Freelancing: Upwork Pros and Cons

There’s tons of online job platform out there nowadays but loyal pa rin ako sa Upwork. I’ve tried several platforms too such as PeoplePerHour and Got It Pro – Excelchat. Pero just like regular companies, may hiyang ka and then there are those wherein you just can’t seem to fit in. So oDesk was founded in 2003 and later on joined with Elance in 2013 (becoming Elance-oDesk) then eventually rebanded as Upwork. Fortunately I joined the platform someone 2009, it was not as saturated as it is now. According to TechCrunch, it reported has some 375,000 freelancers and 475,000 clients operating in 180 countries.

So kung ganyan kadami, imagine kung gaano kahirap na makahanap ng trabaho sa Upwork ngayon. That is assuming may active profile ka na. And I noticed that when you tell people that you’re working online, the first thing that comes to mind is that it’s easy. They’d be like paano? Bigyan mo din ako ng online job or sali mo naman ako dyan? Don’t we all wish that it’s that easy? Right now, Upwork is very strict in accepting freelancers and it’s actually not a bad thing, kasi ang dami na kasing bad freelancers. May mga freelancers from other countries na sobrang baba din ng rates so pamatay pangkabuhayn talaga. Meron din naman yung nagtatrabahong mabuti or may mga sumusuway sa mga rules ng Upwork like sa Upwork sila kumuha ng clients tas dinadala nila outside the platform.

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Upwork has several pros and cons, like any other platform. Here’s what I came up, actually yung pros and some of the cons based from personal experience while of the cons nabasa kong complaints sa mga groups and forums.

Pros:

  • Build a good profile and you’ll get perks as a Top Rated Freelancer.
    I’ve been here for almost a decade,
    ganda na nga na-build ko na stats.
  • Depending on your skills set, there’s tons of job posts you can apply for. And if you’re a top-rated freelancer, Upwork na mismo mag-invite sayo to apply for posts that they think matches your profile. In fact I got two ongoing long term clients, even before I had Xavy. So imagine the relationship we’ve built, nagli-like pa nga yon sa mga IG posts namin ni Xavy. Nakita din nya kung paano lumaki si Xavy.
  • Getting paid is very convenient and user friendly once you’ve set it up. You can withdraw to your Paypal account or your local banks (aside from the $0.99 Upwork withdrawal fee, additional bank fees will apply, depending on your bank). I had never had problems with withdrawing my earnings ever. (I hope I don’t jinx it!)

Cons:

  • It’s very hard to get your profile accepted. Mas mabuti kung e-link mo yung LinkedIn profile or GitHub accounts mo para it’s easier for them to verify your identity. Then you have to indicate all your previous work experience. Your profile is basically your resume is dapat nakalagay dyan yung ano kayang mong gawin.
  • Landing your first job is not a walk in the park, actually para syang Divisoria na palaging peak season. And on top of that they only provide 60 free connects every month. If you don’t know what connects mean, it’s what you use to apply to job posts, para syang credits. Now some job posts might need more than 1 connect to apply. But note that you can get 10 more connects if you upgrade your membership to Plus for $10 per month (the plus plan has a lot of perks not just the additional connects). Read more about using Connects here. Then you have to take tests that’s compatible dun sa skills set mo.
  • The fees are high kung bago ka pa lang. Specifically, Upwork charges the freelancer a fee of: 20% for the first $500 billed with the client. 10% for lifetime billings with the client between $500.01 and $10,000. 5% for lifetime billings with the client that exceed $10,000. Dati it was only 10% of your billing per client, regardless of lifetime billings of that client. Technically this is a PRO for freelancers who’ve been in the platform for quite some time kasi madalas marami silang long term clients na more than 10k na yung na bill nila.

Okay those are just what I gathered, I might have missed some pros and cons but this should give you some basic idea.

Now, if you’re thinking of getting into freelancing through Upwork, butihin mo yung profile mo and igihan mo yung pag-apply ng mga job posts. Pero wag naman yung apply ka lang ng apply ’cause eventually Upwork will notice and then suspend your account. Apply ka lang dun sa alam mong kaya mong panindigan. At the end of day, freelancing is not that different from an office job, kailangan mo pa din magtrabaho ng maigi para may earnings.

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Good luck and more power to your freelancing journey! May the odds be in our favor.

