Picture of an infographic with upwork logo, a picture of a computer with an arrow pointing at money and a caption tittle that reads "Upwork review, freelance jobs for felons."

Upwork is an online marketplace that connects freelancers/workers with individual employers and small companies that have specific projects that need completed. These are great jobs for felons that are having a hard time finding work.

There are many freelancers (learn what a freelancer is) that make very good money on Upwork working from home and there are others that do not do so well. It is very important that you have the necessary skills to complete jobs but more so that you have the self discipline to work on your own without a boss. In the end it is all up to you to make yourself successful.

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Upwork Review – Everything you need to know to work from home!

Types work available on Upwork

Upwork has a very diverse base of projects that can range from writing articles to coding a website to transcription and interpretation of foreign languages. It is best to concentrate on the jobs that you know you will be good at in order to get your rating up, more on the rating system later. Here is a just a preview of some of the types of projects and work you will find on Upwork.

  • Design and Creativity – Animation, drawing, singing, audio & visual production.
  • Web and Software Development – Web coding and App development.
  • Admin Support – Data entry, web research and virtual assistant jobs.
  • Writing – Write for webmasters, online publications and media outlets.
  • Customer Service -Tech support, answering phone calls or tech support.
  • IT and Networking – Anything from IT security to troubleshooting.
  • Sales and Marketing – Telemarketing, lead generation and public relations.
  • Legal – Contract, criminal, family and paralegal jobs.
  • Translation – Legal, medical, technical and language.

There are many different types of jobs than just those listed above and chances are you will find something that fits your skill set. It is important that you not only have the necessary skills to complete a job but that you like what you are doing.

How the Upwork system works

Here is a brief overview of how Upwork works from sign up, getting jobs, pay and the rating system.

Sign up and skill testing

Signing up is very simple and it is 100% free. You will be asked to create a profile about yourself and also highlight what skills you have. Upwork Tests will also be available to you in order for you to prove your skills to prospective employers. After taking a test the results will be published to your profile. Some of the tests are very simple, here is a few examples:

  • U.S. English Basic Skills Test
  • English Spelling Test (U.S. Version)
  • Office Skills Test
  • Call Center Skills Test

There are over 1,000 skills tests that you can take. It is a good idea to at least complete the US english tests along with any specific tests in you

Getting jobs on Upwork

Getting a job can be difficult at first since you will be new but after you craft a good reputation things will get easier. You can get jobs in two different ways.

  1. Employers can search for freelancers (you) based on skills, experience, knowledge, rating and pay. If they feel that you may be a good candidate they will invite you to apply. You then fill out a cover letter explaining why you are the best candidate.
  2. Rather than an employer finding you, you can search all the jobs that are available and apply to them.

Upwork rating system and Pay

Upwork has a dynamic rating system that helps balance good workers and good employers. When an employer hires you the the money for the job is taken out of his account and put into an escrow account held by Upwork. This is in place to ensure that the money is available for you to be paid with.

When you complete a job the employer will review your work and has the option to accept the it or send it back to you for a revision. After the work is accepted you will then be paid within about 24 hours. You can be paid in many different ways including paypal.

After you are paid the employer will leave feedback/review for you that all people on Upwork can see. You will be rated on a scale from one to five and the employer can also leave a written review detailing what he liked or disliked about working with you. As you can see it is very important to get a good rating.

You, the freelancer will also have the opportunity to rate the employer in the same manner that they did. This helps weed out employers that can never be pleased or have unrealistic expectations.

Pay is strictly set by the employer but you can also negotiate with them to a degree if needed. The higher your rating and the more jobs you complete the more each employer will be willing to pay you. The employer will also have the option to pay you a bonus if they choose to.

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What you will love about Upwork (pros)

  • It is a simple process to sign up and get started
  • No background checks or HR forms to fill out
  • You are in control of when you work and what you work on
  • No discrimination; all jobs are felon friendly and you are only judged on your work.
  • A huge diversity in projects/jobs will allow you to do something you enjoy
  • You get to work from home

What you may not like about Upwork (Cons)

  • It can be hard to get your first job when you have no rating
  • You must be self disciplined and able to work without discipline
  • Upwork will take 10% of the money you earn to cover their operating costs

Ten tips to become successful on Upwork

  1. Communication is very important. If you have a question, can’t make a deadline or are unsure of something make sure you let the employer know ASAP!
  2. Don’t take work that you don’t feel confident that you can do. This will only result in you getting a bad rating or producing less than perfect work.
  3. Exceed the employer’s expectations as much as possible. If you have to write an article that is 800 words write one that is 900 words.
  4. Make sure that your profile is impeccable and well thought out. Show examples of your work and skills.
  5. When you apply for a job on Upwork write a detailed cover letter that is free of grammatical and spelling errors. Make sure that you tell the employer why you are the best candidate.
  6. If you are brand new you may want to offer to do the work at a steep discount to get the ratings.
  7. Take every Upwork test that you can even if it is not directly related to your niche.
  8. Learn new and improve your skills as much as possible. You can learn anything online for free and you should take advantage of that.
  9. Leave good reviews for employers even if they send back work for a revision. You will always want to thank the employer for the opportunity to work for them.
  10. A lot of the work on Upwork is from people that own websites. It will be important for you to have a basic knowledge about keyword density, on page SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and other industry terms.
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Upwork offers great jobs for felons and all people alike. If you are having a hard time finding a job for whatever reason or just want to work from home then you should at least look into Upwork. You may also find the article “How to make $1,000+ per week on Upwork”  and “10 tips for applying to jobs on Upwork” very helpful if you are considering becoming a freelancer.

Frequently asked Questions about Upwork (FAQ)

Q. Are all jobs open to felons or people with a criminal background?

A. There is no background check and you are judged only on your work. Upwork is a great place to find jobs for felons.

Q. Will I always be paid for my work? Can I be scammed?

A. It is possible to be scammed but it is very rare. If a employee is scammed they will leave terrible feedback marking that employer as dishonest.

Q. How do I get paid?

A. Jobs pay either a fixed rate or hourly. You can receive payment via PayoneerPaypal or by wire transfer.

Q. Does it cost anything to sign up?

A.  No, it is 100% free. The only time Upwork will take money from you is when you are paid. It is a 10% fee of what you make.

Q. Do I have to pay taxes on the money I make?

A. Yes, no way around it. You can deduct any business related costs though!

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