Upwork, previously oDesk, is a good place to start your freelancing career. If you’ve been working onsite for the most part of your working life and you don’t know where to start to become permanently home-based post-pandemic, start at Upwork.
Below, I’ve listed down some of the reasons why you should consider Upwork in your freelancing journey. But first, a bit about the site and how it works.
WHAT IS UPWORK?
Upwork is a marketplace that connects people looking for work (that’s you) and people looking for workers (the client). The jobs are typically contractual or project-based, and time-based. Occasionally, you’d find permanent full-time jobs that are open to people from all parts of the world, but there are also jobs where geolocation is a requirement (some jobs require applicants from certain locations only like the US, India, and (yes) the Philippines).
To bid for a job means to apply (you send in your application that includes your rate or your ‘bid’ for that particular project).
There are two types of projects you can bid on: hourly type and fixed-price projects. Hourly jobs have a payment guarantee if you use Upwork’s time tracking app (once you’re hired for a job, Upwork will walk you through the setup process via email). For fixed-price projects, the pay is held in escrow by Upwork.
Upwork takes a cut from your pay. The cut can be 5% to 20% depending on your lifetime earnings with a client. In other words, the more you work for a particular client the less Upwork takes from your earnings.
At the end of a project, you can rate your client and your client can rate you too— a good way to establish your rep and your ranking on the platform.
- You can use it to build your portfolio
It’s easier to land your dream full-time work-from-home job if you’ve got a portfolio to show potential employers.
Upwork jobs are mostly project-based, so you don’t have to leave your current job. There are also jobs you can do part-time if your present work is demanding.
The idea is to gather as much experience as you can as you transition from a traditional office job to a job you can do from anywhere in the world. When you’ve built enough experience, quitting your job won’t be as scary. Then you can finally kiss your daily commute goodbye with a confidence that only comes from experience.
- It’s virtually scam-free
I say “virtually” because scammers these days can be very creative, but in all the years (which I won’t say how many because I like to keep my age to myself, thank you very much) I’ve been on the platform, I have never encountered one that cheated me out of my money.
Before Upwork, I used to get projects straight off an advert on the web or from Craigslist. I switched to Upwork because I got tired of scammers. Upwork’s cut, in my opinion, was a small price to pay for never worrying about people stealing my work ever.
If you’re a beginner and don’t know how to tell a scam from not, Upwork may be your best bet. It takes the guesswork out of finding legit home-based jobs in the Philippines or jobs you can do from anywhere in the world, for that matter.
- It’s one of the biggest job marketplace out there
The site is pretty active. There are always new job postings and plenty of jobs to bid on. You’d never run out of jobs to apply to.
- It’s a global marketplace
And being a global platform for remote jobs means the pay rate is competitive. I submit that they’re not always “globally competitive” but if you’re living in the Philippines where the cost of living is low, low-paying contracts by global standards aren’t so bad.
What’s too low and what’s acceptable? Check out the next item on this list.
- You can compete in this gobal space
Don’t short-sell yourself just because you live in a third-world country. Filipinos are highly literate people, and as someone who’s been working globally remotely for a long time, I can tell you that our skills are at par with those from other countries. For instance, in writing, you should bid based on your abilities as a writer, even though English may not be your native language (because, you know, not all native English speakers write or even speak as well as they should). Magagaling kaya ang mga Pinoy!
- The site can help you gauge the going-rate for your skills
Don’t know what to charge? Take a look at the job listings for your skills. Read through the requirements for the role then take note of the pay rate. That’s the amount they’re willing to pay for the qualifications they’re looking for.
Assess your own experience and skill set and you’ll have a fair idea of what to charge, and by looking at the published rates, what the going rate is for your qualifications.
There are other job sites for legit home-based jobs in the Philippines that you can explore. Watch out for that in my next posts.