How oDesk works
oDesk is an incredible platform where people pursuing various careers meet and make money. It provides the freelancers the freedom to work from anywhere, anytime, and it provides the employers the freedom to choose from so many freelancers. Millions of professionals have left their desk jobs (boring jobs, perhaps) and landed up interesting jobs at oDesk. There is a wealth of jobs available at oDesk and people from various experience levels can easily ‘win’ jobs that they can relate to. The terms and conditions presented in oDesk are agreeable to both the freelancer and the client (employer) because the owners of the website have worked hard to be fair to both groups.
oDesk claims to be the world’s largest online marketplace as it holds the number one position when you consider the annual freelancer earnings. Over one lakh jobs are posted every month in oDesk, so there are lots of jobs to be had, provided there is talent and patience.
So what is the hype about working online?
Working online has become the biggest trend for people, because you no longer have to beat the morning traffic to hit your office. You can work by sitting in the comforts of a home office, your couch in the living room, by the river, any place where you can have a laptop and reliable net connection. People skilled in various niches like web designing, developing, marketing, writing, accounting and human resources can make their career through oDesk. Plenty of people are required to act as personal assistants, secretaries and in the customer service department. So the list goes on. Freedom and flexibility are the two main attractions of working online. You can even quote the price you would like to charge for a particular task. As long as you have strong skills and good recommendation, there is no looking back because you are going to keep making money.
Starting work on oDesk
All you need to do is open the oDesk website at oDesk.com and register with a username and a strong password that nobody can crack. So the first process is sign up.
The next step would be to create an impressive profile. This is where you get to impress your clients with your job profile, experience, marketing brochure and of course, a detailed personal resume.
Finally, you need to set up your payment option. oDesk recommends setting up a two funds transfer option to ensure the payment reaches easily.
Getting good client feedback is the way to land more jobs in the future. So never work outside of oDesk and never accept client’s demands of paying outside of oDesk.
While registering in oDesk:
- Taking the oDesk readiness test; you need to pass this test, several tries are offered
- Taking the free skills test to enhance the opportunities of landing a good job
- Verifying freelancer identity
And finally, a question everyone would have – How does oDesk make money?
It is true oDesk does make money out of this; after all, they are providing thousands of freelancers jobs after their own heart. So they charge 10% to all the clients who post a job and hire freelancers. For example, if the job is set for $20/hr, then the client would have to pay $22.20/hr. This is how oDesk makes money, as long as freelancers make money and the clients are happy, the website also makes money.
How can people make money out of oDesk – How it works for all
oDesk is the perfect platform for beginners, advanced workers and workers with medium range capacity. There are big or small projects, depending on client requirement. You can also look for fixed price jobs (where the client decides on a fixed price and the freelancer can bid within that price) or hourly jobs (where the client would pay the freelancer on the number of hours he works). Some of the jobs are short, ongoing, individual or team-based projects. When freelancers take up hourly contracts, they would have to download the Team Tracker App to log in their working hours. Screenshots of the freelancer’s computer would be taken and sent to the client, so he can see that his client is indeed working. For hourly jobs, payment is guaranteed, but for fixed hour jobs, the job is accepted by the freelancer and the payment would be as per client discretion. Freelancers can however, dispute if they find any discrepancies in payment.
When a client posts a job, for example, a project for designing a website, then he would advertise his requirements stating the level of experience he expects, the payment and the location (native country of freelancer). The freelancer can then bid for this job by advertising his skills and expertise by presenting an impressive portfolio. The client has the discretion to choose his freelancer; some people may even give a chance to a novice while giving entry level payment in the industry. Advanced workers can choose advanced payment options, where the client has to pay the best remuneration in the industry.
The payment is received once the freelancer completes the project according to the requirement of the client. The payment methods are (1) Credit card, (2) Paypal and (3) Bank account.
There is a tendency for freelancers, especially the beginners, to drastically lower their rates with the hope of landing a job. However, this is not a sensible move because you don’t have to do that. Offer to work for an hour or two at the rate you plan to command so the client can gauge your skills. This would be a much better option than lowering your rate.
Pictures: Flickr.com/ Kawasaki/ Yourdon
The author: Reema Oamkumar is engaged as a thought leader at Software-Developer-India.com which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.