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Upwork FAQ, Upwork frequently asked questions

[This post was originally created sometime in 2016 (with occasional updates). Be mindful of Upwork rule changes since then]

Having interacted with and mentored fellow Upwork freelancers (and online workers in general) since circa 2013-2014, I’ve personally answered questions of over 5,000 workers (note: this is on Facebook Messenger alone). 2016-2017 was insane because it was the first year I got inundated with questions on almost a daily basis. [March 2022 update: I still volunteer and I’ve now made well over 10,000 comments on FB groups!]

Because of this, I decided to create a collection of questions online workers have frequently asked me. I’m sharing my answers here so more workers like you would be able to learn from my answers. More importantly, I’d be able to save time, get more rest, and keep my sanity.¬†ūüėā

To help speed up your search, you can use the search tool (CTRL + F in Firefox and Chrome) and include keywords like “profile”, “cellphone”, “oDesk”, “PayPal”, or “Connects”.

Read on and start learning!

I’m looking for an online job. Can you help me find one?
There are thousands of work-from-home or remote jobs available on Upwork and other online job sites. If you’re looking for better job opportunities, you should fill out my OJP Freelancer Directory form. I’ll refer you to clients.

What do I need to succeed in online freelancing/online jobs?
You need a laptop/desktop, stable (& ideally fast) internet connection, skills, and tons of commitment and persistence.

How can I join Upwork?
It’s simple. Register as a freelancer on Follow instructions and fill out all the necessary details. Wait for the approval/rejection email. Once approved, you can start finding and applying to jobs you like. If rejected, use my tried-and-tested¬†Upwork profile approval checklist.

How do I find online jobs in Upwork?
You search for homebased jobs suited to your skills and apply. But you need an approved profile first.

Are there OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) currently working in Upwork?
Yes, there are OFWs who take online jobs in Upwork and elsewhere.

Can I work using my cellphone?
Aside from rare cases where you can or must use a cellphone or tablet, you must have a desktop computer or laptop.

I don’t know what my niche is. How do I start?
Focus on jobs related to your educational background and your best skills, experience, and passion, so that your hiring chances and potential earnings will be good/high.

How can I land my very first online job if I don’t have any experience working online?
EVERYBODY starts with zero online jobs (and offline job) experience, so don’t worry too much about it. I started doing online jobs 6 years ago (in 2012) as an undergraduate with zero job experience. If I can do it, you can too! Focus more on having good skills that you can offer to your clients. Then keep applying and improving your skills until you land your first job.

Is it possible to do freelance work only during weekends?
Yes, it’s possible. But job opportunities would be very limited. So my suggestion is to find a way to save up and find a stable online job that offers 20-40 hour weekly work.

Can I choose the work schedule? Is it possible to work during the morning?
Yes! You have the freedom to choose the work you apply for, the work schedule, and even the client.

Are there part-time jobs in Upwork? I’d like to work like 4 hours a day only.
Yes, there are part-time Upwork jobs. You just need to find the job that suits you.

Where can I find my Upwork profile link?
You can find it under your photo on the Job Feed page. Click “View my profile”. On your mobile phone, go to the menu and find: Desktop Format > View my profile

Do I need an approved Upwork profile in order to apply for homebased jobs on Upwork?

Can you help get my Upwork profile approved?
Of course! I’ve personally helped at least 300-500 workers as of February 2018 (and still counting!) with their rejected profiles. Some of them got rejected 50-100 times before asking for my help. Use my proven¬†Upwork profile approval checklist.

I have not linked my PayPal or bank/ATM account to my profile. Is this one of the reasons why my profile hasn’t been approved?
I don’t think so. The content of your profile is the only basis for approval/disapproval. Please note that you will encounter approved profiles that look much worse than yours. Focus on yours, not theirs. Their profiles may have been approved long before Upwork rules have changed.

How would I know if my Upwork profile has been approved or rejected?
You can check your email. You could also see a rejection or approval notice on top of your Jobfeed.

My profile has been rejected several times. Should I close this profile and create a new profile or account?
No, you just need to edit the current profile. Use my proven Upwork profile checklist.

