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Freelance Jobs in Over 100 Middle Eastern Cities on Nabbesh

Nabbesh has launched in June 2012 in Dubai and ever since we have been working really hard to cultivate the freelance movement in the region and be the platform that empowers freelancers to showcase their skills, gain exposure and connect with clients. Whilst many of you may think that we are a job site catering to the UAE, the truth is we have grown a lot since our launch to become the “go to” marketplace for professional service providers or freelancers in the region and we wanted our community to know about that.

 

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Looking through the 2,000+ freelance projects that have been posted on Nabbesh since the beginning of the 2013, we are proud to assure freelancers everywhere in the Middle East – there’s an employer out there who needs YOU.  So far we have had jobs from employers in over 100 Cities in the Middle East & North Africa, and even some from the US and Europe. How’s that?

Month on month, over 300 jobs are posted from various cities. Aside from the UAE, the majority of freelance gigs on Nabbesh are originating from Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt. We are also proud to have an increasing number of jobs from Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar. A recent survey done by Nabbesh in September 2013 highlighted that 35% of employers registered on Nabbesh are open to hire freelancers residing in a geographic location different to their own, this truly emphasises Nabbesh’s unique position to be the regional marketplace where people connect & sell their services.

If you are a freelancer or a supporter of the freelance movement, and if you want to help talent in the Middle East find work opportunities, then we have a modest request! Please share this post on the interwebs to spread the word so we can build a vibrant regional marketplace and create more wealth to our Nabbesh community.

You won’t pay me?! Nabbesh freelancers reveal the top 10 excuses used by clients to avoid payment.

Many of our Nabbesh guest bloggers have spoken about the challenges of freelancing particularly in the Middle East. The fact that we lack a mature marketplace, proper regulations to protect freelancers as well as a lack of best practices may deter many people from venturing into the freelance world.

At Nabbesh, we have made it our mission to enable freelancing via the creation of a transparent marketplace as well as learning from our community to establish a set of best practices for freelancers, regardless of their type of skill, to provide their services to clients and more importantly get paid for their work.

During September 2013, we surveyed our 25,000 freelancers from across the Middle East, with a majority in the UAE, Lebanon and Jordan to find out about their attitudes towards freelancing.

The survey has revealed that whilst freelancers are accustomed to doing free jobs for friends and family, volunteering or offering sample work to improve their portfolio, a whopping 30% of freelancers have come across a non-paying client in their career.

Here are the top 10 reasons and the story-lines behind them :

 

Middle East Freelancers not getting paid

– He/ she was not happy with the quality of work

– We had a disagreement on the fees that should be paid

– Client kept delaying and postponing and then ignoring follow up

– Client was deceitful – It turned out to be a scam

– Client simply doesn’t like to pay anyone, I found out he did the same to many other freelancers

– Client claimed they weren’t making enough money to pay me

– Client did not understand the amount of work that was put in providing the service

– I was too young to put proper agreements in place and they took advantage of that

– Client had a cashflow problem or company (startup) closed

– Company management put the project on hold and decided not to pay

– There was a requirement, deliverable and communication gap

Call it occupational hazard, freelancers are prone to these types of clients and need to protect themselves at all times and have the ability to pick up the warning signs.

Some went as far as calling it an attribute to the Middle Eastern culture as highlighted by one of the respondents: “I did not get paid by clients more than once. I blame the lack of professionalism in the Middle East. Now I don’t even lift a pencil without a non-refundable down-payment.”

We do not agree with the notion that “professionalism” is lacking in the Middle East. We believe that in the presence of a marketplace, both parties will be required to be respectful and ethical in the way they treat each other and it is the marketplace that will reward freelancers and clients who honor their agreements and deliver quality work.

We highly recommend that freelancers put together agreements (like this sample agreement from the Freelancers Union)  with their clients detailing a concrete scope of work and a milestone-based payment. Another common practice is to ask for a deposit before starting the work. Lastly, ensure you agree on the method of payment and make sure to understand the various charges for the money transfers, for example, a bank may charge up to 30$ for a transfer.

