As an internet professional, there are many career paths you can pursue. Just do a quick search on major job sites like CareerBuilder or Monster.com and you will find many career opportunities for those in the internet field.

In this article, I will highly four such career opportunities.

Internet Support Technician

An internet support technician, as its name suggests, provides support to clients on issues pertaining to the use of various applications and software in their business.

In this support role, the internet technician often troubleshoots the problem and provides solutions on how to fix the problem as well as proactively develop and/or maintain websites and applications.

To do this job effectively, you would need a strong background in MySQL, HTML, CSS, PHP, .NET, JavaScript plus most major content management system (CMS) platforms such as Perl, Python, and Ruby on Rails.

Internet Marketing Analyst

If you are on the creative side, a career in internet marketing will provide you with many opportunities to express your creativity.

You would be responsible for creating online marketing campaigns for clients on platforms such as Google, YouTube, Yahoo, Facebook and Bing. You will also analyze and evaluate the performance of such campaigns through the use of qualitative and quantitative data sets.

This position requires someone who has good analytical and problem-solving skills and be able to think outside the box. It’s a very competitive field, but provides the ability for great advancement.

Starting salary is in the $40,000-$50,000 range. In many companies, there is also a performance-based pay structure that allows for higher compensation.

Internet Sales Specialist

There is a growing need for internet sales specialists who are responsible for responding to online sales leads. A major industry that employs these specialists is automotive dealerships.

Basically, a prospective customer who visits a dealership website will make an inquiry either online or by phone. The sales specialist will follow up on the inquiry (or lead) and try to convert these leads into sales.

If you are a people person, then this is the job for you. When you mention to someone else that you’re in the internet business, many assume that you are behind computers all day. But a major part of being in internet sales is face-to-face direct communication with the customer. As such, you would need to have very good communication skills as well as have a sociable and engaging personality.

Since this is a sales position, pay is commission-based. Your income is only limited by your ability to sell. Because the salary is based on commission, the range can be wide: from $45,000 to $70,000 annually.

Web Designer

Another career opportunity for the creative types, a web designer helps the client design and develop a website. The role of the web designer has evolved a lot over the years. It’s not just about the look and feel of a website anymore. Not only does a website have to look professionally designed, it must meet usability, compatibility and speed requirements.

As a web designer, you work with a client to bring a concept to life. That’s the creative part. For the technical portion, you would need expert knowledge of HTML, CSS, Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign as well as various CMS platforms.

Like Internet Sales Specialists, there is a wide salary range for web designers. A quick look on CareerBuilder will have a position that pays $70.00 per hour while another pays only $25 per hour.

While I only covered 4 career opportunities for the internet professional in this article, there are many more out there. This is just a taste. Do a little research on the major job sites and you will find that this is a career with a bright future and will only grow exponentially in the coming years.

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Today, I want to talk about an important topic that most consultants do not like to think about: insurance. Why? Because it’s a dry subject and no one wants to think about what bad things can happen to you. But part of having your own business is to protect yourself from liability and loss. So whether you like it or not, as it is with death and taxes, you have to face the music some day.

It doesn’t have to be all gloom and doom. A little advance planning can save you a ton of headaches down the road. And while you don’t want clients or employees to sue you, have your business burn down, or get sick, these are business realities that you have to plan for if you want to stay in business. Because it only takes one lawsuit or accident to put you out of business.

Professional Liability Insurance

Also known as Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance, this is coverage for professionals for claims made by clients asserting negligence during the course of providing a service.

Every professional should have E&O insurance (some professions, like attorneys, have mandated requirements for this type of insurance to protect the public). This type of insurance not only covers negligent acts, but failure to act, non-performance, mishandling/loss of client information as well as other torts like libel/slander, and misappropriation of intellectual property. Just be sure that your policy provides for attorneys fees and court-awarded judgments.

Commercial Property Insurance and Business Property Insurance

If you own the building where your office resides, then commercial property insurance is a must. This insurance protects the physical assets of your business, from the building to your inventory, to furniture and equipment. It’s a protection against damage from fires, broken water pipes, and storms. It’s also a protection against theft and vandalism.

Business Overhead Expense Insurance

While we don’t like to think about it, sometimes life can throw you a curve ball and leave you unable to work. If you are a sole proprietor, your inability to work means all income stops. If you become incapacitated in any way, will you have enough savings to last until you are well enough again to work? What if you become permanently disabled? What then?

Having a Business Overhead Expense Insurance means that your business can continue despite your absence due to injury or sickness. It covers things like rent, utilities, employee salaries and the many expenses that a business have.

Disability Income Insurance

While you are incapacitated, you still need money to survive. This insurance makes sure that you have a continued income stream while you recover from your disability. Another way to look at it is that it’s paycheck protection. If you are unable to work and produce income, the insurance will provide you with the ability to meet your financial obligations such as mortgage payments and household bills.

Going over all the insurance coverage you might need may seem daunting at first, but it is an important discussion that you should have with your insurance agent as well as your significant other. Do not wait until something bad happens. By then, it’s too late and you might lose everything you worked so hard for.

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As an internet professional, there are times when you are called upon to travel to a client’s location, and this often involves flying to another city. Putting together a client presentation is difficult and time-consuming enough without you having to worry about everything that can go wrong when traveling.

As a consultant, your time is extremely valuable. Time wasted on planning the trip is time taken away from billable hours. That’s why I’ve put together some travel tips that will help make your busy schedule a little easier.

Travel Light

A trip to make a presentation to a client is usually a day trip. So, there’s no need to pack like you are taking a week-long trip. Packing light is the key. Everything should fit in a small carry-on luggage. Only bring items that are absolutely necessary.

Use a Packing List

If you find yourself travel often for clients, then I highly recommend that you write out a packing list composed of items that you will always need. That way, the next time you travel, just take out that list and check off the stuff as you pack them. No more worrying about what you should or should not pack. Just pack the same thing every time.

Dress For Travel

We all know how frustrating it can be to go through the airport security line. To make sure that you don’t get unnecessarily held up in the line, don’t wear anything that will set off the alarms (i.e., metal objects).

If you have to, put these items on your carry-on bag that you can easily access when you get off the plane. It’s better to put them on after you’ve arrived at your destination then having to take them off/put them back on during the security check.

Wear slip-on shoes. These days, there many stylish shoes that does not have shoe laces.

Check-In Early

Try to check in as soon as you are able to so you can get the best seats. Ask for a seat near the front of the plane so you can get off the plane first. I don’t know about you, but I hate waiting for rows and rows of passengers to leave before I can get off the plane.

Expect the Unexpected

Travel delays seem to be the norm these days. Not a week goes by where we don’t see news of unruly passengers that cause flight delays. What’s worse, sometimes the flight gets diverted to another city.

While you cannot avoid these unforeseen circumstances, you can plan your schedule such that you are not rushing and possibly missing your flight. Don’t plan to be at your destination “right on time”. Plan to be there 1-2 hours early. Nothing looks worse to a client than you showing up late for a meeting asking for their business.

To make it less likely that you’ll face delays at the airport, get a direct flight. Also, fly on the first flight out and you won’t have to deal with the domino effect of flight delays.

I hope these tips were helpful. Just remember, failing to plan is planning to fail.

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