Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Know your limitations...

 How long did it take for you to get your first job as a freelancer? It took me 3 months :) Yes! 3 long months of search, search and more search gave me a job with a site!  So, why did it take so long for me? Was I applying for wrong jobs? May be.. Was I applying in a wrong way? May be.. Were my skills falling short? Well, I don’t think it’s the last option! I was definitely not technically incompetent!! After my expert analysis, I found somethings about this :) Its only that the way I applied the jobs was wrong. Here, only your technical skills do not matter. There are a lot of other factors as well. Like the budget/price you quote, the number of hours in which you can complete, and the way you communicate.

Sometimes, it may happen that you have a perfect experience but still you do not get the job just because some one else has quoted a quicker work delivery date than you. Yes, it happens here. After all, the employer is not always looking for a hard worker, he is also looking for a smart worker! Well. we cannot have control on others and of course the employers, but we can definitely have a control on ourselves!

Based on my experience with these sites, I have listed few points which can be taken care of while applying jobs:
  • Type of Job: Always know what kind of job you are applying. Never just apply for the sake of applying. You may be wasting the job application quota that you have for the week. And, hence may miss on some serious opportunities. Be clear on what type of job you can do in this week. Lets say if you have only 2 hours per day that you can allot, or you are in no mood to do the testing job then you can apply for the data entry or other kind of jobs that you are comfortable with! The bottom line is- Know what YOU want to do!
  • Job Description: Read the job descriptions very carefully. This will not only tell you clearly about the job but also some other info like this- Some employers quote a expected fixed price as 300$ in the budget field, but, in the description they say “ we will pay only up  to 50$”. Now, imagine without reading the description if you apply for the job! It will but obviously get declined as the employer will straight away know that you haven’t read the description right! Or sometimes, they are looking for a specific skill or expertise and they mention it somewhere in between the paragraphs and you miss it. Some employers even ask you to apply with a specific heading which is kind of a filter for them for type of jobs. If you miss this, your application will go no where!
  • Know your limitations: The most important point here. Know what you cannot do. Confused? Yes, we obviously know what we all can do. But, knowing your limitations and constraints are also important. For example, an employer wants 7 hours per day of work and you can put in only 4 hours. He has clearly stated that in the description. Either do not apply for the job, or state the actual number of hours that you can work. If you apply with a hope that even though you lie to him and you can adjust later, believe me it won’t work. This will only leave you with a bad feedback. And, we know how much feedback is necessary on these sites!
  • Communication: Never give out your email ids, Skype ids while applying for jobs unless asked specifically. This is against all the site’s policies and this may also result in cancellation of all your accounts.
  • Your application: Never write paragraphs about yourself in the job application. Mention in brief about your work info and may be attach your profile with the application. Or, if your profile is there on the site, ask the employer to refer the site’s profile description.  Always ask questions about the job. Now, this doesn’t mean ask something that the employer has already stated in description! Ask something else like- What is the duration of the project, or if he is looking for any other skill etc. This will have an impression on the employer that you are actually interested in the job and you have read all about the job.
  • Work Policies: Once an employer from a popular freelance site had taken my interview for testing position. I even had cleared an interview. But, when it came to my hiring process, he offered me a job outside the site. Since he had to pay the site its fees if he hires me. He offered me a long time opportunity but with a very less pay. Many employers often do this since there are a lot of new joiners who would want to at least start the work some how. But, they don’t know that jobs like these will not fetch you anything. Neither money nor the feedback required on the site!
Well, those were some of my personal experiences so far.. I am not a very experience freelancer. Its been a very little time that I was onto this job. But, as they say "learn from your mistakes", I thought why not teach everyone from my mistakes!!


Alujna said...

I'm happy you addressed the limitations issue here. You'll be surprised by the number of people who focus on what they can do and forget to think about what they can't....

I liked that part esp. :)

Ambika Kulkarni said...

Yea.. Ppl generaly overlook their limitations n take so many tasks to do. Which, obviously lands them in trouble! This was a personal experience!

suvid said...

Hi ambika..I m sushma friend of shrija..she has given me ur ref and its thru her that i reached ur blog...i m really fortunate to have read ur blog as i m one of those house wives with certain limitations and can't go out to work.I have been a s/w developer and partly a tester also in satyam for 2 yrs..i ll be really greatful if u can guide me in getting a work from home job in testing or the like..thanks and regards, sushma..my email id is peri.sushma@gmail.com

Ambika Kulkarni said...

Hi Sushma,

Glad to meet you here :) I will mail you with other details.

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