Online jobs might be the new thing but it’s still a struggle for Kenyans when it comes to online jobs. There are scams everywhere. I apply for a job, I am asked to produce a sample that has never been used anywhere. 2 days later, I get a reply that my article was received and I have been put into consideration in case anything in relations to my type of writing comes up. One week later, I see my edited version of my sample online.
Homeboyz foundation’s project Niko job introduced me to online jobs. Sadly, I was introduced to Elance which is officially moving to Upwork which was formerly Odesk. So, am now a freelancer with upwork. Upwork is the largest freelance talent marketplace. Many people have been asking me how to be introduced into online jobs. Here’s how:

Note: Up work was once odesk. So, if you have an odesk account, there’s no need to sign up again. If you have an Elance account you can move to upwork. Your work history will be transfered as well. Upwork deducts 10% from each pay. If you bid a job at $90, they add their 10%. That means the client will pay you the $90 and pay the 10% as well. Fair… Right? That aside, here’s how you sign up.


The first step is to create an account that will allow you to apply for work.
Click on the link above if applicable or simply type “upwork” and navigate to the up work  home page and click“create an account.” Fill in all of the necessary information: first name, last name, email address, country, username, and password.


Have a decent profile photo, create a portfolio, include your education history and employment history. Bid for jobs professionally. Don’t overprice or underprice it. Specify what you’re good at. Here are some of the categories:
Web, Mobile & Software Dev jobs
IT & Networking jobs
Data Science & Analytics jobs
Engineering & Architecture jobs
Design & Creative jobs
Writing jobs
Translation jobs
Legal jobs
Admin Support jobs
Customer Service jobs
Sales & Marketing jobs
Accounting & Consulting jobs

In up work, it’s all about bidding. It’s a competition. You submit proposals AND quote why you’re to be considered, your availability per hour, how fast you can submit the work. You can send samples of your work but a portfolio should work unless they request for a sample. It would be best to set an hourly rate e.g 9 dollars per hour.

In up work, the client pays you through up work. You’re not even obliged to start working unless the work is funded in their Escrow. These funds are often released when the work is reviewed and approved by the client.

Always work with a client with a verified payment method.  You’ll see all this details in job posts. Don’t apply blindly. There are cons out here too. Also, try and see feedback left by other freelancers who have worked with the client before. Really helps.

I personally use skrill. It’s the mobile wallet. You can transfer the funds to mpesa directly for Kenyans. Remember, all payments are made securely through the Upwork platform escrow. No client should lie to you that they will personally pay you. If they haven’t deposited funds in escrow,don’t work with them. Receive funds via whatever payment methods works best for you:

Direct Deposit / ACH
Wire Transfer
Local Funds Transfer (LFT)

Feel free to ask about anything.


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