Career Tips

Freelance Web Developer Pros and Cons


     This article is about advantages and disadvantages of being a freelancer at your early 20's, particularly freelance web developer. You're either a fresh graduate or a college student.

Note: This is my personal opinion as a 21-year-old freelancer.

Cons

1. Difficult to support the client. As a fresh grad, you're probably still inexperienced, unless you are an achiever, attended a lot of conference events, and already had a face-to-face conversation with professionals.

     While starting to enter the freelancing world, you'll find it very stressful to support the client. You are unprepared and inexperienced when it comes to dealing with them. They are very demanding, and clingier than your partner. They will always chat or email you anytime. And of course, you have to respond within a minute and fix whatever the problem they found out.

2. You will work on your own, nobody will manage you. From project meeting, project management, project development, and invoicing. Plus you have to pay your own tax, and benefits such as SSS, PhilHealth, Pag Ibig, etc. Isn't it overwhelming to work for all of these knowing that you're just a fresh grad?

3. Working environment. You will work at the corner of your room. No social life such as daily face-to-face conversation with other professionals. Or you can go to a co-working space where you can hang out and work with other developers. But co-working space is surely expensive.

4. Nobody will support you. As developers, we need a team and of course, a team leader. Having them is the easiest way to learn, you can ask them and they can help you anytime. But as a freelancer, you will work on a project by your own. You made a mistake, you find a solution, and you solve the problem.
  
5. Overdue payment. If your client is a company, expect that they are busy and barely have time to review the invoice you sent. It may take two weeks to one month before you can get the payment. They ensure that the progress is worth the pay and their money is not just going out of the window without getting in return. And if you are using PayPal to get the payment, it's another hassle. It will take 3 to 5 business days to transfer the payment from PayPal to your Bank Account.


Pros

1. Very rewarding when it comes to payment, especially if you're in the Philippines. Let's say your rate is $5 per hour and you will work 7 hours a day, and 5 days a week. The average equivalent of 1 USD is 50 Pesos so you will have more or less 35,000 Pesos gross income a month.

2. Flexible time. You can work anytime of the day as long as you meet the deadlines. I sometimes worked 10 hours a day and I will charge them with 8 hours, so there's a 2-hours discount. And I sometimes work for only 6 hours. But this not applicable to all clients, some clients may request you to work based on their working hours. Although you have to follow their working hours, at least nobody will stand behind you to check if you're working efficiently.

3. Work from home, less hassle. No traffic, no transportation problem, all you need to do is to wake up on time, take a bath, prepare your breakfast, and sit on your workplace.

4. Household chores immunity. This is my favorite advantage of being a freelancer haha. Your family knows you're working and making money so they will do the chores for you.

5. Work anywhere. Since you are working remotely, you can work anywhere and travel as long as there's free and hi-speed wi-fi connection on the place.


     I provided five advantages and five disadvantages. Perhaps you are confused whether you will still continue to become a freelancer or not.

Just go after what you want.

Advise if you really want to become a freelancer:
     To make it easier, you should work in a company for at least 6 months to 1-year before entering the freelancing world. And of course, you should be in a related position. Because your first job will introduce you how this industry works.

     Next blog post: "Working as a Freelancer vs. Working as a full-time Employee"

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Career Tips

How to Become a Freelancer in Your Early 20s



     "A freelancer is someone who works on different projects with different companies instead of being a company employee". - Cambridge Dictionary

     I'm currently a Freelance Web Developer at 21. I entered the freelancing world two months ago after I quit my first job. In this blog post, I will share you my personal experience how I get into this career. Here are six simple steps on how to become a freelancer in your 20s.

1. Enhance your skills. Whether freelance web developer, virtual assistant, or anything you want to become, you always need to develop your skills enable to achieve it. So the first step to becoming a freelancer is to enhance your skills, expand your knowledge! And the best time to do it is while you're still in college. I feel sorry for myself that I did not do it while I was in college, so I enhanced my skills just after I graduated. Couldn't get into Web Development industry due to lack of knowledge. So I hope you're spending your college days wisely.

2. Create your portfolio. Most of the freelancers suggest creating a portfolio. I did but my portfolio did not help me to become a freelancer because my portfolio sucks. So I'm currently rebuilding it. It's a great way to show what you can do. Building your portfolio is also a way of improving your skills.

3. Find a client. You can find your first client at the platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, PeoplePerHour, and LinkedIn. Find a small project. Message the client, tell them that you find the project interesting and you want to work for them. Show them your portfolio. Give a low rate at your first project, ideally $4 to $7 per hour. Yes it's too low but you can increase as you go on and increase should depend on the experiences you gain. At this point, your goal is to create your future, not to chase the money.


4. Learn how to work with the client. Talk to them like they are your professors giving you a project. Don't hesitate to ask them if you are not sure with the requirements. Don't forget to update them before the day ends and before you start your day.

5. Build your relationship with the client. It is the most important thing if you want to become successful or to become a freelancer forever. Be the nicest version of yourself when approaching your client.

