The problem with most “regular” jobs that people have is that when there’s a need for a sudden shift on how we do our day-by-day activities, things can get unstable.
Since the pandemic began to spread in the Philippines mid-March, there has been an element of uncertainty surrounding the workforce. Everyone was forced to adapt one way or another. Whether it’s through a work-from-home setup or looking for another job that will allow them to be flexible given the current circumstances.
Online-based jobs are now more in demand than ever. But there’s always this misconception that a freelancing job can’t replace a “regular” day job, especially when it comes to the financial aspect.
Meet Francis Paul who’s about to prove us wrong.
Francis Paul, 24 years old, is a seafarer from Bacolod City. Like many other Filipinos, the pandemic derailed his plans up to the point that he had to resort to finding online jobs.
“Before I became an Amazon seller Virtual Assistant, I was a seafarer. Kakababa ko lang [from ship] noong September 2019. Dapat kukuha ako ng licensure exam ko kaya naandito ako sa lupa when the pandemic struck. Lahat ng mga proseso ko [for licensure exam] ay na-delay. Kaya I was finding some way na magka-pera habang nandito.”
Being a seafarer on board for two years and another two as a utility, Francis recalled how his job was able to give him financial stability and freedom. His salary was huge compared to what a normal Filipino worker would earn on a monthly basis.
However, it all comes with a cost.
“Iyong sweldo ng seaman, malaki talaga. Pero iyong kalakihan ng sahod, talagang katapat lang ng paghihirap namin sa barko. Kasi hindi talaga basta-basta ang iyong trabaho namin doon…kung malaki ang sweldo, sulit talaga ang iyong trabaho.”
Francis also shared his regular day-by-day when they’re always “on-call” to attend to their jobs as seafarers.
“Anytime pwedeng tawagin kami para dumaong sa port. Kahit walang tulog at madaling araw. Kung may extra cleaning doon sa barko, ilang oras din ang tinatagal.”
While the pay in his job is undeniably good, there’s always a setback for Francis when it comes to being a seafarer.
“Malayo ka sa pamilya mo. Although may advantage ka kasi nakakapunta ka sa iba’t ibang lugar, iba pa rin talaga na kasama mo ang iyong pamilya…Last time, six months iyong vacation ko bago ako makaalis. Kapag bumaba ka ng barko, wala kang bayad. Iyong mga ipon lang namin.
Because of the pandemic, he was forced to look for other means of income. The risk of going out in the middle of the pandemic and the travel restrictions made it hard for everyone to go outside and look for a job.
Considering that Francis has a working device and a stable Internet, he resorted to the Internet to look for something despite not having a background on working online.
“Naghahanap ako ng pera sa online dahil sa pandemic. Naghahanap ako ng mga basic, iyong sapat lang sa kaunting alam ko.”
It was then that he came across on an Amazon-related webinar.
“Medyo na-pique iyong interest ko nung nakita ko iyong webinar tungkol sa Amazon business selling. So pinanood ko and I was researching on the Internet at nakita ko na they’re also offering VA for Amazon. Doon ko nakita ang ASVA.”
At that time, Francis was still on the lookout for an online job. Without any luck, he decided to try signing up for an Amazon Seller Virtual Assistant Masterclass to help him gain more opportunities when it comes to online freelancing.
When asked for what made him sign up in the ASVA course in the first place, Francis valued how beginner-friendly the course is for someone like him who doesn’t have an experience when it comes to online jobs.
“Na-attract ako sa sinabi doon sa website niyo na tuturuan kami ‘from A to Z’ at tuturuan din na gumawa ng portfolio and resume para maka-attract ng client. So sabi ko, sino pa ba iyong aayaw?”
Courses like the ASVA Masterclass are most-sought off especially in these times where most online jobs are skill-based. While it doesn’t take too much of a learning curve to start, having something to guide you along the way will greatly increase your chance when it comes to job opportunities.
As for Francis, he was determined to enroll in the ASVA Masterclass for the very same purpose. After all, he doesn’t have any background in having an online job so Francis wanted to fill that lack of knowledge and skills.
“Around May ko noong unang nakita iyong ASVA kaya lang, late na ako sa enrollment so naghintay ako…From the beginning, I set my eyes on the Elite talaga kasi may coaching calls. So kung may hindi ako alam, pwede kong tanungin sa mga coaches and everything. Which is a big help kasi nga may mga bagay na sadyang hindi mo alam at maibibigay nila sa iyo iyun at masasabi mo rin sa mga client mo.”
The ASVA Masterclass offers an Elite package for those who wanted to have a personal coach to guide them through their Amazon ventures on top of their ASVA courses. Personal coaches are assigned depending on the timeslot that the student would choose.
“Iba po talaga kapag may instructor na may nag-guguide sa iyo. Although sa Batch 9 po namin, lahat po kami ay nagsha-share. Kahit Advance or Elite. So kung may katanungan iyong iba, tinuturo rin namin at shina-share rin para makatulong sa iba.”
