Hi there! I specialize in graphic design. On upwork recently. As I understand it, it is very difficult to get a job without verification and client's recent. Does it make sense to find first work in agencies to get client's recent and ratings? How to find agencies on upwork?
There are many reasons why you can or you can't get your first projects of the first few weeks.
Some one can’t find work for more than a month and some get good contracts with a good prices in a few first days. Sometimes it matters how you sell yourself and sometimes it's not.
Anyway you should have a full description of your skills in your profile and carefully supplement the information when you submit any applications. If you have a portfolio you simply can say about that it will increase your chances of being hired.
Regarding verification it's simple.
When you finish your first project you will not be able to get paid without it.
You only have the choice to buy «PLUS» plan or not but this upgrade gives you more benefits.
To find a job you can use a basic search with filters or an additional search to find a specific agency.
Anything else you can ask.
I wish you to quickly find your first project and work in the way that you like!