“Internet job attitude”
The good news about Internet jobs is that there are more opportunities than you can possibly choose from. The bad news about Internet jobs is that there are more opportunities than you can possibly choose from.
This paradox, according to the author of The Complete Guide to Finding the Hottest Internet Jobs, is what may drive you crazy if you’re trying to join the Internet job market. And depending on “whether the abundance of choice leaves you flush with excitement or paralyzed with indecision will determine your fitness for service in the Net Economy,” says author John Kador.
You’ll need two things to be hired and prosper in a Net-ready company: the right attitude and technical skills. Let’s focus on the right attitude. It’s the more difficult of the two to get to and it’s the area you’re less likely to think about–yet more likely to fail in.
To understand the right attitude, look at what the Internet is: an infrastructure in progress, needing smart folks to build it and to create content–resources that need to be managed, says Mr. Kador.
“The Net is a human artifact,” he says, needing as much management as any other human activity-maybe more. In short, it will need people to manage the relationships between vision, money, technology and art.
This “infrastructure in progress” therefore requires you to:
Have a high tolerance for ambiguity. Companies playing in the Net Economy don’t have time for people who insist on just doing their jobs, he emphasizes. Expect to find job descriptions that define minimal expectations. “The Internet is far too fluid and dynamic for anything more specific.” It’s the kiss of death to invoke a job description that limits your involvement. You must see job descriptions as a jumping–off point.
Be eager to jump into challenges and learn as you go. This continuous learning applies to techies as well as business people. “Technical people recognize they cannot advance without business skills. Business people acknowledge they need a better understanding of technology in order to be successful.”
Move fast. The Internet is all about velocity. “The faster you can go, the more you can leave the competition playing catch-up.” To be a player, you must accept a culture of constant change, be willing to break down and continually reconstruct products and processes-even the best ones, he says. “In a world of instantaneous connection, there is a huge premium on instant response and the ability to learn from and adapt to the marketplace in real time.”
Know how you add value. This is how you will be measured. When looking for a position, you must be able to state exactly what you will deliver as a result of what you do. It’s not enough to say you can work in security quality assurance. You need to tell how you solve glitches or make programs more user-friendly. If you’re an instructional designer, you need to demonstrate how you can provide interactivity and realistic audio and video.
Think like a businessperson. Focus on pragmatic outcomes.
Lead. When you notice something needs to be done, do it. Teach someone who needs to understand something. Even if you don’t have the title manager or supervisor, you can be a leader.
Be a team player. Work in the Net Economy is organized in teams. Team players focus on what they’re trying to accomplish and support each other.
Be obsessed with customer service. Get to know your customers, says Mr. Kador, and what they want. “If you’re not sure, ask them. If you are sure, ask them anyway.”
An Internet job can reconnect you to what probably matters most to you: being creative, responsible and challenged while doing something meaningful. “By bringing buyers and sellers together, by rendering irrelevant the tyranny of time and space,” the Web allows people to express their creativity and create wealth, says Mr. Kador.
One more attitude he notes to have as you enter this new revolution: The Net Economy cannot take place without you.