Hi, I'm Mark, and I "work at home". That's not really the case now. I can work wherever I can as long as I'm connected to the World Wide Web and I have my laptop with me. That's my life. 4 years ago, things like that won't even cross my mind. I was too busy keeping my cool and 3-minute AHT in a call center somewhere in Eastwood City.

To Work Until My Pre-Senior Citizenship

Back in 2010, things were just "a-okay". I had plans of working until my mid 50s and perhaps, when someone from a higher corporate position moves away for some reason, I'd have the chance to take his place and have a 2,000 pesos monthly salary increase. Then maybe, I'll save some and start a business, build a family, etc. After all, that's what happens to everyone.

Laziness + Being Creative = Almost Genius

I am, kind of, a lazy person. I hated the call center routines. I wanted to be silent for a day more often. So with the help of proxy servers, while at work, I did researches in idle times about a job that wouldn't require you to travel from home to office and back everyday. A job that even though, it's not your own business, you don't have to report to a superior or a boss. A job you can do at home where you can genuinely earn money.

Bo Sanchez, Jomar Hilario, and Keeping My Fingers Crossed

So I discovered oDesk and created an account but I didn't have the time to complete my profile so I declared that working at home might be a scam. It must be a myth. Months went by. Ugh. I really hated the call center runarounds. Discreet researches during breaks continued until an email from Bo Sanchez (yes, I was subscribed to his newsletter) introduced me to Jomar Hilario. I told myself, "Whoever this guy is, he must be real because Bo Sanchez spoke of him." Then there was a "Work At Home Seminar" where I would have to pay about 2,700 pesos. Back then, that price was a big pain in the pocket for me, but what the heck, I thought, this guy was recommended by Bo Sanchez. I marked the date of the seminar. I also marked the date of my would be last day in the company, strategically picked so that the management won't be able to hold it for too long. Woohoo! I kept my fingers crossed.

The Work At Home Seminar

The work at home seminar by Jomar Hilario was held sometime in November 2011 at Rosewood Pointe, Taguig. In my delight, laptop was not required. Good thing. I didn't have one. I was already resigned from my call center job for around 3 weeks that time and was holding tight to the batch of money I got. I had nothing to count on but a home-based work. Returning to a call center job would be a recipe for disaster.

I made sure I listened to every word and jotted the most useful sounding ideas this Jomar guy had to say and I was able to connect the dots! My eagerness (or desperation) to learn how to work at home helped a lot.

Dollars, Dollars, Dollars!

Ka-ching! It's been mentioned that we had no choice but to be paid in dollars by our future (most possibly foreign) employers, but since we're in the Philippines, it was made clear that the $$$ would automatically be converted to pesos when they hit our local banks.

oDesk. Now Upwork.

Remember when I thought oDesk was a scam? That's actually one of the most trusted and unscammy online work website that we could trust, as Jomar assured us. That, and Onlinejobs.ph.

Hope

After the 5-hour seminar (1 PM - 6 PM), it was time to pack up. There were picture takings and some stayed to throw in some questions to Jomar Hilario. I stayed to see if someone would want to ride a taxi cab with me to EDSA to save some money. Assignments were given. I was full of hope.

The Assignment

Jomar gave us an assignment. Basically we had to sign up to oDesk.com (now UpWork.com) and Onlinejobs.ph then come up with a 100% complete profile - all that with 20 completed and passed tests (in oDesk) and online portfolio. We also had to make a personal blog using either Blogger.com or WordPress - with the latter more recommended. So that we would have some portfolio to upload and ready articles to post to our blogs, we also had to make 10-20 presentations or tutorials about different software or apps, chosen from Jomar's presented list.

The assignment seemed easy, but no it was not. I think I have completed both my oDesk and Onlinejobs.ph profiles (with the portfolio and 20+ tests) after at least 3 months, but you know what, before I even completed my oDesk profile to 100%, I already started to get short gigs - yay!

Getting Eyes and Instinct for Online Scams and Possible Frauds

oDesk gigs started to come in. My daily 10 minimum job applications started to pay off. I decided that I'd write articles for a living since I know how to write essays. I put "Article Writer" as my title on my online profiles. I applied to every article writing job I could encounter online without really looking deep into the employers' profiles. Little did I know that some of them won't pay me. I even almost fell into actual online job scams where they ask you to pay them first before earning a ridiculous amount of money. READ: If someone or something asks you for a fee in exchange of a too-good-to-be-true online job offer, bail at once! It surely is a scam. Think about it. You're looking for a job to get money, then here they are asking for your money first to get the job - that alone is a big cardboard that shouts, "THIS IS A SCAM!" And this doesn't only apply to online jobs but to offline jobs as well so let this be known.

Where I Am Now

Fast forward to NOW, it's May 4, 2007 @ 12:21 PM, I decided to revisit this part of the website and close it by sharing what I currently am doing. I still work at home, yeah, and so are all of us siblings. Is there something new added? Of course yes! We have to move forward. Other than being a "Rockstar Virtual Professional" (USE THIS TERM ALL THE TIME) and an admin of this site, I'm into stock market trading/investing and Affiliate Marketing - more of these in my future posts, plus, soon I'll be establishing an actual business which would operate online. So those are ideas and ideas are to be materialized.