vs Upwork: A Filipino Freelancer’s POV & Guide

ScreenHunter 79 Apr. 03 23.15

If you’re into the online freelancing world, chances are you’ve heard about these two job websites. vs Upwork is a hot topic amongst many freelancers. In this article, we’ll discuss the similarities and differences between these two websites to help you choose which one would be best for you.

Upwork is an international job marketplace for freelancers that allows them to find jobs across a broad range of career skill categories including writing, marketing, virtual assistance, and graphic design just to name a few. 

Simply put, if the work can be done online, there is a high chance to find a related job listing to it on Upwork. Its HQ is based in San Francisco, California, and was rebranded to Upwork from oDesk back in 2015.

Since this is an international job marketplace, employers will most likely be from foreign countries and your co-applicants for jobs will be from all across the globe.

How Does Upwork Work?

Upwork is a job marketplace website where employers can post job listings so that freelancers, such as yourself, can apply for the said jobs. The process is similar to applying for a regular face-to-face on-site job. 

You must first create your profile which will act as your digital resume or biodata. Your profile will contain all of your professional-related experience and credentials.

You can then browse through the numerous projects or job listings regularly posted by various employers and apply. Once you’ve found a job that you’re interested in you can use connects to submit a proposal to introduce yourself to a potential client to apply for that job.

What is, or OLJ as it’s popularly called, is a job board that was specifically made for hiring people from the Philippines. It was created in 2009 by an American entrepreneur to solve his own virtual assistance requirements and to connect skilled Filipinos with businesses owners in North America and around the world. also allows you to find jobs across a very diverse range of industries, much like Upwork despite its roots of being a solution for businesses looking for virtual assistants.

How Does work?

Similar to Upwork, employers can post their job listings on which should include the job description, skill requirements, expected salary and other important information. 

Once you’ve found a job listing that you’re interested in, you can send your application to the employer for free, unlike Upwork’s “connect” system that can potentially cost you money if you’ve used up all of your free “connects”. 

The only limitation of job application system is that you are limited to sending out a maximum of 10 job applications per day. vs upwork a beginner's POV and guide vs Upwork: A Side-by-Side Comparison vs upwork a beginner's POV and guide 1 vs upwork a beginner's POV and guide 2 vs upwork a beginner's POV and guide 3

Analysis & Noteworthy Differences

Consideration #1: is a Filipino-only Freelancer Platform

  • You will not be competing against co-applicants from other countries where their average asking salary may be lower than the standards here in the Philippines
  • Employers will more likely be more familiar with your working time zone, culture, and English proficiency since all freelancers will be Filipinos. This will lessen the need to adjust to each other and better improve your chance to have a good working relationship with your employer.
  •  If you are a complete freelancing beginner, distinguishing yourself from other applicants for the same job position can be more challenging because it is more likely that other Filipinos will have similar skills, experience, and resources as you.

Consideration #2: Cost To Use vs Payment Protection

Upwork gets a commission from your earnings as an employee. They also require you to use their “Connects” when applying for jobs, which can cost you more money depending on how many you use and how frequently you apply for jobs. 

The flip side is that Upwork has a built-in time tracker system that monitors you. This guarantees that you get paid for the time and work that you put in. does not get a commission from you and does not have a mandatory time tracking software that monitors your work (though they have their own recommended tracker – TimeProof). 

This means that you will get 100% of what your employer pays you but salary disbursements will usually be on a trust system basis. In the worst-case scenario that your employer does not pay you, you can contact

In cases where you don’t get paid, can act as a mediator to help settle your dispute. If it is proven that your employer is at fault, they can be removed from the website and you get the monetary compensation in the amount of the employer’s subscription to the worker.

Even if this adds a good layer of protection for you, it is not as streamlined as the rigid built-in time-monitoring system that Upwork provides.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing and can be a matter of personal preference. A lot of people are not comfortable using the time-monitoring software of Upwork because it can give you the feeling of having your boss/client constantly looking over your shoulder and breathing down your neck.

There are also ways of greatly improving your chances of getting paid without relying on the hard-coded protection Upwork gives.

Recommendation is an excellent choice for Filipino freelancing beginners. Upwork can be more challenging because it is a bigger market and you will likely face stiffer competition because of the sheer volume of other applicants as well as the fact that you will be up against job applicants from other countries where they could be willing to do the same job at a much lower rate than you.

On the flip side, because Upwork is still a bigger platform than, it still has a ton of opportunities across a wider spectrum of jobs and pay rates. At the end of the day, you can always use both platforms simultaneously as long as you have the time and capability.

Better yet, you can check out this list of alternatives to both Upwork and to increase the scope of your job applications.

Avatar photo

Jack Mina

Jack Mina, the co-founder of Remote Filipino Worker and, has been in the digital freelancing industry for over 8 years. His aim is to help independent professionals and freelancers develop long-term and successful careers using the internet as their primary tool.

He spends his free time cooking, gaming, and taking care of his pet cat Gremmie.