Upwork: like OKCupid but for jobs

I started using Upwork.com, a site for finding freelance work, this weekend -- and it is by far the most comfortable and usable site for finding work I've ever used. And I think it's because it works pretty much like OKCupid, which is one of my favorite websites (although I haven't been using it lately because I have approximately 0 free time to meet new people).

You set up a profile as a freelancer, list your skills, and search for jobs. When you find one you want to apply for, you submit a proposal, in which you say how much you'd charge, and, generally, write a cover letter. The basic functionality of the site is free, but submitting proposals costs points, and free users' points reset at 60 every month. 

Upwork offers guarantees for getting paid, whether hourly or by project, at regular intervals. It takes 10% of the money earned as a fee, but so far that has seemed overwhelmingly worth it for the level of convenience it offers. By far one of the least pleasant things about my previous freelance experience was the knowledge that I was working for improved odds at a random paycheck somewhere in the next 6 to 12 months.

Once you have a job, Upwork has a time-tracking app you can run on your desktop that reports some info about what you're doing to your employer, including keystrokes and clicks per 10 minute interval, and a screencap every 10 minutes. You can delete whatever screencaps you want, but it's at the cost of that 10 minute interval, so if you decide to take a Tumblr break you're unlikely to get paid for it, but you also get to manage that workflow for yourself.

It also has an internal messaging system for communicating with employers, which works really well. I got the messenger app for it on my phone too, so I'll be alerted immediately if my employer needs me to get something done. (Which I will do immediately if I'm free, or if not I just respond as soon as possible to let him know when I will be working on it.)

Upwork also has aptitude tests -- like the quizzes on OKCupid (which appear to no longer be a thing) but instead of community-made and goofy these give you the chance to demonstrate your competence in various professional skills. This feels a lot more accessible than the vouching system in LinkedIn: I'd rather take a quiz that demonstrates I'm in the top 20 percent on AP Style competence than awkwardly approach a bunch of my past coworkers to ask them to connect with me on a network they might not use so they can promote me. I'm happy to build that credibility by working on the site, but it's nice to have a foot in the door on demonstrating skills that doesn't require me to know a bunch of people using Upwork already.

I got the first job I applied for, and of my 11 other applications I was declined for 4 and 7 are still pending. That might be a statistical fluke but I'm being positive about it rn.