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vionemc
Member

Is it really good for Upwork to kick people when they might have unique skills

Hi,

Currently, Upwork kicking people because they don't earn well enough inside Upwork while applying so many times. But I am not sure if that's really good for Upwork. I do understand that there are too many freelancers and it harms the average rate. I'd give you Pros and Cons on this. I'll start with Cons first.

 

Cons:

 

1. IMPORTANT!!! Someday, there might be a new niche uprising in Online Freelancing world. For example, civil engineering might not be trending in Upwork nowadays, but if Upwork keeps kicking them, once it becomes a trend, Upwork doesn't have the freelancers supply and will lose the competition to other freelancing sites taking advantage out of it.

 

2. I currently charge around $30/hour as a web developer. To be honest, I won't be able to reach that point if I had no chance for trial and error in Upwork. I had to apply to 60 jobs at first, and I was applying as a Virtual Assistant first because I was still nervous about getting to work on web development right away.

 

3. No matter how many jobs are overloaded by freelancers, mostly low qualities, there are always some jobs that almost has no applicants. Usually jobs that's over specialized or if the client is an Unverified Newbie. If we kick too many people, they won't have applicants. Even if the applicants are not specialized specifically for the job, there are always jobs that should be open with someone that's not specialized and train them or give them a chance to learn on the job.

 

4. Existing good freelancers will be confused when to feel I am safe and when he should work hard. Being in a constant fear is as harmful as being too relaxed.

 

5. $5/hour is small for you guys US citizens? Guess what, it's very big for South East Asians. It's not small at all. What is considered as small by Upwork might not be small for other people on the other side of the world. It's decreasing the chance for Upwork to help people in poverty if it matters to you.

Pros:

 

1. Of course, it will increase the average rate since clients won't be lured to cheap freelancers.

 

2. Only skilled freelancers, both from hard skill perspective and freelance business marketing perspective, will be chosen by clients at Upwork. It will decrease bad experience.

 

3. Clients won't get confused to choose a good freelancer between an overloading low-quality freelancers.

4. It will attract freelancers from US and other rich countries which has fluent English and very much needed but had given up because clients were attracted to cheap freelancers.

 

5. If a US/rich countries citizen tries Upwork, they won't waste time doing something that doesn't fit them and makes almost none since it won't pay their bill anyway.

 

My Suggestions:

 

1. I think there should be a Competition Point. A freelancer will be kicked if the point is below 50. If a freelancers saw it's competition point is so low, they'd furiously work hard to keep it high. And if it's high enough, they can rest a little bit. It's annoying to be confused should I get scared or not. PLEASE GIVE US A CLEAR SIGN!!! That way you'd get people who work hard but don't waste time on useless paranoid too.


2. I suggest don't make the suspended freelancers profile unsearchable anymore from Upwork search engine. Just make it very low prioritized. That way, when someday it turns out there is a unique skill set required by a client, the needed freelancer is still there. The client won't go away.

 

3. Do something about jobs that don't get enough applicants. At the very least, make them invite us, freelancers, more. I am too scared to apply now because of this.

What do you think?

Thanks,
Ami

39 REPLIES 39
versailles
Member

If someone is not profitable at all, what's the point of keeping them and wasting resources on them?

 

For the sake of skills that may, perhaps, who knows, one day, become in demand?

 

Yeah, sure.

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless

I know, but if you see the suggestions I made, it will still save a lot of resources while not doing anything harmful to Upwork itself when there is a new trend arising. Upwork will die if it's too comfortable and doesn't care about what is new. That's just how business is.

 

Making them searchable (but still not easily hireable) with a very low priority won't need a lot of resources. You can set a price "to free" them. A little bit sound like freeing a slave, haha. Set the price not too cheap so they won't get free easily just by the help of a friend.

 

You can also make them not searchable if there is already a lot of results. But when a certain keyword is inputted but the result is below 5, show them.

And from my perspective, even when I already have a good enough rate, reputation, open contracts, and earning, I don't get any rest assurance feeling from Upwork. I really need that Indicator when I am nearly kicked rather than suddenly kicked and then get shocked.

BTW, a lot of my well-paid friends ($30-$70/hour) and have earned $100.000++ and even much more are thinking of finding jobs outside Upwork (e.g. from **Edited for Community Guidelines**) since Upwork doesn't give any indicator to assure them.


