How “available” are you for new oDesk clients?

If you’re like me, you decline about 90% of the interview invitations you get. Some are turned down because they are spammy (although oDesk is getting better about weeding those out). Others, however, I turn down simply because I’m so busy that I can’t in good conscience take on new customers.

oDesk Freelancer Availability Indicator

Well, today I received an invitation for a marketing automation job. As much as I wanted to apply for it, I just don’t have the time right now. Therefore, I turned it down. After declining the interview and indicating that I am “too busy at this time,” I noticed a new pop-up from oDesk.

odesk freelancer availability

What would you do in this situation?

My gut reaction was to just mark myself as “Not Available.” Here’s the problem: if the right offer came along, I could quickly become “Available.” If I mark myself as “Not Available” it seems that I would be eliminating myself from future consideration for inbound leads on oDesk.

What to Do if You’re Too Busy?

For now, I have set my profile as “Available” out of fear of missing a great opportunity. I picked “less than 10 hours per week,” which I could technically accommodate if the right offer came along. In the meantime, I’ll probably still decline most offers.

What will you do?

See More Freelancer Tips


Matt Keener is the original "Executive in Sweatpants," having built a successful online consulting business (from home). His best-selling book offers tips for capitalizing on outsourcing and freelancing. Matt holds an MBA and has been featured by many recognizable brands, including Upwork (formerly oDesk), Elance, Insightly, the Dave Ramsey Show, and

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