The Struggles of Applying for jobs on Upwork

Precious Empress

Published 6 min read

Freelancers may know Upwork since it's a popular freelancing platform. For those who don't, Upwork is a freelancing platform focused on hiring skilled workers, from entry-level professionals to experts in a wide range of fields. In my opinion, this is one of the best platforms to use alongside Fiverr, and I still use both of them today. Despite specific challenges I encounter, I find myself enjoying using them nonetheless. You know everything has pros and cons, and we tend to pick something when the pros outweigh the cons; it's the same for Upwork. I continue to use it because even though there are cons, the pros outweigh them.

Upwork allows you to work on a contract basis; the scheduling is up to you and your client. Freelancers on Upwork are permitted to establish their working hours and availability. Qualitative work, ability, and feedback can help you score bonuses as well. All of this may seem appealing to the eyes and ears, but you are still required to submit proposals to employers to obtain possible employment opportunities. The following are a few obstacles that I overcame while on the platform and that you may have experienced.

  • How to figure out what field to go in

This is a tricky question for all, and some of us can't find the answer. It is possible to research to determine what you can do or learn about or rely on your skills. You can never go wrong with the skills that you already have. These skills are things that you can do without much effort. Skills such as organizing, designing, writing are some of which you can use or combine two or more like being a Virtual Assistant. Specific fields are over-saturated as it is, and if your skills line up with those fields, you are going to have to think outside of the box and make yourself stand out to your competitors. One of these fields is social media. I do social media marketing and management, but that's just one skill I use as a virtual assistant. Always remember you don't have to choose just one thing, the possibilities are endless.

  • Creating your Profile

While having the idea of creating the perfect profile is good, you're not going to get it perfect right away. This area is where a lot of persons become frustrated, including me. The key to solving this is to do extensive research. You can look at other top-ranking profiles and see what makes them stand out. While you are welcome to look at their profiles and see what you can incorporate into your own, do not use their profile's exact information. For me, I looked at a combination of different profiles and examined the similarities between them to see what works.

A variety of factors contribute to success in all cases, including organizational structure, creativity, skills, and uniqueness. You want your page to stand out, so look at what those profiles could work on and add it to your own. Starting is difficult, but you have to invest time and effort in researching to build yourself on Upwork. The race is not for the swift, but it's for who can endure to the end; remember that.

  • Setting Your Own Rates

We all go on these freelancing platforms to make money, but we often ask ourselves how much should I charge my clients? I started at a low rate of $10/hr, which I think was a suitable price. It was about gaining experience and connecting with business personnel. The more experience you have, the easier it is to catch clients' eyes and build your profile. Just start with something that works best for you, not too high and not too low. Freelancers can gradually increase their rates because let's face it, we want quality money for quality work. Don't be discouraged!!

  • Sending Proposals to clients

This is probably one of the most challenging obstacles I had to overcome when it came to freelancing. Your proposal is like your cover letter, so to speak, or that's the way I look at it. A more formal definition, according to Upwork, states that a proposal is your opportunity to propose contract terms and explain why you're the right candidate for the job. So, see, it's like your cover letter.

On Upwork, you connect with clients in two ways: You can search for job openings and apply, or a client can discover your profile and send you an invitation. In Your Proposal, you're selling yourself to clients by telling them why they should hire you, so get your description juices going. Your experience and your skills play an essential part in this too. Employers want to see what you can bring differently to the organization as quite a few persons are applying for the same job as you. This section required me to be creative and to think along the lines of how an employer would think and get it down on paper or, in this case, on my profile.

  • Red Flags

Applying to jobs on Upwork is easy once you have established yourself and your profile, but how many of these jobs are real? Now, this is one key aspect I wish someone had told me about. I was applying to multiple jobs to get a response, which is not the way to go. Not all clients are legitimate, so you have to be careful as with any platform. My advice is to apply for jobs with a verified profile; you can see this when there is a blue tick beside their name and payment medium. Depending on your device, it will show that it is verified at the bottom of the job description or side. Do not give out any personal information or do business with clients outside of Upwork. It is imperative to do so. Upwork can resolve issues that occur on their platform, not outside of it. So whatever job you apply for, make sure all details, including job descriptions and payments, are done on Upwork.

  • Getting your first job

Finally, you got your first job on Upwork. That was an exciting day for me, and I was like, yes, I got this. My first job was rating books on Amazon for an established author. He would send samples of the books to read, and then I would give my feedback. While this was a tedious process and the price was low what I had initially planned for, I did it nonetheless. One point to note is that sometimes clients will suggest a price below what is on your profile. Don't feel too bad; you're just starting, and you're doing it to gain experience. You have to be motivated as a freelancer. I often wanted to give up because of the lack of response from clients, not knowing how to scale my page and clients' low pay. Every freelancer has their low days, and trust me, you will have a lot, but you will learn from your failure. This helps you strive and do better.

  • Ask for feedback

When your contract has ended for a particular job, you can ask clients to leave feedback. This is important because other clients will see the feedback and be more likely to offer you a job. After all, it shows that you have experience in that field.

  • Continue to Learn

Working on Upwork is a constant process, and learning is too. The more skills you have, the more likely you are to be selected for a job. You can try out educational platforms, such as Udemy (some courses you have to pay for but think of it as an investment), HubSpot, Alison University, etc., and YouTube. These are what I used and still use today to learn and build my skills. You can try them too.

Never Give Up!!!


There you have it, some obstacles of the things to look out for on Upwork. You have to do a lot of work initially, but after that, you are well on your way. People have used this platform as their primary source of income, and you can too. If you want to get started as a freelancer or to market your skills, Upwork is one of the best places to go.

I hope this helps, and if you do have any feedback feel free to voice your response.

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