I’ve been using your platform for more than 6 years already and I witnessed so many changes through the years – from the time it was still oDesk with the blue logo, to oDesk with green logo, when Elance was still a separate entity, and now a new name – Upwork (oDesk and Elance combined). I missed the days that the fee was just 10%. Although I like how you lower the fee to 5% after a freelancer reached a $10,000 earnings from a client. However, that kind of setup is a bit unfair for some freelancers who work on a project basis per client.
Anyway, I must say that I am really thankful for finding Upwork. I was able to be with my family all the time and travel without worrying about leaves because I can practically work anywhere. Because of Upwork, I experienced working with different clients across the globe and I learned a lot. I watched my skills grow from data entry to general VA to SEO, all the way to web development.
For all those years I’ve been working on your platform, I experienced being happy and overjoyed because of some good clients; being stressed because of misunderstanding with other clients; and also being broken-hearted because at some point, a long-term client has to let go due to budget constraint. These are things that all bound to happen to a freelancer.
Okay, enough with the drama. I am writing to you because I am concerned with the Job Success Score. I liked how you put up this kind of system together with the Top Rated badge. True enough, it helped freelancers to get more job invitations and have higher chances of getting hired by clients. However, the Job Success Score computation is a bit complicated than it may seem. Last year, I reached a 100% JSS but it went down to 86%. I contacted Upwork support and they said some factors include too many inactive contracts, private feedback from a client, ending a contract without earnings, and more.
Please see the following scenario:
-If a freelancer has too many inactive contracts and he messaged the clients one by one to end the contract and provide him a feedback, but then he doesn’t get a response, what will he do then? Remember, too many inactive contracts may affect the JSS.
-If the clients don’t respond and the freelancer just decided to end the contract himself, it’s possible that he won’t get any feedback since the client is unresponsive. This will still affect the freelancer’s JSS and profile.
-If the freelancer has been hired by a client but doesn’t get any task because maybe there have been some changes on the project scope of the client or the client has been bankrupt or any other reasons that we don’t know of, and the client just ended the contract without any logged time or earnings on the freelancer’s part, it will cause a huge decrease on the JSS.
To tell you honestly, I experienced all of those and it’s totally unfair for us freelancers because in those cases, we’re not at fault but our profiles suffer. I hope you’re getting where I’m coming from. It took me months to get my JSS back to 100% and I don’t want it to become low anymore. Right now, I’m at this stage again that I have so many inactive contracts. I asked the clients to end it and provide me a feedback and just hire me again if they need my services in the future. Other clients respond but there are still many who don’t. And I have one contract which started few weeks ago but there’s still no task from the client. I couldn’t end the contracts because I know it will affect my JSS.
See? Where will we place ourselves in this kind of situation? Whatever we do, freelancers are being at a disadvantage. I do hope that you guys from Upwork management can do something about the factors affecting the Job Success Score of the freelancers. And I believe that this is something that you can surely improve.
Kaila Sharlene - an Upworker since 2011
I am a freelance web designer, web developer and SEO specialist - one of the “Top Rated” web designers on Upwork. Living a digital nomad lifestyle, I love to explore the outdoors while doing some freelance jobs in between.
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