Mike Tendero has been a Virtual Assistant for a long time. In fact, when he started working online most people didn’t really think of it as a real job. Now, Mike is Tobe Brockner’s guy. I was able to get in touch with Mike and chat about his life as an Online Filipino Specialist.
Here’s what I gathered in our conversation:
Mike’s OFS Journey
Mike started looking into online work because he hated traffic.
He used to travel hours every day when he was working in an office, and he thought that it’s just a waste of time and energy to be stuck in traffic.
Now, his everyday life looks like this: Wake up. Check emails. Do his tasks for the day. Drink whisky. He works from 6 AM to 9 PM straight. Yes, it looks like he’s working longer but as an artist, he doesn’t feel the long hours because he’s doing what he loves and he can take a break anytime he needs it.
When Mike started working online he had no decent computer. He learned how to construct his own desktop from scratch. Mike did not even have his own connection yet because the internet was a luxury back then. He had to ask his neighbor to let him piggyback on their internet connection just so he can work online. Now, he has an apartment with his very own internet connection.
Office vs. Online Work
When Mike was working in an office, he didn’t feel productive. Online, he feels he can do so much more. It’s like running his own business. He feels complete. He is also more in control of the money that he can get. Right now, 6 AM – 9 PM is just purely working online. He doesn’t have to waste hours commuting. If Mike needs more money, he just has to work more to earn more.
Advice on Working with Foreigners
“Don’t say yes all the time.”
This is Mike’s advice. Foreigners, as bosses, want to know your issues. They want to know whether you can achieve a goal or not. Be straightforward.
And don’t be too self conscious about your English. They know that it’s not your first language.
Advice on Applying for Jobs Online
Mike recommends that you don’t send applications and resumes without looking into the company you’re applying to. As an applicant, you should research the company. Find out the duties and responsibilities of the position you’ll be applying for. Decide whether you really want to be connected with that company..
“Filipinos need to be competitive and learn to say no. If you can’t do the job, don’t commit to just end up staying for a short period of time. Check yourself first before applying for a job. Be honest.”
Mike believes that birds born in cages think that flying is a disease. Growing up, we have been taught that working in an office is the norm. And then the pandemic happened. In times like this, we need to explore. Don’t stay and just follow the norm. If you have an idea to make things better, do it!
Mike Tenedero is only one of the thousands of Filipinos who have made online working their normal even before the pandemic hit. He has gained experience and knowledge and you might be able to learn from his wisdom. Watch our video chat and you’ll surely get more ideas so you, too, can start your online journey.
A writer and an all-around VA. She has now found her home at OnlineJobs.ph.