A Dream Job: Getting Paid to Search

Do you dream of being a professional searcher, paid to spend your days sleuthing for online information? A new book shows you how, with profiles of eleven super searchers who've succeeded on their own.

The tenth title in the popular Super Searcher series published by CyberAge books offers a fascinating glimpse into the lives of people who are not only search experts, but successful entrepreneurs as well.

"Super Searchers Make it On Their Own," by Suzanne Sabroski and edited by Reva Basch, provides a ton of useful information for anyone considering a career as an information professional outside of a corporate or institutional setting. The searchers profiled in this book specialize in ferreting out information in a wide range of fields, from aviation and health care industries to intellectual property and public records research, and more.

Sabroski is a gifted interviewer, maintaining a similar structure for each interview while still managing to ferret out the unique characteristics and skills of each of her subjects. As with all of the super searcher books, the tips and tricks shared by the interviewees are well worth the price of the book.

This book offers a bonus, because the independent streak shared by all of the searchers Sabroski interviews tends to reveal itself in the strategies and tactics each has used to become successful. You learn not only what it takes to be a good searcher in a particular field, but what's required to be so good that you can earn a living from your skills.

Some of my favorite tips from the book:

- People don't want a lot of information. They want an answer to their question.

- There's never a single common type of project. They're all very different, very specific and very interesting.

- Learning the vocabulary of a project is crucial. Before you start, use a thesaurus or read articles pertaining to your subject and identify words that are important to zero in on.

- It's important to be able to turn down a job. I you don't think you can do a splendid job, the worst thing you can do is take it on.

If you're dreaming of being an independent information professional, this book makes it absolutely clear that you can make your dream a reality. Like so many other entrepreneurial opportunities, it's just a matter of setting your sights and going for it.

Super Searchers Make It On Their Own
by Suzanne Sabroski
CyberAge Books - $24.95
ISBN 0-910965-59-5

The Super Searchers Web Page

Disclosure: CyberAge Books is the publisher of my book, The Invisible Web, co-authored with Gary Price. I was also profiled in the reviewed book. Apart from this, I have no further professional connection with either CyberAge Books or with the author of Super Searchers Make It On Their Own.

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About the author

Chris Sherman is a frequent contributor to several information industry journals. He's written several books, including The McGraw-Hill CD ROM Handbook and The Invisible Web: Uncovering Information Sources Search Engines Can't See, co-authored with Gary Price. Chris has written about search and search engines since 1994, when he developed online searching tutorials for several clients. From 1998 to 2001, he was About.com's Web Search Guide.