We’re moving! This blog will not be used anymore!

design proposal

Hi everyone,

This is both good news and sad news! The good news is that I’m happy to announce to you that I’ve just completed making a new personal website on wordpress.org so we will never see the annoying ugly-looking ads anymore in my posts that WordPress put on my blog.

I’ve been getting more and more traffic these days to this blog and since it’s a free blog and hosted on wordpress.com, WordPress automatically puts ads and more and more ads on this blog that I dont like it when I saw it incognito.

In order to remove the ads, I’ll have to upgrade to their subscription plan for around USD 8 per month and I’ll have the ability to monetize and choose which brands will suit my content to advertise on my blog, but that USD 8 per month is fricking expensive if compared to my self-hosted sites on wordpress.org (I’ve built more that one website on it and for much cheaper price and it’s easy to design).

I admit that it was my bad for not thinking and anticipating that this blog would grow like this. So now I have to start the analytics and growth from the start again with my new website; thatbrowngal.com .

However, I’m quite happy with it, I like having more control of the design and not having wordpress.com in my domain name, having wordpress.com is making it sounds like a scam. LOL.

I dont use my name anymore in order to avoid it interfering with my business website. I think “Brown Gal” represents me, not only my look but also my tropical life in Bali, haha. I actually wanted to use “girl” instead of “gal” but that domain is already taken by a cook, haha!

I designed this in only one day because it’s quite a simple blog design with not many variations of pages. The reposting and reuploading the content from this blog to the new one is the one that’s taking longer time (that I hired someone to do that for me, haha).

The sad news is to say goodbye to my followers on this blog. I know I dont have many people following me on this blog, just around a hundred, but that means a lot to me. I started this blog in early 2017 and I had no intention to make it a business, it’s more for me to share with the world. Because of this blog, I’ve had people came to me, messaged me directly how my writings have helped them in some ways, whether it’s about travelling, living in Bali, working online or getting through rough times.

Maybe many will miss this post and not aware if I already moved, I’m just hoping that Google algorithm will help you and more people to find me again.

I will not update on this blog anymore and will delete the blog for good soon. Please visit my new blog instead for more stories and reviews: thatbrowngal.com .

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Mengajar bahasa Inggris ke ibu-ibu sosialita

Kalo gw menengok ke belakang tentang hidup gw, gw bisa ketawa-ketawa ngeliat pengalaman-pengalaman yang udah terjadi di hidup gw. Bisa dibilang, jalan hidup gw sejauh ini emang gak biasa, kadang pola fikir gw ini membawa gw ke pengalaman atau pekerjaan yang banyak orang gak kepikiran buat ngelakuin. Kalo orang cari kerja mengikuti pola yang umum yang ada di masyarakat, kalo gw selalu aneh-aneh aja. Karena basicnya emang gw ini pemalas, gw gak mau kerja keras, maunya kerja pintar; kerja dikit tapi penghasilan lebih gede (atau at least sama) dari yang kerja keras.

Salah satu pekerjaan yang pernah gw lakuin adalah mengajar bahasa Inggris. Kedengerannya biasa ya, yang gak biasa adalah target market gw. Kebanyakan orang mengajar bahasa Inggris buat anak-anak sekolah, atau paling banter mengajar di sekolah swasta yang mahal atau sekolah internasional, lalu sehabis itu dapat kerja tambahan dengan mengajar les murid-muridnya. Kalo gw, gw gak menyasar anak-anaknya, tapi gw menarget orang tuanya. Gw menyasar kalangan ibu-ibu kaya yang udah kebanyakan duit, pembantu dan waktu juga bapak-bapak bos. Karena, menurut gw, yang punya duit kan orang tuanya! Hehe. Dan juga, menurut gw, kalo mengajar anak-anak, saingannya banyak, banyak orang-orang yang mampu mengajar anak kecil. Tapi kalo untuk level adult, udah mulai sedikit. Apalagi untuk adult yang dari kalangan upper middle dan high class, makin gak ada! Gak semua orang bisa memasuki kelas sosial ini, kebetulan gw tau tips and triknya. Hehe.

Ceritanya saat itu gw udah berhenti bekerja dari pekerjaan tetap gw yang penghasilannya lumayan kalo untuk level Indonesia umur mid-twenties. Waktu itu gw mengalami quarter-life crisis dan di saat bersamaan gw tetep harus making money dong karena saving gw udah semakin menipis, so saat itu gw harus turun gaya hidup. Mau gak mau, gw harus cari kerja lagi. Saat itu gw tinggal di kota Bandar Lampung. Bandar Lampung itu terkenal sebagai ‘kota ruko’, artinya banyak SME (small-medium enterprises), yang mana efeknya adalah peluang kerja yang tersedia gak sebanding dengan tingkat pendidikan generasi gw yang sarjana. Kalo dulu, gw sih enak karena gw pindah karena penempatan kerja, jadi gaji gw bukan standar daerah. Tapi kalo lo memulai mencari kerja di Bandar Lampung, lumayan susah apalagi kalo lo bukan tinggal sama orang tua. Temen-temen gw banyak yang struggle untuk mendapatkan pekerjaan yang lumayan di Bandar Lampung, keuntungannya adalah mereka tinggal sama orang tua, jadi masih bisa nabung.

Karena gw adalah sarjana sastra Inggris dan juga pengalaman gw bekerja di organisasi internasional, menurut gw potensi gw saat itu untuk mendapatkan pekerjaan–di Bandar Lampung–yang paling cepat adalah mengajar bahasa Inggris. Jadi gw mulai melamar kerja guru bahasa Inggris di sekolah-sekolah dan tempat les, dari sekolah dan tempat les yang biasa sampai yang mahal di Bandar Lampung. Dari pengalaman gw mendaftar kerja sana-sini, ya gw keterima sih, malah kebanyakan tempat yang kaget waktu liat lamaran kerja gw, “Kok mau sih ngajar?”, karena gw dateng nganter lamaran kerja pun pake mobil gw dengan penampilan gw yang gitu deh (kalo temen-temen gw, atau kenal gw dari kuliah misalnya, mungkin ngerti maksudnya, hehe). Dari luar mah keliatannya gw parlente, padahal isi kantong gw saat itu terlunta-lunta, haha!

