Understanding a Young Professional

 

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Indeed, August is understanding – understanding the will of God, understanding yourself and others. πŸ™‚

At my age of 31, I can say I have been through all seasons when it comes to job opportunities in search for the one that God says as “the right one.” These decisions aren’t easy to make because I also need to value what my spouse thinks on what is best for us both.

These seasons brought me to short term employments, some even lasted for just a week, some brought me to a standstill for a long while and some lasted for a couple of years. I always seek God’s counsel on these matters because let’s admit it, giving up a job and hopping on to the next is crucial.

We all need money to survive. Getting rich, however, is a different story and something I do not fully support. Money is the root of all evil if it becomes your god and your life revolves around it. This includes anything that makes you “great” as well. It will destroy this hierarchy of priorities mandated by God:

  1. GOD
  2. Spouse
  3. Children/Family
  4. Career
  5. Ministry

How? When we don’t find the right answers to these questions:

  • When was the last time you opened and read your bible consistently?
  • When was the last time you took a quiet time, prayed, and made it a habit?
  • Do you have enough time for your spouse on a regular basis?
  • How about for your children?
  • When did you last visit your parents or talked to them?
  • How about your siblings? When did you last check up on them?
  • When was the last time you attended church? 

We’ve always been reminded to never place any idols before God and that anyone who disobeys will face the consequences:

“You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,…” – Exodus 20:3-5

Are our possessions our god? Are our finances our god? Are our careers our god? Are our achievements our god? Are our children our god? Is our ministry our god?

If we fail in even one of the things I have mentioned above, we know that we are guilty. We always have to be on our guard because the enemy is always in the corner prowling around looking for that next victim to deceive. Everything may seem to be smooth sailing but little did we know that we are already heading towards destruction. If everything is going smoothly in our lives, we should already wonder.

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

There may not be any external atrocities happening on the outside but the enemy is already going for the most vulnerable spot inside you – your heart and your soul.

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” – Proverbs 4:23

As the adage goes, “A river that is quiet usually has looming falls at the end of it.”

Your heart and your soul may have remained placid but they were not given the opportunity to build a shield which is the armor of God and strengthen your faith.

The Whole Armor of God

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.

16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” – Ephesians 6:10-18

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” – Romans 5:3-5

Don’t be tempted to get that next promotion or for that next “big thing” to add to your resume or attach at the end of your name right away. Don’t be tempted to sign that 6-digit salary or the millions that you’re being asked to take without confirming the responsibilities attached to it. Don’t be tempted to say “yes” to any promise of a better life other than the gift of salvation.

No, don’t be tempted with these things. That next promotion might be a temptation to spend less time with your spouse and family or a temptation to sacrifice your own health and wellness. That 6-digit salary might tempt you to drown yourself in the physical pleasures of this world which equate to even more worldly temptation. That promise of a better life might be masked in the form of easy money and the black market.

Review your priorities instead (single or married), ask for God’s leading, seek His counsel, and pray for discernment towards the right path.

If you will ask me why, then consider the following:

  1. Why is quality time with God important? The Scripture will guard your heart against any temptation. This will prepare you for any trial you’ll go through. Thus, it is the #1 priority.
  2. Why is quality time with the spouse important? Marriage is a holy matrimony, it is also a room for the enemy to attack you or your spouse with temptations. Communication is important between a married couple. If you are too tired to even ask what went on in your spouse’s day, it might be too late when you realize your spouse is drifting away from you and eventually leads to a divorce.
  3. Why is it important to spend time with your kids? Your kids will only be young once. They will appreciate the time you’ve spent with them more than the toys or gadgets you gifted them when they grow older. The percentage of depressed teens are getting higher every year. You don’t want them to end up growing up a teenage rebel or being with the wrong group of friends just because their parents are always “absent.” It is as important to your child that you become his/her first best friend other than just being a parent.
  4. Why should you not place money as the top priority? Money is the root of all evil. It sparks jealousy, greed, selfishness, death, among all other negative things.

I am not a licensed counselor but I have learned these nuggets of wisdom from mentors who went through the same thing and shared their experiences, combined with my own personal experience as well as knowledge lifted from my graduate study which is special education.

