Written for FVA by: Charis Faith Areola (General Virtual Assistant, Social Media Manager, FVA Batch 6)

I got my UpWork profile suspended right when I was beginning to launch my career as a freelance Virtual Assistant. And it devastated me. After all, UpWork is the top platform when it comes to getting freelance jobs. Where was I supposed to get jobs when majority of the available ones are on Upwork, now inaccessible to me?

But this story has a happy ending, or rather, a happy continuation, because my virtual assistant career is far from over.

Let me tell you how I continued to thrive as a freelance Virtual Assistant even after getting my UpWork profile suspended.

My UpWork Beginnings

I opened my UpWork account back when I was still in college. As UpWork wasn’t as strict then as they are now, I got my account approved fairly easily and got access to the platform.

Because I was still a student and didn’t have much professional experience, I didn’t have much luck getting jobs despite applying for jobs that were within my skill set. When I started working as an office based ESL teacher, I figured I had a little more experience and tried applying to more jobs on UpWork to earn more. Still, I wasn’t very lucky then. I got scammed not once but twice and got a singular contract for a trial run for a job I didn’t get hired for.

Bad Timing: UpWork Profile Suspended

Before 2016 ended, I decided to enroll in the Virtual Assistance Course and stopped applying to any other online jobs until I got more training to be a virtual assistant

Part of the lessons involved utilizing my UpWork account, and soon after I submitted the first week’s assignments, I got an email informing me that my UpWork profile was suspended indefinitely.

Apparently, I’ve been applying too much and getting hired too little, and that’s what got my UpWork profile suspended. I tried appealing my case, stating that I was enrolled in a course that would improve my qualifications as a freelancer, but they didn’t reactivate my profile.

Surviving The Suspension

Luckily, Coach Grace was very understanding about the circumstances and I found a way to complete all of my assignments despite the suspension.

But what about getting hired?

UpWork may be the most popular, but it’s not the only platform that’s made for freelancers. In fact, I found far more reliable employers and jobs that fit me better on other platforms like Hubstaff, OnlineJobs, and even LinkedIn.

What’s even more pleasantly surprising is the fact that I didn’t apply for the job I got from OnlineJobs. My employers saw my profile (not even my professional résumé, just my profile on the site), decided that I was right for the position and asked for my availability. No more interviews and submission of sample work! It was then that I realized just how effective the lessons taught in the FVA course were, particularly profile optimization.

Getting your UpWork Profile suspended may feel like the end of the world if you’re just starting out as a freelancer, but let me tell you that it’s not. With the right attitude and resources, you will be able to thrive just as well as a freelancer even without an active UpWork profile.

Thankfully, I was well equipped after the Filipino Virtual Assistance’s VA course. Keep tabs on their Facebook page to know when there are special offers and seize the opportunity to be a part of a family that will help you and your career soar.

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To get more of what Charis does, click here.