Kebanyakan sih gw keterima (padahal gw bukan sarjana keguruan), kalo ada tempat yang gak nerima gw, alasannya bukan karena kemampuan gw tapi karena mereka gak yakin gw bakal stay, karena melihat CV gw.

Awal-awalnya gw sempet juga mengajar anak-anak di tempat les bahasa Inggris kelas menengah ke atas, tapi gw gak mau lagi mengajar anak-anak karena banyak hal (salah satunya berhubungan dengan dampak situasi politik yang ada saat ini), mungkin gw akan bikin tulisan terpisah tentang itu, karena mengajar anak-anak memang malah mengajarkan gw banyak hal tentang hidup dan tentang diri gw sendiri.

Saat itu gw hampir bekerja di sekolah internasional di Bandar Lampung, gw udah melakukan training selama seminggu, setelah dijalanin seminggu doang, gwnya gak sanggup. Emang iya saat itu gw bener-bener butuh duit dan kerjaan tetap, tapi untuk pergi kerja jam 7 pagi (siap-siap dari jam 6 pagi), terus kerja sampe jam 2.30 siang (itu ngajar doang, belom rekap kelasnya) sampe rumah jam 4 sore dan cuma digaji 2,5 juta, duh rasanya gw gak sanggup! Kata temen-temen yang lain, harusnya gw bersyukur karena banyak orang yang berusaha keras jadi honorer di sekolah negeri selama berbulan-bulan bahkan bertahun-tahun dengan gaji cuma 1 juta. Kata mereka seharusnya gw bersyukur dan bertahan aja karena nanti setelah beberapa bulan ngajar, bakal banyak panggilan untuk ngajar les ke rumah-rumah murid dan dari situ bisa dapat income tambahan lebih dari gaji. Perhitungan orang normal emang begitu ya, tapi perhitungan orang neko-neko kayak gw ya enggak gitu.

Pertama, gw butuh duit lebih cepat, gw gak bisa nunggu berbulan-bulan. Kedua, dari dulu–bahkan dari saat gw baru lulus kuliah–gw selalu menghitung ‘harga diri’ gw dengan hourly rate, sama seperti di luar negeri. Kalo gw kerja seperti itu, artinya gw menghabiskan 9 jam sehari, 44 jam seminggu, 176 jam dalam sebulan. Rp 2.500.000 dibagi 176 jam artinya gw hanya dihargai Rp 14.204,55/ jam. Kalo target penghasilan gw 5 juta, berarti gw harus nambah kerja berapa jam lagi dalam sebulan untuk ngedapetin uang 5 juta?? Itu artinya gw bakalan kehabisan waktu weekend dan waktu leisure di sore hari, ini namanya gw harus kerja keras bagai kuda, lama-kelamaan gw bisa jadi kuda beneran, hehe. Gaji guru dan guru les di kota-kota lain selain Jakarta (dan Pekanbaru) itu gak gede, kalo di Jakarta per session bisa Rp 350k (even more), kalo di kota seperti Bandar Lampung, bisa 100 ribu per murid aja udah syukur2! Lah 50 ribu per kelas buat bikin pinter anaknya aja masih banyak yang nawar! Sedangkan target gw, 100rb-150rb per murid.

Gw ngejabarin perhitungan di atas bukan berarti gw menghina/ merendahkan orang-orang yang gajinya/ pekerjaannya seperti itu, gw cuma menjabarkan aja pemikiran gw UNTUK DIRI GW SENDIRI. Menurut gw, life is a business. Kalo gw cuma dihargai 14ribu per jam, itu namanya bukan business, tapi busyness a.k.a “kesibukan”. Gw berfikir seperti itu karena gw yakin gw bisa lebih, gw harus mikirin peluangnya, peluang yang gak kepikiran sama orang lain, kalo udah ketemu peluangnya, baru gw mikirin caranya.

Bagi gw, kalo gw bisa keluar dari jebakan/ problem yang kebanyakan orang lain hadapi, maka suatu saat gw bisa menggunakan pengalaman gw buat berbagi dengan orang lain dan ngebantu mereka untuk keluar dari masalah. Tapi kalo gw juga mengikuti dan pasrah dengan terjebak di masalah yang sama, ya gimana gw bisa ngebantu orang lain.

So, gw melihat ke diri gw, apa sih potensi diri gw yang gak dimiliki saingan gw, selain kemampuan akademik gw. Well, banyak yang bilang muka gw ini belagu dan gw sering disangka orang kaya padahal gw cuma pake kaos doang (kaya monyet kali ya! haha!), bahkan di saat gw gak ada duit sama sekali pun gw masih disangka hidup enak, mungkin karena emang gak gw pungkiri, I like nice things. 

Gw mulai menyasar kelas sosialita, karena mereka bisa bayar gw seharga yang gw mau dan saingan gw gak banyak. Yang namanya business, lo harus mengikuti behaviour target market lo dan analisa, “where do these people hang out??”

Karena target market gw sosialita, tau gak dimana ibu-ibu kaya ini berada (selain makan siang di kafe-kafe lucu mehong)?? Jawabannya adalah, di kelas gym exclusive sekelas CelFit ke atas! Di Lampung saat itu gak ada CelFit, tapi ada gym yang sekelas itu juga, biaya bulanannya lumayan mahal. Mau gak mau, gw harus ikutan ngegym disana juga, ini anggap aja biaya promosi atau the fee of doing business, you can’t make money without spending money. 

Karena gw emang suka aktif (kayak ngedance, yoga, dll) jadi ya gw sih suka-suka aja. Yang berat saat itu adalah untuk bayar modal awalnya, tapi saat itu gw dateng dengan muka belagu. Terus sama marketingnya, gw gak nunjukin kalo gw mau, jadi gw dikasih diskon! Haha!