@Aminah N wrote:

BTW, a lot of my well-paid friends ($30-$70/hour) are thinking of finding jobs outside Upwork (e.g. from **Edited for Community Guidelines**) since Upwork doesn't give any indicator to assure them.


 Sure, no problem. Upwork is not the only place for online freelancing.

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless

Yeah, it seems Upwork is very confidence for a really long time and don't feel they need anyone anymore. 

Not relying on Upwork is the only possible solution if assurance is important for you.


@Aminah N wrote:



Not relying on Upwork is the only possible solution if assurance is important for you.


 That has always been true.

vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager


@Aminah N wrote:

BTW, a lot of my well-paid friends ($30-$70/hour) and have earned $100.000++ and even much more are thinking of finding jobs outside Upwork (e.g. from **Edited for Community Guidelines**) since Upwork doesn't give any indicator to assure them.


 Hi Aminah,

 

Please check this announcement in order to understand the type of accounts addressed by this campaign, which as unsuccessful because the the opportunities available on Upwork are not a good match for the freelancer’s skillset or they might be violating our Terms of Service. The majority of the freelancers on our platform do not fit this description and certainly not the your friends, based on the information you shared.

~ Vladimir
Upwork
versailles
Member

Considering the client/freelancer ratio Upwork has no reasons to spend time implementing systems that could save those who are not profitable. So they are culling them.

 

The deal is extremely straightforward actually: either you make enough or you hit the road. Is it harsh? Maybe nut it's business. Upwork is not a charity.

 

And honestly, those who can't sell are mostly those with no marketable skills at all.

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
annekourteli
Member

Hello Ami,

 

Let's suppose you have an agency. What kind of freelancers you'd like to associate your agency with? Those who land job opportunities or those who don't?

 

Secondly, would you keep freelancers who have unpopular skills (like the civil engineering you mentioned) for the sake of a POSSIBILITY that a request comes in? If you answered yes, then you should know that this would reduce your agency's success rate (how successfully you associate freelancers to jobs) which in return will reduce your agency's popularity (reduced success rate to match freelancers to clients means reduced efficiency and that means that freelancers will start to turn you down)

 

Same with Upwork: what is the reason for keeping freelancers that land no jobs and bring in no revenues? This costs Upwork money. When we create a profile, we "rent" some space in their marketplace....how on earth are they going to get "paid" for the "rental" if we just sit there and bring no value?

 

On a side note, it's negative fame for Upwork, if they keep freelancers online who never land a job. This is an additional reason as to why some freelancers get their accounts suspended due to not landing job for a loooooong time.

 

You shouldn't be concerned applying to job posts btw. The suspension is for those who have never worked for a long period of time.

 

Regards

 

Anna

mrdanielprice
Member

I'm not sure what numbers they're going to use to decide which get axed and which don't, so there's a possibility my account will go bye-bye because of this.

I hope I can still participate in the forum, though.
vionemc
Member

Nope, you can't be here once you get suspended. Be careful.

This of course is just my personal opinion, but I think Upwork is making great strides in making this a professional only platform.  There are more platforms for beginners, but you have to realize when someone is offering you free marketing (which this is because you pay nothing until you get paid for a project) they will cut out the people that are not profitable. They are a business. They are here to make money. 

 

Now with that said, I truly understand when someone is in need of a job/project, they will Google "How to make money online" trust me I've done it. This is not the place to do that, but with that said there are other platforms that you can do that.  

 

Personally, (to be completely transparent) 80% of my work comes from Upwork, and although people may not think it's fair, they are in the business to make money (just like me) not to help people.  If you're not making them money, then I think it's totally fair for them to let you go. 

"Fairness is giving all people the treatment they earn and deserve. It doesn't mean treating everyone alike-Coach John Wooden"
vionemc
Member

As long as they give transparency on when you are safe and when you are about to get kicked. I am okay if I get kicked when I don't work hard enough to earn certain amount of money. What I don't like is unnecessary uncertainty. Even people who gets paid $30/hour long term still get scared.

Do you think you are guaranteed you are good enough to get kicked? If we get kicked suddenly while having a sick family or debt of buying a house, and then we have to start building reputation from zero on another platform which will take a while before we can start to get a decent pay.

