Over 160 countries across the globe celebrate Labor Day, a single day of the year that celebrates worker’s rights.
In the Philippines, Labor Day is commemorated every May 1. In fact, it was on May 1 1903 when the first Labor Day celebration happened – hundreds upon thousands of workers marched from Tondo to Malacañang to demand independence from the American-led government.
It was the struggles of our forefathers that resulted in the better working conditions that many experience today. Of course, there’s still much work to be done for the everyday working man and it’s important we don’t lose sight of that.
So as we celebrate Labor Day 2022, we explore the rise of the independent worker – including the changes brought upon by the pandemic and how new self-employed individuals can adapt to their new environment.
Pandemic opens opportunities and challenges for workers
The pandemic accelerated many things for the workforce – including the large-scale move to remote work, new job titles, and structural changes.
For the Philippines, it meant more Filipinos discovering remote job opportunities, contributing to the global phenomenon known as “The Great Resignation”.
Of course, the shift of the modern-day workers has been two-fold. On one hand, leaving an office-based job to work independently sees many Filipinos enjoying balanced working conditions, higher satisfaction, and even better income.
On the other, it means Filipinos – particularly ones who have been enjoying the incentives from their corporate jobs – have to start from scratch.
Most employers operating remotely do not offer the same benefits as corporate jobs do. At most times, working independently means shouldering government contributions, tax incentives, and even healthcare on your own.
On top of that, a new work culture can be intimidating, especially for someone who’s enjoyed the dynamics of an office environment.
Yes, these are all valid reasons to put your plans to work independently on hold. But if you’re ready to act upon your next career goals, read on.
5 Ways to Transition to Independent Work
- Take time to review your goals
Are you looking to do freelancing full-time? Or maybe you want to enter into an independent contract with an employer? Or you could be looking to start a business as a sole proprietor?
The good news is that there are a ton of options for self-employed individuals out there. You just need to assess what meets your career goals and what type of setup you’re most comfortable with.
2. Know what type of service you want to offer
Sounds like a no-brainer – but many folks fall into the pitfall of becoming the jack or jill of all trades and end up not booking any clients at all.
Sure, it’s tempting to say that you’re a PHP Developer slash Real Estate Agent slash Content Writer slash Chief Marketing Officer. But in the world of independent work – the more niche you are, the better.
So when you post your first profile on freelance marketplaces, highlight the skills you’re really good at first. You can even be very specific and target keywords in a particular industry or niche.
3. Choose employers wisely
Working independently means you’ll be facing people from all walks of life. So it’s important you be on the lookout for employers that are trustworthy and reliable.
Now, trust is a two-way street. To ensure you and your employer build that trust between each other – ask for a contract. You can also provide one yourself for whenever someone avails of your service.
When it comes to reliability, go for an employer that’s responsive. You can do a background check of their brand to better understand their values and history. After all, your name will be associated with them as soon as your project starts. So it’s always a good idea to get to know your employers (or clients!).
4. Make a list of taxes and government contributions
It’s a misconception that independent workers don’t pay their taxes or government contributions. In fact, our taxpayer community are largely sole proprietors and professionals.
Filing taxes and government contributions benefits you in more ways than you think.
Sure, there’s the obvious advantage of you being able to enjoy the benefits of public services. But on a personal level, you can use documents like your ITR to apply for loans, open a bank account, and even initiate your visa application.
Of course, the challenge is not knowing where to start and knowing the options you have to continue paying your taxes and government contributions.
For government contributions, like SSS, PhilHealth, and PAG-IBIG, online and over-the-counter options are available.
Taxes might be a little tricky, especially if you don’t know what to register your profession or business under. You can take this short assessment to find out.
5. Consider starting part-time first
Transitioning to a new work setup can be intimidating. But the pathway to better job satisfaction isn’t a race, but more like a sprint.
So, don’t jump headfirst to full-time independent work if you’re not ready. The last thing you want is to quit your job only to find out that this isn’t for you. Test the waters first by accepting part-time contracts – just ensure your full-time job allows you to!
Don’t forget to know your worth
Have the ability to truly understand your value and self-worth. The skills you bring to the table gives you an extra edge, so make sure you’re compensated for it.
Here at Taxumo, we don’t limit ourselves to celebrating Labor Day once a year. Workers – no matter their setup – is what pushes the economy forward, so we celebrate you everyday!