The end of the calendar year is fast approaching, the days are short, and it seems a natural time to look back – and forward. As a web worker, I try to take stock of how I’m doing at least once a year, and think about what I might want to change in the upcoming year.
One useful framework for this is to ask yourself four simple questions:
- What’s your service?
- Who do you sell to?
- What are your opportunities?
- What are your challenges?
How you answer these questions goes a long way towards whether you’ll succeed or fail as a web worker. Too narrow a conception, and you won’t find a market; too broad and you may have trouble convincing anyone you’re worth hiring. For me, as the end of 2008 approaches, the answers come out something like this:
- My service is providing web applications in a cost-effective manner.
- I sell to businesses who appreciate an agile approach and a consultant who understands business as well as code issues.
- The big opportunities right now are in rescuing projects in trouble and training teams to meet their potential.
- The biggest challenge I face is connecting with clients who need the more abstract services, as opposed to just needing more code.
For me, the end of the year assessment makes it clear that there’s a bit of mismatch between the services I’m actually providing and the places I see opportunities. Fortunately, I’m already working on ideas to correct that in the new year. How about you? Want to contribute your own summary of the year past and your web work looking forward?