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.

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