The Way We Work
August 2, 2009 by Guest Blogger

There are some experiences that are unique to those newest members of the oDesk community. In the second of this 2-part series, a neophyte freelancer shares her early experiences and success, in the hope it may guide and inspire others as they begin their careers as providers on oDesk.

Previously, Verena was getting frustrated, and had very little luck with finding work online. Until she received an invitation to interview for a position after giving up hope:

I responded to the invitation with no expectation that I would be hired. I thanked the buyer for picking me from his many profile searches at oDesk. I took this as an opportunity to prove my worth…..or better yet, to point out my skill set, work experience and other proficiencies. After a day, there was no reply. I merely shrugged my shoulders and considered it as another rejection. I’ve dealt with the same already and I was done with it.

Until the evening of that day, came another email, this time direct from the buyer. His message said in part, “I appreciate your considering working with the number one office in Florida in regards of mortgage services and lending ….” He also included a questionnaire. “I have 20 more people I am interviewing this week and you were the first in the line so I wish you luck Verena” I answered his queries and emailed him back, still without expecting that anything good would come out of it. I no longer had the same enthusiasm as when I first signed up.

In no time, a follow up email from the buyer reached my mail box. It said…”I read all your answers and I like all of them. Congratulations… I think you are the right person for the job. I will forward all the email to correspondence HR and get you on board ASAP…”

Could this be true? Does that mean I am hired? I added his skype address to my list and true enough we had a voice chat and he confirmed that I got the job. Halleluiah! So what they say is also true, “when one door closes on you, another will open.”

When it Rains, it Pours…

Because I was able to regain my enthusiasm that day, I applied for a few job posts. Barely 24 hours after that, an oDesk alert landed in my mailbox. This time the buyer was from Canada. His job post required a “Top Personal Assistant” for administrative support in his computer software industry. His personal requirements were that the candidate be “an excellent communicator, intelligent, independent, motivated, creative, assertive, reliable, responsible, well organized, preferably with above 5 English skills, at least 1 oDesk hours, and feedback score of above 4.5.”

At that time, of all the listed qualifications, I do not meet the last two. Since I had not begun my assignment yet with my first client, I had not logged any oDesk hours. Neither did I have a feedback score yet, since this comes only after an assignment is ended. But I got invited for the interview nonetheless. My self-worth came back!

I responded to the invitation and in no time I was chatting with the buyer. Our discussions covered topics on my experience in designing/creating powerpoint presentations, customer services, handling legal disputes, business correspondence, my availability or schedule, a brief summary of his business and his job requirements. Not long after that, I was hired for the job. I felt great that I had two jobs that I can manage, thanks to my skill at time management and multi-tasking. I felt so good and so grateful.

Currently, I have 6 active assignments, all from very nice buyers. I am very motivated because they all have very positive attitudes about me and my work. Two of them increased my hourly rate without me asking for it – according to them, that is for a job well done and for exceeding their expectations. I feel so blessed and lucky to have been involved with quality buyers like them, and I am happy to be a part of the growth of their businesses. I thank them for entrusting their jobs to me. I always make it a point to do my job well and I make it my commitment to do the best I can for them.

Thank you, oDesk, for serving as a valuable “bridge” between the buyers and providers like me!


Verena De Los Reyes is a stay-at-home mom and just recently a member of the oDesk community of freelance professionals. She is a mother of three beautiful children and the wife of a wonderful husband, Arthur. Verena shares more of her experiences as a freelancer earning an honest living online at her blog.