Category Archives: Career Life

How to know if you’re fit to work from home

I once received a private message from a former superior who wanted me to join his team. Since I have found quite a balance of work and family in my life stage  now (thanks to the blessing of working straight from the house), I respectfully declined the invitation. It was really tempting because the offer was good and the work seemed manageable. However, I knew in my heart that I fought long and hard to really attain not just my work from home job, but a lifestyle that I authored myself. He understood my decision but made a comment that doing corporate is good plus I have the skills – so it’s a loss. While he only meant well, at the back of my mind I found myself saying that ‘It’s quite the opposite, really. I believe it’s a bigger loss if I will just exhaust my talent and time working for someone else instead of building my own thing.’

The Anxiety that Comes with Quitting your Day Job

I understand a lot of people who are quite anxious to quit their day job to pursue a work-from-home career. Whether one gets hired full time or part time working remotely from home; or become a full-fledged freelancer, or a home-based entrepreneur – there’s a lot of breaking-down-the-comfort-zone-wall that will take place. But despite the anxiety, a lot of people (especially home makers) go for home-based work because of lifestyle goals, childcare issues, and yes – the passion to create something of their own doing.

If you honestly feel that you want to try this out but scared of jumping in, I’ve got a few pointers to help you decide. But remember, the number one rule is: There’s no certainty in life. There will always be that risk involved. So it’s better to find out early if you are up for this type of career.

Let’s answer the question: How to know if you’re fit to work from home?

work from home motivational quotes

1) You are a self-starter.

Being at home offers a lot of temptations to go slow on the deadline, settle for a mediocre output, or simply skip work all together. Television, Internet, your bed, and even your own hobbies can easily put out the fire of wanting to start. Therefore, the number one trait that you need to posses if you seriously want to make a living while in the house is to be completely self-motivated. Despite external factors, within you lies the drive to get up and do work. I’ll be honest to say that there are days when I just want to lie in bed or play with my daughter the whole day. But I know that at the end of the day I’ll beat myself for being unproductive. That’s the kind of motivation that I think keeps me going a lot of times.

2) You can follow a routine – that can be flexible at the same time.

It’s a misconception that when you work from home, you can choose when and when not to work ALL THE TIME. While that is possible, the bottom line is your ability to stick to a healthy routine. Especially when you are aiming for a balanced lifestyle, you would have to create an hourly schedule to allow time for priority areas: spiritual, health, family, work, not to mention housework, as well. If you don’t have a routine you will most likely fail in this type of set-up because a routine is a good motivator to finish tasks on time (see point #1).

On the other hand, since there would be a lot of distractions while at home versus the regular office job – one must also posses flexibility. You need to bring your child to the pediatrician but there’s a looming deadline – be flexible. Chop and spread out your tasks within the week so you can attend to both; or eliminate the less urgent ones to make time for your kid. When an unexpected friend or relative drops by, have a pre-planned strategy: In short, make a routine that is also open for the unexpected. That’s flexibility.

3) You’re not big on losing some social life because you just love staying at home.

If you’re not the party-goer or the one who needs peer interaction during the day – this won’t be much of an issue. It really boils down to how well you know yourself and your level of social tolerance. Since I’m a home buddy and my social life is my one-year old daughter presently, this setup is just right for me.

4) You are a good financial-steward.

As you will most likely be giving up the shelter of a bi-monthly salary once you become a freelancer, there is much to be said about being disciplined in your financial systems. The good thing about it is you are the one who will decide on how much you are worth based on your output — not the office position that says this is how much this job should pay. But just in any kind of freedom, you have to be smart in budgeting your income especially when there’s waiting time involved in remittances, bank transfers, and the like. It’s also a good reminder for you that from now on, you will be paying for your own health insurance, and other government and social security contributions.

5) You are passionate with your craft and has the motivation to CREATE and CONTRIBUTE.

This is one of the major reasons why I really pursued a work from home lifestyle. If you’re like me who desperately wanted out of the office cubicle thinking it’s so much waste of time being stuck there instead of pursuing an independent career — then this could be the dream job for you. If you have the passion to create something out of your own resources in order to contribute to the greater good – be it for family, church, economy, or the whole of humanity – then, my friend… this could be it!

