The Downside of UpWork and Freelancing

ODDJOB – James Bond villain’s assistant and a term for random tasks – Random Task, an Austin Powers assistant to a villain parodying James Bond.
I love a smooth introduction.

What I’m getting at is the more modern definition of the oddjobber: the freelancer. I wish free wasn’t in the word because it suggests you or I will do work for no cost. Perhaps that is why on a subconscious level so many UpWork contractors are wanting the closest thing to free labour; but at least not stooping to the level of the likes of ********onPost who pay in exposure (try cashing that in).
Or more likely the continued devaluation of skillsets is in full swing and people are expecting absurd amounts of writing for slave wages.

Before I go on, I will say that there are reputable clients willing to pay fair money for your expertise, just not enough of them, and I use UpWork to get contracts for work (hit and miss so far).

On my daily trawl of UpWork I see all sorts of postings from degrading to the absurd, photographic evidence lower down.

The accessibility of the platform means anyone can post a job they want someone to do for them. A great concept in essence.
The fatal flaw thus far, is that there’s no lower limit for contract amounts or hourly wages. Which is creating a slave economy (yes, I understand nobody has to take any contract on – but some desperate bastard will) and there’s a general expectation that if you freelance from home you can expect to get paid like the shameful, dirty amateur that you’re not. Which is insulting and enraging.
The expectations of many contracts are genuinely disgusting in what they’re prepared to pay. Would you do 30 five minute informational videos for $30?

Certainly, different economies means a $1 in the UK has different spending power to a $1 in Indonesia (And while I’m here – beyond the basic underpinnings of economics – why the hell is that?), but that seems less and less relevant within an online globalised workplace. An hour here is the same as an hour anywhere. Here’s the thing. If someone wants anyone to write 1500 words for a blog, let alone an expert for $5 they’re clearly:
A) broke, so they shouldn’t be stretching their resources
B) a piece of shit
C) detached from reality and in need of help
D) still a miserly wretched piece of shit
E) rich enough to afford reasonable rates of pay but they’re an entitled scumbag trying to profiteer off the back of someone else’s hard work

Anyway, I’ve collated a parade of unusual suspects so you can see the level of despicable that there is out there, those that do not value anyone else’s time or skill, let alone respect people. I’m not being naive, just frustrated at the reality of these things and this post is essentially the steam valve.

Next time I’ll do a more upbeat version with the zany postings so you have the full Greek experience of comedy and tragedy. Enjoy.

3 thoughts on “The Downside of UpWork and Freelancing

  1. Oh gosh, yes I feel you! I was with Elance back in the day, before they got absorbed into Freelancer (? I think!) and also tried Upwork. It taught me that some jobs just aren’t worth chasing! And the cheapest clients are also the rudest – just shows how little regard they have for writers! (“Get a ‘real’ job!” “I would do it myself if I wasn’t so busy!” (‘with my real job’, firmly implied in there!) Thank goodness I’ve got to a place where I have a few decent customers who respect my work and like my writing and are prepared to pay a decent wage for it! Only taken ten years or so… Lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your thoughts on this.

      Freelancer is truly awful and even worse than UpWork which does have some good reasonable clients.

      And you nailed it, the lowest paying tend to be the worst in attitude, not surprisingly in a way as no decent person would have such outrageous expectations.


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