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Help! I am stuck between RT status and JSS

Ace Contributor
Jaap S Member Since: May 4, 2018
1 of 8

It started all with ‘a big name band’ that wanted their Lisbon concert reviews translated from Portuguese to English. A bit fed-up with writing cover letters that not even seemed to deserve a response, I simply said “Bring it on!”

 

Well, the ‘big name band’ turned out to be **Edited for Community Guidelines**and I received a straight-A review for my translations. In fact they came knocking on my door again when their tour hit Hamburg (German to English) and Amsterdam (Dutch to English).

The other day my maternal language, Frisian, appeared on My Job Feed. It would earn me next to nothing, but… what were the chances of it happening again? I got in touch with Global Project manager **Edited for Community Guidelines**and that was the beginning of a short-lived but very nice working relationship.

 

In short, four straight-A reviews on my first four jobs I felt were a great start on the Upwork platform.

 

And then… then Upwork took my Rising Talent badge away.

Hey, what happened, I asked the Upwork Help Centre. The Help Centre came up with some **bleep**-and-bull story that a client had given me ‘a less-than-good review publicly or privately’, implying that it was **Edited for Community Guidelines**(as after my first three jobs I still had my RT status).

Anyway, when Upwork asked me if I was satisfied with the handling of my request I said I was not, as I could not see a client who gave me a straight-A review publicly, turn around and give me a ‘less-than-good review’ privately – it just did not add up.

 

I did not receive a reply.

Therefore I decided to rephrase my request (‘What happened to my RT badge?’) and sent it in once more, hoping it would not land on the desk of the same agent. It did not. Nevertheless, I received exactly the same reply yesterday.

Can you believe that for a very brief instant I smelt a rat?

It did not occur to me that the second agent might have copied the reply of the first agent, which must be on my file. Instead, I asked **Edited for Community Guidelines** in what way I had let him down that made him give me a less-than-good review privately(!), as I very much like to learn from my mistakes. He immediately answered:

 

“Hi Jaap,

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

 

Now, that settled, what would be my next step?

My worry is that prospective clients’ search queries contain either ‘Rising Talent’ or ‘JSS’. Am I wrong to believe that?

And as I understand it, a freelancer is only liable to deserve a JSS after having concluded five jobs. Now, my fear is that I will never land that fifth job as I have neither a Rising Talent status nor a JSS.

In other words, I feel I am stuck – stuck in the middle between RT and JSS.

 

Could anyone tell me if I am making too much of a fuss about this – much ado about nothing?

And, if not, does anyone know on whose door I should knock, as the Help Centre does not help me any further?

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
BEST ANSWER
2 of 8

@Jaap S wrote:
Could anyone tell me if I am making too much of a fuss about this – much ado about nothing?

And, if not, does anyone know on whose door I should knock, as the Help Centre does not help me any further?


Much ado about nothing.

 

Posting the names of your clients on a public forum is not only unprofessional as hell, it is also strictly forbidden, as is posting private correspondence.

 

You'll get a JSS soon enough, either this Sunday or after the next contract. There is no reason to get all dramatic and think you can't win another contract, as thousands of freelancers manage to do so without ever having had a RT badge.

 

There are no doors to knock on, it is what it is.

 

By the way, such overly gushy reviews (which the client cheerfully reuses, just changing the name) for miniscule jobs are very suspicious and smack of feedback-buying OR a dirt-cheap freelancer who spends hours and hours on a $5 job.

Both impressions are equally damaging.

 

P.S. 2 - You are completely misunderstanding the purpose of a portfolio. It is meant to showcase your work, not be a link to a jobpost...

 

Ace Contributor
Jaap S Member Since: May 4, 2018
3 of 8

I stand corrected! Thanks!

Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
4 of 8

I have no idea why you are worried about agents and reviews and rats. Just work, get paid, work some more. Accept the reviews you receive and continue the process.

Ace Contributor
Jaap S Member Since: May 4, 2018
5 of 8

I realise I wound up between a Roman rock and a hard place. Still, I feel I need to stress that my point was: it's not working I'm worried about, it's getting work.

Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
6 of 8

Jaap,

I haven't looked at your profile. If you are concerned about getting translation work into English, your biggest problem is not your JSS. Your English is competent and clear, arguably fluent; it is not idiomatic, and that is a base-level requirement for many translation clients. There are plenty of native/bilingual translators here to choose from. You are at a competitive disadvantage, and there is no quick fix.

 

Best,

Michael

 

p.s. The stars are mostly window dressing. Upwork (back when oDesk) determined years ago that star ratings were rising on a hyperbolic curve with five as the upper limit. It is in fact common, if regrettable, that clients pass out 5-star ratings like candy, reserving their true assessments for private feedback.

Ace Contributor
Jaap S Member Since: May 4, 2018
7 of 8

Michael, 

Thanks for your feedback. I understand I am now officially regarded as 'Upwork's most gullible freelancer' for believing in the honesty and straightforwardness of two of their clients that contracted me  - one hiring me three times in a row and one claiming to never have given a better review (of the next to 500 he wrote thusfar).

Thank you! I'll make a note.

Best regards,

Jaap

Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
8 of 8

@Jaap S wrote:

Michael, 

Thanks for your feedback. I understand I am now officially regarded as 'Upwork's most gullible freelancer' for believing in the honesty and straightforwardness of two of their clients that contracted me  - one hiring me three times in a row and one claiming to never have given a better review (of the next to 500 he wrote thusfar).

Thank you! I'll make a note.

Best regards,

Jaap


Jaap,

 

I try to stay out of clients' heads and hearts. These are business transactions, not personal relationships.

Veterans here usually suggest success comes from picking clients selectively and strategically, and doing one's best work. The JSS tends to sort itself out over time, and once Top Rated, we have the safety valve of occasionally removing feedback (though Upwork will not give any hints as to which private feedback lowers one's score). 

Best,

Michael

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