When you work for a rapid-growth technology company, you’re living in a fast-paced working world. As more people see value in your product, and for the industry itself, demand rises. It becomes even more critical to deliver top-tier products. It is imperative to challenge yourself to broaden and hone your skill-set in order to keep up with these high standards.
When I began working as an intern in the Axcient marketing department, I brought a medley of skills to the table: graphic design experience, copy writing, social media and others. As with any internship, you have to take on jobs in every field within your department to find your spot. I took on projects that allowed me to showcase the skills I already had, while dipping my toes into new skill pools, such as events, Salesforce.com, operations and Web writing. Through this experience, I became a “chameleon” or “one stop shop” for certain deliverables, which coined my title “Marketing Generalist.” The ability to at least understand every skill required in a project helped me to approach every task with the end goal in mind: producing top results.
Today, the most talented and valuable workers are chameleons of sorts. “Top Talent” equates to brilliant people who constantly challenge themselves to improve and broaden their skills and the work that they deliver. They adapt to the greater needs of the company. This is more important than ever considering the raging talent war going on in Silicon Valley and other centers of innovation. Here are a few of my own tips on how to become an invaluable part of your company:
1. Identify Your Weaknesses
Do you struggle to understand some of the common terminology in your industry? Are there tasks you cannot complete because you don’t have the required set of skills? The first step is identifying your weaknesses. Invest the time it takes to learn new skills, or to understand how those new skills directly relate to your own craft. It’s easy to become complacent. You have to want to better yourself.
2. Look at the Bigger Picture
Take your newfound knowledge and understanding and apply it within your current job. Upselling can be child’s play when you fully understand what you’re actually selling. Broaden your blog’s reach by incorporating the social business engagement lessons you’ve learned into your writing. Create designs inspired directly by the intended messaging. Understanding how your fellow minds do what they do, helps you do what you do, better.
3. Take on Projects Outside of Your Normal Realm
Finally, move from understanding to execution. Start small by taking on low-priority projects that directly involve using your newly-improved skill-set. When you apply them, you improve them. Eventually, you’ll become an additional resource in that field.
We live in a fast-changing world. Look at the current rate of technology development. In order to actively contribute, you must constantly improve your skill-set at that same rapid pace.
By Eric Quach