In order to be enablers for freelancing, Nabbesh is launching an online payment facility where clients are required to pay upfront for services, in the form of a deposit that Nabbesh holds in Escrow, while freelancers are bound to the work they agreed to deliver. Freelancers will get paid once the project or task has been completed.

While it may not be a panacea for the freelancing woes, we believe that a marketplace can create a layer of trust, which protects its participants and enables a healthy environment. 88% of our survey respondents confirmed that they will be managing their payments through Nabbesh in order to get paid in a timely manner and have a strong mediator in the event of conflict.

As we prepare for this major step in Nabbesh’s development we look forward to more feedback from you, to help you get better freelance gigs and we hope that our tips will help you stay vigilant!

Note: The full survey will be shared as soon as the data compiling is complete!

Nabbesh freelancers! Here are 5 tips to land a job via Nabbesh.

We have recently been on a hiring spree to grow the Nabbesh team by recruiting expert freelancers from across the Middle East to work on specific tasks or even manage certain business areas.

Our needs range from technology related jobs, to data analysis tasks to business development and community management! So of course we put Nabbesh to the test!

We were not able to fill all the positions yet, however we thought we’d share with you our top 5 tips to land a job via Nabbesh. Quite frankly, these tips are built into our selection criteria!

1 – Be professional

No matter how friendly or casual a job description may seem, make sure your application is professional. Do not use jokes, caps, shorthand or inappropriate language. Before you submit your application, make sure it is free of typos or major grammatical errors; it can be a turn off for employers. Make sure you spell the employer or the company’s name correctly. If English is not your first language then clearly mention it in your application in order to set the expectations, employers will respect you for that.

2 – Read the job description

There is nothing more off-putting to employers than someone responding in a generic way for a specific job description. For example “I am interested” or “I can do the job” which can signal to the employer that you did not make any effort to address his or her needs. Take the time to read the job post, understand the requirements and address them in your application. Highlight key strengths that you may have in relation to the job like relevant industry or market experience, refer to your skills listed on your Nabbesh profile page as well as highlight your portfolio on Nabbesh.

3 – Be specific in your application

Employers have a short attention span and they quickly scan for relevant information with respect to their job post. Be brief, make sure you get the employer’s attention but not necessarily tell them your life story. Do not by any shape or form copy and paste your CV into the job application as this will certainly lead to your application being ignored. From our experience, CVs are secondary to how you phrase your job application and how you convince the employer that you are the person for the job!

4 – Show your enthusiasm

It is quite nice when you end your application with comforting notes like how much you would love to work for the employer, that you are willing to provide the employer with additional information if needed, that you are available to start immediately and that this is an opportunity that you wouldn’t want to miss! Flattery goes a long way.

5- Follow up

Employers may be busy and may forget to respond, or they may have several applicants that they are interviewing or several proposals to go through. If you follow the above tips, we are almost 100% sure that you will get a response. In case you don’t, it is always beneficial to drop the employer a gentle reminder mentioning that you are looking forward to hear from them and always offer additional information if needed to further emphasize why you are perfect for the job!

We wish you good luck! And we are still taking applications for the jobs on Nabbesh. To apply please visit http://www.nabbesh.com/careers

Top Five Tips from One Freelancer to the Other

This is a guest post by Zainab Mansoor, a freelancer journalist and contributor to various local and international publications. She is an equally doting mom and strives to strike a perfect balance every day.

Contrary to popular belief, freelancing or the freelance industry is a comprehensive order. There are clear do’s and don’ts in the business that should adhered to, but it differs from person to person, experience to experience. Below are a few of my personal tips to all freelancers out there, pitching for work or otherwise.

1- Let not your missives speak. Written letter with tall orders are so clichéd these days – Avoid them completely. Share your profile, portfolio and your list of strengths in which you excel or wish to excel. Instead of words, be dexterous in work.

2- Association is key. Keep contact with your previous clients. Stay in touch through social mediums for repeat work or referrals.

3- Avoid baring your desperation. If there is a dearth of projects up your sleeve, look at alternate avenues for work. Desperation can make people go all funny and do things they may regret a while later. Don’t under-rate your work or its value by offering work at substantial rates. Offering reasonable pricing for repeat clients make sense but ridiculing your profile is a different game altogether.

