Monday, March 19, 2012

My oDesk Experience

I joined oDesk back in May 30, 2009 and to date, I never looked back.

In 2009 I had a job as a Quality Assurance Specialist in a call center, and had almost 5 years of working as a call center agent under my belt. This job was my main source of income, and I liked how I get paid regularly. This was very important for me since I had two kids and a lot of dogs who were counting on me. Of course, not to mention the bills to pay that waited every single month too.

While my husband and I worked, my mom in law took care of my kids. So, when she migrated to Hawaii, I didn't have a choice but to stay at home. By then, I was already keeping this blog and writing my thoughts in it, but I never thought I could actually make money online.

Like most people, I was very skeptical with the thought of making money online. I couldn't imagine how a client would want to hire someone halfway across the globe and then actually pay for the work. I mean, it's a piece of cake to just disappear online and not pay what's due, right? So I had my doubts, like everyone did. But I wasn't going to stay at home and not do anything either. With life and the economy as tough as it is now, only one person in the family working just wouldn't cut it. So I Googled and came across oDesk a few months before my mom in law left and before I officially resigned from work.

I applied to literally hundreds of jobs and got declined hundreds of times as well. I used up my weekly limit of 20 job applications every week, and got very disheartening emails about how my application was denied or rejected. But that didn't stop me, as I was determined to find work while I was at home. I worked on improving my oDesk profile and I made sure to include samples of relevant work whenever I applied.

Just a little background on myself, I was the Editor in Chief of my high school newspaper, and writing has always been one of my hobbies. So I made a bunch of sample articles on topics that ranged from everything under the sun to parenting, travel, etc. and submitted those along with my applications. I finally got my first job two (2) months after I joined oDesk. The wait was well worth it.

I was very decided to get a 5 star rating from my client, so I did everything exactly as they wanted, and submitted articles way before the deadline. I wanted to work, and I wanted to be great at this new venture, so I really gave it my best. That same client who first hired me kept re-hiring me because she was so pleased with my work, and the new assignments added valuable feedback to my profile. Soon enough, I was getting hired in most of my applications and I was able to make money out of my online efforts.

About a year later I received a job interview to work as an email support specialist. I passed the exam and interview, and I was working 20 hours a week. I wanted to keep this job, so I did my best. My boss was very happy with my performance and gave me a full time position - I was working 40 hours a week. I was very happy and I wanted to make my boss happy, so I worked even harder. Now, I'm their customer care supervisor and I train new email support specialists. I have unlimited hours of work each week, I work my mornings, and I get paid the hourly rate I want. I was making more than enough to the point that I let go of my other clients who didn't pay as high, and skip other job interviews.

Why am I sharing this to you? For starters, you shouldn't be discouraged - nothing is easy to begin with. But when you get the hang of things mixed with perseverance and a desire to do good, you'll be able to succeed. That's my oDesk experience. :)

You can view my oDesk profile here:


ielenna said...

hello. I was just hired yesterday, I do not know where to start but I think my employer is nice. I hope you can share some advice for starters like me.

heiress kamote said...

I was actually feeling down today. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I'm still new to Odesk, two week old to be specific. I hope that with a lot of hard work, i will be as successful as you. By the way, i used to work in the BPO industry as well. I'm a mom of two and i want to be around them while they are growing up. Again, thanks a bunch for this thread. It made me happy about oDesk and to never loose hope. No pain no gain indeed!

Leslie Ann said...

hi ielenna
the first and best place to start is to discuss the job with your employer so you'll know what they want you to do. wishing you the best of luck!

hi heiress kamote
what a name! lol. :)
two kids too...we have quite a lot in common. :)

Chai Chen said...

So happy for you Les! :)
Keep it up! May you inspire lots of other folks too! :)


Leslie Ann said...

thanks Chai! :) miss u

aleksacom said...

Do not join Imagine consultation team at odesk!!!!

I am writing about the inconvenience I had with Imagine Consultation.

When I joined oDesk, more than a year ago, I immediately got a invintation from the owner of Imagine Consultation agency Alethea Smylie. She offered me to join her team on oDesk.

She promised me that she will find the best jobs from oDesk, and I need her in return to pay a percentage of each of the work I done. Since I was new and inexperienced at oDesk, I accepted her proposal.
But nobody told me that I had to pay her a percentage for jobs that I've found without her help and recommendations.
Also, if you agree to get into it, you lose control and privacy of your profile, all private messages that you send and negotiations about any jobs Aletha can see.
Also, many employers are looking for independent contractors and if you are in a team (Imagine Consultation or other) you will not be able to apply for a job.
These are very important things that nobody told me before I get into Imagine C.

I really got a list of suggested jobs from time to time, but no one was in my skills.
After more than a year, I have not concluded any jobs by Imagine Consultation and I asked the Administrator Alethea Smylie, to exclude me from the team.
At first I did not get a response, but after a few times I got it.
This is a conversation I've had with the administrator Aletha:


I would like to leave Imagine consultation because I have not concluded any job by you.

Is that okay?


Alethea Smylie
Feb 18

You are in the middle of the interview process so you cannot leave at this time. After you have finished the jobs, if you still want to then you can leave at that time.


Feb 18
I sent you a request even before four days.

I have no interview invitations, on what exactly you mean?

Alethea Smylie
Feb 20
You are currently interviewing for this job:

Feb 20
Yes, I did test for this client but after that, he did not report me, so I guess that the test was not successful.

Also, I started negotiations with this client a day after I sent you the request to leave, but you did not reply me immediately, than only after my second request and four days later. That way you can take your time endlessly.

Please accept my request immediately, otherwise I will be forced to take other methods.

Expecting a quick response!

Alethea Smylie
10:03 pm
Trying to threaten me to responding to you quicker was ridiculous.

Anyways, for me to be able to remove you from the agency you have to close all contracts and any open job applications/archived applications per oDesk's rules.

Also, discontinue using the improved cover letter & profile overview (remove any language you received from the handbooks). Send me your new cover letter (copy & paste it in the body of your message) without our language and tell me when you have update your profile overview that does not have out language and I will remove you from the agency.


After that I asked for help from Odesk administrators and only a month later I was allowed to leave Imagine Consultation. But after that has continued harassment by Alethea Smylie....

I advise everyone to think carefully before agreeing to enter a team, especially Imagine Consultation.

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