Upwork (formerly oDesk): The Price of Hard Work

Wow, it seems like yesterday when I posted article Work At Home: oDesk (now Upwork), a guide I made for those skilled stay-at-home moms out there who want to have their time spent productively while being in the comfort of their home.

Two years ago, I was about to post when I reached my first 1,000 hours in oDesk, but haven't had the time to do it and then, forgot it altogether. But today, I know I cannot let it pass without letting other people know the good news! I woke up, overjoyed reading the e-mail I received from oDesk:

I am so proud! 

When I started using oDesk, it never entered my mind that I would stay long or be successful in this platfrom, the competition was overwhelming and jobs were not overflowing -- one job post with 500+ contenders for one position. It made me want to go out and apply in a brick and mortar office. 

Initially, I began with most common job: data entry. Everybody do it. The chance you get hired is 1:500 (maybe lower than this!). I applied, was hired. Only after a few months, I realized that it won't get me anywhere. With data entry jobs, one cannot ask for higher than average rate and the work is not challenging enough to make an impact as a contractor. So, transitioned to be a researcher. Slowly, I noticed the difference: a much higher rate, more challenging contracts and the job variations. 

However, after two years in web researching, I felt the need to change to a more challenging position, something that would make think hard, analyze, and decide. So, I became a virtual assistant at first, but targeting  project management jobs. Fortunately, every time I had a new contract, it gave me new things to learn, discovering skills I didn't know I have. 

Good thing about being a virtual assistant, tasks are limitless.  It is expected that you know how to do different tasks, to improvise, and to be independent. My clients were so kind, considerate, while being professional and disciplinarian at the same time. I really can't thank them enough for molding me to what I am now. They trained me and deliberately challenging me by assigning tasks which not only enhanced my skills, but also expanded my field.  I have never said NO to new assignments, I'd learn from them and I used them to my advantage. Also, the rate is very good. I couldn't ask for more.

After 4 years, 3,000+ hours, 25 jobs, fantastic reviews/feedbacks and 5-star rating, came the e-mail. 

Receiving that e-mail this morning meant everything to me. It shows that people appreciate my hard work. Clients are not only satisfied, but I also meet their expectations, maybe more.

Again, wow!

7 Ways to promote self-concept in Children

Image from http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images
Self-concept in children is essential. It is how they value themselves especially in later life. Sense of oneself during childhood is usually formed by interactions with family members and family circumstances. They often learn their individual worth and rate of competency in their family. How they perceive themselves change as they go through developmental stage. They will reach the age when they will acquire experiences from their immediate environment and know the worth of people around them. Only then will they see their self-image and set down identity.

1. Build Open lines for Communication. Establish articulation widely. Show willingness to talk about certain subject may it be serious or petty. The importance of developing mutual respect between children and parents is needed in nurturing relationship and trust within family circles.

2. Encourage children to express their Feelings. Give them the opportunity to appropriately demonstrate their feelings through words and actions. Allow them to rake-off their problems, anxieties, and even happiness. Children who do not have a port to release what they want to share eventually become timid and self-destructive.

3. Listen to children and use words they understand. Lend your ears to make them at ease in imparting what they have to say to get their message right so you can act appropriately. Do not get your wires crossed by using languages they can't comprehend as not to confuse them of what you are trying to relay.

4. Let children explore their talents and accept their limitations. Take pride in your kid's abilities and assets. Encourage them to develop their talents and strengths. Nonetheless, be realistic in your expectations and do not compare your children to others. It will only put pressure on them.

5. Celebrate achievement. It is important to recognize your children's accomplishments and you can do this dozens of different ways. A simple tap on their shoulder lets them become aware that their efforts are actually paying off. Without doing so, they could end up feeling underappreciated and incompetent over the haul. Congratulate, treat, offer a nice break, or even share the good news. Sincere expressions such as "Hey, you did a great job!" and "I'm proud of you!" are also strong reinforcements.

6. Provide unconditional love. Above and beyond, give all the love that you can give to your kids and allow them to feel your limitless affection. In spite of their weaknesses or pitfalls, you should first and foremost accept your offspring without weighing things out. As they say, "parents were the only ones obligated to love you." By providing genuine passion, they will feel defended and confident, hence, may lead to affirmative self-construction.

7. Teach by example. Many parents insist that their kids should be perfect, even though these parents are not. How can children imitate their moms and dads in this kind of scenario? Parents greatly influence their kid's self-perception and so live as examples in ways you wish to become of them, teach them consistent moral teachings, and share soul-shuttering experiences. However, this does not necessarily follow positively as everyone has his or her own faculty to discern. Furthermore, even children from sound homes stray and resist, but what counts most is never to give up without a fight.

Registration Guide for Workers-on-Leave (POEA)

Workers-on-Leave (WoL) or Balik-Manggagawa (BM)

The overseas Filipino workers (OFW) who are on leave for a specified period, and would be returning to their employer after a certain time are called workers-on-leave (WoL) or balik-manggawa (BM). Before an OFW can go back to work, he or she is required to get a travel exit clearance from Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). This government agency issues this clearance to all outgoing Filipino migrant workers, which serve as an exit pass at the airport and likewise to exempt an OFW for paying travel tax and airport terminal fee when leaving the country for employment purposes.

Registration Guide for WoL


• Get an OFW Information Sheet at POEA's building entrance or you can download it here.
• Secure a queuing number at the Balik-Manggagawa Processing Center (BMPC).
• Fill out the OFW Information Sheet at the designated area.
• Wait for your assigned number to appear on the queuing machine.
• When your number appears, proceed to the Evaluation counter and present your documentary requirements.
• Proceed to the Assessment counter to determine the fees to be paid.
• Go ahead to the Cashier's counter for the payment.
• For workers who have not secured their OFW E-card, move on to the E-Card Production Unit at the BMPC area.


• Request For Processing (For agency-endorsed only)
• Accomplished OFW Information Sheet
• Valid passport
• Entry visa or equivalent documents


• P100.00 for Processing Fee
• P1,275.00 for Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) membership fee
• P900.00 for PhilHealth/Medicare coverage

Note: There are now BM-Processing Centers at Trinoma Mall and SM Manila.