4- Respect thy privacy. Projects may or may not contain confidential company and employee information. Irrespective, avoid discussing project or work related details with associates, family or friends. Let the details stay locked on a workstation.

5- Sense of Humor, hold on tight. Do not let circumstances get to you! There may be white and black days, highs and lows, pleasant and not so pleasant criticism. Hang in there and lay supine, facing the sky. Crack a joke or two while you’re at it!

Have you found these tips useful? Let Zainab know and make sure to follow her on twitter  @zzainabmansoor!

How are work ethics of a freelancer any different from a full-timer?

Image credits to "twlevebyone"
Image credits to “twlevebyone”

Freelance work is considered exciting as it is considered dubious. Exciting, perhaps, because it offers the leverage to work for multiple employers on temporary or short-term contracts, hence augmenting the overall experience of the worker. Dubious because it is offers no long-term or recurrent confirmations from the employer for the worker.

Differences between ‘independent’ and ‘full-time’ modes of work may be as contrasting as chalk and cheese but it led me to wonder if there were any variations in work ethics and morality when one day, at a social gathering, on hearing that I was working as a freelancer, an associate commented casually: ‘But freelancing is quite different from working at a permanent position; you can walk away scot-free anytime.’

As I walked away that evening, I realized how strong the bromide was – It is no enigma that amongst employers exist many who refuse to take freelancers seriously. What I realized later was that it is because we freelancers rarely take ourselves seriously.

As a freelancer, I strongly feel that if valuing our work is important, equally imperative is to ensure we qualify for that value, hence there are – or ideally should be – no differences in work ethics. Committing to a task on a stipulated deadline with certain quality standards should be treated as an ABSOLUTE priority, for a freelancer as it is considered for a full-timer.

Understanding the importance of work ethics will lead the freelance community to accept their responsibilities. We must NOT, under any circumstances believe, we can GET AWAY.

In my professional career, the first lesson I learned was to ensure that I don’t consider myself a freelancer. I am a professional with a task at hand which is to be delivered on time with the quality that will illustrate my ability at hand. It is a true representative of my character and professionalism and that is something I cannot get away from.

Contributor: Zainab Mansoor is a freelance journalist and contributor to various local and international publications. She is an equally doting mom and strives to strike a perfect balance every day. 

How to prepare for a Freelance Project

 not what but how

Freelancers need to remember that they are active members of a marketplace.  Unlike full time work where they are shielded from supply and demand effects, you need to constantly promote yourself, seek good reviews and price accordingly.

Before embarking on any project, it’s worth spending time to ascertain exactly what the client’s needs are.  It might turn out that what the client really needs is a different skillset altogether.  If you don’t clarify this at the early stages, you’ll suffer from frustration, lower pay and bad reviews.

Be upfront and honest about what you can provide.  That includes not just skills but also price.  You may have an hourly rate in which case you should make that known straight away.  You might be able to provide a rate based on the description of the project.

Employers use freelancers because it’s a quick and efficient way of getting work done, they don’t want to spend a lot of time finding out information that should be immediately obvious, so try to think about the decision making process in the employers mind.  What would they need to know to pick you?

A few top tips:

  • Clearly state your expertise, and provide examples of past work, outlining what you did.
  • Identify an hourly rate or any other unit of measurement.  EG Copywriting $10 / hour.  Translation $0.05 / word.
  • If the client isn’t sure what they want, ask them what problem they’re trying to solve
  • Commit to a delivery date of work and don’t be late.
  • If you are unable to meet a deadline, tell the client as far in advance as possible to keep the communication lines open
  • Don’t use generic selling points such as “I believe I will be an asset”  or “I enjoy doing this work”, if 100 other freelancers are saying the same thing you won’t differentiate yourself
  • Browse the latest jobs and start applying at www.nabbesh.com

 

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Earn more online using Nabbesh

There’s only one way to legitimately earn money online and that’s by using your skills.  Nabbesh.com has built a platform that allows you to list your skills,  and find someone who’ll pay for them.  Freelance, part time or task based jobs are our specialty. The more you know, the more you earn.

Find out how thousands of other freelancers are doing it by visiting www.nabbesh.com and registering today.

