Become Self-Employed Even if you Have a Job

Update: OK I have recently posted several articles about how foreigners finding a job in the Philippines, and I promised not to be so negative, trying to tell people why they don’t really want to find a job in the Philippines.  But someone asked me about this post exactly, and even though I have a few hints of ‘the you don’t want a job’ kick in it originally, I think it is very good reason, even for those of you convinced that you DO want to stay on the “J*O*B” hamster wheel.  If you read it with some thought, that is .. and perhaps with some of the self-knowledge you should have gained if you have read many of my articles.

You know it is widely said that it’s hard to find a job in the Philippines.  Maybe so.

But I just did a quick survey of the three huge job search engines on my dedicated Filipino and Foreigners Jobs in the Philippines page and the results kind of surprised me.

Management Jobs:  Well over 40,000 currently open nation-wide

Call center Agents: (which foreigners have a good shot at getting) well over 20,000 in Metro Manila alone.

Help desk Techs: (and not just computer-specific jobs, and many demand foreigner language skills)  several hundred on just one search engine alone (

So you tell me?  Is it really THAT hard to find a job in the Philippines?  or are you really waiting for a job to just fall in your lap? 

The jobs are out there, ladies and gentlemen.  The question only you can answer is, are you ambitious enough to get off you ass and find one … or do you just want to sit and wait for one to find you?

Read the rest of this article if you haven’t as of yet.  We are all self-employed whether we realize it or not.

I’m back on the anti-job kick again. See April’s ongoing journey on Dave DeWall’s blog.  See what it takes for even an educated young Filipina to find a job in the Philippines … a job that won’t pay as much as selling hotdogs on the street corner.

Then see this very interesting article from an ex-COBOL programmer

Suck it up, we are all self-employed

… It wasn’t like I suddenly purchased a sign and stuck it in my lawn, printed business cards, and started e-mailing all of my friends the exciting news. That would have been really cool, but it wasn’t what I did. Instead, what I did was take stock of my skills, looked at the organizational chaos occurring around me, and came to the realization that I was the person who must take responsibility for my life. I then made the decision that I would only work for a company as long as I was learning and growing (and as long as it’s fun, because if a job isn’t fun, the organizational culture is probably toxic). I’d also make sure the skills I accumulated had a market value…

The reason I decided to post this today revolves around the continual requests for advice and assistance I receive where the requestor does not have a clue.

Typically he writes in, often as a comment to one of my articles like

10 Reasons You DON’T Want a Job in the Philippines

Can_factory_workers_stamping_out_end_discs,_published_1909Or even has his wife or girlfriend write in and say ‘Help me I need a job’.

Well, I need hair too, but it ain’t happening my friend.  especially if you are so busy drinking beer and watching WWE that you have to ask your GF to do your dirty work for you.  Criminy, will she have to carry you the rest of your life? 

Are you THAT “Fire trUCKING” lazy that you expect her to find the job for you, and that the resultant verification of your laziness will inspire a prospective employer to trade his money for your “productive efforts”?  Mama mia ….

Invariably if anyone actually engages in conversation about work they might do, especially something they might do on their own to keep them free of the horrid Philippine work economy and conditions, the response I will get back is “But I Don’t Know How To Do That”, kind of like this guy I wrote about sometime back:

Mining Coal Is All I Know

I’m one of the older guys who is ever on PhilFAQS here, I’ll be 67 in a couple days (already 67 now and enjoying it just fine, thank you).  A 1945 model, technically even older than the formal definition of the Baby Boomers who come by here often.

How does anyone think I learned how to have a good paying, engineering level job before I retired (I’m a drop out, remember) or to run found and serve as CEO for a small US corporation (which only operated couple years, but made money from the first year) or to successfully operate online business ventures now with the goal of becoming completely independent of whatever pittance the government decides to hand out during the tough economic times?  Or to earn money while I live IN the Philippines but money not OF the Philippines (geographic arbitrage).

Give up?  Yeah so many do, so easily. 

Well the answer is, I learned.  Out of books, off online resources, by asking questions and most of all by trying things to find out what would work. 

Schools don’t teach you to become independent.  In fact, even though as I wrote a few days ago, a basic degree may be a necessity, schools are like a mind-control drug.  They teach you to fit in, go with the flow, don’t make waves and wait out your time, like Bob Dylan’s “Gold Watch Blues” protagonist:

… Here’s your gold watch and the shackles for your chains
And your piece of paper, to say you left here sane
And if you’ve a son who wants a good career
Just get him to sign on the dotted line and work for 50 years ..

Congrats Mr. Zimmerman (Dylan is his stage name) on 50 years of protest, commotion, emotion, caring and creativity, proof that one can learn and one never HAS to settle for the gold watch. (Bob is a dropout also.  there’s a lot of us around who didn’t
settle for formal schools numbing our brain and teaching us not to think)

Anyway, I sometimes think I’m out there in the wildness telling people, even people with relatively good jobs, to seek something better and do it now, Learn,  because their time is limited. 

That’s why I’m bringing you these thoughts of Bob P.

… During my career, I came across people whose skills were aligned with a dead industry. Some that really stand out in my mind were COBOL programmers who were waiting for this almost dead programming language to make a resurgence. They had already been to college, did their four years, and came out as COBOL programmers. Then COBOL went away. And these displaced programmers stood in small huddles, lamenting the loss of their careers, and searched fruitlessly for COBOL Zion. It was out there, they just needed to keep looking. Maybe the reason I lost touch with some of them is because they found it. I hope so. …

How many of you reading this now are in the same boat as the COBOL guys? 

How many are “construction workers” who haven’t had a job in 99 weeks of unemployment, or are driving a cab … “because that’s all I know”? 

Wake up America, the time is now to change your own lives. 

It’s not the government who is going to invent some program to ‘set you free’ (no matter who wins the election). 

It’s not some magical prayer … I believe one time I heard that God helps those who help themselves. 

And it’s certainly not your wife’s or girl friend’s responsibility,

It is yours.

A few takeaways from Bob P’s advice:

Being self employed is a mindset. Here are my suggestions for how to incorporate a self employment mindset into your life:

  • Every day is an opportunity to learn and grow.(my emphasis) Know your industry, and learn all you can about your profession.
  • Scan the job boards for your next dream job (I use Indeed). Then look for the keywords they put in the ad. Make sure you do some of those keywords now, and then add them to your resume.

I have Indeed Job Search available right here in PhilFAQS.  Learn to use it, especially to change the default location to the Philippines and continually check on what is available for those who are bound and determined that a “Job in the Philippines” is their only salvation.

    • Have a plan for your own business in your hip pocket (free business plan site Enloop). A sudden job loss will be less worrisome if you are able to focus on building something of your own. Who knows? Maybe you can start the business on the side, and then at some point choose to walk out and stick that sign on your lawn, and e-mail all your friends the exciting news.

This is perhaps Bob’s most valuable advice in his whole arsenal. 

I can not count the number of times I have received queries about starting a business here in the Philippines, only to find the questioner has not done even the most sketchy preliminary business plan.

Again a major excuse always is, “but I don’t know how” … which if you think about it ought to let you know in advance how good your chances are … you can’t even figure out how to “Plan” to make money, let alone actually “Make Any”, and second, “I can’t afford it”.  Well Enloop is free. 

If you think you want to start a business to move to the Philippines, or even to protect yourself from the situation where your own job skills follow ice cutters and buggy whip makers. Into Walmart. then what is YOUR plan?  Start now, today, and be ready. 

Tomorrow never comes.



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