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PINOY Project Managers Unite

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Active Member
Jery E Member Since: May 4, 2015

Good day fellow PMs!

 

I've been scouting around to see if how much project manager's are getting paid these days. Unfortunately, most project managers here in oDesk only asks for as low as $3/hr even for PMs from the US (I even saw a PMP Certified freelancer charge for only $5/hr!). Because of this I had to bring down my rate as well to keep up with the competition in which I think is not fair.

 

I've been a project manager for 12 years now and been doing freelance work here in oDesk for 8 years. Despite of our specialization, new skills acquired on every project and mastery of our craft... other PM's tend to offer lower rates.. for what? To attract more clients?

 

This is a bit frustrating because I take pride of what I love doing and project management is not just and should not be aligned or even considered just an admin support job.

 

I just want to hear the thoughts from other project managers here and perhaps we can exchange view and ideas to bring back our former glory where clients look up on us and understand the importance and complexity of our work.

 

Your thoughts please...

5 REPLIES 5
Community Guru
Santiago G Member Since: Mar 10, 2015

I'm not a Project Manager but I'm thinking the reasons you're seeing what you've been running into are:

 

1) You're right, the competition from others that are just starting out along with veteran PMs. It gets rough when someone is competing with others that are just starting out.

 

2) Other PMs that currently are unaware of how much they really can make as a PM.

 

3) Clients relying on the exchange rates to be able to get a freelancer at a lower price.

 

It's actually the same concern in other fields. For example, I have been seeeing many writing jobs being posted at rates of LESS THAN HALF of what I have been getting the entire time I have been a writer here. With the very demanding nature of the job description, offering less than half of what I have been getting is ridiculous. I have also seen other topics in these forums indicating the same things for their fields.

 

My advice to you Jery...... stick to your guns. You were charging a rate based on what you believe is fair according to your years of experience in your field. Yes, it's gonna get tough because of the things we both mentioned. But eventually you'll find a client that would go for the experience rather that the lowest rate. Sooner or later, the clients will eventually find out the lowest rates can cause more problems than fix.

 

In any case, it's still on YOU to convince a client to go for you rather than the lowest rates or other Project Managers. <<Exactly why I get repeat / long term work as a writer at the rate and timings I LIKE. You've got many years of experience to back you up so it should be YOU dictating terms.

Active Member
Jery E Member Since: May 4, 2015

Hi Santiago,

 

Thanks for your insights. You are definitely right. I'm holding on to my guns... 

 

Jery

Ace Contributor
Althea Maefe S Member Since: Nov 6, 2014

A few things I learned from people with pretty good hourly rates:

1. Be patient. Competition might leave you feeling like lowering your rates, but there is a client out there that will think you are worth what they will pay you for. Keep applying and if a client really wants to hire you but sees the rate as something they think they can lower down, they will message you, in this case, haggle back. Smiley Wink

 

2. Make sure that as you go along your rate only goes up not down. Let's say you finally land some pretty great jobs,  you have been taking, say 8$ per hour lately, keep at it. if the client sees that amidst the 8s and 9s and 10$/hour contracts there's a 3$ there lately, they would think that since you compromised before, you can do it again.

 

3. Know your worth. If you know you are bidding on a rate that you think you deserve, keep it. Most clients actually do not have any idea how much is enough. They see many people bidding for 3$ and they think that that is enough.

 

 

 

-- I am still at 6$/hour now with my projects. I do prefer doing fixed price jobs. 

Community Guru
Dietmar Thomas B Member Since: Aug 11, 2015

Let us be honest, as annoying as it may seem, there are ALWAYS others that offer lower rates. Is that important? In my opinion? NO!

If you look at the geopgraphically related pay scale you will find that Europeans or Americans f.e. offer their services normally starting at minimum $10/ hour. I have seen profiles with $100+/hour and I am thinking if they can charge (and get that too!) such an amount why can't everybody get at least $10? Offer your services below what they are worth won't get you more contracts anyway. What will get you further is displaying your worth and communicating it to prospective clients. 

I have been to sites similar to Upwork, some even do open bidding. This is only advantageous for the customers because in the run of the day you will see prices dropping to a below poverty level. I left there totally digusted without even once having applied for a job.

Being Filipino does not necessarily mean that you have to work at a locally acceptable salary level. If you are good at what you do and work through Upwork then you are NOT working in the Philippines but instead working in the world where salaries are higher rated.

Newcomers will always have the short end of the stick at first, me included. We have to attract our first customers and build up a strong client base with re-occuring job offers (suki). I also have a low rate at the moment but will probably double it this year or beginnning of next year, once I have established myself.

For the client, it will always be his choice whether he desires price or quality. Put yourself in his shoes, what would you chose? A very good article for, let us say, $10 or some pc generated load of crap with the respective load of errors for $3? Does he want to waste his time or does he want to get it straight right away? $10 does sound like better quality can be expected and will be delivered, di ba?

The most important part is your profile and your proposal to the client! Before I submit a finished item I always proofread it at least 2x, searchig (and finding) errors or sentences that are better re-phrased. The same has to go for your proposal. Errors will reflect on you and your pay rate. Take the time to write job offer specific cover letters and proofread them at least 2x before sending them off. Increase your pay level a bit to test whether you can ask for more (if you think that you are worth it!).

Most important of all is, do not stop learning and improving. Take the offered Upwork tests to become aware of your skill level and where you need to improve yourself. Bad results in them do not have to be made public until you reach a better score.

If somebody does not hire you, which will happen, just think "bahala sila" and apply for some other job that comes along.

Have a successful day everyone and ingat sila sa iyo!

Ace Contributor
Althea Maefe S Member Since: Nov 6, 2014

Being Filipino does not necessarily mean that you have to work at a locally acceptable salary level. If you are good at what you do and work through Upwork then you are NOT working in the Philippines but instead working in the world where salaries are higher rated.


 This made me realize something important and I could not agree more. Thanks, Dietmar!