My #UpworkSuccess Journey: How It Started and How I keep It Going


#uPWORKSUCCESS CONTEST

As of today, my Upwork profile says I have a total of 172 hours of work, 34 jobs taken and earned a total of $2,000. My Upwork (formerly Odesk) account was inactive for 3 years without a single client history. It was a dead account for so long. For the past year I took the plunge along with a few direct clients to keep floating in this journey called freelancing.

Hearing the laments of my fellow friends who are dying to get their Upwork profile approved and even those who are making money to help people get their profile approved just freak me out!  I always tell myself I was luckier that I acted just in time to get a spot. I  was one of them not long time ago who's like a lost puppy trying to find a way home. I was too afraid to take my  first step to live a location-independent lifestyle after getting burnt out from a 9-year old job. 



When I learned about Upwork's most recent contest inviting every hardworking and best performing freelancers on this site to tell their success stories, I knew this is the moment I have been waiting for! Don't worry, this post won't be cheesy and lengthy because I have made a blog post and a Youtube video about it last month already.  You can click here about HOW I REACHED USD 1, 000 ON UPWORK AFTER 74 HOURSThis time I promise you won't yawn, not even once because I won't share my work history from the moment I sign up up to now I am typing this. Lucky you!




You know, I am one of those whose dream is to quit my (corporate) job and travel the world. That's the main reason why I decided to be a freelancer. Oh by the way, the real culprit is actually this image I keep seeing everywhere of a blond-haired woman sitting on a hammock by the beach with a laptop and drinking a colorful glass of mojito. Who knows, somewhere and someday I will meet my Prince in a hostel bar, have some drinks, share a (French) kiss and travel the world together? Every photo-crazy girl like me is dying to find an Instagram boyfriend. Getting a job that requires me to clock in and clock out physically won't give me a lot of options!


Before anything else, I would like to remind you of three things about MY Upwork Story 

1. It is NOT a HUNDRED PERCENT SUCCESS
Sharing my #UpworkSuccess story doesn't mean I am the best out there in this site. Last month, my Job Success score was 97%, I wanted to screenshot it and make it a profile photo in every social media site I belong. When September came it went down to 93%. The Top rated badge is still but this shows that I am only human and that dealing with clients is a sort of roller coaster ride. I am yet to know how Upwork's algorithm works but it just show that every minute counts. You have to give your best shot from sending your best pitch to delivering the output. 

2. It is a BATTLE I should keep WINNING
While most freelancers prefer to work with one or two clients on a long-term basis, me I prefer diversity in terms of tasks and the people I worked with.  I super love to be challenged and learn new tools. Through Upwork, there are a lot of options. I only have one long-term client whom I have been working with for more than a year: an international travel site that caters to busy travelers.  I do itinerary research for them. The rest of my gigs on this platform are per project basis. I have no problem with it. All I need is to keep the battle of pitching always a win for me so that I will have something to work on a daily basis. 

3. It is  the site regardless of what is your expertise
The biggest obstacle of my freelancing career is that my skills are so limited. I don't know software programming, photo layout, video editing, accounting and many more. My last resort is to do data entry (not that I belittle this type of task) but I never gave up. I took the lowest projects to build up my portfolio then asked myself many times - what am I good at that I can continue for the longest time.

4. It is a decision that I would like to do for as long as I live
Having a remote work that I can do from the comforts of my home is the best thing that happened to my life. If these tears that are falling down my cheeks now can write, these are words worth thousands of unexplained gratitude. I feel so blessed because I can now visit my family anytime I want in the province and still have time to do my other passion which is blogging.  

Fast forward to now,  the dream of traveling the world and meeting my Prince somewhere down the road did not happen. Instead, I met a forty-something divorced expat and a startup owner who taught me so much about practicality. He taught me to save whenever I can and think of the future.  Gone are the weekends when I am restless traveling here and there because of the peer pressure of my friends who are constantly on vacation. 

Of course, I still travel but occasionally. I always make sure that destination or that hotel room I am going to stay has a stable wifi for me to work for my clients. I always make sure that I have fair time to enjoy and build (future) connections to people I meet wherever I go. 

Upwork also made me realize that a freelancer's life doesn't guarantee anything. If I don't work, I'm not paid. I have no VL's or SL's to count on. I learned to value every cent that I receive every time a client pays. 

This "I quit my job to travel the world" line is NOT for me
The truth is I may never be this blond-haired woman sitting on a hammock by the beach with a laptop and drinking a colorful glass of mojito. Dreams do change, priorities change all because of this man who inspired me to stay put again.  Also, for a third-world passport holder, getting a visa is a harder feat.

Upwork taught me about choosing right: of when to pursue when it is possible and when to stop if it's deemed impossible. There's nothing wrong about quitting - just make sure you'll start over as soon as you can.  That's it folks! I will end here to respond to a client's message.

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