To Apply or Not to Apply
A reader of this blog posed the following scenario to me: "I started browsing the project…
Are you looking for a legitimate work from home option? You’re in good company. Everyone wants to telecommute by finding jobs they can do from home. For the past 5 years, I’ve done just that (start reading my story free). In this article I’ll show you exactly where to start to find great online jobs.
I hear this a lot: “Matt, your book is interesting, but I don’t think I could make a career as an online worker.” In response, I usually pose a simple question: “Why not?” The most common excuse I hear has to do with the perceived quality of online jobs. Apparently, when people (especially my fellow Americans) get started on Upwork (formerly oDesk) or other virtual marketplaces, they get turned off by the abundance of low-paying jobs and projects. In fact, I recently had someone leave me an Amazon review that addressed this specific concern. (As a side note, you’ll notice this particular person later revised the review to be very favorable after sticking to the plan.) In this article, I’m going to address this concern head on.
I’m not going to lie, there are many job postings that are total jokes. I would estimate that for every 1 job posting that is a good fit for me, there are at least 10 to 20 that should be immediately filtered out of consideration. Let’s keep in mind that websites like Upwork.com are virtual marketplaces. It’s not Upwork’s job to help you find the perfect job opportunity. It’s up to you. Luckily, sites like Upwork offer some powerful filtering tools to help you avoid work at home scams. But what’s the best strategy for using these filters?
Here’s my logic on filtering. When evaluating online job opportunities, my goal is to find employers willing to hire me at my desired hourly rate on an ongoing basis. If I can’t find a good fit initially, my secondary goal would be to find a decent-paying project (i.e. fixed-price project) that may lead into ongoing work. In fact, most of my long-term clients resulted from an initial fixed-price project (such as a marketing plan). Fixed-price projects offer a low-risk opportunity for both parties to become acquainted.
To accomplish these goals, I only look for employers that meet the following criteria: 4.5 feedback score (and up), at least 5 hires, and posted job(s) within last 7 days. In addition, perhaps the most important filter is sorting by “most dollars paid.” In my experience, this will help you quickly identify which employers are for real and which are not. Here’s a video with additional information about winning clients online:
If you’ve considered starting your virtual career but don’t know where to start, I hope the following filters will help you. These filters represent thousands of legitimate work at home job opportunities. When applying to such jobs, you may also find my prospecting efficiency spreadsheet helpful.
NOTE: In order for the following filters to appear correctly, you will first need to log into your Upwork account. Otherwise, the filtering may not display correctly. Also, please note the number of opportunities listed is constantly changing. The actual number may vary after publication of this article. Remember, it only takes about 5 really good, ongoing clients to achieve success as an online worker.
As I mentioned above, one-time projects often lead to ongoing work. I’m even more scrupulous when evaluating fixed-price gigs. In addition to the filters mentioned above, I only look at projects greater than $250. You may have a different basement price than me, but that’s where I usually set the filter.
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