August 11, 2019
When I first met Ann Kristine Penaredondo in 2008, I always knew there was something special about her. As the Human Resources specialist who helped me transition into my first job, I have always admired her ability to speak her truth while encouraging others to do the same. This is the reason why I wasn’t surprised when I learned about her success as one of the premiere virtual professionals in the country.
You see, Ann has been working from home since 2014 as a virtual professional who specializes in Facebook Marketing Strategy. When asked what prompted her to leave the traditional corporate world (a place where she was thriving in), Ann was quick to share her story, “Two incidents made me decide to work from home. First was when my parents were hospitalized in the same year but in two different times. I realized I was earning decently but not enough because of them were in the charity wards. The second was when I underwent total thyroidectomy in 2013. I knew something happened within me after the operation. Others would call it FOMO [fear of missing out] now but that word wouldn’t be able to sum it up. It was my Saul moment.”
Since then, the multi-hyphenate has done successful digital campaigns, specifically Facebook campaigns, for top brands all over the world including shopping malls, lingerie, and dairy, and as well as authors and experts in business, food, health, and education. She has also published her own book, Small is Big, and is a speaker and facilitator for Manila Workshop’s Facebook Ads Basics while producing her own podcast, Pin to Top. It’s easy to look at Ann’s success today and dismiss it as an overnight success but Ann begs to differ, it took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to get to where she is and she credits her mentor, Jomar Hilario, for pushing her at the early stages of her new career, “I am forever grateful to Jomar for helping me to persevere. He helped me in two ways: first, he lent a hand to change my mindset and second, he taught me the possibilities of online work, both the bad (how to avoid) and the good (how to become better in what I do). Those two ways made me persevere.”
In a country where the corporate life is still very much the way to go, Ann often gets asked what it is she does, “I help business owners do their digital marketing, specifically social media. Most of the business owners do now know or could not focus on digital marketing. I work with them so that they can work on their business’ strengths.”
It is hard work, only without the clocking in and out, and dealing with the Manila traffic.
When asked what is the biggest perk of working from home, Ann is quick to say, “I can hug my family any time I want. I don’t think there is anything that can top that! But for everything else, I can choose these: the people I surround myself with, the clients I work, and the skills I want to focus on.”
Ann says that while she isn’t in the office in the most traditional sense, she still is able to learn and network by proactively choosing the people she spends her time with including her group of friends who are also virtual professionals, “We just had our overnight stay in Tagaytay recently. To say it was a fun and another learning experience is an understatement.”
Ann, along with other virtual professionals in the country, is also determined to teach other Filipinos another way of life by providing them with tools they need to succeed in the industry such as her podcast, book, and workshops within the community.
Ann also has the privilege of being one of the resource persons for the Future of Work research of the Institute for Labor Studies (DOLE), which is the research arm of the Department of Labor, “While I know that the work I do isn’t regulated by DOLE, these kinds of opportunities allow me to educate people of the rapid technological advances and how we can adapt.”
She is also working on two partnership projects with Facebook Ads Expert Nins Mendoza called the Success Squad, a mastermind group for aspiring and current virtual professionals, “It’s an accountability group so it is a safe place to harness your superpowers, brainstorm, and learn from other members.” The duo also aim to start their digital marketing agency with the hopes of serving many Filipino business owners.”
When asked what advice she can give to those who would like to give this career a shot, she says, “People just see the glamour of it but this business is not for the faint of heart. Get clarity. Discover if you really want this. Understand that this is a marathon and not a sprint. Listen to mentors and apply what they tell you to do to lessen mistakes. Stay exceptional.”
To know more about Ann, you may visit her website: www.annkristine.com.
Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net