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www.nabbesh.com – Turn your skills into cash

Not all internships are created equal…..

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Did you know that for every job posted in the UAE, there are on average 400 candidates? That’s not including the thousands of graduates that leave university every year, looking for work.

We understand that universities aim to equip students with the best possible knowledge for life in the real world, but they cannot predict how the job market will be.

That’s why Nabbesh.com is disrupting the future of work by creating the region’s first platform for freelance, part-time and contract based employment.

Students can start earning money straight away and gain valuable work experience even whilst waiting for a full time employment offer to be finalized.

If you’d like to know more about how we’re empowering people to do what they love, visit  http://www.nabbesh.com/job-landing

Students are the Future of Work….

Freelance PR and Marketing – Kellie Whitehead

Kellie Whitehead

Kellie Whitehead has been freelancing since 2005 across the UK and UAE, and is the engine behind www.mamaknowsdubai.com.  With 14 years of marketing and PR experience, she has rich industry experience coupled with a strong insight into the female, family and ‘mum’ demographic that is particularly hard to find within the region and much sought after by brands. It was this specialist expertise that was the catalyst for forming her UAE registered company Mama Media FZ.

Kellie works on a retainer basis with many agency clients, and directly with brands. As a working mother, freelancing was the only employment option when balancing her love of the industry with her family commitments.  Her knowledge of the social media space has contributed greatly to finding work through the various platforms but recently she is finding Nabbesh very useful for leads.

Through Mama Media she works with some of the biggest global names such as Samsung, Unilever and Philips helping them reach out through social media, events and content creation to their target demographic. A highlight of Kellie’s career was pitching against larger network agencies last year to win her biggest client to date, testament to her deep knowledge in the sector. Kellie thinks agencies can benefit from using freelancers more as they bring unique skillsets and specialisms that a full time employee may not have. This trend is apparent on Nabbesh with many people asking for content creators specializing in automotive, cooking, fashion and beauty products.

She identifies an interesting angle on networking and generating repeat business; which is that account managers do change agencies quite often but they tend to take their contacts with them.  Having a readily available and organized pool of freelancers to tap into can make an account manager’s work much easier, and she thinks Nabbesh is a useful platform to keep these connections alive. It also helps freelancers build a reputation as being able to show examples of work and get feedback from people is important in generating tomorrow’s business.

Get in touch with Kellie on her Nabbesh profile here http://www.nabbesh.com/DubaiWriter

Freelance Film Making – Hind Shoufani

Hind Shoufani

Hind Shoufani is a freelance filmmaker and published poet.  Her first freelance job was at the Daily Star in Lebanon at the age of 18 when she walked into the office and demanded a writing gig.  Her freelance career has been in part determined by her nationality (a Jordanian in Lebanon would have found it difficult to get the right paperwork for a full time job) and her dislike for office based corporate work.  Whilst in New York studying for her MFA she used Craigslist to find freelance jobs ranging from voiceovers to translation to directing.

When she came to the UAE at the beginning of 2009 she used her old university contacts to land her first two assignments and soon got introduced to another producer that continued working with her for a while.  She has produced and directed videos for Abu Dhabi Film Festival, Abu Dhabi Arts, Zayed Book Award, Saadiyat island and more.  She also directed 8 webisodes for the award winning Hiroshi and Osama campaign by Chevrolet.

Having freelanced for so long,  Hind states that freelancers often have more than one skill and shouldn’t pigeonhole themselves,  its also important to make sure you have examples of work ready to show potential clients.  Choosing this style of work might be off putting for many people but Hind encourages more people to try it.  She finds this is the best way to support herself as an artist.  She is currently in post production for her latest film, and is working on another book of poetry along with a novel.

Like most people, she says network effects are vital here when finding work.  The industry is small, most people in the audiovisual world know each other, and this can often be useful to reduce the search for jobs.  However, from the company side, the SME sector, companies who generate the most volume of work, don’t have visibility into freelance talent.  Additionally these companies don’t have the budget to hire agencies, who themselves hire freelancers.  Using a middle man can solve some problems but adds unnecessary cost to the project.. Hind thinks a platform like Nabbesh is a useful way to democratize access to freelancers so clients can meet producers and video editors directly.