I have zero Connects. How can I get my Connects so I can start applying to Upwork jobs?
On the top of the page, click the arrow beside your name/picture and go to Settings > Memberships & Connects > Basic Membership plan (free plan with 60 monthly Connects). Upwork may ask for login details along the way.

When will my Upwork Connects refresh?
To find out, go to Settings > Memberships & Connects > Current Billing Cycle. Upwork may ask for login details along the way.

If your Current Billing Cycle ends on the 30th day, expect your Connects to refresh on the 30th or the next day.

Do I need PayPal, Payoneer, or similar payment methods/processors to join Upwork?
No, it’s not required. You can send your Upwork earnings directly to your local bank account.

Do I need to provide a payment method whenever I get hired? Or can I provide a default payment method?
You need to provide and link a default payment method of your preference to your Upwork account only once. It could be your local bank account/debit cards, PayPal, Payoneer, or all of the above. If you don’t have PayPal or Payoneer, you can sign up here (PayPal), and get a $25 reward if you sign up here for (Payoneer).

How does Upwork bidding work?
Bidding = you offer a price for your service(s) to the client. other freelancers will also make a bid, and their bid may be higher or lower than yours.

What is the secret to getting clients?
The “secret” isn’t as hard as you think it is. Read this article about getting clients, especially if you’re just starting out.

What is Upwork freelance?
Upwork is one of the most popular online jobs sites in the world. A worker or freelancer like you can choose the jobs suited to your skills and other preferences. Online jobs can involve various skills like customer support/call center work, graphic design, accounting, writing, programming/web development, video or photo editing, data science, etc.

How much money do I need to start? Do I need to pay anything after registering on Upwork?
No. Upwork offers membership plans, but they are optional. Unfortunately, Upwork has made a lot of anti-freelancer changes and now job applications (Connects) are paid.

I’m looking for jobs on Upwork, but I don’t know how to click the Apply button?
Just click the Submit a Proposal button. Each job offer has one and it’s a green button located at the top right side (if you’re using a laptop or desktop).

What does “fixed-price” project mean?
Literally, the price of the project or task is fixed. You can negotiate this price with the client before you start working. This price is fixed unless the client agrees to change it or pay you more.

How can I change the proposal terms from hourly to a fixed rate? I need to change it to a fixed-price project before hiring me.
This is done on the client’s side, not yours. You need to send a request to the client to make this change.

Is Upwork on a holiday today? My payment transfer hasn’t been processed until today, which is unusual.
There are a few things you can do. Check for an email from your bank or Upwork. Log in to your Upwork account and see if you have a notification. You could also check the Status page for any announcements or problems. Check your bank’s website and see if there’s any scheduled maintenance. Check for holidays in BOTH countries (Philippines and US).

I need help finding online jobs in Upwork. I tried a couple of times but no client has responded to my proposals.
Applying “a couple of times” is usually not enough for most people. You should apply as many times as possible. I’ve applied over 2,400 times since 2012. If you want to get a job, applying is a must.

What do “DOE” and “TBD” mean in terms of salary offer?
TBD means “to be discussed”, while DOE means “depends or depending on experience”. Meanwhile, TBA means “to be announced”.

Do I need to have a camera and headset with noise cancellation even if I don’t have a client yet?
Not really, unless one of your prospective clients wants to conduct a voice/video interview, or you prefer voice jobs.

My potential client wants to do an interview thru Skype, but according to my friends, Upwork doesn’t allow the use of Skype and Upwork will ban me if I use it. Is this true?”
No, it’s not 100% true. I’ve used Skype with clients many times. Wait for your client to ask for your Skype ID before you mention it, just to be safe. In general, you need to get hired on Upwork first before you can use external apps.

What does “payment method not verified” mean?
It means the client hasn’t yet linked his preferred payment details (bank, credit card, etc.) to his/her Upwork client account. In many cases, this could mean the client is new or a potential scammer. Sometimes, the client is just having a short-term issue with his/her payment method. In general, I suggest you avoid such clients to reduce the chances of getting scammed, especially if you’re just starting out.