You might add that they are all a case-to-case basis but consider this verse:

“What is happening now has happened before, and what will happen in the future has happened before, because God makes the same things happen over and over again.” -Ecclesiastes 3:15

If you are to ask me why, this might suffice as an answer:

“And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God’s purpose is that people should fear Him.” – Ecclesiastes 3:14

Going back to all those career shifts, I can say that I have met wonderful people who have touched my life. I’ve learned a great deal of wisdom from them and formed a special bond through the memories and experiences we’ve shared which I am forever grateful.

On the one hand, I have touched their lives as well one way or the other and continue to influence as they add me on social media, check out my profiles or read my blog articles (oh, it’s you). πŸ˜€

I never viewed it as a waste of time, this shifting of careers, though it brought me to a slight and temporary instability in my priorities, marriage, finances, etc. as seasons change.

But no, I remained steadfast because I am clinging to a Rock and I know I have a God who is forever faithful. I viewed these instead as a time of GREAT TESTING.

How? It is only in times of drought and famine that your faith in God is truly tested. It will answer the question “how far are you willing to trust God with your whole life?”

So much of this testing didn’t test my character alone but it also built the foundations of my marriage and refined the characters of the people around me too. They, too, have learned to rely on God along the way.

I have always relied in the TRUTH that God is the ONLY ONE who provides for all our needs from finances to material things; who gives us a career; who provides our salaries; who closes one door of opportunity and opens another; who keeps things steady though everything may be shaky; who keeps my marriage intact; who binds the relationships I have with others; and who reminds me of my priorities.

What matters is we stayed obedient to His instructions, obeyed His laws, and pursued His will and plans for our lives all throughout.

As I write this journal entry, all I can ever see are the lives of those great people recounted in the bible who withstood all trials because of their unwavering faith even to the point of death: Daniel; Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; David; Joseph; Job; among many others.

They say it takes fire to yield a beautiful sword ready for battle. Without fire, the sword will be blunt – ineffective and of no use. Yet it also takes the time to forge a sword. It takes effort and a great force to yield it. On the other hand, too much heat will cause it to melt.

As a young professional, you’ll receive so much of this fire which could either destroy you or mold you. Choose, however, to consult God’s plans over your life more than being dissuaded by what this world expects and wants from you.

Do not break away from the vine, cling to it. Let God use the fire to mold you for a better purpose. But never let the enemy use it to consume you and head for destruction.

In the end, it is important to keep in mind that even when you have to close a hundred doors and open a thousand, it still is God who decides what is the best door to keep open. You’ll never really know in which seasons will God forge you to become one of His mightiest swords. But, learn to trust Him instead. πŸ™‚

Each time He said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

As my spiritual mentor and Victory group leader said with her life verse and God’s promise:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

❀

For this article, here’s a video from Hillsong that’s one of my all-time favorite Christian songs:

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freelancer

Be Protected as a Freelancer

(Photo credit: StockSnap)

Since I have given you opportunities about doing remote work, teleworking, telecommuting including freelancing, I believe it is also my responsibility to provide a list of websites from my research on how to protect yourself should you decide to be a freelancer aside from having your full-time job.

I found these articles very helpful. But just in case I encounter similar problems in one of my (future) freelancing stints, I believe I would need to sit-in in one of the Torts and Damages classes of my brother-in-law who is an Assistant Professor at the University of the Philippines (Diliman) College of Law. πŸ˜€ He used to work as a company lawyer for Baker and Mckenzie, a multi-national law firm, and it would indeed be a privilege to learn from him given the opportunity. πŸ™‚

The following are the articles which you could read if you are a freelancer or just planning to become one:

However, if you’ve already experienced any drawback from your freelancing stint though you did the right thing, took the necessary steps, and followed the agreement, don’t be discouraged but take this verse by heart:

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before His eyes, and He is the one to whom we are accountable.” – Hebrews 4:13

Just pray, let go, and let God take the lead from there. The battle is not yours anymore but His to take. Be fearful of God and not of men – let God be the judge and be the one to give justice. πŸ™‚

The Digital Age: Remote Work and Telework Defined

The Digital Age: Remote Work and Telework Defined

Hurrah to those who are planning to be stay-at-home Moms or are stay-at-home-Moms already! πŸ˜€

This is really good news to me too even though I am not a Mom yet but also transitioning from being a corporate/office employee to doing remote work or work-at-home setup.

I haven’t considered this thought of working at home until circumstances compelled me that working in an office or a classroom is not part of the option. Back in 2002, the concept of working remotely isn’t that unfamiliar anymore. But during that time, only a few companies promote the work-at-home setup to its employees.

