Have you ever passed off an ask or a task to someone else because you didn’t know how to do it or just simply because it wasn’t your job? While I’m sure we all want to manage our workload so that we are not overwhelmed, the lack of diversity in skillset or the unwillingness to learn new skills just might come back to haunt you.
Basketball is a favorite sport of mine, and over the last couple of years there has been a change in the way teams have built their rosters. There’s a high value in players that can play multiple positions and do different things, and the “specialist” players are now finding it hard to get any time on the floor. Players that can play multiple positions and do different things provide teams flexibility and the ability to adapt to other teams. Offensively and defensively there are less weaknesses.
This sort of thing has been playing itself out in the corporate world for a while now, or at least that’s what I believe. As budgets continue to shrink, people are being asked to do more with less. If you’re able to bring multiple skills to a job or an organization, the higher in value you will be. Be wary if you find yourself in a position where your skillset only allows for you to do one thing. And be realistic about that, as much as I’d love to say that I have the skills to be a sports agent, if I don’t have the experience it won’t really matter.
And speaking of experience, it’s sad to hear about companies that seemingly look to force older workers out the door simply due to age. Being a well-rounded employee with multiple skills doesn’t happen overnight, skills are something that you acquire through learning and experience. If you’re looking for a digital marketer that can write, create and edit digital content, and lead strategy, you’re going to look for someone that has actually done something in those areas. Not just someone who says they have or says they’re knowledgeable simply because they took a course.
Taking courses to learn a new skill is great, I highly encourage it, but then those skills need to be applied somewhere so you can build experience. You can achieve this through a number of ways. Maybe the company that you work for will allow you to take a stretch assignment with another team. If you know friends that have small businesses, maybe there is something that you can help out with. Or if you’re like me and you need to brush up on your writing skills, start a blog and write.
The point is, go out and produce. People want to see results, and the more experience and skills that you have at your disposal the more likely you’ll be able to produce more, with better results.
So perhaps being a “jack of all trades” isn’t a bad thing after all.