How to Find Work Online (Without Using Upwork!)

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How and where we work is changing rapidly.

Gone are the days where we are tied to our desks in a 9 to 5 job. Gone are the days where we have to meet face-to-face in order to make a business decision. We now have plenty of opportunities to work online.

Working online has many benefits – no commute, no transportation expenses, a comfortable work environment (working in pajamas, yes please!), increased productivity and more.

We agree that this all sounds great, but how do you actually find work online? If you are just starting your online work journey, you may have been told to search for jobs on Upwork.

Upwork is an online platform where people connect with businesses and independent professionals to find freelance work. The company boasts that it will give you the freedom to work anytime, from anywhere, allowing you to easily grow your freelance business.

While this may be true for some, we NEVER recommend using Upwork. Here’s are our 4 reasons why and some resources where you should be looking!

1. You don’t get paid until you have $100 in your Upwork account

If you are hired for a big project, this may not be an issue. However, if you take on small projects (which is common on Upwork), you won’t be paid until you have at least $100 in your Upwork account.

Depending on the projects you have, it could take several months for you to receive any of your money.

2. Upwork keeps 20% (yes, 20%!) of your money!

As the “middleman,” Upwork charges freelancers a service fee, which is taken as a percentage of your earnings on the platform.

Upwork keeps 20% for the first $500 you bill for each client. For example, if you earn $100 on a project, Upwork would keep $20, leaving you with only $80.

That is a huge sum, and it happens for EACH client you bill!

The service fee decreases to 10% once you bill a client over $500 in total, and 5% once you bill a client over $10,000 in total, but it is difficult to even get to that point.

3. Upwork helps resolve a payment dispute only once

Upwork says that all projects include “Upwork Payment Protection” to make sure you get paid for all work successfully completed through the freelancing website.

What they don’t tell you is that they will only help you resolve a payment dispute once. Just once! If you find yourself in multiple situations where the client refuses to pay, you are on your own.

Upwork protects the employer, not the freelancer.

4. There are some shady businesses on Upwork

There are shady business owners on this platform who prey on unsuspecting freelancers.

We have heard countless stories of freelancers who have connected with a business, agreed to take the work off of Upwork (in order to avoid the service fee), only for the freelancer never to get paid after they complete the work.  

Let’s get real here. Upwork does not attract large, high-paying employers. This platform is geared towards small businesses and startups who want to pay you as little as possible for your services.  

Does that sound like the type of work and clients you want to attract? No, we didn’t think so.

Legit Remote Job Resources

The good news is that there are plenty of legitimate, well-paying clients out there that are looking for your services! Here are some resources to find them:

Virtual Assistant Internship

We spend countless hours finding the best jobs across the Internet for your skill set. We scour the internet on your behalf and send all the best (and legit) online jobs to you every Friday 10am! You can enroll to get this weekly awesomeness here: Weekly Job Pack 

Remote Like Me

Remote Like Me, a website founded by Taylor Lane, is another great resource for those of us looking to find online work. The Remote Like Me team posts legitimate jobs in its Facebook group and sends out weekly emails with job postings too!

Working Nomads

Working Nomads is another great website that provides a curated list of remote jobs worldwide. You have to create a profile in order to see job postings, but it is free to do so.

Other Facebook Groups

There are tons of other Facebook groups with remote job postings. Log into Facebook, search “Remote Jobs” or “Digital Nomad” groups, and you’ll get a host of groups to explore. While you are at it, join ours HERE

Happy hunting, and see you online!


This post was written by 90 Day VA graduate Sara Rosenblit. Sara is a marketing professional and Virtual Assistant currently based in Los Angeles, CA. She provides services in digital marketing, social media management, content creation, copywriting, corporate blogging, email management, and general administrative tasks. She is an avid traveler, yoga practitioner and teacher, and a former lawyer.

To work with Sara, head over HERE and let us know!

3 thoughts on “How to Find Work Online (Without Using Upwork!)”

  1. Thank you for voicing the opinion of hundreds of people who are leaving Upwork in masses! BTW they now end up with about 35% of our earnings after you pay the fees to get it paid out. Plus, now you have to buy credits, just to apply for a job!

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