Go Digital ASEAN Philippines recently concluded two online events attended by over 300 participants from all over the Philippines. On October 27th the virtual summit entitled, ‘How to Launch Your Career in the BPO Industry’, gathered speakers from the BPO sector. On November 11th, the follow-up event, ‘Kickstarting Your Freelancing Career’, brought together resource speakers from various freelancing communities.
YOVEO Digital helped organize and facilitate these events as a way to encourage participation in the Go Digital ASEAN training programs and spotlight training series scheduled until November 30, 2021 We have learnt so much and we are very grateful for the support from both our regional and local partners who have adopted the Go Digital ASEAN program for their communities and locales.
While the original plan when we launched in 2020 was to take the program on a roadshow around the Philippines, the sudden pivot in our delivery model from in-person to one hundred percent virtual has proven to be invaluable.
The program has reached over 13,450 learners as of October 31st. With barely two weeks to go until we conclude the schedules for 2021, we are optimistic that we will see ripple effects that will eventually lead to lasting impact as we face changing labor demands.
27 October: How to Launch Your Career in the BPO Industry
One of the key takeaways and highlights was the groundwork that organizations like IBPAP, Virtualahan and Concentrix, are continuing to lay in order to promote the Philippines as a choice destination that meets today’s demand for a digitally equipped workforce.
Zoe Diaz De Rivera, Lead for Talent Attraction & Industry-Academe Linkages for IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), shared recent industry developments on the Digital Cities 2025 initiative, which continues the legacy of Next Wave Cities. Her presentation covered the various activities that will “drive inclusive growth in the countryside by selecting high-potential areas throughout the country and transforming them into bustling IT and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) hubs within five years.” The action points include Institutional Development, Talent Attraction and Development, Infrastructure Development, and Marketing and Promotion. Also outlined critical requirements for this nationwide effort like strengthening of ICT councils, sharing of best practices, launching awareness campaigns, and facilitating infrastructure initiatives.
Source: IBPAP.org | Digital Cities 2025
Ryan Gersava, Founder and CEO of Virtualahan gave an inspiring message about promoting inclusivity in the workplace. Alfred Gersava, himself answered key questions on the way PWDs are encouraged to participate in the training and development programs and tap online communities for job opportunities. Virtualahan’s 5-week intensive program together with its sponsors from the BPO industry are enabling PWDs and underserved communities equal opportunity through its wellbeing sessions, job coaching sessions as well as technical skills and human skills development modules.
Lexie Chan, Human Resources Director of Concentrix shared practical insider tips about building on current skill sets and what call centers today look for in entry-level and near-hire candidates. The way BPO/Call Center recruitment and sourcing initiatives are expanding to rural areas and the academe has seen a substantial improvement in developing future-hires from outside the metro areas.
11 November: Kickstarting Your Freelancing Career
A panel of resource speakers was led by Attorney Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, a champion of countryside development and employment-generation in the IT and digital space. She gave us an overview of how the Philippines currently ranked in the recent market study about competitiveness of the Philippines in many lines of business. She emphasized that structural shifts in work arrangements and the country’s readiness in terms of infrastructure and up-skilling labor are important factors that already affect how we deliver services to the world. She also presented current updates on the Freelance Workers Protection Act.
Lean-Lai Lacaba, CEO and Co-Founder at 2XYou shared her experience as a 15-year old freelancer, and her insatiable need for continuous self-development, networking that paved the way for her freelance remote work startup. The talk tackled some of the most common questions about how to get started on the journey from being an Employee, to being Self-Employed, to starting your own Business to Investing. The key takeaway was knowing your WHY and then creating a repeatable process that identifies your strengths and builds on those strengths.
Margaret Sulapas, Founder at Article & Design and Digital Marketing Strategist, shared her thoughts on how to map out a Premium Freelancer journey. This is the core of her community offerings. Margaret illustrated how aspiring freelancers can reverse engineer their goals in order to build a sustainable career in this space, using three steps: Identify your zone of genius, define your ideal client and devise a plan of attack. The key takeaway was, “as a premium freelancer, you do not simply sell services, you sell results.”
Janette Toral, Digital and ecommerce guru, advocate and lobbyist, provided expert advice on possible entry points and business model canvases for the Filipino freelancer. She talked about approaching freelancing as an entrepreneur and illustrated the importance of mapping out concepts by grouping sets of activities that make up the building blocks for a sustainable freelancing practice.
Both events support a theory that freelancing is the next wave of outsourcing. The challenges are almost parallel and are no longer a stark contrast to what the BPO industry is experiencing. The advent of work-from-home and flexible schedules has also given rise to ongoing discussions about work-from-anywhere infrastructure-readiness, continuing training programs and competitive advantage building among all players and stakeholders involved. There is now a thinning line that separates traditional outsourcing from freelancing as a service level-and-technology-driven industry that will expand the Philippines’ participation in the global digital economy. It would be interesting to watch, learn and evaluate our experience as we move towards the goal of Digital Cities 2025.
Getting a Better View
It is never too late to start learning something new. Even if you are starting from scratch, the way forward is to take stock of what you know, to evaluate skills you possess and to tap resources that are already available to you: free tools, training, people, communities and groups that offer support.
Go Digital ASEAN Philippines’ free online training programs run until November 30, 2021. Interested parties may register online by clicking on the links below:
Join over 13,450 learners who have attended these sessions. We are grateful and honored to be a partner in this initiative. We continue to support organizations that promote inclusive growth and equal work opportunities. May we all benefit.