When I first joined oDesk, I was hoping to land jobs in accounting, bookkeeping, or paralegal. However, when I searched the job posts, there only seemed to be a handful pertaining to these skills. Even when there is one, the next thing to consider is my experience on the software required to accomplish the task. This factor again narrowed down even more my chances of landing a job. Very seldom do I apply to jobs requiring the use of an application that I have no experience using, unless I have a fair idea on how it works and how to go about it, or when the employer is willing to conduct training during the early part of the contract to familiarize you with the system. This factor however, does not discourage me when majority of the tasks mentioned in the job post fits into my expertise. But, I make sure to mention in my cover letter this “handicap” and offer solutions or alternatives. I welcome every learning opportunity with the confidence of a fast and willing learner!
Within the first 2 weeks after I signed up, I applied to a number of jobs and got rejected a number of times too. The reasons were varied: “Insufficient oDesk history”…..”Rate bid too high”….. and a lot of “Chose another provider….” I soon realized how hard it can be for a newbie to compete with thousands of contractors! I thought it will be very easy since I have many years of work experience relating to administration, finance and paralegal, and that I have the work ethic and professionalism to match. It seemed I was wrong…..
It was already towards the third week that I received my very first interview invitation. I was notified to contact the employer so I did. It took more than a week for his response to come. To cut the story short, I did not make it because the employer prefers somebody who can communicate well in both English and Spanish, and one who lives near his location. I may have basic knowledge of Spanish, but I am so many miles away. Why? I thought the very essence of freelancing online is telecommuting? (I was a bit furious.) All I could do was to pat my own shoulder and console myself. Well, that’s his decision and I can’t do anything about it. In the next applications, I decided to lower my already low hourly rate but to no avail. I started to feel down. Maybe I am not for freelancing. I stayed away from my computer the next 4 days. It’s been more than a month and countless applications, yet I did not land any of the jobs I applied for. I decided that I better move on. If freelancing is not for me, then so be it. I’m sure there will be other options to come my way.
Then an angel came……
When I finally decided to check my emails to delete spam mails, I was surprised to have received notification for an interview. I was amazed, since I no longer applied for any jobs after I decided to quit. How can I be invited for interview?
I responded to the invitation with no expectation that I would be hired. I thanked the prospective employer for picking me from his many profile searches at oDesk. I took this as an opportunity to prove my worth…..or better yet, to point out my skill set, work experience and other proficiencies. After a day, there was no reply. I knew it, so I merely shrugged my shoulders and considered it as another rejection. I’ve dealt with the same already and I was done with it.
Until the evening of that day, came another email, this time direct from the employer. His message said in part, “I appreciate your considering working with the number one office in Florida in regards of mortgage services and lending ….” He also included a questionnaire. “I have 20 more people I am interviewing this week and you were the first in the line so I wish you luck Verena” I answered his queries and emailed him back, still without expecting that anything good would come out of it. I no longer had the same enthusiasm as when I first signed up.
In no time, a follow up email from the employer reached my email box. It said…”I read all your answers and I like all of them. Congratulations… I think you are the right person for the job. I will forward all the email to correspondence HR and get you on board ASAP…”
Could this be true? Does that mean I am hired? I added his skype name to my list and we had a voice chat, and true enough, he confirmed that I got the job. Halleluiah! So, what they say is also true, “when one door closes on you, another will open.”