The Philippine freelancing community is on the rise. According to freelancer.com, the Filipino online workforce ranks third in their user base, just next to the United States and India. With currently 900,000 active users, they are expecting a surge in the number of new users in the months to come despite our slow Internet connection.
Why is this trend happening? And should you jump on this new bandwagon?
The Filipino families treasure education for their children. “Edukasyon lang ang kaya kong ipamana” [Education is the only thing I can bequeath], a common saying for the typical Filipino.
This cultural influence led to a number of college degree holders in the Philippines. Roughly 24% of the population holds tertiary degrees today.
And with the rising discrimination in employment, the low wage rates, and our high proficiency in English, the demographics primed Filipinos for the remote working trend. Now, even baby boomers can work online.
Furthermore, 44 Million Filipinos and counting are currently connected to the Internet. After all, we are the Social Networking Capital of the World.
The Worsening Commute
Assuming that you are qualified to get a job, the traffic in Metro Manila is at its worst right now. We consistently rank in the top 10 worst traffic in the world. And if you are in the workforce, you have no choice. Most jobs are densely available in Central Business Districts. I salute you for your sacrifice.
With a normal commute averaging 2 hours per day, and a whopping 4 hours one-way if there was heavy rains, a rally, or a Britney Spears Concert (I was stuck for 5 hours! Oops! You did it again.), who would not want to just work at home? You could’ve arrived in another country with this travel time.
With remote freelancing available, people would not have to experience this predicament. As a parent, you will have more time with your family.
Not to mention, if you opt to live away from this commuting horror, work options are now available to you. Filipino talents are even present as far as Mindanao.
The Social Stigma
The Filipino term “raket” [a colloquial term for freelance] has a negative stigma in society. Back then Freelancing was belittled because it usually entails seasonal and low paying jobs.
But the times have changed. Now, it is widely accepted in all fields. Even experts do freelance work. Some even do engineering work for NASA. It is now seen as a career, not just some side stint.
This led to the openness of a highly specialized category in the remote working talent pool. If you have a highly sought after skill, this might be for you.
Remote working is here to stay. The Filipinos are in a great position right now to take advantage of this trend.
The question is, would you take the leap of faith? With the heavy rains this week, you certainly have time to ponder in your 5-hour commute.
We welcome you to your freelance journey!