This is a serious question. Unfortunately a question no one wants to ask themselves because they may not like the answer.
One of the best things you can do for the business is to admit where there are gaps in your skills.
I’m not saying you need to go skulk into your boss’s office and quit because you’re no good to them anymore.
I get it. “The company has growing pains, I can’t keep up with the responsibilities they’re piling on me now. How on earth am I going to find the time to expand my skills and work faster? I’m tired; I’m already working 50 hours a week and haven’t had a raise in 3 years. This company doesn’t deserve more from me!”
If those are things that ran through your head just now, then slow down. First of all, I have totally said similar things in the past myself. But, take a deep breath and rethink everything that just ran through your head.
Now ask yourself these questions:
- By improving my skills, would that make my job easier and therefor make that statement irrelevant?
- By improving my skills and knowledge, am I making myself more marketable and valuable?
- By improving my skills, am I benefiting myself or the company… or both?
- By not improving my skills and knowledge, am I hurting myself or the company… or both?
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to admit where there are gaps in your skills.
And then figure out how to fill those gaps.
You can’t always rely on your annual review for feedback on skills. Most of us are lucky to actually get a performance review. So it’s your responsibility to take ownership. Pull up your britches, and face facts. We all have challenges, we just need to learn how to admit them and realize it doesn’t make us less human or not awesome.
Make a list of your current challenges:
- Tasks that take much longer than they should
- Tasks you really just know you don’t do well
- Things you absolutely hate doing and avoid at all costs (and ask yourself, “why?”)
- Skills you might need a refresher course in to stay up-to-date on trends in the market (in marketing, your specific industry, business strategy, or even reading financial reports)
Now, go back and think about each challenge and how you can overcome each one:
- Delegate a task to someone else that can accomplish it better/faster and swap out for a task that you do well
- Research online or weekend class to brush up on skills
- Watch a reputable series of online videos (www.lynda.com or www.skillshare.com are great resources) to learn a new skill (i.e., conquering the latest version of Adobe InDesign, demystify SEO, finally figure out how to read Google Analytics…)
- Learn more about your industry or how to actually use your company’s products
Admit the challenges you face today, find the solution(s) that will help you become stronger and more suitable for the role (and help push the company toward greater targets) and, if necessary, present the solutions to your boss as a growth plan and ask for support.
If we, as marketers, grow complacent in our jobs, the company will outgrow us (this can really be said for just about any position). We have to stay on top of our industry trends, customer problems, sales challenges, revenue struggles, the list goes on…