All Things Upwork

Alisa A few weeks ago, a single line in a blog post caught our eye. Discussing a busy week during the holiday season, the blogger wrote, “This week is pretty packed for me. Sunday, I bought my mom a brand new wheelchair. Thanks to oDesk, I was able to save enough to buy her wheels! Now it will be easier for her to go outside.” To learn more about her heartwarming story we dropped her a line. The writer is oDesk provider Alisa E, in the Philippines. She joined oDesk this summer, quickly picking up work in data entry, link building and more.

Q:  This is your first experience with freelancing online. What made you decide to try oDesk?

A:  My son was diagnosed with epilepsy and had frequent seizures, so I had to quit my job. My husband introduced me to oDesk. He knew someone who was working on oDesk and suggested that I give it a try so I could still work from home.

Q:  Within days of joining in late August, you’d landed some jobs that are still ongoing. That must’ve been great.

A:  I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve read in the forums that some providers take months before they get an assignment here on oDesk. I am grateful to the buyers who trusted me and gave me work.

Q:  So what did you do right? How did you approach your first attempts at getting work through oDesk?

A:  I followed the tips oDesk posted in the forum: I completed my profile, took some tests, and applied to assignments that I feel comfortable with. I try not to recycle my cover letters because every assignment is different, and when I finish my cover letter, I always ask: “Would I like to hire me after reading this?”

Q:  Is all your work via oDesk now?

A:  I work entirely on oDesk. Occasionally, I have other projects, but most of my work week is dedicated to my oDesk assignments. Nothing wrong with having regular in-office work, but nothing beats being available for your family when they need you the most. That’s what I like about oDesk—my son can just burst into the room and give me a hug while I’m working.

Q:  The wheelchair for your mom—what a great present. Have you given it to her yet, or will she get it at Christmas?

A:  Oh wow! I was so happy when I finally bought my Mom her “wheels”! Before my Mom had the stroke, she loved going outside. Someone gave her an old wobbly wheelchair but we couldn’t go far on it. Early this December, I found an ad in the Internet from someone selling wheelchairs. I took the money I saved and immediately bought her one. And I’m so glad I did! I have already given her the chair, and the look on her face was priceless. Her face lit up when she saw the shiny new chair. She didn’t mind having the gift before Christmas, she was all smiles.

Q:  For 2009, do you have any goals in terms of work or earnings?

A:  oDesk has exposed me to a lot of jobs or freelance work that could be done over the Internet. For work goals, I’ll maximize the resources found online and learn some lessons in basic web design and on Internet marketing. Personal goals, I’d like to save enough again and hopefully contribute to a feeding program for less fortunate kids. Somehow, it’s been my experience that when I give out more to other people, more blessings seem to come our way. And maybe I can upgrade my PC!

Q:  If someone who was just signing up as an oDesk provider today asked you for advice, what would you say?

A:  oDesk works! To make it in oDesk one needs to be globally competitive: be skilled and knowledgeable in your work. You need to have a lot of patience, determination, and you need to give your best in all the work that you do. Also, never lose hope!

Q:  If a brand new buyer company were joining oDesk and asked your advice in posting jobs, or hiring or managing oDesk providers, what would you say?

A:  We are here on oDesk because we want to work, and we will work hard. Let us know what the job entails, what qualifications you need, so that we know if we can live up to your expectations. Give us a chance to tell you what we can do by interviewing us, and if you do hire us for the assignment, do check on us sometimes to ask how we are doing so we’ll know if we are on the right path and so we can serve you better. We need you as much as you need us, and we are here because you are.