Anna Lee Salas, a 30-year-old licensed architect, is standing tall in the field of architecture. She isn’t intimidated by the challenges inherent in an industry considered to be male territory. Having worked for one of the biggest malls in the Philippines as design officer for a construction project, she definitely has what it takes to compete head-on.
Fascinated by beautiful houses and interiors at a young age and with a passion for drawing, she mostly designs commercial building and residential house designs, but does commission work on space planning, and interior and conceptual design and drafting. After seven years of employment, she decided to become a full-time freelancer and is delighted with the rewards that came with it. Among such perks is earning higher income.
At first, she was hesitant to resign from her job and become a full time freelancer, but the toxic commute from Manila to Quezon City and the pressure in the corporate world pushed her to do so. "You need to multitask to meet deadlines, complete the drawings, go to the site, procure materials, and in some cases, deal with difficult bosses. In freelancing, I can work as early as I want. No more travelling expenses, fatigue, and most of all, I have flexible time. I can even take a vacation and do my work there—just a laptop with internet connection will do."
The international exposure also taught her a lot. "I am learning new designs from different people and different cultures, and I am kept updated on design ideas. My clients and I learn so much from each other. As much as possible, if I still can, I always accept the project. I just keep in mind that I will learn new wisdom and knowledge in every project that I do."
By working with several contractors and architects, she learned more about space planning, interior design, and many others. Architecture evolves through time and freelancing helps her to be updated with the new trends.
When she had her first contract, a townhouse project, she could not believe it. After that, everything just came one after the other. Sometimes, she doesn't even bid—they just offer the contract and all she needed to do was accept. She also gained regular clients coming from Australia, USA, and Canada.
"Freelancer.com totally changed my life. It gives me the best flexible time. I am earning so much more here compared to regular work. My expenses were also reduced and I don’t have to wake up too early or deal with a difficult boss."