The Way We Work
January 3, 2012 by Stephanie Gonzaga

The last year has been a swell ride for us contractors on oDesk:

> a new design for the oDesk navigation bar,
> more affordable withdrawal options for contractors, and
a beautiful redesign of contractor profiles.

These changes make the system easier to use and help contractors' marketing efforts; setting up even more success for oDesk contractors in 2012! What do you hope to achieve this year? Is there anything in your life as a contractor that you would like to start, change or improve?

Creating goals can be daunting – take a seat, relax and reflect on how you have managed your freelance business so far. For example, with a cup of hot chocolate in hand and your oDesk feedback ratings on screen, what do your clients love about you and your work? What are the areas they have flagged for improvement? Jot these down and make it your New Year's goal to work on these aspects.

Here are a few goals for you to consider – they may be a good place to start:

  • Apply for jobs that are not only of your expertise, but are both mentally and financially rewarding.
  • Always send personal cover letters that follow instructions, answer questions, and reflect who you are and how you work.
  • Work with clients who are respectful and communicative.
  • Refine your portfolio. Throw out old items and include your best work from 2011.
  • Be more productive. Attend client meetings on time, ignore freelancing distractions, and by golly get things done.
  • Overcome fixed-price project anxiety.
  • Establish a fine line between work and play by making sure work stays within your work schedule.

Through oDesk’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, we asked what your goals as oDesk contractors are for 2012. Each was as inspiring and interesting as the other, and we hope we can help you achieve them.

From Twitter

"Work harder, faster, but with caution." – @CarusoApps

"Continuous projects, right employer, right timing and right kind of work that explores my capabilities." – @greyzimom

"I've decided to spend at least 30% of my income for #poor students because oDesk already made my income 4x." – @shadhinbangla

"Expand my business, increase my communications with possible clients and try to find more local gigs." – @MeganWrites1

"Expand my business across the Global field by 80% and 20% focus on the U.S. Generate a stable client base through consistency." – @wolffe80

From Facebook

"I'd like to learn and then follow tricks of time management. I've got loads to do... No, not just working for employers at oDesk. I'm a writer so I want to work sincerely, read books that will help me improve both as a writer and as a person, watch movies to improve my knowledge of general things, resume learning Spanish, spend ample time with my family, multiply everyone's happiness and live my life to the fullest. I'd like to learn how can I manage my precious time that I have so that I can balance both my work life and my personal life."
– Tariq Akhtar

"As with all other contractors, We hope to have more dollars on our pockets! I guess it will come naturally. Every single day, we learn new skills, new ways, we learn from our mistakes and many more experiences that will lead us to improve our work output which in turn would lead to good ratings and better and higher rate job offers and so on...As for changes, speaking for myself, less fb more job output, less scolding from my boss."
– Robuam Bacusmo

"I would like to share the wisdom and life changing experience that oDesk has taught me by adding more contractors under our agency. It is to help friends and people who has the skills but might not know how Odesk can change lives."
– Leif Brian Gomez Margallo

"I'd like to get things back in balance between my freelance writing and my personal writing. I have several book projects which I need to get back to. This year, I've spent so much time on freelancing, I haven't made much progress on those. Next year, I hope to publish a few more of my titles."
– Rich Murphy

"Mine would be able to continue a good relationship with my ongoing jobs and if there are any other jobs, whether one time or on going, that will be a good match. By a good match I mean for both the employer and myself. This needs to be a 2 way street or it won't work well."
– Janell Williams

Thank you for all of the inspiring responses. Happy 2012 to the oDesk community – and good luck!

Stephanie Gonzaga

Freelancer, Blogger, and Creative Writer

Stephanie Gonzaga is a freelancer on oDesk and blogger of The Freelance Pinoy, a freelancing blog for the Pinoy solo professional.

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  • https://www.odesk.com/users/~~4c3691a5bf74304b Rabia

    I am very thankful to oDesk that provide such Global work place. I just got know about this but I am sure that I will have activity on this soon. Love you oDesk.

    • https://www.odesk.com/users/~~85f14e964d609154 Stephanie

      @Rabia: Wishing you all the best in your freelancing endeavors here on oDesk! Here's an article to help you get started: So You're New on oDesk

  • Nafisa Habib

    In this New Year 2012 I will try my level best to find out my all previous mistakes to improve myself to achieve more as a contractor on oDesk.........

    • https://www.odesk.com/users/~~85f14e964d609154 Stephanie

      @Nafisa Habib: That's definitely a good goal to start the year with. Doing so will help you pinpoint areas where you need to work on and areas that are keeping you from reaching freelancing success.

  • http://www.HireMrSpreadsheet.com Bernard Vukas

    Hey Stephanie,

    Great post! My goals for 2012 (pasted from my blog):
    - Identify and hire key members for Officeworks, a start-up that I'm launching
    - Maximize sales on oDesk, and repeat my success on Elance
    - Automate my finances as advised by Ramit Sethi in "Building a Bullet-Proof Financial System"
    - Travel to Australia
    - Finish one round (90 days) of P90X2

    Best,
    Bernard
    twitter.com/MrSpreadsheet

    • https://www.odesk.com/users/~~85f14e964d609154 Stephanie

      @Bernard: Bernard! Great to see you on the oDesk Blog. Your goals are fantastic! I sure hope that you will be able to accomplish them this year. I hear Australia's a great place to visit, so traveling there should be exciting.

      The best of luck!