Regarding the $1,000 earnings criteria for Top Rated, I view it as a measure of whether the freelancer is active or not; a way to drop freelancers from Top Rated status because they are inactive or nearly inactive. I doubt very much it was intended to segregate top earners from those that make less.
Agreed. Top Rated should be about profesionalism and quality of work. Earnings have nothing to do with it. A person might only make a couple of jobs a year through upWork and be a stunning professional.
Consider that factoring in earnings (even on a scaled ratio), prevents quite a bit of fraudulent inflation of profiles.
Otherwise it would be too easy to hire yourself for a buck from another profile and then give yourself a stellar review.
"Top Rated should be about profesionalism and quality of work."
Yes. Professionals who do high quality work earn more.
You are asuming the website is the main source of income of the freelancer. It's not always the case.
I agree that the freelancer has to have done a minimum amount of works for the feedback to be reliable, but pushing it too much would exclude freelancers who only use the website as an alternate source for finding jobs.
When I see the receivables for min. earnings as high as possible, I ask myself, are they afraid of the competition with freelancers, who do just a couple of jobs each year, or is it missing trust in their own skills if they come in a competition that is harder than at other platforms? Honestly, the top earning freelancers were already top earner before the introduction of the "Top Rated" badge, and they are still. If I lose my badge this Sunday, I don't care. My current clients trust me, and new clients want to be convinced with the proposal and in the interview. Only if they doubt at this two steps, a possible badge comes in play. If someone thinks this badge is important, he should simply do his work with the expected results or better.
"If someone thinks this badge is important"
I don't. I think it's stupid and unprofessional. However if we have to have it I'd much rather the entry bar was set at a meaningful level.
"The Top Rated badge is not just for show."
Then it's even more important to set the criteria at a meaningful level.
"It opens many doors on the platform."
And that's exactly what I hate about Upwork. I just want a platform that presents me with a list of jobs and lets me bid on them, then provides a secure and FAST payment system. I do not like all this screwing around with badges, special secret forums, hidden bids, meaningless "job success" scores and other bilge. We're professionals. Professionals should be able to identify suitable clients and pitch them a good proposal. That's what should determine who gets the job, not badges.
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