Target market kelas ini, gak sembarangan orang bisa masuk, mereka mau orang yang sekelas mereka juga, or at least gak keliatan kayak orang susah or butuh duit (padahal sebenernya mah gw butuh duit banget!). Dengan background pekerjaan gw sebelumnya dan penampilan gw yang fake-it-til-you-make-it (untuk hal penampilan, gw dibawa gembel bisa, tapi saat gw ngegaya, gw bisa banget juga). Gw berhasil mendapatkan beberapa murid, ya si nyonya-nyonya besar. Lingkungan sosialita di Bandar Lampung itu kecil dan latah, kalo si A kelas yoganya sama trainer ini, si B, C, sampe L juga ikutang ngebooking guru yoga itu.

Disitu gw mulai ngajar ke rumah-rumah gedongan, untung aja gw pake mobil datengnya, hehe. Seringnya gw takjub ngeliat rumah mereka kok kayak istana, ada ya orang sekaya itu di Lampung. Di dalam rumahnya ada gym lengkap dan bioskop mini, belom lagi ruang belajarnya, kebanyakan mereka ini usaha kopi dan lada (Lampung emang penghasil kopi).

Kalo guru bahasa Inggris normalnya pergi ngajar dengan celana bahan dan kemeja, gw pergi ngajar dengan mini circle skirt dan stocking bunga-bunga pastel, jaket jeans dan tanktop, gw gak boleh kalah modis dari mereka in order to keep them enthusiastic of me. Lokasi mengajar juga gak selalu di rumah, tapi bisa di kafe-kafe lucu, sambil praktek bahasa Inggris untuk kebutuhan travelling.

Masalah kemampuan sih mereka beginner abis, dan namanya ngajar emak-emak, malah lebih susah nangkepnya ketimbang anak-anak! Hehe, jadi bisa dibilang sih gw itu cuma ngegunain gak sampe 10% dari kemampuan gw, yang mana gw gak suka kayak gini, ini gw akui bukan pekerjaan yang bikin pinter, tapi kalo butuh duit sih lumayan.

Mereka juga les ini-itu bukan karena mereka butuh, kadang juga alasannya karena trendy aja gitu belajar les ini-itu, haha! Malah murid gw ini kebanyakan les, abis les sama gw, les juga di tempat lain sama bule, terus belom lagi kelas aerobic, ngedance, yoga dll, maklum lah orang kaya mah waktunya banyak!

Bisa dibilang strategi gw berhasil dalam waktu singkat itu, gw bisa menghasilkan lebih dengan kerja gak full seminggu. Terus gw mulai mendapatkan tawaran mengajar buat anak-anak mereka, dan buat di kantor suami-suaminya.

Mengajar emak-emak sosialita ini, kebutuhan mereka berbeda dengan anak-anak dan professional. Mereka butuh either buat travelling atau buat show off semata, haha! Cara mengajarnya pun beda, harus diselingi gosip selebriti dan sekitarnya biar mereka cepat nangkapnya. Contohnya, ketika gw mengajarkan bagian dan ciri-ciri tubuh, gw menjelaskan dengan foto seleb before and after surgeries! Dengan begitu gw bisa mengajarkan mereka present tense dan past tense. Foto-foto instagram selebriti lokal seperti Syahrini contohnya, adalah materi kelas gw, haha!

Walau pun sebenernya karir gw saat itu sebagai guru bahasa Inggris sosialita di Lampung lagi naik daun dengan singkat, tapi gw akhirnya pindah meninggalkan Lampung karena emang pure gw ngelakuin itu cuma untuk survive and save money. Gw udah tau apa yang mau gw pursue. Dan gw menemukan itu karena pengalaman gw mengajar anak-anak.

Kalo dari masalah kepuaasan dalam mengajar, menurut gw yang paling emotionally rewarding adalah mengajar anak-anak dari kelas sosial bawah dan di desa-desa. Tapi sayangnya gw belum financially mampu buat ngelakuin itu sekarang, gw butuh duit dulu buat gw bisa bener-bener berbagi untuk orang lain tanpa kepikiran gw makan apa besok, you can’t help others with what you don’t have.

Gw mengajar emang gak lama, tapi banyak banget pelajaran yang gw dapet selama pengalaman gw mengajar, baik mengajar kids and adults. Gw salut banget sama para guru yang emang mengajar dari hati (bukan karena gak ada pilihan lain ya), yang mereka gak mengedepankan penghasilan mereka dalam bekerja, yang berusaha semaksimal mungkin mencari cara untuk transfer ilmu secara optimal padahal mereka belum tentu jadi guru tetap, yang bekerja tulus tanpa hitung-hitungan dibayar berapa per jamnya, dan lain-lain, karena gw sendiri gak sanggup untuk melakukan itu. Kudos for all the teachers!

Checking the checklist of 2019

IMG_20190328_154900Time flies so fast! I cant believe it’s already May and we’ve passed almost the first semester of 2019! I’ve been pretty stoked with work and life recently that I didn’t post on this blog as often. At the beginning of this year–as always–I made a checklist of my action plan. Let’s see how many of them are already checked or in progress:

  • 1. Build my portfolio website (design and content)

Status: DOING (in revision). I finished my first design in January then decided to totally change it again from the design and content as I’ve known more about the kinds of jobs that I’d like doing. Take a look at my brand new design HERE, I’ve been getting many compliments on it!

  • 2. Put some content to the web that’s related to my service (content marketing)

Status: DOING (in revision). Due to the change in my content, the articles I’ve made before are not relevant anymore and I need to make new content.

  • 3. Offer more service exchange (my web design for others’ copywriting skills)

Status: DONE. No more service exchange, I’ve had enough experience already.

  • 3. When content is ready, set up an email list (email marketing)

Status: To-Do, still untouched.

  • 4. Create some affiliate links to new and existing posts

Status: To-do, still untouched.

  • 5. Draw more digital illustration project for portfolio

Status: Started, in progress. I’ve re-colored my illustration Instagram page with my color theme.

  • 6. Apply to more gigs directly or through freelancing sites

Status: Started. I’ve been getting a steady number of work regularly recently.

  • 7. Set up accounts on other 3 more freelancing sites

Status: Started. Made only one so far.

  • 8. Create digital products to sell (templates, icons)

Status: To-do, in June the longest.

  • 9. Learn how to create a WordPress template

Status: To-do, untouched.

