In an effort to gain paid employment in the areas of writing and editing, I signed up with a company called CloudCrowd through their application on Facebook.
CloudCrowd’s premise is simple. In order to be hired, a worker must pass credential tests in areas such as writing, editing, research and data entry. The tests include tasks riddled full of expectations (as it should be) and should a test be rejected, the worker must wait fourteen days before testing again.
Once credentials are passed, paid work is plenty. Many of the contributors on the CloudCrowd forum have expressed happiness with the company and the opportunities for good work that supplements their income.
A few weeks ago I signed up and took my first test for English comprehension.
Passing it quickly and feeling unbeatable, I took the leap into the next testing arena; the credential exam in editing.
Within an hour I received my rejection.
With a fourteen day wait until I could re-take the test, my anxiousness to get this train on track led to the ill-fated and unprepared decision (yesterday) to try a different exam; working to earn the credential for writing.
This morning I received the rejection for that test too.
Upon review, my mistakes were avoidable.
In an effort to help struggling writers and editors like me, here is some advice to take before you find yourself in my shoes; too eager to attempt CloudCrowd’s tests, resulting in a bruised ego and a two-week wait for redemption.
1. Don’t attempt to take tests with children in the house, especially around lunchtime, as precious time is wasted making ham and cheese sandwiches.
2. Take time to study the CC Study Guide. Some of the expectations go against my natural writing style. For example, CloudCrowd requires the serial comma to always be used. It’s not comfortable for me as I have struggled to minimize my overuse of commas in my own writing. I will need to take extra time to go over my work before submission, especially in this area.
3. Each test is timed. It’s a good idea to break down the way you will use your time before the test begins. For yesterday’s writing test there were two components. I spent so much time writing and fixing the punctuation on the first component that I was left with less than one hour for the second. One hour isn’t enough to create a 200 word piece from scratch (about “my favorite dinosaur” no less) with appropriate grammar and punctuation and review. The fact that I was left with twelve minutes to come up with a summary line should have alerted me to can the whole thing and try again later. But my stubbornness and refusal to accept that the past 180 minutes of work were wasted prompted me to submit, resulting in the fail. You can skip the test if you feel that a rejection will be your result.
5. Take tests from under the practice tab to get you used to testing expectations, questions, and time limits.
6. Don’t quit. Attitude is everything. Instead of being totally irritated by my rejections, I’m going to use my time more wisely and attempt the tests again when all of the components necessary for passing are aligned.
In the meantime, to all of my amazing readers, should you see an editing fail on my blog posts please consider it appreciated should you feel inclined to alert me to the problem.
Studying is fine, but fixing mistakes is the best way to learn.
Have you ever failed something more than once only to pass it later? Ever failed something and quit it for good? Tell me why!
The hub for all I do, marthawills.com documents life from a working mom's point of view. When not mothering, I manage the social media needs of small businesses through Wills Media Group, LLC, and write a weekly column for Raleigh's News & Observer online entitled, Are We There Yet? Most recently, my passion for health and wellness led me to become involved as a consultant for Beautycounter, a company that's making a difference by educating about toxins in products, spreading the word via the web.
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