As a Last Note:

I wouldn’t say working from home is the best job in the world. It has its own advantages and disadvantages. After all, there ain’t no perfect job. And by this time, you probably understand that it’s not for everyone. It isn’t the right career path for all of us. Again, it all boils down to your lifestyle choices, priorities, motivations — and most importantly, your own self-knowledge.

May you have the life that your heart desires :)

Leave a comment

Filed under Career Life, Work at Home Mom

How many days left before Christmas?

76 as of this date. And that has been my favorite question to ask these days. It encourages me to keep pushing, keep moving, keep my eyes on the prize. It’s a reminder that all these too, shall pass. That God never forgets His promises. I say that repeatedly everyday – when I wake up in the morning, type in my reports, and recently – whenever I get an annoying email from some corporate bully.

I feel like I’m too old for corporate politics, for link building (duh!), and for proving my salary’s worth (again and again). I know I deserve better at this point in my life. Eight years in the work space and I no longer flinch whenever someone tries to challenge and push me over. But I can’t help but think – is this ever worth it?

So back to my favorite question – How many days left before Christmas? Not only does it mean I can finally quit office and be free to create my own rhythm. More than anything, it means people will be kinder, more sensitive, and less asshole-like.

Screenshot from 2013-10-09 15:56:40

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Career Life

Web Copywriting+

Because one of the goals I need to tick off for 2013 is to establish a sustainable raket, I came up with the idea of combining my online marketing/seo writing expertise AND my husband’s design and conceptualization skills.

Please welcome, Web Copywriting+ : Writing for the web with a  kick of SEO!

seo web copywriting

Some facts about us and the work we do:

  • We work in tandem as husband-and-wife. Both with full-time day jobs. So this serves as our part-time gig.
  • My husband is involved in design: branding, logos, magazine layout, print materials, etc. – mostly catering to food and dining businesses
  • We like both short-term and long-term projects – depending on work requirements and of course, our availability.
  • We cater to small/start-up businesses. At a competitive price, we can serve you with a good online branding and presence. Remember, before you had Facebook – your website is your main real estate. It’s important to focus on your base.
  • We do these from home and we seldom do meet-ups unless highly crucial for the project. We’re home buddies :) But you can count on our reliability.

When we’re not freelancing, we just keep house, cook, bake, watch dvds, and snuggle :-) Did I say we’re home buddies?

Contact me to discuss your needs.

Leave a comment

Filed under Career Life, SEO Manager, Work at Home Mom

Talking versus Doing SEO

This is one of those days when I’m bored out of my mind despite reading my SEO boss’ highly advanced report that only a Promil-kid can produce… Hayyy. The truth is, SEO is not some glamorous-analytical job. Sure it requires a lot of analysis and love of details (read: OC-ness!).. but glamorous??? What others do not know is that the work is very tedious! Time-consuming! Patience-inducing!

I came across this post on the Outspoken Media Blog: Three Things I Wish Someone Told Me About a Career in SEO

Scroll down to the last subheading: Talking About SEO and Doing SEO are Very Different Things. It rang a gigantic bell inside my head. I can only think of that time when a client required me to set up 60+ custom-scheduled reports on Analytics.

Here’s my favorite part:

Talking About SEO and Doing SEO are Very Different Things

Designing high-impact link building strategies = awesome. Actual link building = not nearly as awesome. Talking about link reclamation efforts = awesome. Actually doing link reclamation = not nearly as awesome. Talking about restructuring a site to funnel link value = awesome. Actually restructuring a site…you get the point.

SEO in theory is awesome. SEO in practice is very tedious, and sometimes even downright mind-numbing. When you tell someone you are in “search engine optimization,” it sounds very high-tech and glamorous, and lots of people are really interested to hear about it. But I don’t feel very glamorous when I have spent seven hours straight queuing up prospects in Raven for pitching the next day.

That’s why I think SEOs love conferences so much. We get to talk about theories and methods and strategies and tools, and we pretend like we aren’t bored out of our minds when we are at our desks, individually categorizing and analyzing backlinks. That’s not to say the implementation process isn’t important—far from it. In fact, implementation is the bread and butter of the industry. But I think there is a reason the SEO field has such a high turnover rate. What people think it is, and what it actually is, are two separate things.