I have a question regarding the client’s verified payment method. The client sent me a direct offer invite. I’m unable to determine whether he has a verified payment method or not. How can I check if he’s verified?
You can find a link to the original job post from within the client’s job offer invitation.

How do I set escrow payments? Is it set on the billing part or Get Paid section?

The client, not the worker, does the setting up of the escrow.

How to get clients on Upwork?
Make sure you have good skills, then be diligent in applying to jobs suited to your skills.

How can I get my Upwork payments if I don’t have a bank account?
You need a bank account or at least an account like PayPal and Payoneer. Your Upwork earnings will remain inside your Upwork account for the time being.

My current client gave me a part-time job with a 10 hours/week time limit. Currently, I’m not working on anything. My friend told me that I should log 10 hours weekly even when I don’t have a task to work on. He said logged time is backed by an Upwork payment guarantee.
That’s terrible advice. Why would you log time when you have no task to work on? You are only paid for tasks set by your client. If you do so, the client can reject your logged time and not pay for it. Worse, the client can report you and have your Upwork account suspended.

Whenever I submit Upwork proposals, I address the client with “Dear Ma’am/Sir” because I don’t know the client’s name or gender. How should I approach this problem?
Try to find the client’s name or gender. Find it in the job page (in the job offer itself, or in the client’s Work History). If you can’t find it, your option is to use “Hello Ma’am/Sir” or “Dear Ma’am/Sir”.

How would I know whether or not my proposal has been received by the client?
You’d receive an automatic confirmation upon sending a proposal (check the next page that will load after submitting your proposal). Another way to confirm this is by checking the Proposals page.

Will I get interviewed after sending my proposal or will the client hire me immediately?
It depends on the client. Some clients will always conduct an interview — it could be a voice, text, or video interview. Don’t celebrate until the client hires you (creates an Upwork contract), because things can happen along the way before the client hires you.

How to set my Upwork profile from private to public?
You can do this on your profile settings page. If you didn’t make this change, Upwork might have set it to private. Find out if you received an email from them, and follow the instructions mentioned in the email.

My client hasn’t replied to my messages. My tasks are already done. What should I do?
Follow up and wait. If it’s been weeks or months, you can request Upwork chat support to help you communicate with the client.

How much should I charge my clients?
My hourly rate pricing guide:
At least $3-5/hr = if you’re a new freelancer/for a job that’s not part of your niche
At least $5-10/hr = if you’re skilled at the job you’re applying for
Much higher = highly-experienced/expert freelancer
You can also use this general guide to compute your offer/asking price.

My corporate job’s pay is not enough for my needs. I joined Upwork when I found out it pays $3/hour. Are all Upwork jobs worth $3/hour?

No, it depends on your skills and the job involved. If you are highly skilled in an industry, you could charge much higher than $3/hr.
My client wants me to work for him for less than $3/hour. Is that ok?
No. The Upwork minimum hourly rate is $3/hour. If the client wants to pay you a lower rate, don’t accept the offer and make sure to report him/her to Upwork so other freelancers won’t get victimized.

A client plans to hire me as a virtual assistant to do project-based work. How does payment work? Does he need to pay a “downpayment”?
The payment depends on your discussion with the client. The client can pay you on a monthly, weekly, bi-weekly, daily, or hourly basis.

What should I do when a scam client invites me on Upwork. Red flag or decline immediately?
Report the scammer immediately so you can help prevent others from being victimized. Click “Flag as inappropriate” and choose the relevant option.

Is it possible for a client with good reviews or a verified payment method to be a scammer?
Yes, possible. A scammer or someone with a bad attitude ūüėā

Are clients with unverified payment legit or scam clients?
There are legit and scam clients. My general advice has always been to focus on applying to jobs posted by verified clients to reduce the risk of getting scammed.

I saw “1 Active Candidacy” on my Proposals page. What does that mean?
A client you recently connected with might hire you. Continue discussing with the client so you can start working!

If I have an Active Candidacy, is that a guaranteed job offer?
If you agree with the client’s terms and are qualified to do the tasks, there’s a good chance that you’d get hired. It all depends on how your discussion ends up.

