“Hi po, gusto ko lang malaman magkano po kinikita jan sa online work na yan?” (Hi, I just want to know, how much do you earn from online work?)
I’m writing this because I’m getting sick and tired of this question. Even my mother and brother don’t know how much I earn and they’re not asking me. But heck, people I don’t even know personally have the guts to ask me that question. I know they are just curious because probably they want to become an online freelancer too, or if they already are, then they just want to know for the sake of knowing it. Anyway, for me, it is inappropriate to ask someone how much they make. You ask why? Google it.
But just so you know, money matter is a very sensitive topic and here’s my take why disclosing earnings or salary isn’t a good practice.
You can’t control other people’s mind. That’s the reality. For freelancers who earn higher than others and you want to post your earnings on social media because you want to inspire others, some people may think that you’re just bragging. Like, why do you have to publicize it? They may talk behind your back that you’re so arrogant, or maybe you’re just lying to show off, or you’re doing that just to gain more followers. Whatever your intention is, people will always have something to say.
“Wow! Ang laki pala kitaan jan sa online na yan. Makapag online na nga din.” (Wow! You earn a lot from working online. I want to work online too.) Yes, other freelancers earn 4 to 5 figures of US dollars monthly, but others don’t. If a high earner disclosed his earnings to a person who doesn’t have any idea about freelancing, he may get the wrong idea that all freelancers earn such a big amount. There are a lot of factors to take into consideration. For example, a web developer surely earns more than a data entry specialist. A full-time Virtual Assistant may earn more than a part-time graphic designer.
For those people who don’t have an idea about how freelancing works, they might think that we have a fixed amount of monthly earnings. This might be applicable for full-time Virtual Assistants but this isn’t always the case for freelancers in other fields. Like for graphic designers and web developers, most of the time we work on a project-basis. It means that after finishing one project, we have to find another client again, and again. There are times that freelancers have a lot of clients in a month and others don’t have work for few days or weeks. You see, it’s not consistent.
If you are one of the freelancers who earn a lot and you post how much you earn on social media, it’s easy to become a target of interest. Some people will have their eyes on you, and who knows, the next thing you’ll realize is that you’ve already been robbed and such. Guys, it’s not far from happening especially there are endless possibilities that may happen (either good or bad) just because you posted your earnings and assets on social media.
Let’s say your family and friends know that you’re earning more than them; you will be a subject of expectation. “Ang laki-laki ng kinikita mo, manlibre ka naman.” (You’re earning a lot, why don’t you treat us?) They will expect you to pay whenever you dine out as a family or as a group, give them gifts or things or whatever they ask from you, and more. On the other hand, if you are earning less, they will look down on you or they may see you as a failure and say, “Ay ganyan lang pala kita jan sa online work na yan. Bakit di ka na lang mag apply sa mga kumpanya dito?” (You’re not earning enough on your online job. Why not apply on local companies?)
This list can go on and on, but I’ll just stop here. I know that after reading this, you already get my point why I don’t disclose my earnings to anyone. This applies not only to freelancers but to employed individuals and other people as well. I hope that I won’t receive a message like this anymore. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not really mad, but just venting out.
I am a freelance web designer, web developer and SEO specialist - one of the “Top Rated” web designers on Upwork. Living a digital nomad lifestyle, I love to explore the outdoors while doing some freelance jobs in between.
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