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Freelancing 101: Taking the leap from employed to self-employed

With so much freedom and flexibility, how does a freelancer become professional in his ways?

MANILA, Philippines — Part of the strong workforce in the Philippines are more than a million freelancers who take on outsourced projects from companies or individuals. Making the transition from being employed to self-employed, however, is not easy.

To be an effective freelancer, you should observe professionalism, practice discipline and study your lifestyle. How will you maintain professionalism amid freedom and flexibility? It’s all about the right practices. Here are some tips you will find handy:

Build a network

In freelancing, building a network is as important as improving your skills. So before leaving your full-time job, allot ample time connecting with new contacts and strengthening existing ones.

Make a great resume and portfolio to be sent out to potential clients. Then ask for referrals from your freelancer friends. By doing this this, you will already be in the loop and have better chances of getting projects.

Manage time

Once a freelancer, you might have clients from another side of the globe as well as a handful who are in the same time zone as you are.

Managing time is thus one of the key aspects in making freelancing work for you.Tediously allot eight hours a day to work and balance these with your family and social life.

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Look the part

Make sure you project competence and feel like a professional not only when meeting your clients but also when doing actual work at home through the way you dress.

Washing up and dressing up will definitely get you in the mood for work. It also doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be in office attire but as much as possible, don’t be in pajamas too!

Treasure clients

Working with clients is the bread and butter of a freelancer,so maintaining healthy relationships with them is crucial. Once you gain their trust, they will entrust you with important projects and steady offers.

Being pleasant, making deadlines, updating them on progress and managing their expectations will one day put you in the position to choose the work you desire and not just all the available work out there.

Render unto Caesar

Paying taxes is every working Filipino’s responsibility whether he is employed or self-employed. Section 74 of the Philippine Tax Code states that individuals receiving payment from outside the country must register as self-employed at the Bureau of Internal Revenue. By paying taxes on time and in a correct manner, you can avoid headaches over legal woes in the future.

Settling your tax obligations, however, can be tedious with many requirements to fulfill. Thankfully, things are much easier today with a BIR portal that may address many of your concerns. As to how much will be deducted, it varies from 3 percent or 12 percent VAT depending on your income. Make sure you consult with an accountant you can trust to do the legwork for you.

Go to office

There is no doubt home is where the heart is. But home is not necessarily the best place to work in. Freelancers get inspired to do more and perform better with a change in scenery.

Work at remote offices—somewhere outside the comforts of your room or the confines of your home. Many work in coffee shops, but staying there for long stretches of time can be awkward and expensive. If you are a serious freelancer, you may want to consider options available at Regus Philippines.

From private, shared or loungespaces, these office spaces are found in key cities all over the Philippines namely Metro Manila, Clark, Cebu City, and Davao City.

Visit www.regus.com.ph to find your remote office space.

 

 

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