In the past I’ve actually tried getting hired myself on outsourcing platforms but the money offered is not that interesting really, when competing with people in Pakistan, the Philippines and Bangladesh. oDesk is a good way to outsource work to countries with lower wages. I’ve tried it with coding but that cost me much more time than doing things myself – in the end I never managed to get any technical stuff done successfully through the system. Maybe that’s because I don’t need basic stuff done – I can do that myself quickly – and I can’t outsource my very specific server set up to someone I don’t trust 100%.
Now that I have managed to get good results out of oDesk I can say there are some things an applicant can do to get hired (or not). I’m a domain pimp but I’m still looking for the way to properly treat outsourced workers (i.e. by paying an appropriate wage, not wasting anyone’s time and by thinking out new ways of outsourcing). I hope the following do’s and don’ts can help:
- Read the job description. You’d be surprised how many people don’t properly read the description. Even some outsourcing agencies have people working specifically on acquiring jobs for the agency – who do not properly read the description.
- Don’t over- or underbid. If an employer puts a job at 100$ you don’t want to bid 20$ or 200$. Slightly underbidding can help get you some more attention in the hiring process but it just looks fishy if you go under 50% of the price.
- Don’t ask your potential employer about how you will receive your money (from oDesk). This is a definite turn-off. Inquire at oDesk instead. I’m sure they have their shit together and if you see there are at least some (e.g. 100) people from your country working at oDesk it probably means they also manage to get paid properly from oDesk.
- Raising your value appropriately. If you’re currently getting 2.5$ per article it’s unlikely your employer will be happy to suddenly pay you 7.5$. So don’t ask for a raise like that. However, if you gradually work your way up, it’s more likely your employer will go along with it, especially if the delivering goes more smooth every time and you reach a mutual understanding about the way of working. E.g. try getting 3.5$, then 5$, while increasing your punctuality and quality of work. Never start asking for more money right from the start.
- You’re in this together. If you deliver good work, the employer will be happy, and you’ll get a good rating (hopefully 5 stars for each facets), so even if the employer is not going to pay more, there will be another employer who be happy to pay you more considering you have a better looking profile. It also works the other way around, it’s easier for an employer to hire people when her own rating is top notch.
I hope these tips will help you if you’re thinking about working through oDesk to make some money.