To anyone considering a career in SEO: You deserve to know the truth. Actual SEO work is a pain in the ass. That’s why companies are willing to pay us to do it. It’s time-consuming, repetitive, and very detail-oriented.

I think to be happy in SEO, given the actual nature of the work, you need to have a firm grasp of the end-game, and understand why the work is important. You need to be results-oriented, and you need to be exceptionally patient. SEO works, but it doesn’t usually work over night. There is a long lead time between implementation and gratification.

So, what’s the payoff for all of this tedious toiling? Well, for one thing, if you are good at what you do, it pays pretty well. But more importantly, when you do get to see the results of your work and you can actually watch your clients climb through the SERPs, or build a better online brand, or make their site more user-friendly….Wow, there is no better feeling than that. Really.

Leave a comment

Filed under Career Life, SEO Manager

Unemployed, Unchained

For the first time in my life (not even after graduation), I am officially unemployed :)

Sad to say the new job I just got into last September went with a bitter ending :( I learned a few lessons there, and one is to be ready when one has realized that things aren’t what she expected to be. Change is good, but what will you do if it turned out for the worst? The answer is to endure first, obey first. Then do all you can to get that graceful exit. Life is short, let’s not spend some more time on things that simply make us unhappy. But there is always a better way to get out of any situation. Good thing, DOLE is always pro-employee! Haha!

Anyway, so I decided to quit even when there is no sure employment to jump into yet. I’m choosing not to mind it for now. However, I cannot hide my excitement to make a comeback and handle new online projects with my old friends. I guess God is asking me to trust Him more – even if my usual comfort pillows of a stable career and financial capacity are lacking at the moment.

This unemployment thing is really doing more good than bad. I have learned to take hold of myself and control my spending. And shall I say, it has lead me to surrender my life plans to the Lord. That is already a blessing in disguise.

Unchained

Enough with the jobless talk, let’s go to the fun part :)

Needless to say, the best thing about not having work this time of the year is that fact that I can get some vacay time while everybody is harassed doing their holiday preparations. My mom is relieved to have me handy at home while she and dad are extremely busy with business. Also, my extended (and unexpected) holiday has allowed me to spend more time for things that matter – a.k.a. (1)bridal showers, (2)Christmas outreach and parties, and of course (3)romance!

<insert picture here; next time don’t forget your digicam!>

I wish I have not forgotten my digicam, but I did. Sorry. I feel blessed to have done our simple feather-and-marshmallow-themed bridal shower with my long-time girlfriends in SFC. One of my bff is already 3-years married, one is still waiting like me, and the soon to be bride is happily leaving singlehood in favor of being someone’s wife :) We recalled the fun and unforgettable old times, especially the out of town conferences we attended. I heard a lot of marital advice, as well. I’m genuinely happy for my friend who has finally overcome her waiting and is now more equipped to start married life.

GK Kids Christmas Party - SFC

GK Kids Christmas Party - SFC

Every year, lots of good-hearted people of our SFC community reach out to the kids of GK-Ancop. We call the pre-schoolers “Sibol”, the grade-schoolers as “Sagip”, and the youth/teens as “Siga”… On this 11th of December, the kids definitely had a blast with our games, prizes, and spaghetting pababa at pataas! :) Nothing compares to the joy of sharing to these young souls.

Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of quality-Christmasy time with the sweetie. From group dinners to exclusive one-on-one conversations with this guy, it surely is making my holiday ever so warm. It’s our second Christmas together. You may now close your browser as what you’ll be reading next is a string of too much mush… hehe! It’s not everyday that you meet someone who connects with you on an emotional and spiritual level. Nowadays, it’s pretty difficult to catch someone who is loyal and supportive. I have found in him a man who is the most loving and understanding guy I have ever met. Christmas is indeed a celebration of love.

So as long as I can keep my finances on check, keep my faith grounded on Him, plus loads of lurrrrrrve to share to family and friends – there isn’t really anything wrong with being unemployed in December :)

I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly. – (John 10:10)

3 Comments

Filed under Career Life, Quarter Life, Singles For Christ

Anger Management for Managers

There is nothing more challenging for a manager to manage than his own anger tendencies. I should know, I’m caught in this job situation right now. Sure, a manager has less execution work but has more decision-making responsibilities to handle. It kinda sounds easy at first… not until you get questioned for every decision you make. Add to that is the fact that you know what you’re doing but your boss thinks, otherwise. You deal with micro-management and macro-expectations.

