Job Hunting

Size often matters, but don’t rule out smaller organizations just yet.

Back in the days during my university years in business school, it was always the ones who got internships from big corporate companies or top consulting firms that received the most attention, praise, and jealous eyes from the cohort.

I was too, admitted to the Co-Op program in which I could be supported by the university to apply for internship roles and receive full-time experiences from companies with flashy names. …


Win contracts that are “out of your league” and deliver great performance.

Image: Brett Jordan/Unsplash

I didn’t start being a freelancer with tons of relevant experience but managed to establish a self-sufficient freelance career under 12 months. If you are suffering from imposter syndrome or don’t know how to get started in a field where you are inexperienced, this article is for you.

Imposter Syndrome: a psychological pattern in which individual doubts their skills, talents, or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. — Wikipedia

In May 2020, just shortly after I got laid off from my first-ever office-based full-time internship after university due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I…


A comparison between working with agencies and servicing your own clients.

Image: Hendrik Morkel/Unsplash

During the first year of my freelance career, while finding my feet in this novel space, I have had the opportunity to explore different setups with other teams and clients.

For both digital marketing and public relations, the two areas of service that I offer on Upwork, I’ve tried working solo with my own clients and collaborating with other agencies to help out their clients. The source of all differences between the two options is the ownership of the clients. Along the way, I found a list of things that I enjoyed and disliked in both routes.

In this article…


When, why, and how should you start outsourcing, or not?

Image: Pascal Swier/Unsplash

It has been an unusual week for me full of novel tasks.

Kicking off the second year in my freelance career, I’m finding myself facing challenges that weren’t available to me in Year 1. Among these tasks, the most interesting one is outsourcing.

Working almost entirely solo in Year 1, I oftentimes served as a supporting role for my client’s internal team. Now, with more opportunities become available to me in Year 2, I’m finding myself not having time for all projects and responsibilities that I’m interested in. …


Image: Unsplash

During the global pandemic, companies on a global scale have been shifting their workflow from physical to digital. As more major companies move into a 100% remote structure, project-based roles are becoming increasingly attractive for both employers and professionals.

For employers: hiring project-based contractors is more cost-efficient. Without additional costs for hirings, such as employee benefits, pension plans, and the overhead for traditional office space, employers can allocate the budget into hiring more skilled freelancers and pay by deliverables. …


Using KPIs for clients to fuel a profitable and sustainable freelance career

Image: Marten Newhall/Unsplash

After an eventful year in the freelancing space, I’ve established a solid foundation with a collection of positive reviews and a network of clients. As I’m looking back on the progress made, I realized that the “ideal client” that I look for changed a few times over the course of just one year.

In this article, I’ll go in-depth in my KPIs and the rationale for choosing clients in three stages to a profitable freelance career with great potential.

Stage 1: Collect Positive Reviews

I was in this stage for six months since I started freelancing. …


I’m officially a 1-year-old today as a freelancer!

Image by Jukan Tateisi

How time flies! Today marks my first 365 days working as a freelancer.

After an expected laid off when the Covid-19 pandemic (I’m sure you all still remember) took its first hit in Canada, I realized how “job security” is really a myth. Things can change overnight. Degrees, experiences, past successes, and the value you can offer as an employee won’t matter much once you’ve become a liability to the business due to externalities. Rather than disappointing myself with more rejection letters or gaslighting from recruiters, I decided to do something different by becoming a freelancer.

On May 2nd, 2020…


Pros and cons of setting up your own shop on platforms like Upwork

Image by Robert Ruggiero

There are SO many decisions to be made for an aspiring freelancer to set up her own shop providing professional services. Who, what, how, where, when, and why... With an excessive amount of resources, platforms, and options out there, it is almost impossible to make a decision. The overwhelming amount of unknowns and possibilities can cause just enough stress for some people to quit before even starting out.

I have been an exclusive Upwork freelancer on a part-time basis for a year, worked on 20+ projects, and hitting a $15,000 for a first-year record. In this article, I’ll compare the…


Every Writer Should Read About This!

An introduction of AI writing, written with AI writing software

Image by @Markus Winkler

I recently came across an AI writing software, my professor demonstrated this software in class for the topic of dialogues. Essentially, it is an AI writing tool that helps to write for you, or with you. From fiction, blog posts, to academic research, the purpose doesn’t seem to limit its capability.

I was skeptical and pessimistic: if the creative and humane works were to be replaced by the machine, it can’t be good for humanity.

Coincidently, I have recently picked up the book Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, the idea of experts’ intuition reminded me of this software…


A client-hunting strategy to find your feet quick and easy.

Image by john_cameron

Either you are launching your freelance career on platforms like Upwork or a built-from-scratch website, you face the same challenge of landing the first few clients. Without any pre-existed reviews or social proofs, earning trust from clients can be a huge challenge.

It’s the same with everything else in life, that the beginning is often times the hardest time to get through. Not merely because of the lack of experience, but also issues with self-confidence, self-doubt, and imposter syndrome.

It breaks my heart to see people with much potential give up right before things start to get better. Knowing that…

Vivian Cheng

Top-Rated Digital Marketing & PR Specialist on Upwork. I write about personal stories, reflections, and solutions to a fulfilling and holistic freelance career.

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