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Not the most skilled freelancer here but still......

Community Guru
Mariska P Member Since: Apr 27, 2015
1 of 11

I'm working for a great American client right now but it's only part time so I'm looking for additional hours elsewhere and I'm getting a bit down at having to compete with people who gladly bid  on  $3 an hour to do a job that is within my skill set. In fact, it's not even a competition because as long as I'm from North America I'm not getting the job even if I DO want to work for $3 an hour. That might be incorrect because of so many factors, but it's how I feel right now. 


Before the new minimum wage here I saw a job that was in the health care field that I would have been terrific at and it didn't require me to actually speak while communicating but it was helping seniors. The company is based in the states and it's doing quite well it seems. Thing is, they ONLY hire from the Philipines and the applicants didn't need health care experience at that time. Sure I would have undervalued myself greatly knowing what wages I used to be paid working in health care as an Attendant but I love working with patients so that was the first thing on my mind and not the amount paid.  Needless to say, I couldn't apply anyway. 


What ever happened to the best person for the job and not the cheapest bid on a job? There are jobs here that I know I could do  but I don't have the experience to apply for but how am I going to get the experience if no one is willing to take a chance on me because they'd rather take someone based on willingness to work for pennies who might not really have the qualifications to do the job anyway? I've checked freelancer profiles that have worked on jobs that I apply for and sometimes I don't see how they get the job over me.  I see what their profile says and then I see their feedback to the client and it's like two different people are writing.  


I'm most likely preaching to the choir here but I'm just so darn frustrated and I can take part of the blame but I know it's not all me.  What can you tell me (humorous or serious) to get me out of this pity party? 





Community Guru
Jean S Member Since: Oct 22, 2007
2 of 11

Change to jobs that pay better and that you have skills for and where being a native English speaker is a plus. 


If your focus is simply customer service then you will have to go up against that competition. As well, employers may feel embarrassed at offering low pay to a North American but have no qualms offering it to people from other countries.


Look for specialized areas that you can qualify for. There may be less jobs listed but you'll have a better chance at getting them and probably more money.


Look at every single category here and look at other jobs you could do ... customer service is a tough area to break into but you will see some jobs that do pay more and want native speakers/writers. Aim high and with higher rates and you may be surprised.


Filter jobs by expert only and avoid seeing all the low paying jobs. Look at who they have hired in the past and the rates they were pay...but stay away from the low paying jobs.


When you sear for jobs try this:


Click on the Search button with nothing in the box.


Next choose advanced.


Enter a term to search in the Title only.


Filter by Expert level.



Hope this helps.

Community Guru
Mariska P Member Since: Apr 27, 2015
3 of 11

Hi Jean,

Thanks for replying and giving me some things to chew on. 

I don't really want to be in customer service specifically but it seems that I'm pretty qualified for that. I love chatting, I love writing but I don't have the experience to break into writing gigs per se.  I found out that my environment is too noisy for phone work and to tell truth, speaking to people on the phone is not really what I want to be doing full time, but online chat is good for me. 

For specialized work, that would be the dating industry or even for advice (ya.. seems a bit out there, but even shrinks get down on themselves every so often...i think.. lol) . Not much call for that, and as I've found out, people running dating sites are looking at Upwork for extremely cheap labor and don't care that non native speakers aren't going to get the gist of what the customers are looking for, so it's bulk work and not quality work too that they're after. 

I will definitely try filtering as you suggested. 

Your help is much appreciated and I'm doing a bit better now.. plus I had more coffee after I wrote my original post. Woman Very Happy



Community Guru
Suzanne N Member Since: Aug 15, 2012
4 of 11

Customer Service for chat or email generally pays much lower rates. And US customer's don't need someone who speaks good english as most of the reps use a script. 


Haven't you ever got someone on the phone when calling customer service and if they go off script they haven't a clue what to say to you? Well it is because some do not have good english, and they are trained with a script to use and if you deter from the script they don't know how to answer you.


If you don't want to do customer service but have skills that fit find something such as Administrative work that involves customers ad handling other things.


One of my first jobs was doing call reviews for a company. I listen to calls all day which was kind of boring but it worked into another position with the same company and more  money. 


One thing I tell people is go through a list of skills you have. Write them down on a piece of paper.  You might be surprised by what skills you have you didn't know you had. 



Cross out all the things you really don't want to do. Then select the skills that are unique from others and use those to your benefit.


There are quite a few jobs in Administrative support which require other skills as well as Customer Service skills as they need someone to deal with their customers as well as other things. 


You are going to find either category though Administrative Support and Customer Service very competitive. You have to learn to write that dynamic cover letter to why you are the best person for the job and why they should hire you. 


Don't fret over the people charging less. You will soon enough have invites and more work then you know. Just keep plugging along.



Community Guru
Mariska P Member Since: Apr 27, 2015
5 of 11

I would love to do call quality reviews for a company if that sort of work comes up here. That position came up at my office but I had just started so I didn't qualify.  I will look for that now thanks to you! 

Yes, I certainly have had someone flounder and get flustered when they were taken off their script. Kind of funny now to think of it, but frustrating for me at the time.  I was trained with a script but we were encouraged to get off of that after we were accustomed to the products and services etc. The only thing we did on script was our opening and our closing with customers.  I really do miss helping people but I guess I don't miss being micromanaged with call times and how I spoke with my customers like friends instead of dollar signs. lol. 

I'm going to take your suggestion as well and look in different categories. You and Jean have a wealth of information between the two of you! 

Thanks very much for taking the time out help me. Smiley Happy 

Community Guru
Setu M Member Since: Jan 26, 2014
6 of 11
Much appreciated Jean and Suzanne. Good luck Mariska.
---- easy like Sunday morning ----
Community Guru
Mariska P Member Since: Apr 27, 2015
7 of 11

Thanks Setu! 

Sometimes I just need to remember I'm not in this alone. Smiley Happy 

Community Guru
Suzanne N Member Since: Aug 15, 2012
8 of 11

@Mariska P wrote:

Thanks Setu! 

Sometimes I just need to remember I'm not in this alone. Smiley Happy 


We were all new here at one time. When I first started I mumbled and complained about some of the same things you are. Someone on the forum gave me a kick in the keister and told me to make my profile unique and stand out on my cover letters.


Which I hope by now I have done, but we all were new at one time.


There are a few call review postions or call monitoring positions. I had done it previously but I am sure you can find something that fits and don't compromise your rate. Just because someone else works for $3 an hour doesn't mean you have to. 

Community Leader
Joshua M Member Since: Nov 8, 2014
9 of 11

Whenever you look for jobs, trying using these key phrases "US only" or "Native only". You should get a variety of projects that you can choose from which would be highly favorable for you. You just need to filter through the posts that don't match your skill-set. Smiley Happy

Community Guru
Mariska P Member Since: Apr 27, 2015
10 of 11

Awesome advice Joshua!!! Thanks! Woman Very Happy