How much, on average, can I earn from online jobs? I want to know if it would be worth trying.
There is no average figure. It really depends on your skills, the projects involved, and how much time you put into your work. Here is a simple comparison that new freelancers can consider:
1. The average salary of full-time offline or corporate job workers is approximately P10,000 to P30,000 a¬†month. Note that there’s a salary ceiling for most employees.
2. For full-time online workers (8 hours a day, 5 days a week), a skilled worker should earn at least P30,000 to P50,000 a month. If an online worker is earning below that income range, the worker either a. lacks good skills or b. is being ripped off by a greedy client (a client that pays very low).
If A, you should gain more skills. If B, think about finding a better-paying job and a fair client. If you think you are highly skilled but still earning lower that range (or feel you deserve more), my¬†paid online mentoring could help you break free from the low-pay spiral/trap that’s haunting many freelancers, new and experienced

Is it ok if I’m not fluent in English? I can understand English but I can’t answer fluently, because I do not have an extensive¬†vocabulary of the English language. Do you think I can get hired despite this?
Yes, that’s ok. This won’t be a big concern. You can still get hired as long as you’re skilled. Based on my 5+ years of experience in Upwork, I rarely had a voice interview with a potential client. The exception here is when you’re applying for voice jobs or the client requires you to have verbal discussions or video-based meetings. English fluency is a plus, but skills are much more important.

How can I contact my Upwork client?
Upwork has a built-in “messenger” (text, call, or video). You can also contact the client thru Skype or email, but you should at least start the communication inside Upwork to avoid scams.

Do I need to turn on the Upwork time tracker on fixed-price jobs?
No. You just need to submit your output or deliverables to your client.

Do I still need to use the Upwork time tracker when I work on fixed-price projects?
Fixed-price projects, by default, do not require time tracking. But based on what I’ve heard, there are some clients who are unfairly demanding and require it. You can discuss this with your client. I’ve personally never used time tracking for my fixed-price projects. Time tracking is required on hourly projects.

Do I need to get approval from the client if I want to use “manual time”, or does it get automatically billed without a notification?

For honesty’s sake, you must inform your client before you use it. Manual time doesn’t get automatically billed and is subject to client approval within a cut-off period.

I’m a newbie on Upwork. How to adjust the manual time tracker? Is there a way to log the time automatically once I start working?
The Upwork time tracker logs time automatically once you click the start/track button. if you want to add manual time, click “Add Manual Time” on the Work Diary page for the respective job. Make sure to inform your client before adding manual time.¬†Manual time isn’t automatically billed.

Which timezone should I use when adding manual time in the Upwork time tracker?
You could use your local timezone or UTC. What matters is it is the correct time.

There are many jobs that require workers to have a Job Success Score (JSS) or Rising Talent badge. Can you suggest jobs that do not require those qualifications?
Those are just two of several qualifications that clients can enforce on their jobs. You can find as many Upwork jobs that have those qualifications as jobs that don’t have strict requirements. And even if they do have those qualifications, you should apply anyway, as long as the job in question fits your skills. I know because I do it quite often (and tell others to do the same) and I still got hired many times.

I’m a new Upwork freelancer. When will I get my own Job Success Score or JSS?
It may take some time. You need at least three to eight different clients and/or completed jobs within two years.

Are there instances when a client will contact you for a job? or will they do so only when I send a job proposal?
That’s possible. Some can directly message you with a job offer. Others you need a proposal to. In any case, you’d see them on the Proposals page

My Upwork job feed doesn’t show any job posts
Your Upwork account is likely new. You need to do a job search and save specific keywords (example, “writing”, “customer support”) and this will, in turn, populate your Upwork job feed

Can I ask for a client referral so I can start working? I’m looking for data entry jobs.
It’s best that you go searching for jobs yourself. Why? Because only you know what your skills are. You should also apply for other jobs and improve your skills, because the data entry jobs “arena” is a low-pay, high-competition arena.

Would the client report me if I did not accept his job offer? I didn’t accept because the pay is too low.
No, don’t worry. The decision to accept a job offer is yours alone.