Rockstar in Taipei (Part 1)

This ain’t a spur of the moment thing, this trip took years of wishing and hoping that they’d lift the visa policy for Filipinos. And when they did, it took another year of dreaming before the trip actually came to life. So we basically decided to schedule the trip during their National Day, also known as Double Ten which happens every October 10. We thought it’d be the best time coz it would mean we’ll get to see their military parade and some fireworks.

Here’s the suggested best time to travel considering the weather, the temperature and rainfall to be specific.

So before we left, we had everything planned out including a “five days” itinerary. We figured it will come in handy when we go through immigration. We booked several activities in Klook which was very helpful, I’d highly recommend the ads I posted on this page coz we actually tried them out. We grabbed the wifi from their kiosk at the airport and then headed to our hostel.

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We stayed at Mono’tel Shilin Hostel which was just a few steps from the Shilin Night Market. The place is very clean and the staff actually speak English and were very friendly. It’s also a very close walk to the Jiantan MRT stop. And there’s a 7/11 store and a cafe right outside the hostel. If you want something familiar to the taste buds, KFC is a 2-minute walk.

So for our first day, it was pretty late when we settled at the hostel so we just went around the Shilin Night Market and grabbed dinner. Taiwan is all about night markets and Shilin is one of the largest night market. Actually nakakatuwa yung area coz it’s alive at night until dawn but during mornings until around mga 4pm, halos lahat ng stores closed! We tried their infamous stinky tofu, my God! Don’t every try it unless adventurous yung ilong and tyan mo. The smell will stick on your nostrils for hours, it’s not funny at all.

Their night markets are amazing. Just try new things and you might be surprised that you actually like them. The next day was packed with activities. We headed to the Maokong Gondola, some temples and the Taipei zoo.

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The Gondola is right where the zoo is so if you want to do both, we’d suggest you start early. Their zoo is huge, divided into animal categories. This was a day of walking for us, if you want to do the same thing, please wear comfy shoes and bring water. There are drinking fountains all over the zoo you can refill your water bottle. We started off with the gondola, we had the one with the glass floor. It was amazing to see the forest right below your feet! If you’re scared of heights, choose the non-glass floor one. We also visited the temples around the area. Then we explored their huge zoo, we couldn’t check out everything so we only stopped at the animals we were interested in such as the panda.

It was a long day, the next day we were all looking forward to the festivities of Double Ten.

Until next post.

Graphics design, my POV

This is like the nth ad I’ve created. To be honest, I don’t like doing it but sometimes you have to do things that you don’t like if you want to survive in this world. People seem to think that I like doing these stuff because I’ve done so many in the past and I do sell graphics tees for kids after all. So I suppose people assumed that I actually enjoy doing it, but no.

You see the only reason I do it is because I need to. I know for a fact that I am not a creative person. Artistic ideas don’t just magically appear in my head, I normally look around and just try to get ideas from the internet. Technically, it’s a tedious work for me so I try as much as I can to avoid designing stuff.

Graphics design is best when it’s done by people who are really artists. There are people out there who, for some crazy reason, were blessed with brains that magically produce ideas from out of nowhere. Okay maybe I’m exaggerating but you get the point. And yes, these kind of guys do exist, my brother has this one friend who’s just crazy talented. I think my boss has the same brain too.

Anyhow, if you’re wondering if the ad’s real or “fake news”, yes, we are hiring. We’ve been continuously hiring for years I think. People come and people go, even before we get to know their names and faces, sad but it’s reality.

 

 

Freelancing: How did I start freelancing online?

So I do have a full time job at an actual office about 10 minutes from our apartment as an IT Supervisor for the past 5 years. But being a single mom (without financial support from Xavier’s dad) is financially a feat! So I had to find ways to keep the roof over our heads and our stomachs filled. So when I tell people that I part time online, the question I get asked all the time is “HOW?”. The answer to that is about 5 years in the making.

Now before you get discouraged, let me motivate you by saying as a part time freelancer, my hourly rate online is 3 times what I get paid as an IT Supervisor. Now don’t get intimated with my skills, you might think “duh, she’s got that rate because of her geek skills, I don’t have the same skills set as her“. Yes you’re right, we don’t have the same skills set, BUT before you go concluding that my online is probably some fancy programming kind’a thing, let me rain on your parade by confessing that this rate is actually as a “Virtual Assistant”. Honestly, with the things I have to handle at the office, I need no-brainer online jobs, I can’t risk overworking my brain. I’m sure you’ve probably heard that there’s a thin line between geeks and the crazy. LOL

Anyhow, here’s how I did it; Read More »