I signed up for oDesk June 6, 2008 while I was on my maternity leave. Actually, I've read a lot about freelance jobs and oDesk before in one of the forums I'm a member of but I didn't jump in right away because of two reasons.
First, I was still skeptical (and hurting) about working and earning from home. You can't blame me. I had been scammed once. And it ain't something I wanna go through again.
Second, I was still skeptical (and hurting) about working and earning from home... No, there's no typo here.. I hope you get my point.
Good thing I conquered my fear or else you won't be reading this post :)
So how did I go about my (love) affair with oDesk?
I went on polishing my profile after signing up. It was difficult at first I didn't know what should I put in there. I frequented the community, read everything there is that I need to know, and kept notes on tips about getting jobs.
My first assignment with an Australian buyer was a data entry job. Data entry jobs don't pay that much simply because of competition - almost anybody can do it and there are more data entry providers than there are jobs I think. Besides, I was still new to oDesk, no experience yet to boot. This is quite a problem with new providers because some of the buyers require prior oDesk experience. Getting your first job is the most difficult.
Every assignment I get is an excellent avenue for me to learn new things. I don't intend to stick to data entry jobs for long so I make it a point to enhance my skills along the way. Right now - with 5 active assignments - I even consider getting myself enrolled in PHP programming class.
Whoa! Are you seeing a data-entry-expert-turned-into-PHP-specialist one of these days? I don't see the reason why not. Besides PHP programmers are one of the highest paid providers at oDesk. That should be a motivation enough, don't you think?
If I want to stay and work from home for good, I have to upgrade my skills and better myself or else...
Freelancing with oDesk or any other similar sites is not at all easy. Talk about competition. It is a global marketplace out there you're competing with more providers than you care to admit. You've got to be focused and motivated to stay on the ground. What motivates me the most is the convenience and flexibility of working from home. I can see my little ones grow and guide them each day while I help put food in our table.
It ain't easy, I admit. But I'm loving every bit of it.