Modern technology and its rapid advancements made all this sudden switch from the office to home possible. The increasing trend on social media marketing, for example, challenged businesses in their advertising strategies from print ads to what we call now as β€˜digital marketing.’

I have conducted β€˜extensive and intensive’ research about the options to work at home and a lot of websites are offering work-at-home opportunities which suit my qualifications, work experience, skills, my interests and more importantly, the working hours. I have highlighted in my previous blog post that the reason why I have decided to make the shift is partly because I intend to prioritize family time and health issues.

Praise God, after how many months of browsing and waiting for the right opportunity to come along, it did come. I was hired by a company and went through the normal hiring process by taking an exam and having an interview. I underwent training and currently in a probationary period.

I am a freelance writer for the first 1-2 months or until I finished 25 articles. Then I will be paid per article submitted but when I transition to staff writer (if I pass company’s standards), which is a full-time position, I’ll be receiving regular pay given every 15th and 30th of the month. The company also offers SLs and VLs for the employee but it still depends upon the work load. The work schedule is still 8 hours a day everyday or a total of 40 hours per week.

The Digital Age: Remote Work and Telework Defined

But before you decide on making that career shift to become a remote worker too, do read this article written by our Editorial Manager. It’s a very insightful read. πŸ™‚

Making That Career Shift

So are you decided to make that career shift now? If yes, I’ll share these websites which are a great help in knowing what kind of remote work is best for you.

Most of these articles which I lifted from different websites were written starting year 2016 until now. Take note that this was the year wherein a lot of articles about home-based jobs were published. I actually would like to conduct even further research as to the cause behind the boom in remote jobs which, I am guessing, has a lot to do with not just the digitization of almost everything from books to learning but how businesses are making the general shift as well. I thought it would be nice to come up with an in depth explanation that will showcase the development and how they were all interrelated.

But it is going to be business marketing. I should take another course for that. lol I am actually interested to take a short business course but I just have one concern, is it possible to study business marketing, economics or finance without having to deal with numbers? Haha I think that is not possible. I love to learn the concepts and ideas but I am not sure if I’ll be able to do all the Math, if you know what I mean.

Lately, business marketing has expanded enormously in different arenas. Even the fields of education are mashed up with businesses and online marketing. Distance learning used to be just a simple video conference call among students and professors mimicking the traditional classroom setup but this time the opportunities became endless. Now, this teaching setup was transferred to homes and students are given the option to hire a professional online teacher who can assist him hands-on with the subject.

Ah yes, there are countless possibilities bound to happen in the years to come and who knows, sci-fi movies about everything being turned virtual are not far from becoming a reality.

So How Did I Explain This To My Family

The generation gap is harder to bridge than I thought. My now 72-year-old Mom who’s sharper in mind than ever and I, a 30 something young wife, find it hard to make these gaps meet career wise. The only technology that my Mom is adept in using is a regular cellphone, not the smartphone. πŸ˜‰

My Mom doesn’t know anything about social media, digital marketing, etc. Every time she asks me why I did not take the traditional classroom teacher job though I have taken master’s degree units, I am a licensed professional teacher and started explaining about the work-at-home job opportunities, I know she is completely lost in translation. πŸ˜€

It is the social stigma attached to working at home which is less dignified, less professional, less fulfilling if you are a career-oriented person, etc. that ate among the few and common misconceptions towards any transitioning corporate employee to a remote worker. To make it short, these types of jobs were typically looked down as something inferior compared if you work in an office.

I guess the only way to clear these misconceptions is by stating the very definition of what remote work/telework/telecommute means. But I am just grateful though that when the right opportunity came, my family, including my husband, gave their full support in this endeavor. Ah yes, praise God indeed.

What is telework or remote work?

  1. It is synonymous to telecommuting and though their definitions may be closely related, there is still a difference between the two. Here are a couple of excerpts from Wikipedia’s definition of telecommuting but I suggest reading the entire article. I gained a lot of insight from it more so because this kind of working environment is also new to me.

“Telecommuting, also called remote work,[1] telework, or teleworking,[2] is a work arrangement in which employees do not commute or travel (e.g. by bus or car) to a central place of work, such as an office buildingwarehouse or store.

