Maria is right. The mods said it was something they were considering, but it's not yet in place. I've had the experience of a client adding a milestone that we never discussed, so I would appreciate the opportunity to approve them before proceeding.
The dirty little secret is this:
As a contractor, I don't benefit one bit from a second milestone.
I'm better off with a series of single-milestone contracts that are set up to accomplish the same outcomes as multiple milestones within a single fixed-price contract.
If each task is done as a separate contract, than I accumulate additional jobs in my job count, and I limit the damage a client can do if things take a turn for the worse. Because feedback has already been given and contracts have already been closed for all past work.
I can't think of a single way in which additional milestones provide me with any benefit compared to additional contracts for the same task/same amount of money.
I generally agree on keeping contracts neat & clean or done & dusted. However, it doesn't always work that way. Examples:
A) Transcription client tells me in the beginning that there are going to be 5 interviews in the course of 3 weeks. Of course I won't ask the client to open&close a new contract for each transcript, they surely wouldn't like the hassle. Moreover, while I found getting multiple feedbacks quite helpful in the past, I now prefer to have one contract showing a $ amount of let's say $450 instead of 5 scattered projects of $90 each and therefore consider adding milestones to be beneficial.
B) I'm currently on a contract with a client who adds stuff on an almost daily basis with mixed deadlines. It would be nuts to have a bunch of different contracts. Yet creating a bunch of milestones is similarly complicated (due to the fact that milestones need to be submitted in the original order). This is a good client, so I am actually just adding several things to the tab and then let them know to create a single milestone for A, C and F (whatever I am currently working on and will be ready to submit next).
And again, even though I am quite aware of several risks here, I find it more beneficial for my job history to show one larger $ amount in the end and a hopefully positive feedback along the lines of "S. supported us consistently over the course of a larger project".
Having said that, I am looking forward to the announced changes on the milestone setup and handling. I get that Upwork prefers hourly (so do I, most of the time), but I think a smarter and more flexible setup could benefit all parties involved.
Preston, the big advantage I see is that the client doesn't get annoyed with the many extra steps involved with closing a contract, leaving feedback, opening a new contract over over again in the course of a single project.
For example, if I'm writing a full website of 25 pages or so for a new client, it doesn't make sense for either of us to set that up as a single milestone. I like to start with a small milestone of 3-5 pages and get feedback from the client before continuing.
Then, if it's a client I haven't worked with extensively, I'm still not going to go ahead and do the remaining 20-22 pages without additional payment. So, that's usually a 3-4 milestone job (with clients I've worked with for a while, it would probably be 2)
I'm pretty sure that if I asked a new client, especially one new to Upwork, to open and close 3-4 separate contracts to get his website written, he'd leave Upwork and go look for a contractor in the real world where there weren't so many unnecessary hurdles.
re: "The client will be your long term client and increases your job success rate"
The same benefit to your Job Success Rate is received whether a client hires using a single contract with multiple milestones, or multiple single-milestone contracts.
"Long Term Client" status is not based on the length of a contract, but the length of a relationship during whch a client has paid money to a contractor.
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