  • 10. Learn more about branding

Status: To-do

  • 11. Complete 200hr YTT

Status: Done in April 2019!

  • 12. Yoga practice at regularly, at least three times a week

Status: To-do

  • 13. Start to teach yoga classes

Status: To-do

  • 14. Take/ continue my patternmaking class

Status: To-do

  • 15. Learn more about technical fashion design

Status: To-do or maybe postponed. Because I have more priority now in graphic design as it’s been making more money for me.

  • 17. Master Pinterest marketing

Status: To-do

  • 18. Publish at least 12 Youtube videos on my Youtube channel

Status: Started. OMG, I only have made 1 video so far! It’s sponsored by one of the main online marketplaces in Indonesia. So proud!

  • 19. Upload around 2 videos of my sewing process (for gowns)

Status: To-do

  • 20. Apply for an internship to apparel manufacturers in Bali

Status: Done, but no continuation from their side, I also don’t think I will have time. I have many other things to learn now.

  • 21. BETA on my own Pinterest account

Status: To-do

  • 22. Reach out to people

Status: Started. Wow life has been great since I moved to Bali and networked with people. Been getting more clients from referrals!

  • 23. Move to Bali more permanently and research on business opportunity (for me and my BF)

Status: Started. One of the best things happened this year! I moved in March!

  • 24. Travel abroad (at least to Thailand)

Status: Still planning, not sure. 

  • 25. Buy fancy gifts for my parents

Status: To-do

  • 26. Open custom-orders in Bali

Status: Kicked out from the list. Not possible to do anymore. I’ve been busy with other things.

  • 27. Take my BF to a super nice date/ buy him a fancy gift

Status: To-do, OMG his birthday is approaching!!

  • 28. Buy a decent laptop/ travelling backpack that doesn’t hurt my back and fits my 15.6 inch tablet

Status: Done! Bought my brother’s Kathmandu Backpack that I really love the most. It’s the most expensive bag I’ve bought!

  • 29. Take a graphic design mentorship course

Status: To-do. 

  • 30. Buy an iPad Pro 12 inch + Apple Pen

Status: Maybe imagination. LOL!

  • 31. Upgrade my Mac’s RAM to 8 GB

Status: Done in January, best decision ever!

  • 32. Have a proper VPN service for work

Status: Kicked out from the list, at least for now.

Enak-gak-enaknya kerja online dari rumah

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Gw berhenti kerja dari tempat kerja gw di tahun 2016 dan semenjak saat itu, hanya dalam waktu sesingkat ini, udah banyak banget yang terjadi di hidup gw. Mungkin gw udah lebih banyak mencoba banyak hal ketimbang orang-orang yang lebih tua dari gw. Setelah berhenti kerja, gw gak langsung memutuskan untuk kerja dari rumah, gw sempet kerja juga di antaranya dan buka usaha ini-itu, sampe ke trading Bitcoin segala (yang berhasil membuat gw gak perlu kerja selama 6 bulan, karena hidup gw udah tercover dari Bitcoin). Gw udah mulai freelance online di kancah internasional dari pertengahan tahun 2018, cuma baru serius banget setelah gw pulang dari Afrika Selatan saat itu, karena sebelum-sebelumnya, hidup gw kepenuhan jadwal jalan-jalannya, jadinya gw gak bisa fokus. Ya rezeki juga sih bisa jalan-jalan terus, jadi disyukuri aja hehe…

Semenjak tahun 2018, pekerjaan yang gw dapat selalu remote atau partly remote, yang mana artinya gw gak harus pergi ke kantor setiap hari dan meeting kebanyakan dilakukan via online communication. Sebelum tahun 2018, gw udah mulai kerja online juga tapi hanya sambilan. Kalo sekarang sih gw udah fixed jadi pegawai negeri dunia maya.

Kerja dari rumah ini ada enak dan gak enaknya. Well, dimulai dari yang gak enaknya dulu ya…

  1. Disangka pengangguran! Haha, deritanya orang yang kerja dari rumah yang paling sering adalah sering disangka gak punya penghasilan dan cuma menjadi beban keluarga. Padahal penghasilan kita bisa jadi di atas kebanyakan orang yang kerja rapih-rapih berdandan pake parfum Prancis dan bibir merah bergincu. Apalagi kalo ketemu orang datang ke rumah dan kita belum mandi, karena dari bangun tidur udah langsung kerja dari atas tempat tidur.  Orang yang baru pertama kenal gw sih pada nyangkanya gw ini masih anak kuliah (padahal udah 7 tahun lulus bok!), jadi mereka wajar kalo liat gw santai-santai. Tapi kalo udah yang udah kenal gw (misal saudara), mereka nyangkanya gw ini frustasi dan cari kerjaan (kantoran), trus ada yang nawarin jadi honorer sana-sini dengan gaji yang wasalam aja. Aduh, cuma bisa bilang makasih…

2. Lack of social interraction.

Kerja online, kita berinteraksi dengan client atau team yang kadang malah gak pernah ketemu muka sama sekali. Kebanyakan komunikasi hanya via email, chat atau paling muluk video call. Gak ada yang namanya pergi makan siang bareng temen kantor, haha! Berhubung jarang ketemu orang, bisa mengurangi intrapersonal skill kita, apalagi di situasi yang membutuhkan basa-basi. Kemampuan berbasa-basi itu gak semudah kedengarannya, bagi gw itu sulit. Semenjak gw kerja dari laptop, menurut gw semakin sulit! Solusi: kadang-kadang kerja di coworking space biar ada temen.

3. A whole different world.

Kerja online itu bener-bener sesuatu yang beda dari kerja kantoran, toolsnya beda, dari cara ngelamar kerja sampe how to get paid aja bener-bener beda. If you’re new, you need to learn a lot of things and mostly about tech, jadi agak susah kalo buat orang yang gaptek. Belum lagi, yang namanya kerja yang berhubungan erat dengan internet, semuanya cepat berubah, jadi lo harus punya kemampuan untuk mengejar perubahan-perubahan yang terjadi. The concept of comfort zone doesn’t exist.