At the very least give everyone the clear parameters of people who'd get kicked, so everyone can be prepared. Either relax I am okay, I am not in the danger mode, or yeah I should survive now.

I do understand that newbie should not do the learning at Upwork. People can adapt to it easily. What's annoying is Upwork doesn't seem to give enough assurance to the well paid ones.


@Aminah N wrote:
If we get kicked suddenly while having a sick family or debt of buying a house, 

If you're kicked from Upwork for that reason it means that you're not earning anything, so neither your family nor your house will suffer from this.

 

If you are earning money, you won't get kicked. It's as simple as that.

 

No money, take the highway.

 

What's the issue?

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
vionemc
Member

If only Upwork is clear about how much money do they want every freelancer to earn (minimum), everyone will be happy and there will be much less complaint. It's about transparency and certainty.

If it's clear, even if it is a bitter truth, they will accept it. If not, it's confusing for them even to just sign up on Upwork. Why would I sign up, complete the profile, just to get kicked the next day.

Why would I apply to jobs, researching the client and job post, if applying makes me a kickable consideration. It's much better to wait for invitations.

If you need "certainty" in your life stop being a freelancer and running your own business RIGHT NOW.

 

I am all for this, as well as the restrictions on admissions.

 

I am also hoping for another massive cull of low quality freelancers with a poor history of client experience.

 

My estimate is that the site could lose a quarter (or a third?) of all freelancers and be much healthier for everyone (who's left.)

 @Aminah N,

 

I don't understand why you worry that much! I've checked your profile and you have currently 2 jobs in progress, receiving an average of $18/hour, which means you bring profit to Upwork. Additionally, you have been having loads of contracts at advanced rates, so you are on the safe side. I assume the suspension penalty would be for those who DON'T appear profitable (no contracts and or no payments), not for successful freelancers like you (your JSS is pretty good btw). I don't understand your point.....

 

And whoever told you that if you apply to job postings without landing a job is putting your account in peril, made a huge mistake! You are ALREADY working!

vionemc
Member

It's because they don't give the exact parameter. It has been a huge topic in Indonesian Upworker Community. Usually a work relationship has both party trying to maintain trust. But I think for Upwork freelancers are just highly irreplaceable tools to make money, so they won't care anyway whether we trust them or not.

Indonesian Upworkers (low and high earner) are already planning to be not loyal to Upwork because of this. If they get clients from outside Upwork (Linkedin for example), they'd take it to another platform. Since they are afraid of getting kicked, taking outside clients for raising Upwork reputation is just no use.

We need to make ourselves safe anyway. I thought Upwork wishes their freelancers to not think of nor go to their competitors.

If they are more transparent, the high earner will keep being loyal for a long time, and only the low earner will migrate. Just like what Upwork wanted.

Everyone is for themselves in the end.


@Aminah N wrote:


Indonesian Upworkers (low and high earner) are already planning to be not loyal to Upwork because of this. If they get clients, they'd take it to another platform.

 That is surely very useful for Upwork to know that this is what the freelancers in your country are doing. They'll be suspended, banned and that'll take care of the problem then.

I've said "outside clients" in the sentence after those two sentences. If you want to comment on it, please don't cut it that way.


@Aminah N wrote:


Indonesian Upworkers (low and high earner) are already planning to be not loyal to Upwork because of this. If they get clients from outside Upwork (Linkedin for example), they'd take it to another platform. Since they are afraid of getting kicked, taking outside clients for raising Upwork reputation is just no use.

We need to make ourselves safe anyway. 


 It seems your community has learned a very important lesson, then, and been fortunate to do so before any actual loss occurs. It would be a very bad and irresponsible business decision for you to be "loyal" to one platform--what we in the U.S. sometimes refer to as putting all of your eggs in one basket. As a freelancer or business owner, you never want to have 100% of your income dependent on one source. What if Upwork went out of business, changed its business model, you got banned due to a mistake or a client misrepresentation, etc? It sounds as if now you and those you are talking to will begin to take the measures to protect the futures of your businesses that you should have had in place all along.

vionemc
Member

What I mean is, if they get clients from LinkedIn or other places, they won't take it to Upwork for the escrow service etc, but they'd take it to the competitors.

Why should we take LinkedIn clients to Upwork and get afraid of suspension if we don't. That's our rights. The marketing is done by Linkedin anyway. Freelancers are always on the wrong side indeed.

