Wednesday, January 8, 2014

WAHM-hood 101: 3 Reasons Why You Should Be Choosy

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Being a newbie freelancer is quite a challenge. There's the matter of getting used to the payment scheme, the flexible hours, the lack of the usual corporate benefits, the competitiveness - and then there's the job-hunting part, which, by far is one of the first and biggest hurls you must overcome.

So why then do I say that you SHOULD be choosy when it comes to applying for jobs online? Well for a number of justifiable reasons! Here are some of them:

1. It helps you avoid scams.

Yes, unfortunately, even monitored and filtered job posts on sites like oDesk get infiltrated by scammers. When you are new in the online freelancing world, you feel that your first biggest achievement would have to be getting a job - any job for that matter. So you tend to go for just any offer, even if they seem fishy to you or is too good to be true. Being analytic of job offers and invites will help you see 'beyond' the written words - you'll find yourself asking,

* Is the rate fair and just considering the duration and range of the tasks?
* Is the client clear in his explanations of what the job entails?
* Does getting job require that you make a purchase or pay for anything?

These three simple questions will help you look deeper into the offer, and perhaps see those little 'black holes' you would otherwise ignore if you are not being 'choosy'.

2. It helps you avoid 'biting more than you can chew.'

Totally unrelated to food, but the analogy works. Hehe. In this case, this means taking on a job that you'll realize you either not have enough time for or do not have sufficient knowledge of. Some job posts may seem simple at first look - like data entry or article writing tasks. But, once you delve into the little details of the job, you'll find out it requires you to have considerable Excel skills, or in the case of article writing, some would require knowledge and use of SEO or SMM.  And sometimes, it's not the task itself that poses a challenge - it's the time demands of the job. Some would require you to work a certain number hours a week, some would require you to be logged in on odd hours.

You know your abilities and schedule better than anybody else does - read the job post carefully, and if you find yourself really interested, send an application, BUT, do not forget to ask questions and make clarifications regarding the nitty-gritty of the work. Don't take on something just because you want to land that first job - remember, you only get that feedback, that star, when the job is done. So you have to make it a point that you can successfully fulfill the demands of the tasks.

3. It helps you build a better 'foundation'.

For oDesk newbies, your online profile is basically a 'blank slate' in that it is something you have to build from the ground up, and continue to improve by acquiring new clients, learning new skills, and getting more positive feedback. When you take the 'choosy route', you are able to make a clear path for yourself online - and show that through your oDesk profile. For example, if you want to be distinguished as a competent online writer, then you should take on jobs that require you to showcase your writing skills. BUT, if wouldn't hurt to take on other related work too, that you think you'd want to explore further, like graphic design or maybe social media management.

Being choosy would also help you ensure you do the job well (see item number 2 on this list), and that you establish a fair rate for your work (see item number 1) from the start. If you start too low for something you do that is otherwise complex, then you're not helping yourself in terms of starting strong in the 'ratings game' (hourly rates I mean).

There you go! I know being 'choosy' has a negative connotation in our country, making it seem as if you're being maarte or are thinking too highly of yourself. BUT, in the WAHM-hood realm, being choosy in the appropriate way can actually help you. :)

1 comment:

  1. Helpful tips. I do sideline work on oDesk and it's only the past few months when I started being choosy. Lol. I am focusing on guest posting sis. Do you guest post? Some sites pay $50 per post if your post got approved.