From freelancing for the United Nations to being a newbie on upwork, I have been through it all. Ask Me Anything!

Priya Johari
Jun 20, 2017

Freelancing for three years, I am hosting an AMA on freelancing. I have freelanced on vareity of topics. I have been a logistics and supply chain consultant for the UN and my journey of freelancing began from there. 

Freelancing is working with your terms and making things happen. Initially it was difficult but I am getting used to it. Ask me about my journey.

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Did you ever have to revise your translation work to meet some additional request made by your client?

Jun 25, 3:43AM EDT1

Have you had any negative or bad experiences working at Upwork?

Jun 23, 1:04PM EDT0

Hi Sarah,

No, not yet. And I hope not

Jun 24, 2:37PM EDT0

Do you need special skills or have to take particular tests before commencing work at Upwork?

Jun 23, 12:56AM EDT0

Hi Susan,

No, nothing as such is required. Just go ahead and register.

Jun 23, 9:04AM EDT0

What are the payment methods offered by majority of the freelancing work portals and sites?

Jun 22, 11:13PM EDT0

Hi Cody,

On upwork clients pay directly in upwork account which you can link with paypal or your bank account. Paypal works at most sites.

Jun 23, 9:05AM EDT0

Do you need to pay any entry fees to register and create your account at Upwork?

Jun 22, 6:05PM EDT0

Hi Heather,

No , there is no entry fee but they charge a part of your earning as their escrow fee. I think 20%. 

Jun 23, 9:02AM EDT0

How and where did you learn about freelancing work for the United Nations?

Jun 22, 4:06PM EDT0

Hi Adam,

I was keen to work for the development sector and I always kept looking for some good opportunities and I came across this consultancy. There are many positions on the un job portal for specific countries, some of which are open to the local residents and some are international vacancies.

Jun 23, 8:55AM EDT0

Is it easy to transfer funds to any country irrespective of where you are in the world?

Jun 22, 3:36PM EDT0

Hi Jeremy,

On upwork I've still not done the withdrawal. I am waiting to earn a decent amount so that I can transfer to bank. There is some fee that respective country's bank charges.

Jun 23, 8:49AM EDT0

Does freelancing work give you enough pay to sustain a decent standard of living?

Jun 22, 3:34PM EDT0

Hi Allison, 

Till the time I was with UN I had a pretty good pay. Since then I am on short term projects and it depends if i bag some or sometimes I don't. So currently its just a past time.

Jun 23, 8:47AM EDT0

Were you happy and satisfied with the work and pay offered for your freelancing work when you worked for the United Nations?

Jun 22, 1:01PM EDT0

Hi Debbie, 

Yeah, I am totally satisfied with both the work and the pay offered at UN. Thats the reason I would be happy to work again for them.

Jun 22, 2:37PM EDT0

What kind of freelancing work did you do for the United Nations?

Jun 22, 11:01AM EDT0

Hi Suzanne, 

I worked for UNICEF and my position was Logistics and Supply chain consultant. I was responsible for the supply of vaccines and the cold chain equipments for all India coverage. I was a consultant so my responsibilities extended way more than a freelancer and which were kinda equivalent to a full time employee.

Jun 22, 2:35PM EDT0

What kind of tasks are easiest for a person with no specific skills but interested in freelancing?

Jun 22, 6:54AM EDT0

Hi George, 

Freelancing is in variety of things. Marketing, operations, writing, software development, SEO etc. You need to decide which area you are focussing upon

Jun 22, 2:39PM EDT0

What are the do’s and dont’s of freelancing to get the best out your honest work?

Jun 22, 2:31AM EDT0

Hi James, 

There are not much, Just be honest and clear about your work and be aware of your client and the medium through which you are getting the work.

Jun 22, 2:44PM EDT0

Are there any mechanisms in place to ensure workers at Upwork are not cheated and duped for their hard work?

Jun 21, 11:11PM EDT0

Hi Joel, 

There is procedure on Upwork in which a part of your earning goes to the website, its known as escrow. For say you earn $10 then $2 goes to escrow. It makes sure you are paid everytime.

Jun 22, 2:51PM EDT0

How does Upwork work and maintain the site if they do not charge any membership fees?

Jun 21, 8:04PM EDT0

Hi Luke, 

There is procedure on Upwork in which a part of your earning goes to the website, its known as escrow. For say you earn $10 then $2 goes to escrow. It makes sure you are paid everytime.

Jun 22, 2:52PM EDT0

What have you studied and what was your specialization during college or graduate school?

Jun 21, 11:55AM EDT0

Hi Melinda, 

I am an MBA in logistics and supply chain management.

Jun 22, 2:53PM EDT0

Is there any system where by you can check whether the person offering job is reputable and pays for the work submitted at Upwork?

Jun 21, 10:40AM EDT0

Hi Michael, 

There is procedure on Upwork in which a part of your earning goes to the website, its known as escrow. For say you earn $10 then $2 goes to escrow. It makes sure you are paid everytime.

Jun 22, 2:54PM EDT0

What advice do you have for newbies getting started on freelancing tasks?

Jun 21, 10:05AM EDT0

Hi Amanda,

Keep a lot of patience and never give up. There will be ups and downs during the course but the mantra is to keep trying. And never fear uncertainity, nothing is certain in life. When we regain control over life we are bound to make certain mistakes but we shall slowly learn.

Jun 22, 3:02PM EDT0

How many years did you work as a freelancer for the United Nations?

Jun 21, 8:57AM EDT0

Hi Gregory,

My contract was for 11 months and I completed one tenure with them.

Jun 22, 2:55PM EDT0

How was your work experience freelancing for the United Nations?

Jun 21, 8:50AM EDT0

Hi Spencer,

My Freelancing career started with UN and it taught me alot. While working there I learned how to be on my own. While working for previous companies my supervisor had been around to guide me but here I was on my own, for the mistakes or for the credit. It feels different to be a part of an organisation but still not being part of the decision making process. I did what I was asked to do, nothing more nothing less.

Although working with people from different ethinicity and backgrounds was a great experience. UN employees are from all over the world, from Africans to Asians and working together they make a great team and ideal workplace environment.

Jun 22, 2:59PM EDT0

What were the challenges involved with freelancing and working from home?

Jun 21, 6:20AM EDT0

Hi Mark,

The main challenge for me was setting my own routine. When we are employed fully, there is a restriction of reaching the office at 9 am and working till 5 pm. This sort of routine implementation is difficult to exercise when we stay at home all day. We work at our leisure and sometimes miss the deadlines. For a lazy person like me this was a biggest challenge, I am still trying to overcome this.

Jun 21, 8:59AM EDT0