Guide to Freelancing with Charlene Di
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Guide to Freelancing with Charlene Di

This time around, I approached Charlene Di to give advice to those who want to explore the world of freelancing since she’s been working on it for years now. Charlene quitted corporate job four years ago after working in corporate for 2.5 years, when she realized how it affected her mental health. She studied accounting and was working as a financial analyst. Welcome to the Passion Hustles’ Guide to Freelancing.

A little intro – I met Charlene Di when she launched her non-fiction book on love and moving on entitled Erstwhile under 8Letters Bookstore and Publishing. It was around four yers ago and I thought it was well-written with a lot of helpful advice coming from a young woman with such wisdom.

This Guide to Freelancing is for you if:

  • You have been thinking about quitting your job and pursuing the industry of the free and flexible
  • You lost your job and would like to find other ways on how to earn from your skills
  • You are in the middle of transitioning from being a corporate employee to a freelancer/ entrepreneur
  • You want to find other side hustles for money

We define freelancers as entrepreneurs in this blog because they can:

  1. Choose what to work on and what not to work on. That means they can decline anyone who want to avail their services or products.
  2. They can work anywhere and anytime.
  3. They have the flexibility – the freedom.

What Made Charlene Di Quit the Corporate World?

She got burned out, combined with quarter life crisis and many other uncertainties. These are the reasons what made Charlene quit the corporate world. On the positive side, she wanted to pursue her dream of writing a book.

She admitted that she could have worked while writing the book, but she was not on the right mental state. It became depressing for her, especially Mondays.

Everything – her workload and the compensation was fine, but she felt so stressed and even felt sick.

Charlene reiterated that not all personalities are meant to be employees. Leaving the corporate world was a way for her to redeem herself.

One year has passed since the pandemic happened and there are tons of people who found alternatives in working online.

In school, you were asked what do you want to become when you grow up, and there seemed to be only one way – a career path. You can say, you want to be a nurse, or a doctor, but you can’t find answers from kids who want to pursue their passion projects. It was always a straight, professional path. We were never taught to take a pause or a break to figure out what we really wanted out of life.

How Did Charlene Started in the World of Freelancing?

She started writing back in high school and college. And then she found an online gig for blog writing for an Australian website. She applied and got the job in 2012. This was the first of her many side hustles for money.

If there’s any regret, Charlene said she wished she did it sooner because you can earn money while doing what you love.

Writers who write for business are still considered as artists and entrepreneurs. You need the creativity and the business skills as well.

Charlene did not have any plans to work right away upon quitting her job, but to finish her book. She took some small projects on the side and did not get a constant client until nine months later.

The nine months were spent writing and gaining back the momentum she needed. Charlene had money saved so she managed to survive. Click here to fix your finances.

But after finishing and self-publishing her first book, she realized that she needed to move to the next plan.

Tips in Joining the World of Freelancing

Found an Accountability Partner.

When Charlene was transitioning, she was talking to Rhisa who has a freelancer mindset. Every day Rhisa was coaching Charlene on how to find clients.

Charlene obeyed and called potential clients until she landed the job.

It was only in late 2018 when she got a client from a digital SEO agency from the USA. This company was flexible and trusted Charlene with tasks and it came with good compensation.

Even during the pandemic, she still got jobs from old and new clients.

Invest in your Home Office

Make your home office as equipped as possible. Set up a comfortable desk, table and chair.

Connect to a stable and reliable internet connection.

Find ways to have electricity backup if necessary.


How to Manage Your Time as a Freelancer

Charlene admitted that she had struggles in time management because she could not say no to clients.

Whenever a client contacts her, she would happily accept the project. She sees them as opportunities.

With freelancing, she can take as much projects as she can because she is happy with what she’s doing.

Her usual routine is waking up at 10 am and sleeping around 2 am. Charlene’s body clock has been adjusted in a way because she could not anyway work in the morning in the Philippines because of the heat. She has more comfort in working in the evening.

Schedule Social Time Too!

Another struggle Charlene has is losing social time especially during the pandemic when she can’t even meet friends.

Once the pandemic is over, Charlene is planning to meet more friends when possible.

As for my case, I make sure to spend time with my family and socialize with new acquiantances. Everything is done online since it’s not safe yet, but talking to new people is a great way to learn so if you have the opportunity, take it.

What are the Risks in the World of Freelancing and How to Avoid them?

  1. Unemployment. Before quitting your job, make sure that you will land on something first.
  2. Make sure you have enough savings before quitting your job, especially when there are people who rely on you. If you are the breadwinner, speak with the stakeholders first and tell them about your plan. The first several months in the world of freelancing is not going to be easy. There will be times when you won’t have enough projects going on. You will need all kinds of support from the people around you – emotionally and financially. Charlene managed to save 6 months of her salary.
  3. Learn more essential online skills before quitting your job. The most essential in the world of freelancing is having a skill and mastering it because that will be the services you will be offering to your clients.

If you need any further advise on personal finance and money management, follow Vida Best on Youtube.

Read from other Passion Hustlers here: Kate Velez and Aileen Jizmundo.

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