Finding the Way to Your Online Job

I have a few thoughts that I would like to share. I’m open to your point of view, but hopefully this can be an encouragement to some.

When I went to university I remember a couple of my professors allude to a concept that I didn’t understand well until years later. One of my professors would say things like, “Grades don’t really matter. That’s not what you are here for.” I didn’t understand what he meant. Wasn’t that the whole reason that we were in University? …to get the grades that demonstrate our mastery of the subject matter?

It’s the learning, I get that part of it, but don’t our grades indicate our level of learning?

He argued that It’s not about graduating from the program with the highest marks, because the people who “get it” will find work in industry at a much better rate than a person with good grades.

Get what? What is it that some people get and others don’t?

Another professor, the head of our department, talked about the time with our Cohort as a “window of opportunity.” What he also alluded to was that the time we had with professors, classmates and industry professionals is the opportunity to connect and make inroads into the industry. Beside the curriculum there was an equally important process that needed to happen. It was beyond the learning of concepts and the mastery of the material we were studying. It was the paramount importance of building relationships. That is what gets you opportunities and considerations for the future. Grades help a little but being a friend and colleague was more valuable.

When it comes to working online, lets take a closer look at that process as well. I don’t know if you have ever been sitting at your computer staring into the abyss of the internet universe–stunned at the vast possibilities but near zero real opportunities. I’ve been there. You look for some way to get started but there’s nothing to hold onto. I’m sure that you have experienced this at some level. You know there are great jobs out there, just not for you, right? That’s where most people are at to begin with, but you can make it too.

I believe that in order for you to be successful in working online there needs to be a shift in perspective for many people. Think about those well paying online jobs and imagine the perspective of the employers and your potential co-workers. What do they want from a person who will be working with them? They want some things that must be established in order to take a chance on you (you do realize that no one should trust you because of anything you can offer via digital face value?). It’s a jungle out there so how do you distinguish yourself from the sea of names and faces vying for their trust?

  1. You have to be a real person. That means slow down and get to know someone. Invite people over for cake. Care about them and their life. Prove yourself and be a somebody to someone in the world you want to be a part of. Yes. create a non-internet based real world relationship or two. People trust people who know people.
  2. Have good character. If you can’t be trusted you can’t be trusted. Make your word your bond and dedicate yourself to always coming through. I don’t care how good you are at something if you are not good at heart.
  3. Know your stuff. It doesn’t matter how real you are, or how honest you are if you are not good at anything. Get really good at one thing and do that one thing. Being mediocre at ten things won’t get you hired.
  4. Arrange your life around your priorities. Eliminate the things that get in the way of your success. Think of what you are spending time doing and give it a thumbs up or down. If its a thumbs down activity of no real value consider catapulting that out of your life.
  5. Enjoy your life and invest in others.

The key to making it beyond the small online jobs that pay little is building a life that includes the people who are succeeding, and being the kind of reliable and competent person who cares about others. The first currency that you should be looking for is not money. This is a good journey and it takes time. If you don’t give up you can’t fail.

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