Attention knowledge workers! You are competing against the world!
This NYT blog post reviews a couple of surveys conducted by online staffing companies that show some interesting trends.
"Not all those young companies will survive, but the habit of hiring online seems baked in; 64 percent of respondents said at least half of their work force would be online by 2015...."
If the work force is online, geography doesn't matter. That means you will be competing with potential workers around the world.
"The idea, Mr. Swart said, is to foster the growth of online workers. In other words, if you’re reading this from one of the better parts of the global economy, it’s a good time to think about how to be indispensable."
The other trend has to do with how the criteria companies are using to hire online workers.
"Only 6 percent of the survey respondents rated schooling as a “very important” reason to hire someone. It was the lowest-rated reason to hire someone. Work experience was first, followed by how other people rated the contractor, pay, portfolio of work, references, and scores on skills tests that oDesk offers online."
At least among these companies, education credentials are less important than professional reputation. You need to be building that reputation by narrating your work, sharing your skills and developing your online portfolio if you want to compete for online work in the future.
Thanks to Jim Langcuster for sharing the NYT blog post.