The whole thing is just needless mass hysteria.

 

People who win jobs and get contracts ON UPWORK and make money ON UPWORK have nothing to worry about.

 

Those who don't win contracts and don't make money on the platform don't need to be here and are better off NOT wasting their time here and not overcrowding the platform.


What you describe is abject stupidity: When getting contracts is the one thing that STOPS people getting kicked off the platform, ensuring that they DON'T get contracts on the platform is counterproductive because it DIRECTLY leads to what you say they want to avoid.

 

Ridiculous!

People will still take their outside/Linkedin clients to other escrow/freelancing platform than Upwork. It's just we already think the untransparent communication problem makes Upwork not reliable.

 

We'll continue to work in Upwork for clients that we get from Upwork, but we don't want to be overly romantic. I don't want to keep my hopes up and suddenly don't have any backup from Upwork. Never only rely on Upwork is the only thing that's certain.

I hope other people who are curious about this issue are reading all the posts in this thread. I think it's describing enough.


@Aminah N wrote:


I hope other people who are curious about this issue are reading all the posts in this thread. I think it's describing enough.


Problem is, you don't read or understand the answers to your questions. But hey, you want to run? Run.

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
vionemc
Member

I read every single of them. It means "The best thing from Upwork is freelancers are highly replacable tools. Either compete or die. You are on your own. Upwork and other freelancers here are doing business and wants money. That's how freelancing is." People won't only read my posts anyway. They will read yours too, don't worry. It's impossible to understand just by reading one reply anyway.

Every single of them are true, I can't say it's false. If a lot of people don't like Upwork communication style, that's true too, not wrong either. As long as we follow the rule. There is no need to be overly romantic, everything is just business.

There is no rule every clients we found outside should get in Upwork, or we shouldn't freelance at other platforms. It might not be the best for Upwork, but that's what will happen in the end, whether Upwork likes it or not. It's just normal, and it's not breaking any rule.


@Aminah N wrote:
Either compete or die. You are on your own.

 Welcome to running your own business.

vionemc
Member

Yup, freelancing has always been the same with running your own business. Business competes so does freelancing. Either compete or get suspended. You've welcomed everyone from the beginning.


@Aminah N wrote:
Yup, freelancing has always been the same with running your own business.

 Freelancing **IS** running your own business.

 

Your work is a product. Products that sell are successful. Products that don't sell are not.

 

I have absolutely no idea which part of that very simple fact of life you are failing to grasp.

UpWork made it pretty transparent actually.  If you aren't winning contracts, you are not earning any money.  What is the point in being here if you are NOT earning any money?  No benefit to them or to the freelancer in the end.  They aren't getting rid of people who are winning contracts.  They aren't getting rid of people who are already working on long-term contracts.  They are getting rid of:

 

A. Proposal spammers that never accept jobs

B. Freelancers who simply have no skillset to gain work here

C. Freelancers who clearly have provided unsatisfactory experiences for clients (super low ratings)

D. Freelancers who have never won a single bid in spite of dozens of proposals being put in

 

I cannot see how UpWork is doing anything wrong here.  At a brick-and-mortar business, you are given a probationary period when hired.  If you do not perform sufficiently by the end of that period, the company will most likely let you go.  There is no benefit to them to keep a non-performing person around.  UpWork is no different.  Those that simply cannot perform even the most basic tasks on the platform are let go after a period of time.  At that point, the honeymoon is over and the ties are cut.

 

To bemoan this fact is pointless, as it really is how businesses are run.  While managing my own training barn I hired approximately 40 people and subsequently fired at least 20 people over the space of ten years.  Most of those firings occurred after a simple 14-day evaluation period.  They were paid for their time and the reason for their leaving was explained to them clearly.  It always had to do with performance or attitude.  While they could throw a fit over my reasons, at the end of the day the decision was based on the bottom line of my business.

 

I understand how you feel.  However, I fully see why UpWork is removing those who have shown a lack of performance or poor performance.  It's business and they are simply not here to provide free hosting or a playground for those who don't want to improve.

~I am only here when I can tolerate having my eyes blasted, my privacy treated like a joke, and my temper pushed to it's limit. For all other times, please request alternate contact methods~
vionemc
Member

None. I understand all. Some business is successful, some are not, but it's still a business. It also is for freelance. If a freelancing fails, it doesn't mean it's not freelancing. I don't say you are wrong but you keep saying I don't understand.