4. Gak ada motivator.

Kerja kantoran bisa memotivasi kita in some ways ketika melihat teman sekantor lebih gigih daripada kita, sedangkan kerja dari rumah kita gak punya perbandingan selain diri kita sendiri. Kerja dari rumah cocok buat orang yang emang semangatnya tinggi dan enggak bergantung ke orang lain untuk memotivasi dirinya, gak semua orang punya kemampuan seperti ini, makanya kerja dari rumah gak cocok untuk semua orang.

5. Gangguan dari keluarga.

Kadang, anggota keluarga sering menganggap enteng jadwal kita, karena disangkanya hanya karena kita bisa kerja dari mana aja, kita disangka punya fleksibilitas tinggi, jadi sering diajak ke pasar lah, ke rumah sodara lah selama berjam-jam, etc etc. Menurut gw, kerja online itu enak asal gak tinggal di rumah keluarga, kecuali keluarga lo punya tingkat pemahaman yang mumpuni tentang pekerjaan lw.

6. Kemampuan Bahasa Inggris yang mumpuni.

Kalo kerja kantoran, kebanyakan kita berhubungan sama kolega dan client sesama orang Indonesia. Kalo kerja dari rumah, kalo mau banyak duit sih ya cari client bule! Jadi harus punya kemampuan bahasa Inggris yang mumpuni apalagi kalo statusmu freelancer, bukan remote employee. Lo harus punya kemampuan meyakinkan orang lain, negosiasi, menjual diri dalam bahasa Inggris, bukan cuma grammar.

7. Time difference.

Kalo clientnya banyak dari luar negeri, so bersiap-siap lah buat sometimes you need to have a call at 12 am or 1 am. Tapi sebenernya itu bisa diakalin kok, karena gw sendiri cuma beberapa kali dalam sebulan kedapatan video call di waktu-waktu tidur.

8. Disangka kerja yang enggak-enggak.

Susah ngejelasin ke orang apa profesi lo kalo lo kerja online, karena orang-orang–especially the older generation–masih banyak yang awam or know little to nothing gimana caranya orang belum cuci muka kok bisa dapet gaji terus. Mereka gak ngerti kok bisa dari kamar tidur (atau malah tempat tidur doang) bisa dapet duit. Bisa jadi disangka yang enggak-enggak, ya maen judi bola lah, atau malah jadi sugar baby! Hwaks!

***

Sekarang bagian yang enaknya:

  1. Income dan working hours kita yang atur.

Kalo kerja kantoran, ada batas fixed berapa gaji yang bisa kita dapatkan walopun udah kerja lembur bagai kuda. Sedangkan kerja dari rumah lebih fleksibel. Penghasilan gw yang terbesar adalah semenjak gw kerja dari rumah. Jujur aja gw itu kerjanya sehari cuma berapa jam kok, selebihnya gw belajar skill baru. Dan gw juga gak ngoyo2 banget cari duit, kalo menurut gw udah cukup di standar kenyamanan gw, gw bakalan gak kerja di hari-hari selebihnya selama sebulan itu. Kadang gw kerja abis-abisan selama 2 bulan, untuk 1 bulan setelahnya gw gak kerja sama sekali. Di 1 bulan itu gw belajar skill baru buat nambah rate gw kedepannya.

2. Skills yang bisa dibawa kemana aja.

Gw percaya diri dengan kemampuan yang gw peroleh sekarang untuk dibawa tinggal di daerah mana aja. Dulu gw kerja kantoran selama bertahun-tahun, tapi setelah berhenti gw gak yakin kalo mau pindah kota atau malah negara, apa skill yang gw dapatkan dari kerja bertahun-tahun itu bisa dijual di negara lain? Abang kandung gw adalah manager sebuah bank ternama di Indonesia selama 5 tahun, ketika pindah ke Australia, that experience doesnt count at all, kalo dia mau memulai karir disana, harus dimulai dengan either having a degree from internationally reputable university atau memulai dengan kerja blue collar kayak waiter dll. Kerja dari rumah–apalagi kalo client lw internasional–artinya skills lo bisa dibeli dan dibutuhkan orang mana aja.

3. Bisa kerja dari mana aja (selama ada internet).

Bayangin betapa susahnya orang-orang buat daftar pindah kerja di kantornya buat deket dengan suaminya. Buat orang seperti gw yang kerja dari laptop, gw gak perlu takut tuh untuk kehilangan client base dari daerah tempat tinggal gw dulu kalo gw mau pindah ke daerah/ kota/ negara lain, karena client gw dari berbagai negara. Gw bisa aja pergi ke luar negeri buat jalan-jalan sambil nyambi kerja. Atau bulan Januari gw tinggal sama orang tua gw di Sumatra Barat, selanjutnya di Bali, bulan depannya ke Jakarta. Gw bisa kerja sambil nikmatin hidup. Ketika orang-orang butuh nunggu waktu cuti buat bisa ngerasain jalan-jalan, gw bisa pergi kelas yoga di pagi hari, kerja siang hari, dan sorenya ke pantai. Atau full weekend jalan-jalan menjelajah Bali. Namun gak semua kerja online bisa sebebas ini, banyak juga pekerjaan yang partly remote; yaitu yang gak mengharuskan lo buat pergi ke kantor tapi dibutuhkan untuk tinggal di kota yang sama. Jadi tergantung pilihan masing-masing sih.

4. No Basa-basi

Menurut gw, kerja ketemu langsung itu malah lebih banyak indirectness nya ketimbang kerja online. Negara kita kebanyakan suka gak enakan buat menyampaikan pendapat, jadi banyak sindir2an gak jelas dan gak langsung. Sedangkan dalam komunikasi online, orang-orang butuh message untuk ditangkap dengan cepat, gak pake basa-basi.

5. Market dan network yang lebih luas.

Hal ini yang membuat gw gak mau bikin baju lagi karena bergantung pada market suatu daerah tertentu. Bayangin, kalo lo kerja di Indonesia di kota tertentu, pasar yang bisa lo jangkau hanya orang-orang di daerah itu aja. Tapi kalo online di market internasional, bayangin berapa banyak negara yang memakai bahasa Inggris di dunia, at least 114 negara (berdasarkan buku Lonely Planet).

