working online

Working Online 101: How to get started on working from home with Upwork [Formerly oDesk]

Home-based jobs: where you just need a few seconds to get ready for work has been a growing industry in the past few years. The perks of working online are immeasurable. Aside from saving big bucks for not having to spend for transportation and buying office clothes, it gives the freelancer a chance to work on his or her own schedule.

Getting into this industry is simple. All you need is your computer or laptop, a good Internet connection and your skills. Just like applying for a job in the non-virtual world, you need to choose the platform to get you started. One of the work from home platforms that a freelancer can use is Upwork.

Upwork, according to its website, is a merge between the two global online work platforms that is Elance and oDesk. This is your easy access as a freelancer or independent contractor to job openings that appeal to you and your skills.

Here are the steps into getting started with your work from home career via Upwork.

  1. Create an account with Upwork by signing up on the Upwork website. You can even opt to use your existing online accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google for less sign up details to type in the browser and instant link between your Upwork account and personal online accounts.
  2.  Once the sign up process is done, open your e-mail account to confirm the Upwork sign up.
  3. Afterwards, log in to your Upwork account and get started on your profile. Your profile will become like your resume for employers. So, fill it with your job experiences, education background and skills. It is your selling point for your capabilities. So, use your real name for the account to show your professionalism and so you won’t have problems when you need to verify your name. In the summary box, present your best assets as a freelancer. You can also upload a photo or back it up with video so the client can get to know you better. Also, do not forget to upload your portfolio within your profile. If you are a graphic designer, upload your best artworks for employers to see. If you are a web designer, put links to websites you’ve designed in the past in your profile. Process to this link to see a sample profile.
  4. Aside from building up your skills to potential clients, establish your rate as well. An hourly rate means you are paid a certain amount for every hour you work online. A fixed-rate, on the other hand, means a flat fee will be paid for the project. Upwork has a protection plan for both so you can be assured to receive your payments.
  5. After enumerating your skills, take as much of the available skills exam available on Upwork to back it up. Aside from your resume or profile, this will serve as another point for you as an applicant. It will also showcase your strengths for various jobs. The Upwork Readiness Test is the most common exam that some clients demand. The skills exam you have to take would also depend on what the client requires.
  6. Have a Skype or Google Hangout account ready. Most clients conduct interviews thru these platforms.
  7. Get a PayPal account as another option to transfer your Upwork payments to. You can also transfer your Upwork payments straight to your bank. Just don’t forget to verify the accounts you will link to your Upwork account so you won’t encounter problems in the future. As a reminder though, do not allow clients to pay you straight to PayPal or your account. Have it pass Upwork so you are covered by the platform’s payment protection plans.
  8. Once you are done with your profile, start looking for jobs. This is just like searching on Google or Yahoo. Use keywords that best match your skills and find a job posting about it.
  9. As soon as you find one job that interests you, apply to as many jobs as you want. Just make sure that when you are offered the project, you can accommodate them. To apply, just click on the Apply button, set your hourly rate or bid a flat fee for the project, answer some initial client questions, sell yourself through a cover letter and add attachments like your sample works. You will need to tick the Upwork User Agreement box as well to proceed. Be wary though of clients who offer way too high rates or whose payment capability has yet to be verified. Do a background check before going through a job with them to be on the safe side.
  10. Once you’ve applied, check on your messages or job application page as much as you can to see the progress of your application.

For more details on how to get started on Upwork, read this.



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