There can be a lot of benefits to freelancing, but a boost to your social life isn’t typically one of them: Being self-employed can get lonely. That’s how Marilou Musni, a digital brand strategist in the Philippines, felt when she decided to spark a change by becoming an Upwork Huddle host.

Musni has now hosted three Upwork Huddles in her hometown Cagayan de Oro. Here’s a look at what these events are like and how Musni uses them to help balance all the time spent working on her own.


Connecting with fellow Upwork rockstars

Upwork Huddles are independently organized meetups, hosted by experienced Top Rated freelancers for the local Upwork freelancer community. The goal: To help local freelancers connect and create their own communities.

Upwork Huddle — Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines Upwork Huddle — Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines

Musni loves that the nature of her work allows her to work in the comfort of her own home. However, she also knows how important it is to socialize with people who aren’t family members. Her favorite part of hosting Upwork Huddles is to inspire and share experiences and laughter with others who understand the freelance lifestyle.

“As a host, I get the privilege to listen to everyone’s wonderful story of dreams, struggles, joys, failures, and happiness of what freelancing has brought in their lives.

Her own journey on Upwork started while working in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry. She first heard about Upwork at a party; ready for a new challenge, she created her profile the next day. After a week of hustling on Upwork, she landed her first client — a business based in Australia. Since then life has been better.

“I was able to change my life financially. I was able to send my kids to a great school and support my family. I was able to invest in real estate, stocks and was able to buy my 1st (2nd hand) and 2nd (brand new) car!”

Musni’s personal recipe for success? “The attitude of gratitude. How you build your relationship with clients and not just because of the monetary reasons. Patience is the key and constantly reinventing ourselves to keep pace with the ever-changing demands of my clients.”

In 2017, Musni organized three Upwork Huddles and is excited about moving forward this year since their group is growing: 23 fellow freelancers joined her last Upwork Huddle.

The best part about these events? “We all have gained friends, mentors, and chat buddies because of the Upwork Huddle.” Musni is already looking forward to hosting the next Huddle in Cagayan de Oro!

Upwork Huddle — Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines Upwork Huddle — Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines

Interested to meet with fellow freelancers in your city, too?

Upwork has a network of dynamic Upwork Huddle hosts all around the world. Becoming a host is a great way to expand your network, connect with other freelancers in person, and have fun! To learn more about Upwork Huddles and how you can become a host, check out this help article. Please note that becoming a Huddle host is a perk for freelancers who have obtained Top Rated status.

Thanks to all Upwork Huddle hosts and attendees for helping to develop local Upwork freelancer communities. Watch for an upcoming Huddle in your community and follow the buzz online: #upworkhuddle on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.