What is a proposal? What should I write on my Upwork cover letter or proposal?
A proposal is a letter or message that you send to a prospective client. It’s where you prove to the client that you’re the right candidate for the job.

What happens when an Upwork contract ends, what should I do? What happens to the client’s payment?
You should get your payment, ask the client to end the contract, and leave feedback. You also need to leave feedback. You won’t see the client’s feedback until you leave yours.

Is it ok to give my email to my prospective client?
This is ok if you’re working with an Upwork client. It’s best to give your email once the client has opened an Upwork contract.

I just got a job offer, but I wonder if it’s ok to delay my reply to the client? I’m hesitant to reply because it seems I’m not yet prepared to do the job.
Answer as fast as possible, otherwise, you’d likely miss the opportunity (remember, other freelancers are waiting in line or ahead of you). Make sure the client has an Upwork verified payment method to avoid scams.

Is it ok to ask the client questions about my task or the workload before I start working?
It is your right to ask questions. It’s your duty to clarify everything BEFORE you start working, to avoid wasting your time and getting stressed out.

How do I check if the Upwork client is verified or not?
Check the job post itself. You’d see a green checkmark if the client is verified. You’d see “Payment Method Not Verified” with a green question mark if unverified.

When viewing through the Upwork Job feed page: the job post will have a blue checkmark then “Payment verified”. If not, a gray checkmark with “Payment unverified”.

I’m getting a lot of invites for an interview. What should I do? Some invites don’t fit my skills. Is it ok to decline some of them? Should I accept the interview request even if I’m not qualified to do the job offered?
You should make it a habit to filter the good vs bad job invites. If you’re qualified and you have time to squeeze in a new job, accept the relevant job offers. The good thing about this “problem” is that you can choose the best jobs. Don’t accept a job offer or interview invite for a job that doesn’t fit your skills, unless you’re willing to learn and the client’s willing to accept workers with no experience. And for the job offers that you won’t accept, it’s better to share them with other workers who might be a better fit (share the blessings).

Do I need training to become a VA (virtual assistant)? I would like to try it.
It depends on the skills you currently have. You must understand that a VA could mean different things to different clients, so you should focus and check your skills against the job description. Also, there are lots of free tutorials on site like YouTube and Udemy.

Is it ok to ask for an update after the interview?
It’s ok to ask for an update thru email or the Upwork inbox. In general, my advice is not to wait or hope, and to keep applying for jobs.

What should be the hourly rate for beginners like me?
You should start with at least $3 to $5 per hour. If you’re new to Upwork or online jobs but experienced in office jobs, start with $5 to $10 per hour.

My client’s account is suspended (payment-related issue). Would this payment delay have an effect on my profile or rating?
No effect on your rating, unless it takes a really long time for your client to send the payment.

Have you experienced a delay in receiving funds transferred from PayPal to your EON Union Bank account? Can the holidays affect the transfer time?
Yes. Always check for holidays here or in the United States.

My Upwork client has just sent me a bonus payment. How long would it take to process this payment?
All payments undergo processing. Bonus payments like fixed-price payments take five days to process, if I remember correctly. Once processed, it will be visible in your Upwork account (Transaction History page), and only then would you be able to withdraw your money.

Can I work on Upwork given this scenario? I’m looking for an online job. I’m about to go back home to the Philippines soon.
Yes, as long as you have skills, a computer or laptop, and an internet connection. You can work part-time or full-time.

Are there available part-time jobs in Upwork?
Yes, there are plenty of part-time jobs there.

I’m currently working in Upwork, but I encountered an error about “cookie policy” and then required me to update my profile. Afterwards, all my contracts and transaction history are gone. What should I do?
This might be a browser problem. Try using a¬†different browser. If this doesn’t work, contact Upwork chat support.

The client wants me to take a test. I noticed that he seems to want to hire many people and the test task is too time-consuming. Is this normal, do you have any advice?
If the client wants you to do a set of test tasks, tell him it must be a paid test. If he resists paying, I suggest you decline the job offer, because such resistance is one sign of a scam client, or someone who wants free work. In this case, you must report it to Upwork. On the Job page, click the “flag as inappropriate” link and choose “asking for free work”. There are many clients who use this modus to gather free work output from workers.

