This has been another interesting year in my rather winding and non-linear career path. The year started out at BPI group (yes – they confuse everyone with a lower case “g”). That ended June 30, and I started with my current employer BizLibrary on August 2nd in a new role – VP of Marketing. So – what have I learned, and more importantly, what might I do better going forward?
What I Learned
Networking really is king. At BPI, I offered a lot of coaching and advice to people, and I emphasized the power and importance of networking. I told people you need to build a brand. Be seen. Meet people – in person and in virtual spaces. Get out there. Share ideas and be active. Well – it works. Just like every single career stop along the way, my new role came to be as a result of networking.
It’s also important to remember – it’s not all about “me” in the networking process. I can’t tell you how turned off I get with some of the shameless self-promotion I see in blogs, at Twitter, Linked In and Facebook. You really can promote yourself by offering to help others, solve problems for others and share good information with your network. I am no magician, but it’s worked for me, so I know it can work for you, too.
The third thing I learned – or at least had reenforced is the power of social media. I am not the most knowledgeable, most active, most followed person on the net. But even my efforts yield some activity and results. So – it doesn’t take a lot. But it does take some effort.
What I Might Do Better
Improve my technical skills! Wow. My new role has been a great learning experience for me, and I find myself really needing to dial up my basic knowledge of a wide range of technical tools – Google Analytics, Google WebMaster, DNN, GoldMine, PhotoShop are just a few of the new – to me – technical tools I need to be better at using. And that’s just for starters.
The market today requires a much deeper and broader set of technical tools for most of us than ever before. Start exposing your self to new things in your space NOW! Don’t wait.
The next thing I need to to better is research and explore some of the great new thinking on strategic business success. We are in a rapidly changing world. No use looking back, because that world is long gone! I’ve been so immersed in my new role that I’m not doing as much reading about broader market issues in HR, training and development and just basic strategic issues facing small businesses today. That WILL change – it must!
I’m concluding by – well – not really concluding. Probably the most important lesson I can take from my own career is the need to continually reinvent myself. In my new role in the marketing world, I am on a steep learning curve. I enjoy the challenge, and I have no idea where this will eventually lead me. But – I know for certain I’m still on a journey, and the next part of it will be interesting.