Monday, February 28, 2011

Rejections and Affirmations

It's been more than a month since I started an account with oDesk and Remotestaff but I haven't landed a job yet.

I've received a few inquiries from employers at oDesk, but nothing has come out of any of it yet. Worse, at Remotestaff, my resume has not been viewed at all! Since Remotestaff's website shows a Chat function, I try to check what may be wrong with my application. But the chat page isn't working properly.(Sigh.)

I regularly receive notifications from oDesk regarding the status of my applications. So far, all of it are "Your application to the job ___ has been declined." Clicking further, the message reveals the reason for the thumbs down. It may be "cancelled - job posting expired" or "cancelled - project was cancelled" or "closed - job posting has been filled."

It's easy to get discouraged by these setbacks. But I must always be positive. And stay focused all the time. Applying online is just like applying offline. Try and try and try again, until you succeed.

I will let those little affirmations that come my way give me the strength to continue the search for that first job. Those initial inquiries from employers, while not ending in a hire, show a definite interest in my application. After all, how many applicants are there for one particular job? And I don't take rejections personally. I'd like to think that the employer-employee match isn't well-suited at that particular time, and that employer who is the best fit for me is somewhere near.

I received a bit of good news this morning. I got one gem of a comment from an oDesk employer and it totally made my day. Getting ready to go out of the house for the day's errands, I check my email and find this: "I've read through some of your blog posts and your English appears to be at a higher level than your US Basic English score of ___" ... "I believe you should be able to score higher."

And so I happily continue my search for my first paying online job.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Learning Never Ends

I had just participated in another online call / class of Jomar Hilario, via, about Virtual Assistants (VA) where a practicing VA shared to listeners how she got started, and what her experiences are in her current work as a VA.

Very interesting, and very informative 1 1/2 hours of discussion. (For FREE!) What I got from the session were sites where I can apply for VA work, tips to increase one's chances of getting hired, and the importance of having an online presence.

According to the resource person, Eihdra, and other participants, some other sites to check out for VA work are-,,, and To get hired, it's important that you know how to "sell" yourself online. A great way to do that is to have a relevant online presence thru blogging and social networking.

And, with all that, I also learned that I have a long way to go! Wow! Got to work on that online presence...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Odesk and Remotestaff


Two websites dealing with outsourcing are Odesk ( and Remotestaff ( I had come across these sites from Jomar Hilario's VA live seminar and webinars ( These are online job matchmaking sites. From what I have read so far in their respective websites, Odesk contractors (jobseekers) bid for jobs and employers get to directly choose their own contractors, while Remotestaff does the hiring of contractors for their employer-clients.

To have an account with both sites, you need to create an online resume which can be built from their online forms. You can then look at job openings, and apply for positions that interest you. Odesk has an additional feature which lets you take any number of online multiple-choice tests that evaluates your knowledge on a particular subject. Also, Odesk has a mandatory readiness test that one must pass (must be 100% correct) to be able to bid for more than 2 jobs at a time.

I now have an account with both sites and have applied for jobs in both. Patiently awaiting for results.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Jomar Hilario's VA seminar in April 2010 was very educational, and was designed for participants to get started with VA work right away. (

He didn't conduct a seminar just to give us information, but also to help us get into VA work by tapping his network of foreign peers to give us VA jobs! But the job would not be handed to us on a silver platter, of course. We were to complete an assignment to be handed in to Jomar two months from the seminar at the latest. This would gauge our competence to do this kind of work, as it involves learning about different software applications typically used in VA work and knowing how to properly present our research. Most importantly, the assignment would set apart those who really want the job and those still unsure of taking that VA work route.

Sadly, and typical of me, I fall in the unsure group. Life happens, we forget what it is what we want to do, and we keep walking along the same path of familiarity that we're comfortable with.

I had started doing the assignment. I made a list of the applications I wanted to study. I googled them and downloaded them. But somehow I could not get into the next step which is studying them one by one then making a presentation on how to use them.

What kept me from completing the assignment was a nagging fear that I might not sustain the interest to do this VA thingy in the long term. So while reading this and that about VA work and listening in on VA webinars by Jomar, I also looked for traditional employment. But I did so halfheartedly because frankly, I am tired of having to wake up early and take at least an hour of commute just to get to work.

Unfortunately for me, I still don't have a job right now. Neither the regular office kind nor the remote office kind. I don't really think either one is elusive. I just have to focus and intensify my efforts to find work.

And so this is where I am now. With the start of the new year, and the first month of the year just passed us by, I decided to start all over again with this VA work thing. (And hence the blog.) ;)

In the Beginning

I don't remember when exactly, but it must have been sometime late 2009 when I decided to attend Jomar Hilario's seminar for aspiring Virtual Assistants. That time I was still employed, but wanting badly to get out of that particular job. Or it might have been early 2010, and I had already resigned, but didn't want to rush into just any job.

I had read about work-at-home jobs thru internet ads before but most of those were just scams. When I came across Jomar's site (, I was glad to know that a Filipino was willing to share his knowledge on the subject, to be able to help fellow Filipinos find employment. This was something I was interested in doing because it would give me a chance to work at home, hopefully give me more free time to pursue other interests, and be free of the daily hassles of commuting to work.

So April came and I bravely commuted from Novaliches to Taguig to attend Jomar's seminar. It was a one big (conference) table affair, with around 15 participants of varying ages and backgrounds.

Jomar teaches in an easygoing style, conversationally, full of side stories. He is detailed in his explanations of how things work in the VA world and tends to be generous with info that sometimes I feel there's info overload. Everything you need to know, he covered- the attitude you need to have for this kind of work, what software you need to know, the pros and cons of VA work, and what to do to get started.

It was all good. I felt I could do this work-at-home thing. I could feel the same vibe from other participants. But after the seminar I was in a hurry to leave. After all, I still had five rides ahead to go home.