I got suspended on Upwork: Here’s what I learned

Image courtesy of Pixabay

I didn’t know I can be punished for trying so hard.

This morning, I woke up to a notification that my Upwork account got suspended. Apparently, the many proposals I sent outweighed my contracts and earnings.

It was just a few weeks after I became active on the platform again. I have more time in my hands so I tried to exhaust my remaining connects. I think I still have half of it remaining.

I wasn’t that bothered since I don’t have active contracts and I thought I could reverse the process. I messaged the help center appealing to my case. I enumerated my reasons which were instantly replied by an automated message saying that I have to specify the reasons for my appeal and to send documents that will support my skills. That’s just what I did. Within a couple of hours, they said the suspension was final.

I’m upset because I’m most comfortable using the platform for my freelancing gig. Thanks to what I learned from the Medium community, it was easy for me to shake it off and move on. Here are the things I’ve learned:

1. Never put all your eggs in one basket.

This investment tip from Warren Buffet is also true for freelancers. It’s a good thing I have a direct client so I have continuous work. As freelancers, we cannot afford to give all our shots in one basket. That basket can be taken from us anytime. It is important to diversify income streams.

2. Comfortable isn’t always a good thing

“You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
― Roy T. Bennett

I’ve stayed with Upwork for years because it is where I’m comfortable. I’ve created accounts with other platforms but I leave with the slightest sign of discomfort. Being uncomfortable is necessary for growth and improvement.

3. No matter how loyal you’ve been, a company can still drop you.

Unfortunately, your loyalty is an invalid argument for a company to keep you.

4. Not knowing the rules won’t excuse you.

I wasn’t aware that sending out too many proposals without landing a job entails suspension. My ignorance didn’t save me from the consequences.

5. Some people (companies) won’t be convinced even if you give evidence.

Shortly after the suspension email, I’ve got an Upwork message notification. It was a potential client asking why I’ve withdrawn my proposal when he was about to send me a paid test. I told him about the suspension.

I sent the screenshots of our conversation along with other two potential clients on active negotiation. I also sent pictures of my documents. Unfortunately, their decision to suspend was already final without further clarification as to why.

6. Never think it won’t happen to you.

Anything can happen to anyone. Good or bad. No one has an impenetrable shield from good and bad things. I’ve seen problems on Upwork by other freelancers but I never thought it would happen to me too. Guess what.

The good news is, the good stuff can also happen to anyone, including YOU.

7. Freelancing is hard.

Thanks Upwork for reminding me what I already know. But you won’t stop me from getting amazing clients. Thank you. I’ve been with you since your Odesk days. I started at $1 per article on your platform. I’ve met all kinds of clients from all around the world through your platform. Thanks for making my skin a few centimeters thicker with your rejection.


Excuse me while I look for another freelancing platform.


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