Be Your Own Headhunter Online, Random House, 1993, was the first book I wrote. It was a challenging experience, because halfway through the book, I decided that this new thing called the web was going to make the book I had proposed and written obsolete in a matter of a few blinks. After a nearly complete book and 7 months into the project, I explained to my editor that this technology called “The Web” was going to change what was then called “the Internet,” and that the book was in trouble if I didn’t update it completely. The only problem was that I was one of very few people who had access to the web at the time, thanks to my academic connection. My editor had never seen the web, and had no way to get on it at that time.
Tracy Smith — my brave editor at Random House Times Books — closed her eyes and told me, “OK, whatever this web thing is, just do it. But you have to make your deadline.” So, I kept my eyes open — as in, I didn’t sleep much for about 3 months. I rewrote the book from the ground up including the web, and in so doing, made the best decision of my early book writing career.
In the end, I was the first person to write about the web in job search. I wrote the book prior to the web becoming commercially available, but I was betting that the web was too big to be contained in academic circles. In March 2003, CompUSA and AOL began offering mainstream web access. The book published a few weeks later. It was incredible timing, which is part of the reason this book was nominated for a Computer Press Award, and was also a finalist. — Pam Dixon
PS: A note for privacy geeks. In the book, I discussed workplace privacy and technology. For this, I interviewed Beth Givens of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. She has told me that I was the first person to ever interview her about privacy.