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  • Writer's pictureSusan Carr

Upwork just doesn't get me anymore

These were all the birds I was able to identify using the Merlin App in just one day!

One of my favorite new hobbies is bird identification. Since I discovered the Merlin app and Cornell Lab of Ornithology's bird conservation work, I've become fascinated by birds’ eating, nesting, and social habits.

I pay attention to what seeds they like, whether they like nesting in the oak tree, palm tree, or nesting box, and which ones are bullies (Blue Jays and grumpy Common Ground Doves, if you were wondering.)

Identifying their traits helps me provide the right food, shelter, and habitat that attracts them to return to my backyard. 

Thinking about my time spent with this new hobby brought to mind my recent experience with one of the popular freelancing platforms, which made me feel like it was no longer paying attention to me. 

I joined Upwork in March 2021 to work with one client whom I connected with on LinkedIn. They housed all of their contracts through the platform, so I set up a basic profile to complete milestones with their project.

I worked steadily with this client until July 2022, but I didn't do anything else on the platform until that fall when I started actively freelancing as an editor and writer. 

I quickly became top-rated, with a 100% job success score. But things started to take off only after I optimized my profile, added an intro video, and drafted client-centric proposals.  

I have successfully completed dozens of editing and writing projects in the past almost two years. However, I've not been as active on Upwork lately because my current clients keep me busy. 

So, I'm curious if there have been significant changes on the platform due to the recent uptick in unconventional inbound leads I’ve received—some of these invites are from Upwork Talent Specialist, who supposedly match talent with clients:

Proposal Writer:

  • Write and manage RFPs; Manage an internal master RFP database

I've never written a business proposal, and my profile does not indicate that this is part of my offered services. 

Synthetic Medical Conversations (Doctor/patient):

  • Native speakers from the US with medical backgrounds to record conversations to train AI.

I have no medical background, and my profile has no jargon to indicate as such.

Economist - Convergent Aeronautics Solutions (CAS) Project, NASA:

  • Economist. Enough said.

Yep, I got this invite again. The same Upwork Talent Specialist pinged me once more. At this point, I'm half-tempted to throw my profile and experience out the window and just go for it! If they keep inviting me, maybe that means I have a decent shot and could end up working for NASA. 

Developmental Editing + Proofreading for a Dark Mafia romance series:

  • Rhetorical effectiveness; recommendations on character development, content development, and story alignment; ensure that the tension is maintained so that the reader is sufficiently entertained

This project offer had me LOLing, which is not something I do, nor an acronym I ever use. But the client said this in the invite: “Your profile looks very interesting, especially since you have experience with dark romance/ bad boys :)

According to my profile (and my lifestyle), I have no experience with either. 

My point is this:

Just as identifying birds' traits helps me create an environment in my backyard that is welcoming for my feathered friends, understanding how you can tailor your freelance career to suit your preferences is important. Here are just a few thoughts about that:

🚀 Moving beyond platforms like Upwork can provide you with more control over what projects you choose to work with.

💼 It can also help you diversify your income sources so you are not solely dependent on any single platform. 

👥 Networking and collaborating on sites like LinkedIn help build a supportive community of freelancers who genuinely want to help others succeed.

💡 LinkedIn can also help you explore options and develop your business through unique marketing strategies and building a positive online presence. 

If you're an editor who utilizes the Upwork platform, message me through LinkedIn. I'd love to be able to refer someone more suited for a project when it doesn’t fit within my skillset or interests. 

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