As a freelancer, you’d think that we have gone past the colonial times, that we’ve matured enough to not have everything we do pitted against the foreign counterpart.
This is because freelancing signifies a global acceptance. Anybody can hire, anybody can work on a project with anyone, you just need to find the right person with the right skills and who fits your budget.
And yes, the setup isn’t always driven by a one-way path. In our case, it can be the West hiring the Asian, or the Asian hiring the West. Empowering, isn’t it?
Moans Over USD 1 = PhP 39.89
This is why I’m saddened whenever I see rants and cries of devastation over USD-PHP conversion rates. These days, I see posts on my social networks about how low PayPal’s conversion rates are, followed by sad smileys, aarghs, ughs, etc.
Why the long face?
This is not to say that I don’t notice the changes. I do react to the plummeting dollar, considering that it means a less amount will be deposited to my bank account in 3-day’s time.
But I am quite happy with it as well, because if my stock knowledge about economics serves me right, it’s a sign that the country’s economy is progressing. But whether this is the case or not, I honestly think it’s time for us Pinoy freelancers to stop allowing ourselves to become slaves to foreign currency.
Leave the Conversion Rates Behind
We are so used to the idea that freelancing means working for dollars, and so equates to a lot of money or higher income potential. Because of this, we become sorely affected by lower conversions. We’d even balk at the idea of catering to local clients because they’re paying in peso, and so the transaction doesn’t bring in as much.
Now, I know that we can’t do much about conversion rates at this point since the freelance marketplace—the primary pool for online work—uses the US dollar or some other foreign currency to determine one’s hourly rates and how much funds will be withdrawn and converted into our respective currencies. But again, these are just numbers and they will rise and fall overtime. It’s much more productive to work towards building a solid freelancing career than to worry about how much we’ll be getting if we withdraw today or next week, next month or the month after that.
We’re forgetting that the primary benefit of freelancing is being able to work according to our own terms: we decide when we want to work, where to work, what we want to work on, and who we want to work with. We don’t have to let the conversion rates affect us so much. We don’t have to stress ourselves over lower PHP equivalents. If the amount coming in isn’t as high as what it was three months ago, better to focus on keeping your current clients happy and in establishing a stable flow of income than to rant and sulk.
The way I see it, we may all need a change of mindset, a renewed sense of love and loyalty to our country, imperfect and damaged as she may be. Then maybe, just maybe, we’d achieve the kind of success that fulfills us inside and out, financially and emotionally.
Happy birthday, Andres Bonifacio.