That’s what really kills me. Work is doable, fine. But the constant encounters with bosses and egos get into my nerves everyday – without fail. Consequently, my spoiled enthusiasm and furious mood have affected my productivity and ability to focus on what’s more important.

How to Control your Temper: Management 101

anger management for managers

And so I have made the deliberate decision to choose not to react negatively in times when my SEO nature is being challenged. I cannot change how my boss thinks. He’s got the last say. I can only voice out my side.

If you’re caught in a similar situation, take heed in some of my temper-control tips for managers.

  1. Smile. Greet your boss as he enters the meeting room, or when you see him down the office hall. Smiling steps you on the ground of good vibes immediately.
  2. Pause and breathe before reacting to a negative comment. If you sense a less-than-sunny feedback from your superior, hold yourself before responding – especially if you will be on the defensive side. Remember that your body language says a lot more than your speech. So it’s essential to keep your cool.
  3. Try taking criticisms constructively. I know this is better said than done. But just the same, give your boss the benefit of the doubt. Believe that he wants only the best for the project, for the company.
  4. If you think you know better, but your boss insists his own strategy – let it go! Yes, go ahead and let him have his way no matter how ridiculous the idea is. Just make sure you voice out politely and clearly why you think otherwise.
  5. Noted. Happy to serve! I always say this joke after an irate email from the boss or after coming out of a gruelling 2-hour meeting. Sounds like one of those SM Hypermarket merchandisers, isn’t it? But yes, it lightens up my mood easily.

I hope these tips will help some of you who are still in the adjustment period. Management is really more than what it is. There are a lot of crucial decisions to be made, and a lot of explanations to do to your boss or to your client. Nevertheless, I must say this position is slowly shaping my character as a mature person, and refining my ability to manage anger outbursts.

Disclaimer: By the way, I would like to thank a dear friend for opening my eyes to the ugly, and at the same time, amazing side of management. You certainly know the science of keeping your boss happy :)

Leave a comment

Filed under Career Life

teh ‘Dream Job’

I know this is way too early, and pretty much destructive at some level(?).

But.. Oh, what I would give to be part of your kick-ass ad agency!!! I’ve been aiming to land in an advertising agency the first day I had my UP Freshman classes. Yes, that bad!

I was HR-interviewed just a few hours ago, and I think I did well (I hope!) :)

BBDO Guerrero and Proximity Philippines

I didn’t know BBDO runs the “Lola Techie” commercials; and crafted the ‘Pepsi Pinas‘ concept, which recently went GLOBAL!

From the time I got inside their office, I had a feeling this is a hub of free-flowing creative juices from some of the best minds in the country. With a colorful mural up on one wall, and cute little table lamps like the one they have in Playhouse Digital. I cannot wait to snatch a seat and draft one of those online marketing plans I’ve been manufacturing day in-day out.

But the post they’re offering isn’t one in the Creative dept (sad-sad).

Although whatever job position I get into as long as it has the BBDO seal, I know I’m damn lucky :-)

On another note, I took the liberty of checking out their site and I came up with a few recommendations.

Sometimes I feel that being a SEO has made me susceptible to acquire this type of virus: the tendency to point out how you can further optimize your site/blog.

  • Use meaningful permalinks
  • Create keyword-rich tags and blog categories
  • Integrate social media buttons: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube (for your TV/vid ads)
  • Instead of Archives > Use Recent Posts – aids readers to find topic of interest + it’s good for content optimization
  • You can actually make Pages for “Careers” & “Contact Us” – good for leads, inquiries, etc.

So there. Just in case you need a Search Specialist in your Digital Marketing Dept – just twit @romzkeepomski

Leave a comment

Filed under Career Life

Surrender at 27

Yes, 27 years of BEAUTIFUL existence. Happy birthday to me!

I’m entitling this post as such because I feel this is the Lord’s message to me, especially the past few weeks. It really is a good point to remember not only today but whenever I get caught up in my own worrying and faulty decision-making skills. I’m only human.

