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Geopolitical tensions around Ukraine

I just got an email from Upwork called "Geopolitical tensions around Ukraine" and one of the phrases gave me a thougt:

We have seen time and again how much clients appreciate hearing pro-active and transparent, communicative information from their business partners - including us. We are actively monitoring the situation and are keeping clients posted with tips on how they can manage their business continuity proactively and with peace of mind.
How do you think, Upwork provides information to clients that work with Ukrainian freelancers could make harm to their business due to possibility of disrupting working process? That sounds to me this way. 

Usually I get 3-5 job invitations during a day, while last 2 weeks I don't get any at all. Could those letters be a reason of decrease in demand for services? Anyone faced the same problem?

Thanks in advance!


re: "in IT Ukrainian programmers are the best and the most hardworking I have ever met."


I have hired over 150 freelancers, including a lot of IT people and programmers. I have hired many Ukrainians and many non-Ukrainians.


I don't know if it is "appropriate" to say something like that.


But it's true.

If I need help with a difficult Linux challenge and post a job posting on Upwork... I'm glad if a Ukrainian applies to the job, because I know I'll be in good hands. Often the only people who apply to these job posts are Ukrainians. Maybe nobody else is qualified. Or maybe it's a timezone thing. I don't know.

Of course, what I said is a simplification. I also work with developers from many other countries and some of them are really amazing. However, as a nation, in my opinion, Ukrainians have the highest rating at the moment. They are qualified, hardworking, ambitious and eager to learn new things.

I am writing this not as an employer but as a programmer. As a person who solves problems with them on a daily basis, and I cannot imagine better colleagues at the work at the moment.


I forgot to add that I also work with QA specialists from Ukraine. In this case, I can say the same thing.


I am very sorry that UpWork treated the Ukrainians in this way. I live 300 km from Ukraine and I just realized that for the UpWork corporation, these 300 km determine the quality of a freelancer. I'm very disappointed with them. 

Community Member

Hello everyone, 


You know, I think politics should always stay aside of business. 


Upwork is the platform that gives opportunities for all Freelancers around the world to gain more experience and earn money, and for Clients to achieve their business goals, expand their market and financial opportunities. 


So, let's stay calm, friendly, and business-like in spite of anything we're told by the media. COVID-19 taught us to be closer, more empathetic, and seize the day. This way we stay humans.

Community Member

So basically what's happening is that for the last month I got like 3 or 4 interview invitations. Prior to that, I was getting at least 1-2 invitations per day. We all know what's been going on in media for the last month.

At the beginning of the month, clients who work with Ukrainian talents received a message from Upwork about "minimizing any potential disruptions" due to the situation in the country. Of course, that worked against Ukrainian workers here, making it harder to get projects, but right now I am literally getting no new invitations and my clients telling me I am not showing up in searches. Top-rated, 97% success.

What I am interested in is:
Fellow Ukrainians - did you experience any kind of similar troubles recently on this platform?

Thank You

Denis R wrote:

I am literally getting no new invitations and my clients telling me I am not showing up in searches

In fairness, you absolutely ARE showing up in searches (I've just found you easily)


Denis R wrote:

So basically what's happening is that for the last month I got like 3 or 4 interview invitations. Prior to that, I was getting at least 1-2 invitations per day.

In fairness, you have received 19 invites in the last 90 days, so you clearly weren't receiving "at least 1 or 2 a day" for 60 days prior to the last month.


I really do feel dreadful for freelancers in Ukraine, it is very, very unfair to have this hanging over your heads on top of the scary situation overall, but the fact remains that your profile does show up in searches and you weren't getting as many invites as you thought you did beforehand, so the change isn't as dramatic as it might feel.

Thank You, great to know I am showing up, I wonder why my client couldn't find me

Ah, then the change really feels a lot more dramatic than it is, indeed, because it has been going on for a longer period of time and I picked the wrong timeline
Now after you said it and I checked it I can see that 
In Oct I got 20 invites
In Nov I got 17 
In Dec it was 5
In Jan it was 2
And this month I only got 1

The fact that there is a change (and after reading the discussion I can see I am not the only one experiencing it) is disturbing.

Community Member

Hi All,


A few comments have been removed from this thread as they were off topic and the conversation was moving into an unproductive direction. 

To all the participants, please keep Community Guidelines in mind when posting on these boards.

~ Valeria
Community Member

Hi, I am not in Ukraine, but I was in Egypt when the revolution happened in 2011. I was working for a local company full time but I had a small contract on Upwork. I know how upsetting Upwork's email may seem but I can understand where they are coming from.


The day before the revolution, I told the head of our company that I thought there would be a revolution the next day. I could sense the mood around me, but she just laughed it off and said, "Nothing will happen tomorrow." As much as it may seem like everything is normal for you now and you want to believe and hope it will stay that way, things can change overnight.


Most of the work the company did was with clients overseas, the rest with people who left the country. The government shut down the mobile phone network and the internet 3 days later. The mobile service came back after maybe 36 hours but we had no internet for 5 days. Only landlines were working for calls, and not many people had landlines nor did we have eachother's numbers. Don't underestimate the possibility your network may get cut off.


About a week later we went to attend a protest. We had been warned by some well-connected people that the previous day's protest would be attacked with snipers. But nothing happened and so we went the next day. Well, things were pretty quiet but it seems the planned attack had been delayed and we suddenly say a huge battle breakout. Google "The Battle of the Camels" for more details. My boss knew I was going downtown as I had talked to her and she asked me to pass by our office on the way to make sure there was no damage to the premises as protests had passed by there a few days prior. She saw the attack unfold on the TV and called me to make sure I was OK as we were headed home in a taxi. So yes, your clients may worry about your safety. 


Even by time I had internet again, I was not in a mental state to contact my Upwork client. When someone has tried to kill you and your family and the future of your country is up in the air, believe me you take a huge mental hit and you may find it hard to focus. I got dinged a bit in the review my client left but I didn't sweat it as it was a small job, but I would recommend at least keeping your clients in the loop even if it is simply to say hey I need to stop or I am continuing. That way if they do hold it against you in reviews you have a good justification to complain.


Finally I want to say having recently worked as a client on Upwprk, I passed on an application for a position from someone otherwise qualified because they were in Lebanon. I knew that they did not have regular internet or electricity, and even though it was simply as a writer, we could find people elsewhere that didn't present such uncertainty. I know that may feel unfair but this is a global marketplace and that's the price we sometimes have to pay for poltiical messes.


I've hired Ukrainians here on Upwork and they were excellent at their job. I sincerely hope for all of you there that things stay peaceful, but one thing I have learned in life (from the above mentioned experience and others), no matter how well you organize and plan your life and work, things can be turned upside down in a moment.

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