This kind of communal thinking within Francis’ colleagues became one of the side advantages for enrolling in the ASVA Masterclass. Because they all had one goal in mind which is to land clients and become successful in their own ways, the community became a great network source of information and inspiration for their own Amazon ventures.
“For example, kung may bakanteng job offer, then ipino-post sa community. Tapos, nagulat nga po ako nung last time kasi may nag-comment na parang ‘araw-araw tayong may kino-congratulate’. So nakakatuwa po talaga at nakaka-inspire.”
Of course, the ASVA Masterclass is not a magic trick that will instantly cover all bases that the students need without any input of effort. For Francis who didn’t have prior knowledge in being an Amazon Seller Virtual Assistant, he had to double up on his studies.
“Meron po akong naging challenges [in the course] kasi talagang zero knowledge ako. So inulit-ulit ko po talaga iyong mga modules hanggang sa ma-gets ko. Tinitignan ko rin po iyong mga nasa community, kasi meron pong mga guide doon. Nakakatulong po talaga sa journey bilang ASVA student.”
For some people, getting a client in just less than a month is too good to be true. But for Francis, he proved that anything is possible as long as you persevere and invest in the right skills.
Francis started his ASVA Masterclass on July 6. Exactly one month later, he landed his first client.
Recalling his experience in finding for his Amazon clients, Francis said that it wasn’t easy.
“Actually, madugo talaga. I started from July 6. Nakuha ko iyong client ng August 6. Ang nangyari, mayroon pong module na tinuturuan kang gumawa ng portfolio at may advice na mag-apply lang nang mag-apply. Maraming rejections. Hindi lang isa. Sa mga applications, sa mga interviews.”
Despite countless rejections, Francis continued to persevere and continue honing his skills through his courses. After all, he understood that his ASVA Masterclass is not a get-rich-quick scheme and he needed to actually make use of these skills to gain his very first client.
However, there’s only so much of a rejection a person can handle. Francis began to doubt his choice but the successes of his colleagues inspired him to continue.
“Sa sobrang daming rejections, talagang iniisip ko na ‘para sa akin ba talaga ito?’ Pero sa dami din ng mga pino-post sa batch namin, talagang na-iinspire ako ng mga colleagues ko. So apply lang nang apply hanggang kumapal talaga iyong mukha ko. Kahit sabihin nilang ‘no’, okay lang sa akin. Hanggang sa makuha ko iyong client ko.”
True enough, his efforts proved to be fruitful.
In just a month, Francis was able to land his very first client. Now, he has three clients earning a six-digit income from being an Amazon Seller Virtual Assistant.
“Right now, I have three clients. Kung hindi po bumaba ang dollars ngayon, baka po naka-six digits na ako. Nalagpasan na po ng Amazon VA ang sweldo ko as a seafarer. Kasi iyong sweldong ganoon, sweldo na po ng mga opisyal.”
Sharing his daily routine, Francis usually spends four to six hours per client. His day starts at 4 or 5 in the morning when he would get his tasks for the day. At night, he would send his progress report. Francis works on weekdays only.
When asked whether his ASVA course guaranteed his ability to land multiple clients, Francis gave an insightful answer.
“Para sa akin, you’ll be the one to do the guaranteeing. Bibigyan ka na ng armas, nasa iyo na lang kung paano mo gagamitin. So if you’ll ask me kung guaranteed ba na makakakuha ka ng client, guaranteed siya pero depende kung papaano mo gagawin. On how you’ll make it work. Hindi naman ibang tao ang gagawa para sa iyo.”
A little over a month when Francis first started to work as an Amazon Seller Virtual Assistant, Francis is now considering becoming a full-time VA instead of being a seafarer.
“Actually, iyong advantage sa pagiging seafarer, nakakagala ka and everything. Pero dito, naandito ka sa bahay mo with your family and pwede mong gawin iyong mga gusto mong gawin. You’re still earning dollars basically. So I’m really considering to stay on this platform.”
His family fully supports his decision to not board on the ship and just stay as an Amazon Seller virtual assistant. With the pay as competitive as his old job (if not more) but with less workload, Francis is grateful that this opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time.
“Nagulat po talaga sila [parents] sa sweldo, so support na support sila. Tsaka at this time po, delikado sa labas dahil pandemic kaya okay na okay po talaga.”
When asked about what are his recommendations for those who are also thinking and actively looking for an online job, Francis shared his realization.
“The world is changing na. Hindi mo na kailangan na lumabas para kumita, nasa Internet na. Client pa iyong mismong maghahanap sa iyo. Basta mayroon kang right skills and knowledge. Internet is connecting everything — makaka-sweldo ka na nang malaki na hindi ka lumalayo sa pamilya mo. Hindi limited para sa mga moms-at-home. Pwede rin sa mga katulad ko na seafarer, sa mga estudyante, sa OFW, matanda — wala rin age-limit. Maski lalaki o babae.”
If you’re like Francis looking to transition to having a lucrative online career to support your family's needs, then having proven, tried-and-tested strategies through ASVA Masterclass will help jumpstart your career.