Now a days, if you are working in a Bangladeshi company that has something to do with anything even distantly related to the terms Digital or Technology then chances are very high your job title ends with either Manager, Analyst or Architect.
Keeping all the cheesy skepticism aside, the booming adoption of technology has brought about fundamental changes in the way customers interact with businesses on a day to day basis. As a result, companies have had to re look back at the way they do business. Unfortunately, the collateral damage for this has resulted in a plethora of fancy job titles and confused workforce trying to learn either Digital Marketing or Data Analytics. To make things worse – the so called Digital Jurgon Gurus have done a great job at making things a lot more esoteric that they were supposed to be in the first place.
Businesses are only as complex as we make them to be.
Whether it the digital or the physical spectrum of it. And most likely, the better than average employee who was not born a digital native – already has many of the basic skill sets required to make a difference. What they need is a change in perspective. Aside from the core subject matter experts, what the modern business requires is often a jack of all trades role – filling in where there are gaps in the organization, ranging from strongly strategic to the severely tactical.
In my experience of working with large companies during and after their digital transformation, I have come across three core things that would set anyone apart in this cutthroat onslaught of Digital Competency based workforce. These three things are so fundamental in nature that even people in all sorts of organizations can benefit from following them.
1. Always Solve Problems!
The first and perhaps the most important skill that a modern workforce must have is the ability to identify, understand, and solve problems. There are very few roles in an organization that does not involve some form of problem-solving — from customer support who answer to customer calls and resolve issues as quickly and effectively as they can, to sales guys who must understand as fully as they can the pain points of their prospective customers and how the product they’re selling can benefit them, to development and IT who need to focus their efforts on a daily basis to solve the problems that are presented to them.
Whenever you find yourself in a tight situation, overwhelmed by what to do – consider very carefully how your current role fits into this paradigm — what are the specific steps that you take when faced with a problem, how do you decide what course of action to take, and how do you know that you’ve solved it in the best way possible? You already know the story, you just need to look at it from a different angle.
2. Be Customer-Centric Or Go Home!
Even in companies that aren’t entirely embodying a service provider mindset, the vast majority of the roles require employees to be focused on the needs of the customer and the user. Customer centricity is the essential lens through which you must approach your jobs every single day. Whether you’re working in customer service and taking calls directly from angry customers, or you’re working in sales and engaging directly with the market and helping potential customers realize the value of your product, or you’re working in development team and trying to figure out not just how you would use a new feature, but how the ultimate end user will do so, you’re in the business of being customer-centric.
Customer First Revenue Later
When considering how to describe your prior experience in a cover letter or on your resume for a transition, you should focus on when, where, and how you’ve focused your attention on customers over your own perspective (or the perspective of others without strong customer connections). That would set you apart from the crowd of people who boast having a new useless certification added to their resume every other year.
3. Lead With Influence, Not Authority!
Remember the last time your company brought in a Leadership expert or that HBR article that you were reading over your commute to office – guess what, it was right! Great people lead through influence, not authority. We don’t get to tell people in the organization what to do, you have to convince them that it’s the right thing to do. Almost every successful individual contributor in an organization already practices this on a daily basis. It is very important to internalize the simple fact that we work with other people day in and day out. And these people have different motivations, different agendas even different goals.
If you can go into a meeting with different departments, or even different people on your team, and walk out with a plan of action that’s 80% of what you went in wanting the outcome to be and did not loose the support of your team and stakeholders, you’re already a pro at this, whether you realize it or not.
This also applies when you’re trying to figure out what kind of statement you want to make in your cover letter and resume. Remember this point and ensure that somewhere in your job history you explain how you’re capable of influencing others’ decisions. It makes you readily employable.
The Concluding Remarks
No matter where you sit in your organization, chances are good that with the right perspective and point of view, you can likely position the things you do to fit the needs of this digital economy. Mindfulness and daily practice of the above mentioned concepts have helped thousand others move ahead in their career. How do you think it will affect the way you work? Let me know in the comments section!
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