I’ve encountered clients who invite me to check their respective job offers but they eventually stopped replying. Why does this happen? There could be a few possible reasons. It’s possible the client already found the right freelancer for the job. Or maybe the client discontinued the project. You should keep applying.

Should I be proactive in messaging my client? He suddenly stopped replying yesterday. I haven’t received any until now. He’s online right now, should I message him and ask for updates about my tasks? Or should I just wait for him to send me a message?
Patience. Your client might be busy. Consider the difference in terms of timezone, and other stuff (your daily communication schedule; is he on a holiday?; wait for his reply after the weekend, etc.). You should be proactive but consider these things too.

I’m working abroad. Should I register with “Philippines” as my location?
You must use real, accurate details during and after registration. Any inconsistencies might cause problems later on. Even your bank account name must match your Upwork name, otherwise, you’d have problems withdrawing your money.

Any tips on how freelancers should go about Skype interviews? Regarding backdrops, attire, mic & webcam requirements, etc? I’m camera-shy. A prospective client asked for a video call. I’ve noticed clients don’t give details regarding the interview. I’m also a little conscious because I don’t exactly have my “workspace”.
Client types vary. Not all clients request a video interview. Some prefer to have a voice call or Skype text chat. In the last 5 years, I’ve never had a request for a video interview, and I rarely did voice interviews (but your experience may vary).

Just be honest and prepared. If you have the right skills, be confident and focus on them. Having a white background would be ok. There’s no need to prepare “too much” unless the job offer is video call-related or video-centric. If you’re really camera-shy, you can request a voice interview (I expect most clients to oblige).

I need to warn female online workers against fake clients who offer weird tasks (like asking you to wear “daring” clothes).

Here’s a general rule: good clients are kind, flexible, and would respect your choices, unless the job offered requires you to act or dress a certain way or follow a strict procedure.

Make sure your microphone is working. Test your mic (and webcam, if necessary) before the interview.

Upwork requires me to fill out the tax information related to my withdrawal method. What should I put on the “legal name of business” field?
This is related to the W-8BEN form. All non-US freelancers must complete this. You must provide your complete name in the “legal name of business field”, and then correct home address (must match with the address you specify on your withdrawal method, whether PayPal or bank account).

How do clients pay workers in Upwork? One of my potential clients wants to pay me through PayPal.

If you found the job in Upwork, you must get paid inside Upwork and not directly thru PayPal, bank deposit, or elsewhere. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting suspended by Upwork.

Once I accept an Upwork job interview invitation, am I required to accept the job?
No, unless you like the job and you’re qualified.

Does Upwork have jobs involving typing or data encoding, or data entry?
Yes, but you will be competing against hundreds of other workers looking for easy jobs like this.

Do online jobs in Upwork pay a good amount of money?
That’s possible. Your earnings would always depend on your skills and hard work.

What should I do when the client offers a much lower pay than what he stated in the job post’s budget?
That could certainly happen. You must decide if the offer is fair. You can either negotiate with the client or reject his or her offer.

I keep applying to Upwork jobs. It’s really difficult to get hired!
Good things come to those who are patient. Don’t expect a 100% success rate whenever you apply. Do you get hired in an office-based job every time you apply? No, exactly. The same is true with online jobs. How many times have you applied? It just takes time for most people. You will encounter hundreds or thousands of rejections, and that’s normal.

Why do workers get suspended in Upwork?
Because workers commit violations. Often these are valid violations, but in some cases, these are just perceived violations. In the latter’s case, the suspension can or will be lifted. I’ve helped several workers get their suspensions lifted.

Can I use a fake picture for my Upwork profile?
No, that’s a ground for suspension.

I have an unapproved account in Upwork. But recently, I was able to retrieve the password for my old oDesk account. What should I do in this case?
Delete the new account and use the old one (oDesk account). Your oDesk profile will still work as long as you can access it.

