1.  The internet has forced everyone to become a marketer.

Gone are the days when only college marketing majors and entrepreneurs had to know how to use marketing to build brands. These days, the internet has enabled everyone with a pulse and some ambition to take advantage of this growing platform.  It’s all about survival of the fittest online and the best marketers, with the right message, will get the most attention and thus the most business opportunities.  Of course everyone needs an online presence and most people that you know at minimum have a Facebook profile.  The issue most people have is how to become an active contributor online, while balancing their time with their other commitments.

The requirement now and moving forward is that your brand must be appear online every single day, with few exceptions. This marketing commitment didn’t exist years ago, but now it does because the competition is everyone, everywhere.  That’s right, you’re competing for “air time” with people in Australia, Brazil, etc.  There is a lot of marketing pressures on you because just having profiles online isn’t enough anymore.  That’s just the ticket to entry.  Marketing should be instilled into individuals at a younger age because it’s becoming more part of our lives, not just how it effects our decisions, but how it can be leveraged for career success.

2.  The economy has forced everyone to become an expert.

The economy is much different now than it was a decade ago. The amount of competition there is for just about anything is jaw dropping.  From trying to get into college to getting your first job upon graduating and then climbing the corporate ladder or building a business, the stakes are higher and the failure rate is greater.  Expertise has become something referred in our society.  Corporations pay premiums on it and recruiters salivate over it.  By not being an expert in a specific niche, it will be near impossible for you to stand out and be known for something, regardless of your current situation. Luckily, a new solution has become accessible to all in the form of a published book.

The fastest way to become an expert is to become an author.

Years ago, it would have been difficult to recommend the publishing approach to people, but the internet has given rise to new publishing practices that have been embraced.  Self-publishing is on the rise and now there are numerous services, such as LuLu.com and  iUniverse, that can get your book on Amazon.com for distribution.  What can a book do for you?  You will get quoted in the press, consulting and speaking gigs and become more attractive to companies that are looking to hire thought leaders.  A few decades from now, the term “blog” will be powerful enough to make some a true expert in their field as well.  Right now, a blog is perceived as too ammature to carry the same weight.

3.  The recruiting system has forced everyone to become a networker.

Corporate recruitment has been a broken system for a while now. It has also inspired some of my most controversial posts, such as how people shouldn’t submit resumes through job boards. From the company perspective, they are trynig to find the best possible talent at the lowest possible cost and risk to the business.  From the individual perspetive, you are trying to get the highest paid job and in a position with the most opportunity for advancement.  As you can see, this can be a conflicting situation for both parties.  Also, due to the sheer amount of resumes that are submitted for jobs each day, it’s becoming almost impossible to stand out.

I’m a firm believer that the size of your network, not just the quality, will be a major component on how jobs are gotten in the future. Companies understand the correlation between network size/strength and productivity/business development.  Someone with a relatively small network can’t open up as many doors and thus is less valuable to a company that’s looking to grow.  Someone with a small network will have to worker harder to find and understand key concepts than the ladder.  Your network is visible for the first time in history.  I can review your social accounts to find out how connected you are.  How many Facebook friends do you have?  Twitter followers?  LinkedIn contacts? Blog subscribers? Don’t you see where all of this is going?  Those with the most robust networks will be the most successful.  A recruiter that stumbles upon two equal candidates will take the candidate with the larger network every single time.  Network size is going to become part of how we’re judged because of the amount of competition and visibility of our connections online.