6. Hemat biaya penampilan dan transportasi.

Karena kerja dari rumah, jadi kita bisa kerja pake baju tidur aja. Gak perlu buang-buang waktu buat ngegambar alis segala dan terjebak macet. Salah satu alasan kenapa gw mau kerja online adalah karena gw gak mau tua di jalan; mulai kerja jam 8 pagi tapi harus berangkat kerja jam 7 pagi dan siap-siap dari jam 6 pagi, baru pulang kerja jam 5 sore, sampe rumah jam 6 sore. Berarti ada 3 jam waktu dari hidup gw dalam sehari yang terbuang sia-sia, sedangkan 3 jam itu bisa gw manfaatin buat cari duit! Itu baru sehari, belom kalo seminggu, sebulan, setahun, sewindu! Gw juga gak suka pake makeup full, paling mentok lipcream sama bedak Marck’s. Males banget kalo gw harus buang-buang duit beli foundation terus abis itu beli cream anti aging atau perawatan kulit mahal-mahal karena tiap hari kulit mukanya gak bisa nafas karena ketutup makeup!

7. Gak perlu persyaratan edukasi formal atau penampilan

Melamar kerja kantoran, at least lo harus tamatan pendidikan tertentu dan nilai IPK tinggi. Bahkan, di pekerjaan tertentu, ada yang surat lamaran kerjanya baru diperiksa kalo tinggi badannya minimal 155 cm (dan ini bukan posisi pramugari lho!), hwaks, apaan coba. Kerja online is a new different game, it’s all about showing you can do the work. Mau tubuh lo cacat kek, asal lo bisa ngerjain, ya lo bisa kerja. Gw udah lama banget gak daftar kerja ke kantor/ usaha dalam negeri, jadi gw sempet kagok waktu kemaren gw sempet iseng ngelamar kerja di perusahaan garmen dan salah satu bagian dari tesnya adalah psikotes, trus yang ngereview tes psikotes gw nanti adalah anak-anak umur 20an yang baru lulus kuliah kemaren. Testnya sampe berproses-proses dan ternyata gajinya not even half of my income working online. Waktu pergi tes, peserta lainnya pake baju kemeja rapih banget dan celana dasar, terus gw dateng pake celana jeans dan tanktop doang dong, in the end, resultnya gw tetep diterima sih (walau pun gw datang a la preman), tapi gw gak sanggup turun gaya hidup! Hehe.

Introducing my new website: citraayu.com

citraayu.com

The reasons why I have been MIA lately is that I’ve been caught up with creating my business website. I designed and created it from scratch by myself. (well, not literally ‘scratch’ like coding, I use Divi theme builder and just a little bit of CSS I found from Google). The domain name may sound not creative as it’s 80% very similar to this blog, just missing “W” and .wordpress.com.

By having this website, I nailed the wishlist and to-do list that I made in late 2018 and early 2019. The website is gonna be just pure business and unlike this blog, it’s gonna be full English and targeted content. I won’t talk as random as I am in this blog, because actually when I set this blog, I had no goals. Now this blog’s traffic has been increasing a lot (200 views per day, well for me that’s a lot) that maybe I should also give this blog more dedication and attention.

It took me long to decide things for the biz website, like what to name it, where to host it, what to put in the content, which one should go first, etc. I built the site on WordPress after thinking back and forth whether having it on drag-and-drop website builders like Squarespace, Wix, etc that’s very easy to use but expensive, or WordPress that requires a longer learning curve but cheaper.

I decided to have it on WordPress because it’s more powerful for the long run, and WordPress has much better SEO push if your business is based on content marketing. Actually, this is not the first website that I designed, I created my theater club’s website years ago and didn’t even use Divi, I forgot how at that time I managed to do that, sometimes I am surprised by the things I did in the past but was not aware of it as an achievement. LOL. Even though Divi claims as the ‘drag-and-drop feature for WordPress’, it’s not as easy as those in other site builders. Seemingly WordPress doesn’t want to make it too easy for everyone because otherwise web developers and programmers are going to be mad and lose their jobs.

It’s hard to learn in the beginning, and I’m still learning a lot, but as soon as I get the hang of it, I believe I can do it faster. And to be honest, the hardest thing to learn is not the technical issue, because you can google it. It’s the design aspect that’s the hardest and the price that people should pay more, because there’s no direct answer to present an idea into a design well, you can’t google it.

I’ve done three makeovers for the web in one month for both the design and content. My first design was just okay, I didnt really feel the click, but at that time I was getting myself used to the technical aspects of designing a website. What really made me stuck was the content, because in the beginning, I had too many services to offer and I tried hard how to connect all my different skillsets in one website, because each field has a different target market. And because I had many things, it’s hard for me to build the portfolio for each service, because my mind was scattered and always felt in a rush.

Until one day I had a free business coaching session from an FB group, there was a business and life coach–her name is Tamara–that was giving away limited free 1:1 calls for the launching of her business. I felt so lucky that Tamara chose to give the chance for me because really after the call, I got a clearer vision that I need to do one thing at a time, which one that can solve my current problem, solve that problem first then go to the next goal. Tamara also made a customized action plan for me that suits my situation and goals. After the call and limiting my focus, I’ve seen that I managed to do more stuff than I was before. You know what, I was 1 month stuck on the website and it was so far from ready. Meanwhile after that, it only took me a week to set it up like what it is right now, as well as getting paid projects for web design that I’m currently working on. I also managed to build my web design portfolio while getting copywriting for my website content done.

One thing that I also appreciate from the call was that Tamara reminded me not too overthink it too much and dont worry about making it perfect at the first shot because in your journey, just like everyone else, you will probably makeover your website (design and content) three times. Just focus on getting started. I now can’t afford a business coach like Tamara but I really recommend her to anyone who’s looking for assistance in getting their visions clearer and to get things done.