I accidentally deleted my Upwork account. Is it still possible to recover it?
Yes. Contact Upwork chat support, email, or through Twitter.

I’m looking for data entry or basic MS Office work. I’m waiting for job offers?
Don’t wait. You should actively search for work. Find jobs on Upwork and other online jobs platforms. Don’t forget to improve your skills. Easy jobs usually pay low and have lots of competition.

I don’t have a post-paid internet subscription yet. Should I register on Upwork now or later?
You can use prepaid internet if the internet connection in your area is strong enough. Or you can go to an internet shop. You should register now so you can familiarize yourself with Upwork sooner.

Do I need to take Upwork skills tests?
Yes, so you can prove your skills.

Any tips when taking Upwork skills tests?
You must ensure a stable internet connection when taking tests. If you get disconnected or quit the test for some reason, you’d have to retake the test. A retake would only be available weeks or months later, so be sure to do your best on each test. Each test would take 5 to 40 minutes, depending on your skills.

The Upwork website looks strange. Some parts of the page are missing. It’s been like this for some time now. What should I do?
Clear your browser’s cache. Then try a different browser. If nothing improves, get help from Upwork chat support.

What skills can I learn and hone to provide additional income through Upwork or any online jobs? I am a medical technologist by profession and only have basic skills in MS Word and Excel. I also have certifications as proof of good command of the English language. I want to learn profitable skills but I am too overwhelmed for there are just too many options.
I can only give suggestions because I’m not aware of your personal skills. you should assess and explore all your skills and align them with any possible in-demand skills out there. you can become a general and medical transcriptionist, medical VA (virtual assistant), among others. Share your Upwork profile link with me so I can check further.

Would joining an Upwork agency help get my profile approved?
It would help, but once you move outside the agency, you’d likely still need to have an approved profile. So it is best that you get your profile approved now than later.

Why do some freelancers get a “Rising Talent” badge even though they haven’t done any Upwork job yet?
It’s based on the quality of their profile. The badge is awarded if Upwork deems a worker has good skills to offer future clients.

How do I make sure that my client will pay me in my fixed-price project?
First, you must have an Upwork contract and make sure the client pays within Upwork only.
As long as you avoid scams, you will be paid within Upwork (through milestone or bonus payments).
If you’re working on a fixed-price project and getting paid by milestone (a portion of your work), make sure to submit a portion of your work output and get paid for each milestone before working on the next milestone.

How do milestones work in Upwork?
Milestones are only required when you’re working on a fixed-price project.
A milestone is a portion of your total work output. Let’s say your task is to write a 1,000-word article. You can divide your task into 3 milestones, or about 333 words each milestone. If the project cost is $100, you will charge $33.33 per milestone (excluding Upwork service fees). You can use these details when filling out your proposal.
Don’t forget to ask your client for payment every time you submit a milestone. Do not work nor submit the next milestone unless and until the client has paid for the first/previous milestone.

How do I know whether the payment will be done on Upwork or not?
It is an Upwork policy to get paid inside Upwork.

Should the client tell me where I’ll get paid?
No, the Upwork client must pay you through Upwork.

How do I create an Upwork contract?
Once you and the client agree on the job terms, the client must hire you by opening an Upwork contract. You will get a notification once the client creates a contract.

How do I avoid scams on Upwork?
Scammers are getting wiser every year. To avoid scams, focus on clients who have a working history on Upwork. Deal with clients inside Upwork only.

How much should I pay to get registered on Upwork?
It’s free. The paid membership plan is optional

What’s the best way to get started with homebased jobs or online jobs?
The best way to get started is to join online jobs sites like and Facebook groups like mine. It goes without saying that you need a laptop/desktop, internet connection, and tons of commitment and persistence.

Will joining an Upwork agency protect me from suspensions?
No. An Upwork suspension is based on violations of Upwork’s rules and is subject to their discretion.

Am I guaranteed to get a job if I join an Upwork agency?
No. It helps you land a job but there’s no 100% guarantee.

Is it better to work solo or thru an Upwork agency?
It’s better to work solo so you can avoid additional fees you will incur by joining an Upwork agency.




