12 of 21
When people work for that, it throws people like me right out. We have minimum wage laws in the US and I can't afford to work for less than that. So people won't hire me when they can get the work done for so much less. It makes me upset too, because I am really good at what I do but it makes it impossible for me to get my foot in the door. Thanks for letting me rant too! Elizabeth
13 of 21
Minimum Wage Laws only apply if you are an employee of a company. Minimum also depends on which state, and what job you work. You are not an employee working on Odesk. You are an independent contractor. Definition in US by IRS "The general rule is that an individual is an independent contractor if the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done and how it will be done. The earnings of a person who is working as an independent contractor are subject to Self-Employment Tax."
14 of 21
I don't know that Ruth was implying that we are legally entitled to minimum wage on oDesk. I think she may just have been pointing out that she can't afford to work for less than the US minimum wage. In fact, minimum wage is often less than what people living in a country need to survive without getting government assistance - that would be the living wage.
15 of 21
Is it legal for someone on odesk in the United Kingdom to employ others in the UK at less than the minimum wage? I've seen (Yes, I'm a little obsessive) more than one company in the UK paying other UK citizens $3-4 an hour; that must surely be against the rules?
16 of 21
Thank you, Marcia, for clarifying that. I was pointing out that I can't afford to work for less than minimum wage, which in my state is actually $8/hr. Plus, I'm really good at what I do, I just haven't done it in this format before (working from home, online, as an independent contractor, etc), so while I might not have the oDesk hours necessary for some clients, I could easily do the work they're asking for if they would just give me a shot, and to be undercut by people doing the same things I do (although probably not as well) for so much less is discouraging. Thanks! (Please call me Elizabeth, I actually go by my middle name)
17 of 21
I wouldn't worry too much Elizabeth, I think quality work shines through here. I charge a reasonably high rate but I always have plenty of work, mostly via invitation. Those clients that want you to work for low rates probably aren't worth working for anyway. There are clients who are happy to pay a decent rate.
18 of 21
Set your starting rate at a little bit, but not much, less than you're prepared to work for. Apply to as many jobs as you can, but only ones that you know you can do an excellent job on.. When you eventually get the first job (which might take a few weeks), communicate openly and professionally with the client, and clarify the job scope and deadline before you start. Then move heaven and earth to do a perfect job before the deadline (including giving yourself time to check and double-check it before you send it. - that's why it's crucial to choose the first job well and be sure of doing a perfect job. It gets your foot in the door. After you get your first good feedback it will get easier. Every job you get, treat it with the same respect as you did your first one, and move heaven and earth to do perfect work. After a few jobs with good feedback, you can start to rack up your rate to your desired one. After that, it's normal to increase your rate in increments every few months as long as your job history and feedback supports it. Another way it gets easier is that eventually you will have clients coming back to you, and you end up spending less time looking for work,and more time actually doing it. This doesn't all happen overnight of course. In those dead periods at the start, work on your profile and especially your tests. Choose tests close to your subject area, have a revision about them first, and take them when you have time and peace to do them and you're alert. So, that's it - simples Hang on in there - and whatever you do don't think of dragging your rate down towards the bottom of the pond, as you can get stuck in the mud there. Start where you can still see the sunlight shining through the water above you, and work your way gradually towards the surface...