My website now is still far from perfect or the way I really want it to be, I’m limited to my knowledge in coding. Talking about coding, there’s good news. I’ve been shortlisted to the top 15 finalists out of 800 scholarship applicants from 23 countries for a web development bootcamp program in Bali!! I will have to make an application video to make it to top 5 and eventually win the prize. I really hope that I can win this scholarship because it’s gonna help me in my career to get life and lifestyle that I want! Please hold thumbs for me!

Not A “New Year, New Me” Resolution

the 1-day

Gosh, today’s already the second week of this year! Why the H time flies so fast, while I’m learning things slowly.

Goals are the most important part of life, describing what you want to achieve. They also provide focus because once I have a clear target in mind, I can rededicate myself and confidently neglect ideas that aren’t contributing to my success <<— ideally, it should happen like this when my mind is not easily distracted nor procrastinates tasks.

Anyway, let’s not lose hope of making this year a better year than before or at least not fall very far from my expectation. From an online course, a mentor told that a goal is better when it’s in the form of verbal sentences, because setting a goal into a “WHAT” can be somewhat unhealthy. So now I want to elaborate my goals into a list of small things that should turn into a habit (hopefully) in order to really achieve a “WHAT”. This is the first time I do it this way, usually I always state my goals in a form of nouns. Here are some things I will be doing for the next 9 months

  • 1. Build my portfolio website (design and content)
  • 2. Put some content to the web that’s related to my service (content marketing)
  • 3. Offer more service exchange (my web design for others’ copywriting skills)
  • 3. When content is ready, set up an email list (email marketing)
  • 4. Create some affiliate links to new and existing posts
  • 5. Draw more digital illustration project for portfolio
  • 6. Apply to more gigs directly or through freelancing sites
  • 7. Set up accounts on other 3 more freelancing sites
  • 8. Create digital products to sell (templates, icons)
  • 9. Learn how to create a WordPress template
  • 10. Learn more about branding
  • 11. Complete 200hr YTT
  • 12. Yoga practice at regularly, at least three times a week
  • 13. Start to teach yoga classes
  • 14. Take/ continue my patternmaking class
  • 15. Learn more about technical fashion design
  • 17. Master Pinterest marketing
  • 18. Publish at least 12 Youtube videos on my Youtube channel
  • 19. Upload around 2 videos of my sewing process (for gowns)
  • 20. Apply for an internship to apparel manufacturers in Bali
  • 21. BETA on my own Pinterest account
  • 22. Reach out to people
  • 23. Move to Bali more permanently and research on business opportunity (for me and my BF)
  • 24. Travel abroad (at least to Thailand)
  • 25. Buy fancy gifts for my parents
  • 26. Open custom-orders in Bali
  • 27. Take my BF to a super nice date/ buy him a fancy gift
  • 28. Buy a decent laptop/ travelling backpack that doesn’t hurt my back and fits my 15.6 inch tablet
  • 29. Take a graphic design mentorship course
  • 30. Buy an iPad Pro 12 inch + Apple Pen
  • 31. Upgrade my Mac’s RAM to 8 GB
  • 32. Have a proper VPN service for work

WHOAAA…. that’s a hella list!! 30 goals to go starting from now, I’m already doing number 1,3 and 6 for now. Even when writing this post, I’m surprised by how clearer my vision is when I do it this way. Hopefully I will be able to checklist all/ most of them by October 2019. To track the progress of the plans, I use Trello apps.

I asked Heidi from Successful Fashion Designer podcast how she managed to get many things done in her life. And she said it’s because she makes lists of what she wants/ has to do, otherwise, she’ll have not done as much as she has today.

Okay then, it means I have to go back to the action plan instead of mumbling more in this post. However, I would like to know about other people’s goalsetting for this year, please comment below if you’d like to share 😀

My 2018 Recap

2018

Can’t believe today is the last day of 2018 already! It feels like just yesterday I packed my stuff back from Bali at the beginning of this year and last New Year’s Eve, I spent it in Bali.

2018 has been a good ride, just the way I wished it would be in last year’s post. Many things happened and some milestones achieved in this year. Here’s how my 2018 has been so far:

  • 1. Had the best last two months in Bali (Januari – February).

I lived in Bali for almost 6 months since the end of 2017. My last two months in Bali were so special than the first months. I’ve had more friends and got more familiar with the people and the area. I’ve been convinced that this is where my soul belongs to (at least in national level). I hope next year will go as planned and I can stay more permanently in Bali.

  • 2. My first fashion collection launched.

My first step to establishing myself as a fashion designer! I know my way is still long and far from success, but everyone has to start somewhere. I started with my first bridal collection, some of them have been sold out and I’ve had some custom-made orders. I’ve been evaluating my fashion design path and want to shift it from bridal to technical fashion design for apparel manufacturing. For someone who does not have a formal fashion education, I’m proud of myself!

  • 3. Travelling overseas to three different continents!

This year, I travelled like crazy! Out of 12 months, I travelled at least once every month for 11 months. The wicked thing is that I’d never travel abroad before in my life and this year, I just nailed it to three continents in a row, Asia, Australia and Africa and 4 different countries; Malaysia, Australia, South Africa, and Singapore. Travelling experiences has given me new perspectives and knowledge, I love seeing the person I’ve become after every travel experience. Whoa, this world is soo so so big and diverse and I just can’t get enough of it!

  • 4. New skills learned: Digital Drawing & Graphic Design

I know that I’m still doing many things right now even though I really want to niche down my specialization. I just can’t choose one (at least for now), I love both fashion and graphic design. That’s the narrowest I can get my niche for now. I also have to do both for now so that I can still make money because each skill back up each other. I learned how to use Adobe Illustrator and make my hand-drawings into digital products. I wish in the near future I can live off my drawing skills (graphic and fashion). Also I’ve dived into graphic design more to be able to be a better designer. I just love everything about design, the more you learn about the theory and science in design, you’ll be amazed by how this field is really all about understanding human.

  • 5. Another new skill learned: Social Media Management

I just can’t sit still until money comes to my lap, so I always think and look for ways to make money faster if my first plan doesn’t go as planned. Yes, I do have have a stable day-time job for now, but I don’t actually really enjoy the job because I think my time will be more appreciated financially somewhere else. And it seems like the easiest and fastest way to make money is by doing social media management. It’s because I charge in dollars while my expenses are mostly in Rupiahs, so I don’t really need to get and work to too many orders. I feel optimistic that my income target for next year will be achieved, at least in the end of next year.

