As Heraclitus of Ephesus said, change is the only constant. This is especially true in the digital marketing workforce, where success is often defined by how quickly we can adapt to new technologies and skill sets.
“Change is the only constant”
In the four years I’ve been with Scorch iProspect Manila I’ve worn a number of different hats, switching from SEO to Data & Analytics, and now Paid Media.
Whether you’ve recently started a new role or are aiming to up your game and put your New Year’s resolutions into action, here are the top three things that I’ve found helpful in jumpstarting my performance, no matter which corner of the office I find myself in.
Know where you’re at
If self-help gurus get one thing right, it’s that we’re the only people who actually know ourselves. Knowing the extent of your current skillset can help you identify your strengths and assess which areas need improvement.
Agency life requires us to be team-oriented but individually motivated at the same time. Being new to a role can sometimes feel like starting from scratch, and can make you feel vulnerable. This is why being able to honestly assess yourself goes a long way – it helps you find your pain points, isolate them if needed, and seek solutions.
Being proactive outside of your formal performance reviews will also help your new manager or mentor in guiding you along the journey to success. If you already know your strengths and weaknesses and have a personal approach for addressing them, you’ll be able to lay them out clearly and succinctly when roadmapping the next months or years of your career.
Know where you want to be, and plan for it
Now that you’ve assessed yourself, you’ll be able to plan where you’re headed and how to actually get there.
Knowing where you’re at now and being true to where you want to be next can help you keep your head in the game. This morning while chatting with our CEO Terence Hooi about career planning, it occurred to me that sometimes our long-term career objectives aren’t the same as our short-term ones.
Point A doesn’t need to lead to Point B or Point C right away – for one thing, the market demands us to be agile, and new challenges and passions can lead us down unexpected yet rewarding paths.
Sometimes the path will be foggy and things beyond the first milestone will be unclear. This is normal (or at least I’ve found it to be), but it doesn’t change the fact that of all the challenges we face, the biggest is to simply be true to ourselves.
As long as you have a vision of where you want to end up and communicate this clearly to both yourself and your managers, you should be fine… and your manager will thank you for taking the initiative and making their job easier.
Communication (and time management)
When it comes to communication, I’m almost tempted to disagree with Heraclitus. I don’t think change is the only constant – communication is surely just as eternal as change.
If I had a dollar for every coaching session, motivational talk or advice article that mentioned communication at least once (including this one!), I’d probably be retired and living in a mansion right now.
Although communication is difficult to master (it’s something I’m constantly working on improving myself), there are huge benefits to being able to communicate effectively – not least because it can help make you feel less worried and more in control.
In our line of work everyone is busy every day, and with lots of projects coming in and activations needing to go out the door, it’s easy to lose control of time. In this environment, communication can go a long way towards making things more manageable, particularly in terms of knowing which tasks to prioritise and which ones to come back to later.
Another important thing to remember is that communication goes both ways. This is crucial to keep in mind when it comes to managing expectations, reaching your goals and improving yourself.
Even the best planning and self-assessment can go to waste if we won’t open up communication lines between ourselves and our mentors and managers, whether through weekly or monthly check-ins, official mentorship sessions or casual chats over coffee.
To me, career progression and accumulating experience is a bit like travelling: there are always things to put in or take out of your suitcase as you go in and out of roles and opportunities. I hope you’ve found something in this article to put in your own suitcase, as I do from those around me every day.
If you’re keen to read more, check out 5 ways to manage your own work performance – I’ve found it very helpful!