6. Work hard. Give your 101% in doing the project. If they loved the output and how you work, they will surely recommend you to their friends. And your network will now start to grow!


Additional Tips:
     Create your professional social media accounts. It will help you to promote your services and to get another client. Make an elegant professional account and don't forget to include your skills and email address. The client may also use it to check your background, to ensure that they are working with a nice person.

     I hope it helps you. Let me know your thoughts about this article. Share your personal tips or questions in the comment box below!

     Keep updated with the next blog post: "Pros and cons of being a freelancer"

     Don't forget to subscribe to my Email List for exclusive tips!


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Self-improvement

You are Responsible to Choose the Best Place to Grow


     Another lesson from the mass last Sunday – July 16, 2017, that will surely help you to improve your personality. The reading was from the book of Matthew chapter 13. “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

    The priest explained the parable, the God as the Farmer who threw the seeds, and His words as the seeds. Some of His words didn’t grow because some of the listeners would tend to lend their right ear, while the words are going out through their left ear. Only a few of His words would grow because only a few people would tend to absorb it and apply in their life. And those people will surely the greatest gift.

     We go to the church every Sunday, singing for the Lord, and listening to the homily. But the question is do we really apply the lessons outside the church in our daily life? God only wants to see  one thing, the output. Do kindness every day, any form of kindness.


    The priest also shared his own story; it’s all about ‘giving’. He had met a man in a bus terminal. The man was asking if the priest knew his friend – which is also a priest. He asked where he could found his friend because he really needs money to go back in his home town. The priest was thinking, he knew that priest but “is he telling the truth? Are they really friends?”. The priest was in hurry, and late for his mass. So he gave the man some cash, – just enough for him to get home. He didn’t care anymore if the man was telling the truth, he just thought of letting it to God.

    While the priest is running on his way to church, a woman called him and handed him a mailing envelope, she said: “it’s for you father”. He didn’t have time to open the envelope. After the mass, he opened it and thanked God. He received not just two, three, four, or five times of what he had given to a man. That was an instant blessing!

    Some of us refuse to give a coin to the needy. I know a lot of them, and sometimes I am one of them. We are refusing because we have the thought of “he might spend it for a cigarette, or he might spend it in a wrong way”. In fact, it doesn’t matter where he wants to spend the coins you had given, if he will not use it for good. What important is you're sharing that you have, that's what counts. Sharing means thanking God for the blessings He gave.  The more you share, the more God will bless you.


Personal Insight about the Parable:

     I would say that it’s also similar to our lives. Parents are the farmers, we are the seeds, and it’s always depending on parents which soil they want for their children to grow. Some people grew up irresponsible; some people grew up with dreams and goals in their heart and mind. We couldn’t blame them at some point, we all started as naive, and we all needed the guidance. Parents are responsible for their children. They should take the best care of their children, discipline them, and feed them with wisdom. Lack of guidance and lessons would lead them to the wrong path.

     Some parents would allow their children to do those things that will make them happy knowing that it’s not the best for them. But some parents would let their children to sacrifice, to persevere, although it is difficult they know that it is the best for their children.



     As adults, we are now responsible for choosing the perfect place to grow. We already aware the right and wrong, what's good and not. There's no in-between, we always have to choose, and we all know the right answer.

     We are blessed that we are not like a plant that meant to stay in one place. But sometimes we don’t need to move from one place to another, we just have to cultivate ourselves and feed with organic fertilizer. Remember that organic fertilizer produces sweet fruits. It means, we need to strive, have courage, discipline, and patience to achieve our goals.



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Travel

Sweet Escape: The Best Coffee Shop in Nueva Ecija



     Sometimes all we need is to chill out with this kind of view. Isn’t it relaxing to chill with organic delicacies and nice view?

     This was my first blog post on Tumblr. It was written on June 2015. I missed this place, it's been a year since the last time I visited this place. It's just a few meters away from my former boarding house and university.

     That was National Independence Day, June 12, 2015. Our mom didn’t want us to go out for an unknown reason. But when she went to her appointment, my elder sister and I prepared to leave before she came back. That was independence day, and we thought everyone should be free at least on that day! LOL.


     We went to Milka Krem, located at Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija. One of the famous coffee shops in Nueva Ecija. I can say that it is the best Starbucks alternative. Aside from coffee and cheese cakes, they also sell products made up from fresh milk - particularly carabao milk. All the products are affordable, prices are lower than 200php or $4.

     It is also the best place for business meeting, I mean the one-on-one kind of meeting with your client. It has a perfect ambiance and a very quiet place. I've noticed that most of their customers are foreigners and business men.


     That was my sister's first time in the Science City of Munoz, and she really wanted to visit Milka Krem. It is three hours away from our town. We took a bus, arrived at 3 in the afternoon, and we didn't have our lunch yet. So these are what we had for lunch...