I love to dream. And to the best of my ability, I make sure they come true. But sometimes, our dreams and plans fall short of what is truly reserved for us. On that part, it becomes the most challenging to me – to accept that there is something much better, bigger than what I can ever dream of.

And to surrender to that which beyond my imagination is hard. I for instance would always say that I will certainly do my best, and would leave to God the rest. But after not getting what I want, I whine and complain without understanding that part of my decision to surrender is to accept the outcome for whatever it is. I realized after reading this week’s reflection that to surrender is to mean that:

1. You are open to God’s version of your dream. *Jeremiah 29:11

2. You let go of your own timetable and just leave it up to Him. *Ecclesiastes 3:1

I learned that if your dream consumes you to the point where you think you will never be happy unless you get what you want – that is not surrendering.

For the past weeks I felt so unsettled, and disturbed inside. It’s as if something is lacking in my life despite the numerous blessings… like I do not wish to function daily unless that thing I want is finally given to me. And that is SAD.

And real exhausting.

So today on my 27th year, I have decided to surrender more of me and more of my plans to Him. Let it be that the more years added to my life, the more shall I give my trust completely to God.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” 

- Proverbs 3:5 

1 Comment

Filed under Birthdays!, Career Life, Glorious Wednesdays, Quarter Life Rants, Spiritual

Home over Office

Today, I have decided to work from home since the holiday falls on a Tuesday – which means Monday (a working day) is squeezed between the weekend, and a holiday. I can only be grateful to my boss who allows a work-from-home set up every now and then. The challenge really is for me to work more productively inspite of the lure of the TV and bed.

The Work-from-Home Scenario

Two years ago, I did a work from home job. It had a lot of advantages because it not only paid well, but I had my expenses reduced. No fast food chain visits. My mom cooks my meals. No sudden-shopping sprees because I do not pass through malls unlike when I commute to Makati. The best part is, I had full control over my time – taking into consideration my “productive hours” versus my “hapuntukin hours”. Working from home also gave me an opportunity to try other things like an online business of my own, and I was able to help the family set up our own laundry business. However, just like everything in life, nothing is perfect – hence the down side of not being able to talk and bond with people my age. No coffee dates, or girl friend ‘presscons’ over lunch. It stunted that aspect of my growth, I must say.

Office Life today

After much thinking, and an offer from a good friend, I have now returned to the office life! It’s been so much fun but of course the hassle of daily commute and Makati-induced expenses have returned! I’m not complaining though, I love my routine and the friends I have in the work place. Though lately, I’ve been thinking of how it’s gonna be like 2 to 3 years from now.

How about in the Future?

Probably, I would be starting a family of my own when that time comes. And as we all know, most wives or moms today would prefer a work-from-home set up so they can take care of the family. There’s nothing like raising your own child to become a better citizen one day. I strongly believe (and encourage!) the improvement of the race. Hence I’d rather stay home and work on my kids, instead of losing all 9 hours of the day over a job. However, given the economic demands of family life, one can’t help but consider the cost that comes with it. My fear is that I may not able to get an equally good-paying opportunity once I decide to work from home. I know it sounds crazy to be too much worried way, way ahead of time. But I can’t help it. You see I’ve been checking several telecommuting jobs, mostly writing gigs, and they what? Pay you like $2 per 500-word article?! Ano yan less than a hundred pesos??

Outsourcing has done a lot of good to the Philippines, but I do hope they would look into the quality of our service rather than choosing to discount. Not only will it do good for their brand, but moms will be equally happy :)

Leave a comment

Filed under Career Life

The cons of being home based.

So this is the little sad part of doing a home-based job.

I can’t see my Manila-based friends anytime. Can’t attend short notice dinner dates.

“Of course, I’m the perfect person for the job. Only that the job isn’t perfect for me.” – note to self all the time! Can’t handle 2 full time jobs… even if I’d love to.

No Internet signal – thanks to SmartBro the Amazing Broadband! Poor customer support.

I miss the freedom of choice. The less-routine-like life.

No Starbucks here in Gen. Trias, Cavite. Poor. Me.

1 Comment

Filed under Career Life