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Five Personalities to Avoid When You Hire on Upwork

A (probably) useful post for clients : Five Personalities to Avoid When You Hire on Upwork


Someone should shoot a movie: The Good, the Fake and the Needy   🙂

"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless

At least now we know Upwork was formally Odesk 

That's funny. 


Good article, but not an entirely accurate representation.  It could be a mistake to tell clients to hire only contractors with a long history on Upwork (formerly Odesk, *snerk*).  Every contractor, even the top-billed ones, were once new here.  As for myself, I came with 30 years experience and background.  I'm glad there were clients willing to give me a shot and did not discount me for being "new."  I may be new HERE, but I am definitely not a novice.   I don't even have a JSS yet, as my clients choose to keep our contracts open to continually throw more work my way.  I think that speaks better of my skills than a closed contract and some feedback which may or may not be sincere.  Clients are busy, and cannot be bothered with closing contracts, formulating feedback, etc.  I kind of doubt that clients are even aware that contractors are dependent upon that feedback to secure a rating, etc.


Also, I am a little perplexed about advising clients to avoid freelancers who ask questions.  I can't imagine a contractor asking questions with the purpose of stalling.  I, for one, ask questions to clarify the client's expectations before I begin work.  The last thing I want is to put hours of work into a project only to have the client tell me afterwards that it does not meet their specs or expectations.  If a client does not want to field a lot of questions, he needs to anticipate the freelancer's needs and clearly specify what he wants beforehand.  I cannot read minds.  When a client does not get back to me in a timely fashion to answer my questions, I will proceed to do the job based upon my own understanding, though it may be quite limited.  If the client is disappointed in the end product, I am NOT going to be amenable to deep revisions if they could have been avoided simply by answering my questions up front.  I do not ask questions to stall or annoy; I ask questions to insure that I deliver a product the client wants the first time around!


Excellent article. Hiring a noob in the writing field or something small that doesn't take a lot of time is probably OK, but I bet those clients that got nothing for their dev project or it was a disaster hired cheap or cheap and noob developers. So many fake dev profiles here.


You can tell when a writer here is just a noob. They have no focus and will write any cheap junk. But losing $5 isn't a big deal compared to a 3 month long dev project that costs thousands.


ETA: The part about avoiding people who ask a lot of questions is sound, because some people are in over their head and will never get it. Prolly ties in with the fraud.

Avoiding contractors who ask questions may depend on the type of job.  If a freelancer is in over his head, he probably won't know WHAT to ask.  As for the type of writing I do, most clients tell me up front what subject and word count, but I need a bit more such as tone -- conversational? erudite?  Point of view -- 1st or 3rd person?  Target audience?  Tell me up front so I can write this ONCE and be done or only need minor revision.

I ask like 0 questions. LOL Maybe the type of questions being asked is the clue. I just need to know the topic and the word count. I already know what they want.



Depends on the questions I guess and what's being done.


RE: "Formerly oDesk" - the article's dateline is November 26, 2014, which is actually *before* the name change (my announcement email regarding the name change is from 6 May 2015) - so I assume it used to just be called "Five Personalities to Avoid When You Hire on oDesk" and they edited it to reflect the name change soon after with a find and replace. It's a bit clunky but it kind of does make sense.


RE: Asking questions - I think there's a difference between asking a few clarification questions to get started, and doing nothing *but* asking questions. That section doesn't easily distinguish between the two though, I agree. I personally prefer freelancers who ask questions because it shows they're looking at the big picture.


Also the article tells clients to "demand" stuff a lot. I never demand anything. I assume there's a "Five clients to avoid" article that equally says to avoid demanding clients 😉


I have to agree with Melanie. As far as freelancing sites we were all noobs at one time that is not a reflection on our real life experience. I went into freelancing with almost 40 years of various development work under my belt. Our previous work should count for something.


As for questions, most of mine are upfront before getting the contract. I see a project like "I need a Filemaker database to keep track of my contacts" and I need to know more. I could spend 30 minutes designing a pleasing interface to keep basic contact info and then find out what they really wanted was a complete CRM. Asking questions should be basic to any discipline. I'm sure there are the freelancers who try to stall clients with needless questions because they don't really know what they are doing.


If a mechanic fixes your car and rips you off or takes weeks to get your car back do you stop going to mechanics or try and find one you can trust in the future?

"Remember, no matter where you go, there you are."
Buckaroo Banzai