Is there a fee to join Upwork and other homebased job platforms? I have heard some people are asking for fees.
Some platforms have fees but they are optional. Job platforms are different from people. Beware of people or “clients” asking you to pay fees before you start working (many are scams).

Do I really need a laptop or PC with Intel Core i3 processor or higher?
No, but it depends on what kind of online jobs you’d be working on. When I started over 8 years ago (2012), I used a 3rd or 4th hand netbook, but it was ok for the jobs I was doing then. Having said that, it’s ideal that you use one of the latest laptops or PCs (or one that is just 1-3 years old) for your working convenience.

Which ISP or internet service provider is the best for online jobs?
Any ISP is ok. Ideally, one with a wired and stable internet connection.

What is the minimum internet speed required to start working from home?
You can use any. But for comfortable browsing and working, you should have at least a 3 to 10 Mbps (ideally wired) internet connection.

I’m planning to get a PLDT internet connection. Is the PLDT Fibr Plan 1699 enough to get started?
Yes. I remember 6 years ago, I started with a sub-1 Mbps internet connection. A fiber connection is optional. What’s important is a stable internet connection (and ideally, it’s a wired connection too).

How can I check the speed of my internet connection?
You can check stats (speed, download, upload stats) using

Is a 400 GB monthly internet broadband plan enough? Is an unlimited internet broadband plan really required?
That’s more than enough. Not really.

I’m applying for a job I’m not that familiar with. Can I ask you questions about it?
Sure. But I highly suggest that you only apply for jobs you know well and can complete on agreed time. Otherwise, your future Upwork rating might get affected negatively.

Have you encountered terrible bosses or clients? Some are perfectionists. How did you handle them? I’m thinking of quitting my job because of this.

I understand how you feel. We are all at risk of working with one. Do you have other online jobs? It would be easier to quit if you have one. If this is your only job right now, I suggest you find another job before quitting.

My client wants me to read an NDA (non-disclosure agreement). Am I required to sign it and accept the job outright?
No, you need to read it carefully first. You can also ask the client why the NDA is needed for the job. If you agree with the terms stated in the NDA, and you’re qualified to do the job, then you can choose to move forward and sign the NDA.

Any tips for dealing with a direct client?
Ideally, you’d get upfront and regular payment. Constant communication and good work performance are still important.

Can you recommend an app or software to track social media stats? One that’s not expensive because my client’s company is just a startup.
You could try Hootsuite, Buffer, Edgar. Try their free plans or start with the $10 to $20 monthly plans.

My noise-canceling headset isn’t working. The dual and single jack don’t work. I’m a PC user, by the way.
Check if the connection is correct. Is the headset compatible with your PC’s specs? Don’t forget to tweak the settings too. Read the instruction manual if there’s one.

Where can I learn coding (or programming) and website design for free?
You can take coding courses in Udemy, FCC or FreeCodeCamp, and Codecademy. FCC is quite comprehensive and highly recommended. Most or all of these offer free certifications too. Udemy offers various courses. You can find tutorials on W3Schools and Youtube too.

Can I watch tutorials or take online courses using a cellphone or smartphone?
Yes, as long as you can watch videos on your cellphone. You need a laptop or PC when doing most online jobs, though.

Do online courses offer certificates upon completion? How about exams?
Yes, with certificates (most are free). Many online courses have exams or short quizzes.

Is it possible for me to get hired as VA (virtual assistant) or CSR (customer service representative) even if I’m not fluent in English?
Yes! Not all clients require you to be fluent in English. Conversational English is fine. You can also focus on VA or CSR jobs that are non-voice. You can also apply for non-voice jobs like writing, graphic design, programming, etc.

What are microtasks and macrotasks?
Microtasks are jobs that are generally simple and don’t require specialized skills or training (examples may include jobs that involve image tagging, surveys, categorization, and general transcription). Macrotasks are the opposite: they require specialized skills or training, and these include jobs involving accounting, graphic design, data science, SEO, and web development.


Photo credit: Jad Limcaco on Unsplash

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