What do you want? Do you need me to praise Upwork?


@Aminah N wrote:

What do you want? Do you need me to praise Upwork?

 I do not want anything from you. I could not care less whether you praise Upwork or not.

 

It doesn't matter. Successful people succeed, unsuccessful people fail.

 

Unprofitable products need to be eliminated. That's all there is to it.

🙂 It's natural. Of course, everyone understands.

Upwork's decision is natural, your want of a healthy competition is natural, and demands of communication is natural too. 

I react like this just because a friend who got 3 contracts in December and just apply 1-3 times this January suddenly get suspended. It's not according to their promised parameter "Freelancers who have never won a single bid in spite of dozens of proposals being put in" or "Proposal spammers that never accept jobs". It's not just because he is my friend, but Upwork has to keep their word or make it clearer with "numbers".

None dragged you here in violence and obliged you to work, so that Upwork makes money. It was YOUR decision. Yes, Upwork makes money from commissions, what's wrong with this? And yes, EVERYONE can be replaced if they stop bearing profit to the marketplace. Make Upwork money and you will be safe. After all, what is the purpose of maintaining a profile on Upwork if your skills aren't matching the market needs and if you land no job (aka, don't make profit for Upwork)?

And why do you care so much about the specific parameters? The only parameters we should know is that we're safe as long as we have jobs in progress and funds are circulated.

Soooo, Upwork is untrustworthy now. But, hey it wasn't untrustworthy when you have regularly had a secure income. Okay, I see your point.

No freelancer is obliged to bring their offsite clients on Upwork. None asked you to do this. Why bring an offsite client here and loose money from the Upwork commissions? Keep them offsite as most freelancers do.

BUT

Stating that Indonesian Upworkers (low and high earner) are already planning to be not loyal to Upwork, gives the idea that in general, loyalty from the side of those freelancers is lost. And the verbiage of this sentence makes their intentions really questionable.

Upwork doesn't need unfaithful freelancers with questionable intentions, when they're not granted anything they demand (parameters for example)

And about your friend's suspended account...are you sure their account got suspended because they are considered a misfit for the market? Couldn't it be that they broke the rules or something?

My friend (who recently got 3 contracts) got the template email saying that he got suspended because his skill is considered irrelevant and not applying efficiently, exactly that email. 

Yup, I know I am not obliged. It's just if they care about people's opinion. If they don't care that's not a problem at all, it's normal in freelancing. It's also normal when introducing new decisions.


@Aminah N wrote:

My friend (who recently got 3 contracts) got the template email saying that he got suspended because his skill is considered irrelevant and not applying efficiently, exactly that email. 

Yup, I know I am not obliged. It's just if they care about people's opinion. If they don't care that's not a problem at all, it's normal in freelancing. It's also normal when introducing new decisions.


 If your friend earned money on those contracts, and received good reviews, then they should contact customer service. It seems extremely unlikely to me that this is the whole story, based on the information Upwork have provided.

 

Petra quite often gives an analogy which may seem harsh, but makes sense if you are being a rational business: if you are running a store, and you have some products that no one ever buys, you're not going to keep those products on the shelf, you are going to give your shelf space to more profitable products.

 

You keep talking about "romance" and loyalty". There is no loyalty in freelancing. There is no romance in freelancing. You are running your own business and you have to market yourself where your efforts bear the most fruit. If you are never winning contracts on Upwork, it is as much a waste of YOUR time as it is of Upwork's money. You should go somewhere else where you can be more successful.


@Aminah N wrote:

My friend (who recently got 3 contracts) got the template email saying that he got suspended because his skill is considered irrelevant and not applying efficiently, exactly that email. 

Yup, I know I am not obliged. It's just if they care about people's opinion. If they don't care that's not a problem at all, it's normal in freelancing. It's also normal when introducing new decisions.


 You need more WINNING friends.

98cdf453
Member

Looks I am here temporary...just reading and hearing they would kick people if they are not making anything....that **Edited for community guidelines** man..


Kingsley J wrote:

Looks I am here temporary...just reading and hearing they would kick people if they are not making anything....that **Edited for community guidelines** man..


This thread is four years old and there have been a lot of changes in that time. 

Still...how would it benefit you to stay on a platform where you never got hired?

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