All types of technology-assisted work conducted outside of a centrally located work space (including work undertaken in the home, outside calls, etc.) are regarded as telework. Telecommuters often maintain a traditional office and usually work from an alternative work site from 1 to 3 days a week.[4]

As a broader concept than telecommuting, telework has four dimensions in its definitional framework: work location, that can be anywhere outside of a centralized organizational work place; usage of ICTs(information and communication technologies) as technical support for telework; time distribution, referring to the amount of time replaced in the traditional workplace; and the diversity of employment relationships between employer and employee, ranging from contract work to traditional full-time employment.[7]

Some organizations adopt telecommuting to improve workers’ quality of life, as teleworking typically reduces commuting time and time stuck in traffic jams. As well, teleworking may make it easier for workers to balance their work responsibilities with family roles (e.g., caring for children or elderly parents). Some organizations adopt teleworking for environmental reasons, as telework can reduce congestion and air pollution, as it can reduce the number of cars on the roads.

Telecommuting is also called “remote work”,[1] “telework”, or “teleworking”.[2] A person who telecommutes is known as a “telecommuter”, “teleworker”, and sometimes as a “home-sourced”, or “work-at-home” employee. A telecommuter is also called the “telecommuting specialist”, as a designation and in a professional context. Many telecommuters work from home, while others, sometimes called “nomad workers” work at coffee shops or other locations. The terms “telecommuting” and “telework” were coined by Jack Nilles in 1973.[11]

telework allows employees to better manage their work and family obligations and thus helps retain a more resilient Federal workforce better able to meet agency goals.

Telecommuting individuals, or more specifically those in “work from home” arrangements, may find that it improves work-life balance, reduces their carbon footprint and fuel usage, frees up the equivalent of 15 to 25 workdays a year (time they would have otherwise spent commuting), and saves thousands of dollars per year in travel and work-related costs.” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telecommuting

Here are a couple more websites to help us understand better what telework encompasses and how different it is to freelancing/telecommuting. Although I do get the notion now that if you are a teleworker and still doing other jobs on the side, then you are a teleworker who is also a freelancer. πŸ˜€

Forbes magazine has this feature article on telecommuting as the future of work. Do you agree? Yes, I totally agree that it’s going to be for the betterment of every telecommuter/teleworker/nomad worker. πŸ™‚

If you’ve been reading my previous articles, it’s been my constant prayer to God to lead and equip me in fulfilling His will and His plans. I always ask for His instructions over my life, my decisions, and my choices. I cannot boast about my “superwoman” abilities because it was all God from the very start. With the flexi time that remote work/telework offers, I can squeeze in errands for my family, help out friends, spend quality time with hubby, and do ministry work while earning at the same time.

Yup! You read it right. God answered my prayer this time in having a ministry to serve with through the communications team of Minkah Ministries Inc. I am just loving their advocacy which is all about reaching out to the communities (not the usual community we live in) and share about faith. Moreover, Minkah‘s founder Tita Beth also shared another good news – the organization has been now officially approved by the SEC as an NGO.

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w/ Minkah Ministries Inc. founder, Tita Beth and Communications Lead, Jam. πŸ™‚

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Minkah Ministries Inc.

I’m like, “wow, Lord” indeed it is all you. I just can’t believe everything that’s happening right now wherein they’re all aligned perfectly just the way they should go. Yes, not a coincidence but all orchestrated by God for the fulfillment of His plans and His will. And yes too, all glory to God as always. ❀

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” – Matthew 6:33

“Commit your work to the Lordand your plans will be established.” – Proverbs 16:3

Part of my research at work also brought me to watching these great videos of famous entrepreneurs and I was agreeing the whole time to what the speakers have shared. Please do find time to finish watching the videos, I am sure you’ll be inspired by the end of it. πŸ™‚

 

Here’s Bill Gates‘ Harvard Commencement Address in 2007:

 

The video below is Mark Zuckerberg‘s Harvard Commencement Address in 2017:

 

So I will just end this article with this awesome two-liner from Mark Zuckerberg and a bible verse quoted by Bill Gates both in their Harvard Commencement Speeches.

β€œTo create not progress but purpose – a sense of purpose….The greater successes come from the freedom to fail.” – Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook co-Founder

β€œβ€¦When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.” – Luke 12:48 (As shared by Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder)

P.S.

I will be writing in another article about the necessary things needed to process your change of employment status at the BIR, SSS, Philhealth and Pagibig should you also go for remote work or work-at-home setup. For the health card, hubby suggested that he’ll enroll me under his health card so I need not apply a new one.

That’s it for now. πŸ™‚

*Feature Image Copyright: Shutterstock