Relatable Challenges Filipino Freelancers Experience in Their Career

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Who would say no to freelance? It’s a promising career path that most of us Filipinos root for today. If you’re a freelancer, you don’t have to deal with daily heavy traffic in the Metro and just enjoy working in your beloved abode at flexible hours. However, despite these too-good-to-be-true perks, Filipino freelancers still face challenges that make them wish they were full-time employed instead. Why is that?
If you’re planning to pursue a freelancing job in the Philippines, here are the common and relatable struggles you should anticipate, as they’re what Filipino freelancers are going through IRL (In Real Life, for titos and titas out there):

Filipino Freelancers and the Issues They Go Through

Job instability.

Whether you’re freelancing in the Philippines or not, we all know this job is contract basis only. Meaning, when the project is done, there is no guarantee that the client will renew the contract or the freelancer will get a new project from the same employer. Some of our freelancer friends claim that sometimes, it’s a matter of luck (or what we call “swertihan”). You’re lucky if your employer decides to hire you full-time; if not, you have to look for a new employer or you will endure the struggle of looking and bidding for projects again during your downtime.

They handle insurance and benefits investments on their own.

One of the best things about being employed is the assurance that our mandatory employee benefits and contributions such as SSS, Pag-Ibig, and PhilHealth investments are taken care of. Pinoy freelancers, on the other hand, have to handle such processes themselves. Ang hassle!
Not only that, to ensure they don’t experience the nightmarish health and medical-related expenses, they also have to invest in HMOs themselves. If you’re a freelancer, never neglect investing on your benefits. It will be of a great help in the future. Pasasalamatan mo pa ang sarili mo.
Filipino freelancers handling benefits investments and contributions on their own

They might fall in the hands of shady recruiters.

There are legitimate freelancing platforms such as Upwork, Raket.Ph, and where they can look for reputable and legitimate employers. But lately, looking for jobs on the said platforms has become grueling. A freelancer friend of one of our writers claims it to be true.

“Mahirap na makapasok ngayon. They start to limit freelancers kasi dumadami na. For example, if they find out you have the same skillsets as the freelancers who already got there, they will send you an e-mail na hindi “qualified” ang application mo kasi marami ka nang kaparehas ng qualifications. It’s a grueling process talaga, kaya ang ending ng iba, they look for employers outside these platforms, which is risky.”

Filipino freelancers who fail to be qualified on now-strict freelancing platforms resort to look for opportunities on online ads and google search. What’s the danger in seemingly-nice and persuasive ads? Shady recruiters who do not guarantee payments. You don’t only have to be emotionally and mentally independent when you consider a freelancing job, you have to be intelligent, as well.

The freedom is a bit too much.

Filipino freelancers are as hard working as any other freelancers, but are more prone to distractions such as food, music, children, and even their bed. Plus, they have no boss who constantly supervises and maintains their productivity. This results to procrastination, juggling multiple tasks at once, and rushed work. It’s a tough test of self-discipline and self-organization indeed.
Filipino freelancers encounter distractions

Internet connection.

Ayan, ito na. Unlike in developing countries, Internet connection is a dire issue in the Philippines. In fact, according to recent surveys (as cited by Freelanceblend), the Philippines ranks last in terms of the average Internet speed, clocking only at 3.5 mbps. O diba, ang bilis? As if it wasn’t worse enough, Pinoy freelancers who only rely on wireless data technology experience unstable connections.
Just imagine your virtual meeting being interrupted with your sluggish Internet connection. Ang saya, ‘no?

Working on holidays.

Most of Filipino freelancers work for employers abroad, which means they have to follow their client’s calendar and not their own. It’s not much of an issue, but since they work in different schedule, they can only rest on International holidays such as Christmas and New Year. They will not be able to spend a day off with their loved ones during local holidays as those don’t apply to their employer’s calendar. Sa dami ba namang holidays sa Pinas, hindi ba?

Delayed payments.

Once again, if freelancers are lucky with their employer, they’ll get paid twice or thrice their old salary. However, despite the hefty pay, there are times they will not receive their payment on time, especially when their boss is traveling. The delay may take weeks or even months, which is even more troublesome when they experience technical issues with their chosen payment method.
A career that is free of struggles and issues does not exist. Freelancing is a beautiful career choice; only you have to be more responsible, wiser, and more disciplined in your actions since you will be making the decisions on your own.

Can you relate? Share this article with your freelancing friends or family! They surely can relate, too!

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