I saw a post yesterday in a Facebook group that stuck a nerve on me kasi na-experience ko ‘to nung medyo bago-bago ako at feeling Superwoman pa. So, the freelancer’s story is that there was an acceptance of a job offer. Mataas ang bayad for what should be a light task! Dream job natin yon, di ba? Ang deadline nga lang, two days. A day before the deadline, freelancer is panicking because the deliverable is only half-done. Why is the freelancer upset when there’s still 24 hours left? Kasi:
- Freelancer is taking care of two young kids, no yaya, no maid.
- Freelancer is also taking care of a business that is taking up most of the times of the day.
- Late nights are a no-no because of a massive load of responsibilities both on the day and the next.
What should have been done differently?
You should think of three things whenever you take on a job: Priorities, commitment, and limitation
This is where you’ll know where your priorities lie. Obviously, the freelancer’s priority is family, business, then freelancing. With too much on the freelancer’s plate already, what’s going to happen with the deadline? It’s a recipe for disaster kung stick siya dito sa priorities niya. You have to set your priorities on the get go the moment you take on a job as a freelancer. Hindi uubra yung: ay kaya ko yan, sila nakaya eh! No! Everyone is different, and comparing your priorities and capabilities with other freelancers is a bad move.
May sacrifices kayo na gagawin like once na lang magpapalit ng damit ang mga anak instead of 3x-4x a day. Re-heat muna ang pagkain, eat the same food 3x a day. Yung mga kalat, let it be muna, or tidy up 20%-30% at a time.
When you take a job, you should be prepared to give your commitment. Nakatutok ka diyan sa ginagawa mo. Once you sit behind your screen, you’re a freelancer. You’re not a mother; you’re not a business owner. You are someone hired to help someone boost their business instead. This is not only for those who have fixed working schedules. Mas importante ito para sa mga may flexi sched kasi you have freedom to accept distractions.
When you give your commitment, you do whatever it takes to finish the job. Clients will always hire freelancers who know their commitments over someone who’s highly skilled, pero lagi naman petiks pagdating sa trabaho. If completing a job is a problem, it’s your responsibility to find a solution: outsource it. This way, you help the client, and you also help someone else have an income of their own.
Some examples of limitations for a freelancer are:
- Physical capabilities and capacity
- Laptop/pc specs (ex: processor speed, RAM, monitor size)
- Installed apps/programs (ex: operating system, Photoshop, MS Office)
You need to be aware of your limitations so that you know what kind of tasks you can take. These will help you set your deadlines. Importante sa client mo ang schedule ng pagbigay mo ng deliverables. Hindi naman 100% fixed yon unless sinabi ni client na urgent, pero kadalasan mapakikiusapan sila. You can say you need an additional day or two as an extension, then observe it. You can negotiate and set the deadline even during the application process para maka-set kayo ng expectations.
Kaya kapag may nagtatanong asa akin kung paano mag-simula, I always ask: ano ang kaya mo at di mo kayang gawin? Can you make sacrifices, commit to your client, and respect your own limitations? Marami kasi nasisilaw sa earnings ng freelancing. What they don’t know is that to earn that much, you also have to give as much. Freelancing is a career like no other. If you know how to take care of it, it will give back to you tenfold.
Thanks for reading! This is the first of the series of our #VAJobsPepTalk. If you have some freelancing concerns with your task, client, or simply life in general as a freelancer, send us a message in our VAJobs.ph Facebook Page!
About the Author
Donna Marie Fajardo is the co-founder of VAJobs.ph – a leading marketplace for Filipino Virtual Assistants working remotely, based in the Philippines. She is an experienced professional and coaches up and coming VAs. Previously, she was a project manager for Redkix (acquired by Facebook) focused on customer support and was a project manager/web producer for Socient – focused on helping non-profits and social enterprise with digital marketing.