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Anxiety over JSS... Advice for new freelancer

Active Member
Emma G Member Since: Aug 28, 2018
1 of 9

Hello, 

 

I'm a few months into Upwork, I'm on about 12 jobs and a few $'s in earnings. I find I am struggling with some anxiety in regards to my new JSS. I was on Rising Talent for 15 out of 16 weeks and now on my 16th week have just got my first JSS - 67%.

 

A $25 "LinkedIn bio revamp" that turned into a 700 word article and advice and detailed planning on his infographics, I believe to be the culprit, as well as 1 or 2 dead contracts I had close last month. When I finally said no after the LinkedIn client asked me to help him draft his next few articles, he insisted he would pay me in our "future projects". I told him I was unfortunately busy, and could not commit to any future projects, then eventually just stopped replying (after he kept messaging me). This client paid me promptly after I submitted the article, and then continued to keep messaging me asking for help and advice. I engaged for over a day before I drew the line. I believe langauge barrier and the client's inexperience with Upwork to be a big reason for our miscommunication. Anyway, a few weeks pass, contract forcibly ends, and a 3.55 appears on my feed with a 1 star for "cooperation". I ended up refunding the $25 just to get the feedback off my page, but my JSS score is still impacted.

 

I'ved asked some of my long term clients to leave me some feedback and hopefully this combats the effect the 3.55 had on my score somewhat. I suppose I just feel a little on edge and dejected now. I want to apply for more jobs to improve my score but feel embarrassed to with a 67% JSS. I'm new to freelancing and writing, and I by no means think I'm perfect, but I do work hard and feel I am improving quickly.

 

 After this experience, I can't help but feel a little perturbed at how much weight and power clients have over me on Upwork. Realistically, a score for a client means very little, even with an unverified payment method they'll still get applications, yet one petty rating can completely abolish my score. 

 

I am appreciative of Upwork as the platform has given me a lot of experience and I am in the process of building my own site to market my services. I'm just finding it hard to feel confident and not obsess over numbers and stats at the moment. (This is the first major set back and real hit to my score, so I appreciate I may be a little oversensitve!) 

 

Is there any advice my more senior peers can give me? How do you cope with hits to your JSS? How do you deal with any client conflict professionally? (I acknowledge it was probably not best to just straight up ignore a client, I was frustrated and reacted emotionally.) Any advice would be appreciated.

 

Thanks so much 

Community Guru
Lila G Member Since: Dec 4, 2017
2 of 9

Emma - fist don't feel embarrassed - a '67% success score' shouldn't determine your value of work. My simplified advice is, keep building your work history your JSS will keep changing and hopefully turning up every time. 

 

JSS is topic one I don't fully understand because it really differs from everyone and the algorithm changes. What I can tell you from experience is not dwell on the one bad review. If anything, prove yourself that you can do better on your next ones. Your JSS will continue to fluctuate, even after you get 100%. 

 

I am going to send you a PM as well

 

Cheers,

 

 

Lila
Active Member
Emma G Member Since: Aug 28, 2018
3 of 9

Thank you so much for your kind words Lila.

 

I'm going to check my messages now Smiley Happy

Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
4 of 9

Issuing a refund converts a less than perfect review contract into a bad outcome contract. So, don't do that unless you are absolutely desperate for a review not to be seen. 

 

 

Active Member
Emma G Member Since: Aug 28, 2018
5 of 9

I contacted Upwork support and was told if I want the feedback removed, my only option is to issue a refund. There was no negative comment simply a 3.55 score, had I had known it would negatively impact me even further I would have left it. Unfortunate that the gentlemen I spoke to neglected to mention that to me. Thanks for letting me know. 

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
6 of 9

Emma G wrote:

I contacted Upwork support and was told if I want the feedback removed, my only option is to issue a refund. There was no negative comment simply a 3.55 score, had I had known it would negatively impact me even further I would have left it. Unfortunate that the gentlemen I spoke to neglected to mention that to me. Thanks for letting me know. 


If you run into trouble in the future, this forum is a much better source of information than Upwork support. This sort of thing happens all the time--what they told you was technically correct, but didn't actually fully address your issue and left you worse off than if you'd done nothing.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
7 of 9

Actually, unless the client left reasonably good private feedback, refunding the contract did not make the JSS impact any more negative. Once a contract counts as a negative outcome, turning it into a $ 0 paid negative outcome doesn't make matters any worse.

 

One outcome would not be responsible for a 67% JSS anyway unless there were only 3 completed contracts, so there was more than one client who wasn't entirely thrilled.

 

Community Guru
Richard W Member Since: Jun 22, 2017
8 of 9

Emma, you mentioned "1 or 2 dead contracts I had close last month". Do you mean that you closed these contracts yourself? It looks like these were probably contracts with no earnings and no feedback from the client, in which case they would have hurt your JSS.

 

A couple of tips: 

 - Don't accept a job offer until just before you start work, and ideally, on a fixed price project, wait until you have everything you need to complete the first milestone.

 - Choose your clients carefully. Watch out for any red flags that suggest they might be flaky, cheapskates or scammers.

Active Member
Emma G Member Since: Aug 28, 2018
9 of 9

Yes when I started Upwork, I really accepted any contract I could. I had transcription jobs, and a few content writing jobs close with no activity. I closed one myself (but still had rising talent) and then had one close a few weeks later.

 

I still have some dead contracts and hourly jobs ongoing that the client no longer needs work doing on, which I'm now terrified to touch. Sigh navigating Upwork can be frustrating sometimes. 

 

Thank you for your help

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