In wandering around one of the forums I frequent I came across a website called oDesk (Now UpWork). It’s pretty much a bid for hire a site for writers and programmers. I’m sure there are other types of jobs there but since I’m a writer, I’m always looking for new opportunities.
Applying for Jobs
To apply for jobs at oDesk, you must pass certain basic tests. The oDesk readiness test is a mandatory ‘open book’ test. If you don’t pass the oDesk readiness test you will not be able to apply for any of the open positions. After passing the oDesk readiness test, you can choose to take more proficiency tests. Passing each test opens new opportunities for different jobs.
Some of the buyers look to see how you scored on particular tests before they will even entertain the thought of hiring you. The good thing about this is that high test scores should attract more buyers. The bad thing is if you’re horrible at taking tests, your test scores may not necessarily be indicative of your abilities. You do, however, have the ability to take tests over again to obtain a better score.
oDesk Team Software
oDesk uses a software program called oDesk Team, through which you must work. If you’re working on an hourly basis, you must log into oDesk Team so it can keep track of your work hours. It checks whether you’re actively working or idle. There’s an indicator that detects keyboard or mouse activity. All hours tracked through oDesk Team are guaranteed.
The only downside as I see it is they do not guarantee jobs taken on a flat rate basis because there is no way to track the actual hours worked. For example, freelance writers tend to write on a word count or per job basis. As a freelance writer, I can write anywhere at any time. Sitting at a computer and typing does not necessarily mean that I’m working on that particular article. So oDesk cannot track my flat rate time.
Daily Job Notifications
So far, I’ve signed up but I haven’t actually used the service. I took the initial readiness test and decided to take a breather before I signed up for any additional tests. I will however, take the English proficiency test to see what types of jobs are available for me as a freelance writer. I signed up for the daily e-mail notification of new writing jobs. Here are the job notifications I received today.
Scuttlebutt has it that new freelancers earn low wages until they have developed a following and have built their resume. Not having applied for a job as yet, I cannot verify the scuttlebutt. However, if someone with more experience with oDesk can share some light, I’d love to hear your take on it.