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Community Member

Can the JSS system be improved?

I used upwork a lot years ago. I had a bunch of succeful projects and got invites nearly every day. After a couple of years break from upwork, it's a real struggle to even find small projects. I assume because I have no JSS anymore. I think it is problematic because the lack of JSS is not due to unsuccessful jobs or not having a proven record, but simply because the JSS is based on an apparently arbitrary chosen time frame of 24 months. I think the problem could be fixed with the following suggestions:


  • If the freelancer does not have JSS due to inactivity for a period of time, upwork could show two different JSS, one current JSS, which in this case would be empty, and one JSS that the freelancer had last time he/she was active, which specifies the relevant time period.
  • Upwork could send a notification to the freelancer, warning him/her that the JSS will disappear unless he/she does complete x amount of jobs within y amount of weeks/months. If i knew my JSS would disappear and that it would be nearly impossible to build it back up, I would maybe complete a job now and then to maintain it.

Community Member

No I don't want two JSS on my profile and I don't need notifications that it will disappear. How can upwork know it will? They can't see into the future, they don't know if you will finish a contract 5 minutes before the next JSS calculation, or five seconds. 

Like with all things, a strategic approach is necessary. First - know how everything works so that you can develop a strategy. That is essential. Don't be surprised by how the calculation works. 

Next - get clients to end contracts instead of leaving them open. Make sure you have enough closed contracts in the respective calculations windows. 

Especially that last part is important. I think the contract is ended only in like 5-10% of the jobs I do. Most often clients don't end the contract, or they just keep assigning new milestones to a contract if they want a new job to be completed. I like that, but the problem is obviously that the JSS will be misleading, as those jobs are not calculated into the score.
If I do 20 jobs, and only 2 of them ends up being taken into account, then there is also an element of luck. If you're unlucky and one of those 2 jobs ends up without perfect feedback, you may get a bad JSS although maybe 19 of the 20 jobs were actually successful. So you can't really trust the JSS

Any tips on how to get clients to end contracts? Do you just simply ask them to do it?


Community Member

Hey Alexander, I see that you have 4 Jobs this month completed, however only 2 of the 4 have Reviews. Lack of current Reviews especially for the new Projects will lower the JSS. Thanks!

William T C wrote:

Lack of current Reviews especially for the new Projects will lower the JSS. Thanks!

That's completely untrue - if a client doesn't give you a review, it has no impact at all on your JSS. Thanks!

It will not. 

Community Member

Did you ever consider reading up on how Upwork works when you started, or at any point while you were using the site? Maybe just peek in on one of the many dozens of threads here where JSS was discussed? If you had, you would have known years ago that JSS is calculated using one of three windows: six months, 12 months, and 24 months. Obviously, if you don't have any activity in any of those windows, there is no basis for JSS. Presumably that's by design, because work you did years ago isn't necessarily relevant. 


You don't have JSS now, but you do have client ratings and reviews on your profile. In other words, you are more of a known quantity than a new freelancer with no Upwork track record--better off than you were when you started the first time. You managed to build your JSS up then, so why would you imagine it will be almost impossible now? 

I don't know why you assume I haven't read about how upwork works. If you read my entire post, you will see that I am writing about the 24 month period, which of course I have read about. However, I question the logic of disregarding jobs older than 24 months. I do exactly the same jobs now as then.



You will notice a few regular posters who consistently reply to other freelancers' posts with lots of questions, rather than just clearly saying what they think is true, needs to be done, etc. I just ignore their many questions and pay attention to other posters who clearly share information, experiences and advice.


By the way, the JSS is exactly what Upwork wants it to be. I doubt we will ever see any significant change, but I hope I'm wrong. Especially in the case where clients' private feedback is wildly different than their public feedback. And I'd like to see the JSS expand to include information about clients' own history of disputes, project cancellations, mediations, arbitrations, average freelancer feedback for clients themselves, etc.


And clients should not be allowed to leave feedback if a project has been cancelled by the client, suspended by Upwork or otherwise halted for any reason not under the control of the freelancer.

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