Life Lived Overseas: A Filipino Virtual Assistant

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I am working fulltime as an online Virtual Assistant, in a semi-graveyard shift schedule and a mother of 2 during the day. This quite a job and a very challenging situation when you are working from home considering the distractions around you. When you work from home, you can’t denied the fact that sometimes you ran out of focus especially when you don’t have a working room conducive enough for the job.

In this blog, I would like to get more personal and share my personal learning over the test of time. How is life here in the Philippines? If you are financially stable, you’ll find that this is a perfect place to settle down, build your own home, raise your kids and enjoy retirement.

On the contrary, our country has high rate of unemployment. Farmers and fisher folks are among the poorest. Most of the employed individuals in here when asked if they get enough to suit their needs, you often get negative responses. Just imagine having a family of 5 and only 1 is working. Life here could even be tougher. A normal employee here could hardly send her kid to the hospital when sick, considering that the health insurance we get from the government really sucks.

Moving forward let me start sharing with you how I handle things differently. Here are some of experiences I had that makes me who I am right now.

Difference from working in an office and working at home. I’ve experience working as a call center agent from prestigious companies in our place for more than 6 years. A graveyard schedule was quite inconvenient for me as I had to travel distance. Indeed, working in a call center has its own advantages. Aside from 5-figure pay checks I received semi-monthly, performance bonuses and incentives, additional allowances; I had a full medical coverage including my husband and kids. My social security remittance and pension plan were also being taken cared of accordingly.

call-center-agents

However, this kind of job is very stressful because it is not always easy to deal with shouting and unsatisfied customers over the phone. Patience is must especially if you are constantly being rated and closely monitored by your supervisor and QAs. Aside from that fact, you have a lot of bosses. Promotions are subjected. Healthy competitions will always be there in every career endeavor but in here, politics are all around you that may suppress your career growth.

Overtime, I always wanted to have an online job and rather stay at home with my family. I had to quit my job when I had my second baby.  I had to invest in buying a not so expensive laptop and had an internet installed. It was quite a gamble quitting since I don’t have any guarantee if I will find an online job right away.

So, I started hunting and applying for jobs. I registered to several freelancing website and fortunately I was able to find a client in a matter of weeks. My first job was telemarketing, setting appointments over the phone. It was quite a catch because the pay is good but I knew that this would not be the perfect job for me so I kept looking for more jobs while working on the project.

I had a few more job applications. You can find millions of jobs online however the challenging part is finding an excellent client that will last. I struggled sometime to find a good employer and lucky me, I found someone that is not just good but a very patient and understanding person.  Jay has been my online client for the longest time.

The advantages working online suited me well. Learning new skills is constant as you grow along with the company. The job is not as boring as before for you don’t have to deal with the same routine every time. Also, working with an overseas employer while working at home does not happen every day. The best part is I am able to spend more time with my kids.

Raising kids as a working mother. From all working parents’ view, raising children can be hard. Having two kids while working is a very challenging role for me. My eldest daughter is now 7 yrs old, and my youngest boy is a year and a half. Distance on their age is more substantial for me. But some difficulties come along, since I encourage myself in breastfeeding my youngest kid.

I get to spend less attention to my eldest daughter for quite a while knowing that I am also working.  She is more of an attention seeker recently and often competes with her younger sibling.  As a Psychology major, I learned and knew how to act in this kind of situation. But learning from just theories from school and personal readings, it is easier said than done especially that I am working full-time. Children response and reacts differently.

My daughter is the most thoughtful I kid knew. She would write a little note for me and stick it on my laptop screen saying “Mama, I love you.” Lately, I’ve been having headaches and she would offer to massage my head. She cries when she sees me crying and hugs me tightly. She gets worried when she knows that I’m in pain. She would make sure that I won’t miss breakfast, lunch and supper.

On the contrary, she treats her younger brother somewhat differently. She admits that she loves him and is happy having him. Sometimes, I caught her secretly pinching or pushing him. As toddler, normally he would keep messing things around and keeps running, jumping, and climbing around the corner. These totally pissed her off and would lock herself in the room alone.

These are just few of my daily challenges in dealing with kids. I may not be a perfect mother but I constantly seek to improve myself in this aspect. I did and will continue to do my best to give them all the love and attention they will need. As I continue to get financially stable for them, I would make sure their emotional, mental, physical, spiritual and psychological needs will not be taken for granted.

Spending time for myself and other personal challenges. Personally, my goal is total fitness both in mind and spirit. The good thing about my work is I get to meditate every single day. This set my mood for day. It is not easy not to be in control with your life however there are really things we can’t change and change is constantly there, both negative and positive.

on the beach

Through meditation, I learned the beauty of acceptance. Sometimes, memories of the past hunt me down accompanied by strong feelings of emotions, usually pains and regrets. These are the things we can no longer change. Subconsciously, we long to go back to that situations and hoped things were handled differently that might result to something better. 

I came to realize that if I continue to linger into these things, I won’t be able to reach my fullest potential as a person. I need to get some help. And the best help I can get is from me. Yes, definitely myself. Through the guidance of God, I have to choose to move forward and accept the things I can’t change.  Dale Carnegie once said:

Seventy per cent of all patients who come to physicians could cure themselves if they got rid of their fears and worries.

True healing comes from within us. There is a hole of negativity inside us that we need to overcome. It’s important that you change the way you think about situations and circumstances to avoid falling into trap especially over minor issues.

Overcoming this hole inside you starts when you begin facing your fears.  Get in touch with the real you. Get in touch with nature. You may not be the perfect. You will come to see the ugliest part of you but also the most beautiful you. Whatever you will discover, love yourself and decide to be better.

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