Meet Steve R. an Appen Freelancer in Japan

Appen is proud to offer remote and online opportunities for workers in countries all around the world. We spoke to one of our Appen freelancers in Japan about the benefits of remote work and the most interesting aspects of the job.
I have lots of flexibility in my full-time job, and have always been interested in technology and AI. I’m comfortable with internet research, and the job is a perfect fit. –Steve R., Appen Evaluator in Japan

How long have you lived in Japan?

Over 25 years! Originally, I came here with the intention to stay for one year, but loved it so much that I decided to stay and eventually raise my family here.

What was your first impression of Appen?

At first, I was skeptical of the company and type of work because I had never heard of it or done this type of work before. However, after doing some research, I found that Appen was highly recommended and is a large company that offered great opportunities for remote work.

What prompted you to look for remote work?

My daughter, who had just graduated from college and was in between jobs, discovered Appen through a web search and recommended it for me as something I’d like to do. I have lots of flexibility in my full-time job, and have always been interested in technology and AI. I’m comfortable with internet research, and the job is a perfect fit.

How do you find your work/life balance?

The work-life balance is the strength of remote work. You can choose when you want to work and, if you are an honest, hard worker, be offered multiple projects.

What has surprised you most about working for Appen?

Several things. First, was the flexibility of doing the work. As I mentioned above, as an independent contractor, you have complete control of your schedule. Second, the depth and variety of the type of work was surprising to me. I initially assumed that it would be rather repetitive, but this has not been the case. I’m currently on a project that is challenging and interesting. Although I’m sure I need to improve in some areas, I enjoy both the critical thinking skills involved and applying my background knowledge to each task. Finally, if you have the right attitude towards the work, the support team at Appen seems genuinely interested in your long-term improvement, and not only as a short-term worker. They offer lots of ways to learn and improve — and I believe this is the key to long-term success for both the individual worker and the company.

What do you find most rewarding about the job?

The feeling that I am making a difference in the future of AI technology is the most rewarding aspect of the job. With the advent of AI and biometric technology impacting our daily lives more and more, I feel that working at Appen puts me in the front lines of improving this technology for future users. I also like the trust and freedom — within the project guidelines, of course — that is allowed in evaluating and assessing each task.  Finally, I feel that I am gaining valuable critical thinking skills that help me in other parts of my job — judging whether a particular search result is satisfying to the user, and whether it is reliable or not.

What advice do you have for prospective Appen candidates?

I would say that you need to approach the job seriously and not assume that it’s going to be easy. The qualification exams can be challenging and take a lot of time and effort to pass — stick with it, and study the guidelines! Once you pass, the process of learning and improving has only begun. All of this effort creates a sense of satisfaction and makes you want to keep improving. I would also say to apply for a project that sounds interesting to you, so that you will have more motivation to succeed.   If you enjoyed reading what Steve R. had to say about freelancing with Appen, visit to see our available opportunities.
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