For Darla Mae Hasan, freelancing is having the opportunity to dip her toes in a pool of possibilities.
Hasan graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Development Communication from the University of the Philippines Los Baños.
After graduating in 2018, the 23-year old worked for the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) for two years before she shifted to full-time freelancing.
“I chose freelancing because it gives me that sense of freedom that I never felt when I was still an employee,” Hasan told the Manila Bulletin.
When she was in her 9 to 5 job, Hasan hated everyday commute, the strict working hours, and the routinary work.
“When I started being a freelancer, I no longer find Mondays dreading anymore, now it is more than exciting! I finally achieved ‘work-life balance,’ with the freedom to choose what, when, and where to work,” she shared, adding that she now has control over her career and financial goals.
Currently, Hasan is freelancing as a social media marketer, brand strategist, and an online business coach.
One of the pros of freelancing is being “your own boss” and having the ability to control your own time, Hasan said.
“[Freelance] work provides more flexibility since you can schedule whenever you want to work and choose clients you want to work with. You can even choose which work you want to do! Also, you can earn much more than you can imagine!”
When she was still working for her day job, Hasan recalled having to leave her house at five in the morning just to get to the office at 8 a.m. and leaving her office at 5 p.m., only to arrive home at 8 p.m. There were times when she also had to render unpaid overtimes until 2 a.m.
Despite these, Hasan said she had enjoyed and learned a lot from this work experience which helped her in her new chosen freelancing career.
“With this career, I am now able to spend more time with my family, work with my pajamas on, help more people, do advocacy work, and wake up whenever I want to!”
Helping fellow freelancers
Hasan also hosts SMM Bootcamp, an online course that aims to inspire and help freelancers establish credibility, become more visible, and attract ideal clients.
“The course contains the step-by-step supported by tried and tested templates, examples, and detailed learning so they can fast-track your way to being a highly paid social media manager and business owner,” she explained.
Asked what she would advise to those who also want to try freelancing, Hasan said test the waters first.
“[Make] sure you get very clear on why you want to do freelancing in the first place. Know your ‘why,’ because that will be the strongest foundation you will have in this business. Set defined and measurable goals, narrow your niche, get clear in who your ideal clients are, have strategic pricing, and learn how you can position and emphasize value you can give your clients.”