Even though I attend college near a tiny rural town with few internship and job opportunities, the digital age has allowed me to gain experience (and make a little cash) using the skills I’m learning about in my graduate classes.
Many websites help freelancers find work, but I personally have found using oDesk.com rewarding, and I highly recommend any undergraduate or graduate students in my situation check out the site.
Mainly, I didn’t like elance.com because you had to pay up front to really be able to build your credibility, and Demand Studios paid a mere $7 or so for most articles on topics that required tons of time on my part. My input just wasn’t worth what I was getting out of it.
Then I heard about oDesk and gave it a shot. It didn’t cost anything up front, so why not? I ended up having a great experience and coming out on top in the money department. So, I wanted to share a few reasons I love oDesk compared to other freelancing sites.
- I can actually get jobs, receive experience and make money, despite being “just” a college student. And, yes, real money deposited directly into my checking account. On oDesk, I’m treated like a professional, not a student, so I can obtain real experience and real money like a professional.
- I don’t have to pay money up front. Instead, it takes a 10 percent cut from what I get paid after a job. This makes a lot more sense because if people seeking writing or marketing freelance gigs probably don’t have a ton of extra money to throw around.
- I can search for jobs in multiple fields, including my areas: writing/editing and marketing/PR. A lot of other sites charge extra to for more industries. For example, with elance.com I can have a writing profile for free, but then if I find a marketing job I want to apply for, I have to pay. That might be great for experienced writers or marketers who freelance full time, but for poor college student like myself, paying and not receiving a guarantee of ROI is a frightening idea.
- I can create an extensive profile, complete with work experience, education information and portfolio docs. This proves my value to employers seeking freelancers before I even open my mouth (or, in this case, type an email on my keyboard).
It’s not all rainbows and puppies, though. Like any freelancing site, it can be difficult to establish a reputation on oDesk, and until you do that, you’ll probably only get hired for fairly low-paying jobs. After all, you’re competing against the entire world, not just your home country or town.
For this reason, it’s an ideal site for those looking for extra money rather than full-time work (a.k.a., it’s perfect for college students seeking a little extra cash and experience to boot).
What experiences have you had with oDesk or another freelancing website?