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Feb
20
2010

My Virtual Assistant Life on oDesk


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why-odesk

I’ve been very impressed with my most recent virtual assistant from oDesk. His English is better than most I’ve used, and he mentioned that he enjoys writing. I asked if he’d write a quick bit about his background and experience / thoughts on using oDesk, so here it is:

oDesk was recommended by a friend whose office mate happens to be a longtime oDesk provider . I registered at oDesk the day after I was told about it but it would take about four months before working on my very first project.

Prior to becoming an oDesk provider, I was working full-time on a tech support day job; one of the easiest and most laid-back 9-5 jobs one would ever work on, in my opinion. However, being more than fifty miles away from family plus the all the money wasted on unreasonable travel and lodging expenses for five years, I have decided to go home to my family away from the big city and begin a new career. What the new career might be I had absolutely no idea; opportunities for employment back home has become quite scarce and there was the risk of becoming unemployed indefinitely as soon as I leave my then employer.

A week before my intended resignation date, I turned to oDesk again for part-time work opportunities with the hope of filling in some financial gaps that would be left behind upon leaving. With patience and a bit of luck, I managed to land my first oDesk project (and my very first as a freelancer) on my final day as a 9-5 employee. The project handed to me was a fairly easy web directory management stint that would eventually become full-time work, eliminating worries of becoming jobless after resigning from my day job. Nearly a couple of years after winning the bid, I remain associated with the same buyer and project that launched my freelancing career and opened the door to other long-term work within oDesk and at the comfort of home.

You cannot go wrong for choosing oDesk because of their guaranteed-payment system and, because of their reputation as one of the pioneers of the online outsourcing industry, an extensive job market and a huge buyer-provider community. In addition, the method of receiving payment via the Payoneer MasterCard has probably the lowest fees among the payment channels available. The proficiency tests, work history, and feedback feedback feature help establish (or improve) your reputation en route to more projects and higher pay rate.

What, perhaps, gives oDesk the upper hand among the competition is its prized oDesk Team software, a downloadable standalone program that gives providers the payment guarantee for hourly work and easy project monitoring (and peace of mind) for the buyer. The program is available for platforms like Windows to the most popular of Linux distributions.

For those about to start their freelancing stint with oDesk, however, it would be very helpful to have a complete (and, as much as possible, comprehensive) profile, take several proficiency tests suited to your skills (and take these tests seriously), and trivial as it may seem, attach an appropriate photo to your profile. Upon registering, you will also be given a two-week trial access to the oDesk Team software for the chance to familiarize yourself with its important features and explore the overall oDesk working environment. After the trial period, the only time you get to access oDesk Team again is when you get hired for your first oDesk assignment.”

I appreciate the remarks provided by my VA above and really enjoy reading first hand experiences. I love working from home and am happy that I can help others enjoy the same opportunity.

One thing that came to mind when reading the story above is how frequently I see really poor resumes and information posted by potential providers in their oDesk profiles. I think many would be able to get much better assignments and rates if they spend a little more time polishing up their profiles which make or break a potential job opportunity. I’d love to see a provider offer a “profile polishing” service to other providers! 🙂

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