     I ordered Blueberry Cheese Cake and Vanilla Ice Cream because I love berries! Cherry Cheese Cake and Mocha Ice Cream for my sister because she loves coffee but unfortunately there's no available coffee that time. Yas that was weird for lunch but we loved it because of the hot weather. We also bought Pastillas and Silvanas (nope, not the online game character) - frozen biscuits filled with cream and cashew nuts like Sans Rival. 


     How to get to Milka Krem?

     Commuting Guide:
  • From Manila, go to Cubao and look for Baliwag Transit or Golden Bee
  • Ride a bus with a route to San Jose City, via SCTEX (as it is faster and less traffic).
  • The fare is more or less 200php
  • Tell to the bus conductor to drop you at Milka Krem, it is along the national road
  • If you are already in Science City of Munoz, remind the bus conductor
  • They will drop you in front of Milka Krem


     After our sweet lunch, we headed to Central Luzon State University - a 658-hectare campus with hundreds of trees. I tour my sister and took her some photos. She was amazed at the beauty of the University and said that she will definitely come back.

Failed Polaroid Shots.



Tired of walking and carrying this heavy bag of sweets...



Thanks to my 2 years old comfy vans!


See you soon CLSU!




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Travel

The Best Summer Getaway: Potipot Island


     This is my first travel blog post and I hope it turns out good. I actually started writing this article a month and a half ago, and now rewriting it because I’m not happy with the initial draft. I’m currently struggling because first, that was two months ago, and second, there's a lot of things happened on that getaway. So I will just tell you everything I can remember.

     Potipot is a small island located at Candelaria, Zambales, and Zambales is located in the central part of Luzon, Philippines. For me, it is one of the best places if you want to escape from stressful life.

     We traveled from our Province (Nueva Ecija) to Zambales for estimated 3 hours. We traveled from downtown of Zambales to Potipot Island for estimated 2 hours.


     We arrived at Candelaria at 5 pm, then 15mins boat ride to Potipot island. Most of the visitors were about to leave because that was Sunday afternoon and they have work the next day.

     We assembled our tents and had our dinner during the sunset because there is no electricity on the island - except the management's cottage and the bath rooms.

     You can rent a cottage but it is better to bring your own tents as it is cheaper and you can be able to feel the essence of camping. Don't forget to bring your flashlight and camping lamp.


     After dinner, we decided to dip. A man told us that night swimming is not allowed and reminded us not to go to the deeper level. After 20 minutes, I go back and change into pj's - because there was a strong lightning that time and I was a bit scared haha.


     My cousins made a bonfire, and we had fun roasting the marshmallows. Some of our cousins were drinking, so some of us decided to take a walk around the Island. We didn't continue our plan thinking that we might encounter ghosts haha.
     My sisters and some of my cousins slept outside the tents because it's so hot inside. We planned to wake up at 4 am and jog around the island. But none of us woke up at the said time. We all woke up at 5 am, chitchat while watching the sunrise.


     Instead of jogging, we had a little walk to enjoy the island. And of course, it wasn't complete without the cameras!


     It was a surreal experience walking at the seashore with our pj's. But then we realized, why not we go back to the campsite, have our breakfast first, change into swimwear, and go back strolling. So we could swim anytime we want.



     When everyone is ready, we started exploring the island. We took a lot of photos in every corner of the island. The best thing was, we were the only people around.


     There were two fishermen pulling their net to get the fishes they caught. Most of the fishes were this kind (if you know the name of this fish, just drop a comment below). They said it is edible. A family bought all of their fishes and my cousin found this one when they left. He named it Spikey.


     Another fish was found by my little sister. She found this on the seashore, perhaps it was also caught in the fishing net. Can't explain how happy she was when she found this fish. She named it Blowie. I think it belongs to the family of Blowfish (correct me if I'm wrong).

Disclaimer: No fishes were harmed during the getaway. All the fishes were freed.


     I loved the warm and clear water, the white sand, and the breeze. I can say that it is my favorite getaway so far. One day absent from work is worth it. I suggest, have your getaway during weekdays to feel like you own the island!


     The best thing about Potipot Island aside from white sand and blue water is the aura. It is a very peaceful place. It is a perfect place to relax and escape from the busy city.

     I love the fact that visitors are not leaving any garbage although it doesn't have 'clean as you go' notice. So if you're going to visit this island, please observe the cleanliness and bring your own trash as you leave the island. I hope they maintain this kind of ambiance. 


     Whenever we go to another beach or island, we couldn't help ourselves to compare them to Potipot. And we keep on choosing Potipot Island as our favorite. For more photos Click Here.

    For more details about Potipot Island and how to get there, visit these blogs: The Lost Kids and The Shoestring Diaries.


Till next time Isla de Potipot!

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Photo Dump

Potipot Island - May 2017


     Enjoying the Beautiful Sunset

          


     Bonfire Time!


     Good Morning Potipot Island!

           

      


     Loving Potipot Island...

               

            

            

            

             

          


     Till next time!

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