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Full-time job? She makes more money doing freelance

by Jericho Zafra

NEW year, new job?

“[I] never thought that working 2-3 jobs would give me more control of my own time, a better mental health state, and just a little more bills.” This is what Gabrielle Dela Cruz, 23, a freelance content writer from Pampanga, has to say about leaving a 9-5 shift work schedule to pursue freelancing.

Dela Cruz is currently juggling three jobs and now eyeing a fourth gig as freelancing gives her a much higher pay and control of her life. 

She started freelancing in 2021 shortly after leaving the corporate world.

She was also one of the many Filipinos who are part of the gig economy and have brought a more significant impact during the height of COVID-19, where all are stuck in the four corners of their home.

According to a report from Payoneer Inc, an American financial services company that provides online money transfer and digital payment services, the Philippines’ freelancing economy has expanded quickly over the past few years. 

With a 35 percent increase in freelance earnings, the Philippines ranked sixth globally in Payoneer’s 2019 Global Gig Economy Index as the fastest-growing market. In 2020–2021, the pandemic intensified this tendency and grew the number of independent contractors.

Currently, the country has 1.5 million freelancers, according to a joint study by Philippine-based e-wallet GCash and Payoneer.

“While 60 percent still engage in traditional freelance work, working on a per-project basis, or are bound by a contract with a client, we see the arrival of a new kind of freelancer. This group – the content creators comprises 35 percent of all freelancers, and they publish or upload and distribute their work on social media platforms,” said the report.

Freelance services marketplace Raket.PH, which connects Filipino freelancers to businesses around the world, said in a report that the following jobs are the most in-demand and highest-paying jobs for Filipino freelancers this 2023 according to freelance platforms Upwork, FreeUp, and Magenta Streaks which hires Filipino freelancers:

Graphic Designer

Annual Salary: P400K to 900K

Using computer software or by hand, graphic designers create visual designs to express ideas that move, educate, and enthrall consumers. For projects like commercials, brochures, magazines, and reports, graphic designers create the overall layout and art direction in order to create impactful visual material.

Web Developer

Annual Salary: 450K to P1M+

The work of a web developer is to build websites. Many web developers are in charge of the website’s performance and capacity, making sure it is aesthetically appealing and easy to access.

Social Media Manager

Annual Salary: P400K to P700K

Social media managers are generally in charge of designing and overseeing social campaigns, producing content, reviewing analytics, and communicating with important stakeholders within a company. They make sure that the social media presence of the company is competing with other industries to attract more engagement.

SEO Specialist

Annual Salary: P600K to P800K

A search engine optimization consultant, often known as an SEO specialist, evaluates, monitors, and modifies a webpage to make it more search engine-friendly. With the function of SEO specialists, the website ranks higher in the search results of mainstream search engines like Google.

While there is no definite data provided as to how many Filipinos are currently employed under the aforementioned jobs, the gig economy or the freelancing community is expected to expand as years pass since more foreign industries are now adapting to the hybrid setup allowing more freelancers to work in the comfort of their homes while earning double than an 8-hour shift.

With the current uptrend of the gig economy, will you shift from working full time to freelance to get a hold of a real “work-life balance?”

How will you live that New-Year, New-Job motto? Well, perhaps, it’s time to utilize the benefits of social media, and freelancing, too.



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