Many people initially grumbled about the changes to Upwork (formerly Odesk) and the site is still experiencing problems with most complaints centred on two general issues:
- The awful changes made to the email system. It has switched to a chat/IM based rather than email contact method. It would be great in practice, but it doesn’t work as all jobs appear to be listed in alphabetical order – even dead contracts, which is insanely stupid. Plus, many people are still not getting notifications
- The second is the limit to the number of applications. I thought at the time that reducing the number of monthly applications from 100 would be better for everyone and so far it seems to be. I still think that 60 connects (maximum 30 applications) is too few though, but time will tell
This second change has meant I’ve had more queries from potential clients and though initially work went quiet as people adjusted to the system and Upwork became more proactive in encouraging clients to allocate their jobs – which was a horrific problem before. I’d often go a week, apply for 15-20 jobs and only 1 or 2 would actually result in a hire. It got to a point where I was earning more in an average month from the three contracts I have on elance, than the 8 or 9 I had on Odesk/Upwork which made me worry about my potential future earnings from the single site when elance is shut down.
But a couple of quick jobs I had month ago, coupled with the positive feedback I got, pushed me over the line and into the group of Top Rated freelancers on the site and things seem to be improving for the better. I’m very pleased with this because whereas before I’d get one or two invitations to interview per week, now I am getting four or five per day and though some half of them would be unsuitable, I’m now getting more work and more opportunities for work.
Putting my rate up to $23.33 per hour in the last week has not tempered clients’ interest in hiring me, either.
I now feel much more relaxed about the future of Upwork and though I still want to expand my interests outside of the site – as it’s never a good idea to keep all your eggs in one basket – I now have several solid contracts (and some sporadic) that I can rely on to form the backbone of my freelancing career.
Is anybody else on Upwork experiencing a marked improvement in their work opportunities?