  • 6. And still another new skill learned: Web design

This is epic! I’ve never thought I would be able to design a web from scratch! Well, what I mean here is not totally the nerdy web development thing with HTML code whatsoever, it’s just a simple WordPress site. I’ve been helped with the existence of Divi builder which is though still not as easy as Wix’ drag-and-drop feature, but still been a big step for me! I realized that not everyone is as fast as I am in learning it, and I’ve seen how it could help me to make another income stream by combining with my graphic design skill.

  • 7. I’ve got a remote day-time job.

I now work full time 8 hours a day from Mon-Fri. The good things are:

  1. This is a remote job, I can work from home and I don’t need to spend on transportation nor make-up expenses. I can work straight from my bed with my pillow face.
  2. The pay is higher than most jobs for Indonesians in general that require them to go to offices with sleek attires. Though it’s still far from the pay I used to earn in my previous job.
  3. I work with an international network and we actively communicate every day.
  4. I work from 5 or 6 am to 2 or 3 pm, so I still have time to do other things.

The cons are:

  1. I don’t enjoy the work, possibly because I feel I could be economically more valued somewhere else.
  2. Even though I still have time to do other things after work, in reality it’s not easy because I always feel drained after doing 8 hours of the thing I dont enjoy.

However, I’ll hold on to it a little longer before I quit. At least it’s helped me to get the knowledge and money to achieve other things. I hope that my online freelance career will kick out as soon as possible so that I can totally leave this job.

  • 8. Electricity purchases: Pen tablet and a new smartphone!

Big purchases this year, a new smartphone and a graphic display monitor! Both are Chinese products and very very good quality. I’m happy I chose them. I’ve converted from an Iphone believer to a Xiaomi believer.

  • 9. A new family member: my baby cousin!

My parents’ house has been noisy with kid’s laughs and cries this year with my baby cousin spending a lot of time in our house due to some circumstances. We’ve never had little kids in our house because my parents kept waiting for me to give them a grandchild. Lucky now we have her, my parents are kinda distracted from the grandchildren thing. I really love my baby cousin, she is very cute and likes to imitate me. She likes to sing and every morning she wakes everyone up with her singing though she cant really speak words clearly.

  • 10. Youtube milestone: 5,000 subscribers!!

At the beginning of this year, I celebrated my first 500 subscribers on my Youtube channel. Fast forward to 11 months later, I now have 10 times that number, which is 5,000 subscribers! This is unbelievable for me! I know it’s probably still a small number for many youtubers, but I dont see them as merely a number, they are people who chose to spend their time watching my videos. I know I should’ve been more focused into making videos regularly seeing stats have been doing very well for a new channel!

  • 11. I snorkelled in the best marine biodiversity site in the world, Raja Ampat!

I can’t be thankful enough for the views I’ve experienced in Raja Ampat, and I can’t forget the amazement I felt the first time my boyfriend taught me to snorkel and he held my hand. That is so so so amazing! All the colorful fish and corals, they have their own kingdom down there. My boyfriend has taken me to many beautiful places and I cant thank him enough, South Africa was, of course, memorable because I met he his family and friends there. But this is the most beautiful place he’s taken me to so far, who had known it’s gonna be underwater!

  • 12. My brother came home to Indonesia.

My only one brother has been living in Australia for 2,5 years and he’s never been able to come home during those years because it’s fricking expensive and we’re all struggling with the education fee (even though it’s already reduced by a 60% off scholarship). But the storm must be temporary, now that he’s been accepted to a full tuition Ph.D scholarship, we can breathe easily and he came to Indonesia. My dad had not seen him in those years because my dad cant travel that far due to his condition. It’s nice having him home at least for the time being we can feel how it was when we were kids and all the kids were home. At least for the next 1.5 months, we’ll have meals in the same table. You know, after high school, this is rare as we already left home.

  • 13. I just registered myself to two whole new trainings!

This is my next big thing for 2019, these two training programs will help me to get the best of 2019 hopefully. The two help me to get more money in two different fields and one of them is Yoga. Already sounds interesting, right?? This is a big investment for me!

  • 14. I’ve started earning in dollars.

I cant believe why I waited this long to finally took a chance to make money in international level with an international currency. I totally just started out, but I’ve been slowly growing. I feel that even if sometimes I got gigs that I don’t really enjoy, at least I feel happy because the pay is good in the end. Actually, the salary I got now from my job is fine for Indonesian standard, but I’ve been surrounded with people that are making in currency higher than mine (my bro, bf, friends etc), so I feel the pressure to also earn in dollars, otherwise I will never be able to pay back what my Boo has given to me, I want to be able to give him a fancy gift someday, it will be hard for me if I just earn in Rupiah as rupiah is very low.

  • 15. Meeting the family

This is one of the most important events happened this year! Both me and my BF had the chance to meet each family for the first time. I was nervous to meet his family because we’re from a totally different culture. I always felt confident when my ex BFs (locals) introduced me to their families, I always nailed it because I know what Indonesians like (if I have to fake, I at least know how to fake, lol.). But this time I totally had no idea, even though I’ve had friends from all over the world, it doesn’t mean I understand their western culture. What if they misinterpret what I do or say and many what if questions I had in my mind. But I knew I could not be anyone but myself, even though there were some awkward moments that I realized, haha! I’m glad that I could learn more about the factors that made him who he is today, now I understand where the habit of giving compliments and thank yous come from and many little things that they probably didnt realize that I was observing and taking notes. Just recently, he also spared a time to meet my family, I cant describe how meaningful it is for me!

  • 16. My relationship, I just love him more and more!

I just love my boyfriend SO MUCH and my feeling for him grows stronger each and every day. I hope that he feels the same. Looking back at how things started, I didn’t even know we could make it this far. He’s been the most important aspect of my life this year (after me, of course. Because I’m a narcissist, LOL!), if I look back, many beautiful things that happened to me this year involved him and I’m looking forward to many years to come with him!