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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What Are Your Odds in Getting a Job? Finding Customers?

Starting in a new field is advantageous with limits, Saint in Tiberius church, Israel © Ami Vider 2014
Content Marketing is a sub-sector of internet marketing like other new internet professions (affiliate, SEO, advertising, social media). New internet professions are a great opportunity to start a career or a new business. You can become proficient enough to show your skills in a new field faster than in an established one. You also have less competition from established professionals. But, and this is a big but... with a new profession it is hard to determine if you will succeed and will make a living out of it. There are a few interesting books and even courses which teach these new fields. Some of the successful experienced practitioners claim that with dedication and hard work you will do fine. Is this just the "marketing hype" before the real test? I met a few people, some even working in coffee shops behind the espresso machine, who wanted to "get into internet". Some took the courses or bought the books. Some finished some type of certificate. Many seem frustrated at the low entry position pay and some could not get a job after a few interviews. Some had only a few interviews and then asked for their money back from the "guru" who offered the course. 

You can make the same case for any profession. In the US, apparently very few of the people finishing a law degree end up practicing law. In India, college graduates in the sciences, even in engineering, find themselves with frustratingly low position offers (low pay, very rudimentary work) or unable to find work without relocating to a distant city. In the early stages of the internet most people found their jobs through direct contacts (through the web). Today, with more organized companies and defined roles the ad-hock job search is more like the same old job search. But in real life, that is not the case, most jobs need to fit a very specific situation. Usually in most positions, it is not the core knowledge that you need to know. You need specific domain knowledge. If you are a writer or and editor you need to write well. Knowing a field of business, such as finance (investing, mutual funds) or programming (tools, QA) is just as important for the company hiring you. While they can judge if you know their domain area quickly, the expertise in your field is harder to evaluate. A writer is not useful based on a few writing examples. It is useful on a daily basis, banging out articles day after day. It is also crucial for a writer to engage the readers. These basics have been known in the publishing business for a century. While Stephen King is no Hemingway, he bangs out books faster than the old man drank a Cuban Daiquiri. This goes also for most of the work done in internet marketing. Believe it or not, there are better SEO and affiliate marketers in finance and gaming than the average. This should not be a surprise to anyone. Usually the better workers are the ones who either enjoy their work or have some affinity to the field. Game players in general will like "playing" with the words and creating links for a game site more than someone who is interested in literature. Their SEO will be better.

So back to "what are the odds of getting a job?" Well, they are very good. BUT, and it's a big but... you got to fit into the "position" and you got to show this fit quickly and effectively. Just knowing the basics you learned in school is not enough. To be slightly better than the competition, you need to know a domain area. I know a testing technician who studies and passed his courses. But did not dedicate any more energy. Then he started "testing" games. When he started to work on mobile games he realized the work can become his specialty. Slowly he learned the insides of mobile games. He did not know how specialized this knowledge can be. Essentially he became an expert by "liking" his specialty area. I think this can be said for anyone in any field. I have seen this with a chef in a bakery and with a computer technician with accessories. You can do the same if you want to get in. But you need to put in the time and get into a field of interest. I guess this is the only bad news. If you are going to show competency at anything, you have to put in the time and acquire that expertise. Good luck and don't give up!