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The first job on oDesk: 10 Things to remember

1. You can get hired with no feedback score, but you will not be hired with a bad feedback score. The first thing to remember is that you have to get a good feedback score on your first job. In fact you need to maintain a good feedback score throughout your online freelancing career. So your intention should be to meet the employer’s desired quality with efficiency. You must try your heart and soul to score a 5 out of 5 feedback on your first job. It helps a lot.

2. Try your best to meet the deadline. If the employer asked you to finish the job within 2 days, you have to finish it within 2 days. Being late will definitely result in a lower feedback score. If it is impossible for you to finish the job within the deadline, notify the employer as soon as possible and be gentle about it.
3. Remember that you are getting paid for what you are doing so take it seriously. A person is investing on your skills and he expects to get a quality product from you.
4. If your first contract is paid hourly, then please be honest about it. A little honesty goes a long way. I have heard many people saying that if it is an hourly contract you should consume more time than what is required. YOU SHOULD NEVER DO IT! Log as much time as you need to complete the job properly, but don’t log time when you are not working. ODesk has a great tracking system and your employer can easily find out if you were fooling around when you were supposed to be working.
5. Maintain good communication with your employer. Notify him about major updates regarding your project with him/her. This will ensure you a good feedback regarding “Communication”.
6. he/she can contact you outside of oDesk, Elance etc and maintain a constant communication. This will ensure you a good feedback regarding “Availability”.
7. Don’t let the employer take advantage of you. Sometimes employers want to make you work for free. You have to know when to say no. Be gentle and as polite as you as you reasonably can.
8. There are some fake employers out there. You have to be careful about applying to jobs to avoid these fake employers. But even so one can fall a victim to these employers. So you will have to take some precautionary measures. For example, if your fixed price contract needed you to create a logo, you should not submit the main and final logo before the payment has been cleared. You can submit samples (lower resolution with your trademark/name on it) for approval but don’t submit the final version before payment.
9. While ending the contract ask your employer gently for a good feedback. Ask him questions like “Did you like it?”, “Do you need any modifications”, “Do you need anything else?” etc. Answers to these questions will eventually result in a good feedback and feedback score from your employer. Be smart about it.
10. ODesk contractors and employers both give feedback to each other after ending the contract. Be honest about what you say in your feedback to your employer as your feedback will be visible to other contractors. If you were satisfied with the employer you can say “…. And I’d like to work with him again in the future. It was a pleasure” or if you were not satisfied with him you can say “… but there are some room for improvement in the employer’s management/communication/availability skills” etc.

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