How to Land a Freelance Job on

oDeskIn today's faltering economy with rising unemployment, one website offers freelancers the chance to work at home in an innovative virtual office. Here's how it works.

It has been a dream for many to make money from the comfort of home. With so many people losing their jobs in today’s struggling economy, now may be the time to consider a job as an independent freelance contractor on the web.

Freelancers can take comfort in knowing that a growing number of websites can pair them with companies looking for help on critical projects. Freelancing sites such as Guru and Sologig make it easy for companies to find eager freelancers, and for freelancers enjoy guaranteed pay and a work at home environment.

One freelancing website that pairs freelancers with companies who need to hire contract employees is oDesk. However, oDesk takes the freelancing experience one step further, actually creating a virtual office environment where managers are able to view exactly what freelancers are working on at any given moment.

Benefits of Freelancing with oDesk

One of the main benefits of becoming an oDesk freelance provider is guaranteed pay for work performed. Solo freelancers often have a hard time getting clients to pay up, which takes valuable time away from development.

Another benefit of freelancing for oDesk is the fact that the freelancer is working in a bona fide job and is earning a salary as in any other job. It’s a great option for those who are currently unemployed and looking for work. And, it’s work that can be performed at home with a computer and broadband internet.

How to Get Started in Freelancing on oDesk

  1. At the top right of the oDesk home page, click Create an Account to display the Get Started page.
  2. Select Freelance Provider - I want to earn money as an independent contractor. The oDesk registration form appears on the page.
  3. Fill in the form, then click Continue. A window displays asking to confirm information.
  4. After verifying e-mail address, filling out contact information, completing the oDesk profile, and accepting the terms of the oDesk Marketplace User Agreement, click the Post my Profile button on the Post your Profile: Checklist page to go to the My Provider Profile page.

Freelancing on oDesk: Next Steps

The next set of instructions for getting started in freelancing on oDesk will take a significant amount of time to complete, so be sure to set aside a few hours to devote to these important tasks.

  1. Take the oDesk Readiness Test. In the process of doing so, the system prompts to download and install oDesk Team before continuing.
  2. Complete the My Provider Profile including skills, work history, portfolio projects, education, and certifications.
  3. Take a free online qualification test to increase chances of getting jobs.

Working on Freelance Projects in oDesk

In order for project managers to monitor the status of projects, freelancers must log into the system first thing in the morning when starting work. Contractors are then monitored throughout the day via the Work Diary, which displays screen shots of freelancers and what they are working on every 10 minutes.

While getting started on oDesk as a professional freelancer takes a significant investment in time and resources, it is nonetheless a bona fide job that offers freelancers a way to work at home and earn a living.