

E.  Type in the name of your bank and your corresponding Account Number.  Now, kindly click on the link to find your corresponding nine (9) digit bank code:

F.  After filling everything out, Paypal will automatically deduct a small fee then send an email asking for a three (3) or four (4) digit Paypal code. which you can get in two (2)

     ---  From your own online account via your online statement which would reflect immediately.
     ---  Strictly speaking, if you don't have an online account, you have to march forward to your bank the following day and ask for the very latest and up-to-date Statement of Account and you would see it there.

NOTE:  Make sure of the time you opened a Paypal account so that you could trace the Paypal Code FASTER.  
G.  Log back to your paypal account and once you enter the code, the fee deducted would be REFUNDED BACK.
F.  It usually takes within four (4) to five (5) working days before you physically receive the money in your bank account and paypal would firstly inform you of this via email.  All you need to do is "accept" the payment and wait till paypal's no-reply service email sends you a confirmation that they are transferring money to your bank.

DISADVANTAGE:  The conversion rate on this site is lower than the rates shown in your local bank in your own territories AND should it fall on a US Holiday or your own country's holiday, there will be slight delay as far as the payment coming out is concerned.

For Odesk users, there is 99 US cents bank transfer fee. For first time users, the first withdrawal has no 99 US cents charges.  

            UNION BANK account holders:  Remittance fee is PHP 50.00
Other banks charge an incoming remittance fee.

What you need to do are the following:

1.  Set up your Local Funds Transfer (LFT) payment by clicking on "Wallet",
2.  Click on "Set Up Now",
3.  It will take you to a page that would ask for your respective Bank Routing Symbol Transfer Number Code (BRSTN Code for brevity) which consists of nine (9) digits.  To get the (BRSTN) Code for your respective Bank, click here:  https://www.odesk.com/help/help/payments/payment_methods/withdrawals_tab/philippines
4. Enter your Account Number, the name that appears on the account, the address that appears on the card and your contact number that also appears on the card.5.  Enter "Add Withdrawal Method"And just wait for it to be active in three (3) business days.

DISADVANTAGE: This only applies on ODesk AND should it fall on a US Holiday or your own country's holiday, there will be slight delay as far as the payment coming out is concerned.

So, still interested in being a modern day freelance jouster?

Published in the year of our Lord, November 17, 2011....



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       the  mastermind

    Giz Roque Palma is Giselle Roque in another incarnation.  The author of this site is Music Correspondent, Events Producer and Organizer, an erstwhile DJ/Spinner, Rock Jock and a freelancer living in a mortal world...and yes, my nickname is Gato!


    December 2011
    November 2011