For Filipino freelancers, taking the leap from their corporate jobs into the wild world of online freelancing can be a daunting start to a rewarding career.
Luckily, it’s not as scary as it used to be. Many freelancers will not face the same problems that those who started years back had encountered, thanks to the web-based freelance mentoring platform Online Jobs University.
Below, we get to know more about Genesis, the founder of Online Job University, and his precious advice for Filipino freelancers, and just about everybody who wants to pursue their passion and make a difference:
Tell us how you got started on freelancing.
What started me in freelancing is the turn of events in my life. Before freelancing, I was working at a BPO company for almost 5 years. Then I got a break in the IT industry but soon I realized that my passion is really into marketing, and a career in IT doesn’t really fulfill that. So I started doing some marketing stuff on the side during that time, and eventually decided to become one of the full-time Filipino freelancers providing marketing services.
What challenges did you encounter?
One of biggest challenges that I encountered when I was starting was the lack of support available in the industry. There were only a few seasoned freelancers sharing their knowledge since the industry back then was still fairly young.
What is Online Jobs University? How did you start on it?
Online Jobs University is an online training site that I created out of the need to have a place where I can share my knowledge.
There was a time when a lot of individuals were chatting me up and asking me questions. It was difficult for me to support them all, so I decided to put up a portal, and that’s how Online Jobs University started.
Tell us about DCAP, another organization you’re leading. What is it, exactly?
Digital Career Advocates of the Philippines (DCAP) is one of the things that I believe the online outsourcing industry has been lacking for quite some time. The main purpose of DCAP is to support and protect online Filipino freelancers, and represent the industry in the creation of laws and policies that will be to their benefit.
This was established out of the desire to establish a united front for all online service providers and companies who support the industry, alongside with the support of the government. Hence, with the establishment of this association, it will definitely make things a lot easier, efficient, and united in terms of this type of career.
What does passion mean for you? We think you’re one of the most passionate advocates for the freelancing industry, so we’re sure this means a lot for you.
When I say passion, it’s about being able to sacrifice and go beyond what is expected of you to make something happen.
One thing when it comes to pursuing your passion is you need to be clear first whether it’s something you can do or you’re just attracted to it because others are doing it. In most cases, one way to test if you’re really passionate about something is if you’re intrinsically driven to do it and are even willing to work for free initially.
What tips can you give to Filipino freelancers who want to follow their dreams like you did?
One tip I would give is to know your direction and where you are really heading.
Personally, I’ve encountered a lot of difficulties while doing the things I’ve set out to do. But setbacks and detours are to be expected since it is hardly a straight path when it comes to achieving your goals. You will commit a lot of mistakes, but these are okay because you learn from them. Hence, it is best to have a clear plan on how you go about your dreams so you can easily get back on track even when you encounter difficulties. I also really encourage you to have mentors and coaches to help you out in the process.
Let’s talk about taxes, which is something that Filipino freelancers worry about. As an entrepreneur, how difficult was doing taxes for you?
Taxation is not a word that many people from my industry are happy to hear. Now that I’m involved with the government, I realized that paying taxes is wonderful and fulfilling. This is because I’ve personally seen where the funds are being used and how it is helping individuals in different parts of the country. So for me, if you’re going to ask what taxes are all about, it’s about helping other Filipinos.
Tell us about how you discovered Taxumo. Where did you hear about it?
I’ve first heard Taxumo from a friend who had this vision of coming up with a solution for a much easier way of paying taxes for Filipinos. Nothing of the kind has been done before, so we thought it would be challenging to mount such type of service.
So I was happy when Ginger and EJ, friends and founders of Taxumo, had turned this vision into a reality with Taxumo. I had followed how they developed the platform and I am one of their early adopters. I witnessed how Taxumo was built from the ground up. And I am very pleased with where it is right now.
How has Taxumo helped you focus more on your passion and worry less about taxes?
One of the challenges that I encountered was really knowing all the details involved.
After using Taxumo, I saw that it had a very nice user interface and it’s very intuitive. It tells exactly what you need to do, what you need to pay, and when you need to pay,
One thing that I like about Taxumo is the reminder that I get over email that I need to pay this and that. Another thing is, of course, the convenience of paying it almost anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. This is very important for me since I don’t really have a personal accountant to assist me.
Would you recommend Taxumo to your fellow freelance professionals?
I would definitely recommend Taxumo to the individuals in my industry, the online outsourcing industry, because it gives them an advantage in terms of how they can easily pay their income taxes without really thinking much about the nitty-gritty of it.
You feel assured and at ease with the knowledge that someone is in charge of remitting your payments. It is convenient since you don’t have to go to actual offices or fall in line. You can easily file your taxes wherever you are.
What characteristic of you do you want people to remember you most about? Why?
One of the important characteristics that I want people to remember me whenever they hear my name is transformation. One of my desires is to really be able to transform the lives and careers of the people I reach through the talks and materials that I put out on the internet.