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Re: Needing some advice

Active Member
Kailey C Member Since: Jun 4, 2020
1 of 8

Hello! So, I am fairly new to Upwork. I signed on to Upwork towards the beginning of this year. It took a little while to land my first client (maybe a few weeks) but then I got a client back in March who I am still working with now. 


I have now written seven articles for my client which I am so excited about and have loved working with them. Originally, the job description was only for four articles, but I guess they liked my work because they asked if I would do more articles for them and I said yes. It is my first job on Upwork so I am glad for the experience.


So far, our schedule has been SUPER flexible which I have appreciated because I also teach Chinese kids English online early in the morning and I am a stay-at-home mom so I don't have tons of time to work on this. So far, there have been no deadlines on any articles and the client often takes days or weeks to get back to me after I send in the articles, which hasn't bothered me because of my busy schedule.


However, I plan to quit my English teaching job in October of this year and I need to find something that will replace it or at least come close to it financially. My husband is currently working full time so I could work part-time, I just need something so we can be saving up for grad school for him. While it has been great working with this client and being flexible, it is still my only job I have had on Upwork. I am anxious to see what other jobs are like, what kind of demand or schedule is asked for the jobs and what the pay is like. I need to find out if this can be a reliable full or part-time job with good income but it is hard to know that when I am with the same client. I don't know when we will be done as we haven't discussed how many articles they want from me, I just get more topics and then keep going.


I need some advice! Can Upwork be a good full-time or part-time job? If so, what needs to happen for me to get to that point? Can I get good pay for this job? Is this something I can do while being a stay-at-home mom or does it require more attention?


Any advice or comments on any of this would be great. Also, at what point do I need to maybe cut ties with this client and start finding other jobs? Is it possible and/or professional to apply for other jobs while doing this job with this client?


Thank you! 

Ace Contributor
Nicholas K Member Since: Mar 25, 2020
2 of 8

Send proposals to win new clients. Once you get enough long term clients you can consider Upwork to be your main job.

Community Guru
Amanda L Member Since: Jan 23, 2018
3 of 8

Hi Kailey, 


Yes,  many people are full-time consultants or freelancers. Becoming a full-time freelancer/consultant means you are running your own business. It can take up a chunk of your time to search out new leads through Upwork and other means, and you have to always keep the pipeline of work churning. It's not like a full time employment position where you are handed the work and not responsible for finding the clients.  Have you applied for any other jobs other than the one you landed?   You can work for as many clients as you want at a time. You don't have to only have one contract at a time. So you can go ahead and try for new clients right now, and still work with the current client. Just make sure you manage your time properly to be able to deliver each project to the client on time. 


Many cities have and organization called SCORE, which is free business mentoring, webinars, etc. If you Google them, you may find them in your area, and you might get a mentor that way who can help you through developing your freelance business. Upwork also has many articles, but I find the scope to be limited.  Hope this helps. 

Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
4 of 8

The answer to most of your questions is "it depends". Some people do very well here, while others struggle to find anything. What do you consider to be a "good" income? How many hours would you need to work per month in order to consider a job to be "reliable"? Do you need to start earning a certain income right away, or are you willing/able to invest time in perfecting your profile/portfolio/marketing techniques (without being guaranteed success)?


I will say that it's pretty rare to find a client who's as flexible as the one that you've got now; the majority will have hard deadines and you'll need to be able to meet them. If you need flexibility, then you should specify which hours/days you're available and what your typical turnaround times are, and of course avoid applying for any rush jobs. This will make you somewhat less marketable than a freelancer who's available full time, but it's not a deal breaker.


And if you love working with your current client, I wouldn't be in a hurry to cut ties! There's no reason why you can't apply for as many projects as you feel that you can handle, and nothing unprofessional about it at all.


Community Guru
Mark F Member Since: Jul 10, 2018
5 of 8

So you really need to stop thinking of them as jobs.  These are projects that you are doing for a client.  It might be ongoing and look a lot like a job but the right mindset is to think of it as client/project not employer/job.


One client is death just waiting to happen.  You need to have projects on the way in, projects on the way out, and projects you are currently working on.  There is a perfect balance and flow to it and if you ever achieve it come back and tell me how you did it.  Work seems to either be too plentiful or scarce.


The key to managing that, to my mind, is to have your rate set appropriately enough so that you are earning enough money when working to cover yourself when times are lean, which clearly means you need to know how to save.  One of the key reason I like savings is that when things start to lean out people tend to panic and go after work they shouldn't.  Having a little cushion gives you the walking-away power buff.


The answer to if this can work for you full time is really a question about you which none of us can answer.  Do you like actually going after your own work?  Do you like running your own business?  You have already achieved more success than most here by landing just one job.  That doesn't guarantee you can continue doing it, and that is another very important consideration...


Can you handle that there are no guarantees?

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
6 of 8

Kailey C wrote:



Any advice or comments on any of this would be great. Also, at what point do I need to maybe cut ties with this client and start finding other jobs? Is it possible and/or professional to apply for other jobs while doing this job with this client?


Thank you! 

oh dear

Community Guru
Sarah B Member Since: Dec 15, 2017
7 of 8

I've been able to make a pretty solid part-time go of it, which suits my schedule and other committments. But I was a freelancer long before I was on Upwork, so I'm used to managing my own projects and schedule, lack of stability, "unpaid" work investing in my business, etc., etc., etc. If that doesn't sound like a lot of fun, Upwork and freelancing in general might feel like an uphill battle. You get out what you put in.  You might spend months working on your profile, porfolio, proposals and not see much in return. You might realize you lack skills and need to invest your own money and time in developing them. BUT, you do find a flexibility and control in freelancing that regular employment lacks. This can work and work especially well for people with families and a lot of other comittments, but like others suggested, it depends.

Community Guru
Martina P Member Since: Jul 11, 2018
8 of 8

I might not be the first person to tell you this (at least your one client feedback tells me that), but you are too nice. Don't be a people pleaser. You can be successful here, but you need to get into a business mindset and grow a thick skin. Then you will be fine!