I Ate My Words

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As promised, here are some of the very interesting updates on my oDesk milestones….let’s start with this one:

I have said before that I prefer to work on hourly basis than fixed price due to a lot of cases where contractors get themselves cheated by employers who refuse to pay them after the work is submitted or suddenly are out of reach, no matter how many emails.

Fixed price jobs may be very convenient since the contractor need not log into the oDesk Team App for time log and work diary monitoring,  however, this type of job is not guaranteed by oDesk.  Not all fixed price jobs result into this though, but since it is not guaranteed, it becomes a caveat or warning especially to newbies in order to avoid early frustrations.

For those who are not yet aware how fixed price jobs work, it is one where you complete the job first, submit the output to the employer, and get paid when employer is satisfied that the work is within specifications agreed upon before commencing the task.  In very few cases, even if the employer is not satisfied, he pays full or pays a certain portion of the project amount.  It all depends on the parties to reach a reasonable agreement.

I got myself  into one fixed price job last March.  Did I eat my words?

This was the job post:

I got invited to interview, and here are a few of our exchanges:

I sent my answers to each of the questions and here was his response:

The new job he created for me was for fixed price.  I requested that I be allowed to work on hourly basis under a limited number of work hours according to his stated budget per week.  He agreed then he went on to repost an hourly job and invited me to it.

I received a notification and readily hit the accept button, then I got another notification that the contract has begun.  Little did I know that what I opened and accepted was the wrong  job post, as it was the fixed price one.  We had a chat to clarify the matter but the employer was very busy at that time so he just assured me that I will get paid  and even offered to pay upfront 50% of the agreed amount.  I accepted the offer since there is a clear indication that I will be paid in full upon completion of the project.  I then started working on the tasks.   After three months of work I successfully completed all that was required as per agreement and the employer was satisfied with the output.  I then requested the employer to end the assignment in the meantime.  He agreed, paid the balance and left this feedback:

I breathed a sigh of relief….not only because I got paid in full but also because I earned another good feedback, and the employer is not at all like those encountered by other contractors.  If given the chance, I will gladly accept another job offer from this employer.  I learned a lot from this project – writing a Business Plan, different legal materials, etc.

Will I again work on fixed price jobs?  Maybe….maybe not…..but when I do, I make sure to agree only when the employer sends a detailed specs and pays 50% upfront.  As an added precaution, I log my hours using oDesk Team App even if not required.  That way, should the employer not pay despite successful completion of the project, there is proof to lodge a complaint.

I am not discouraging you to apply for fixed price jobs…let me be clear on that.

But as for me, some of the many things I value most are

hardwork and peace of mind…..

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