(Note: This is based on one of the prompts from Robert S. Kaplan’s book What You’re Really Meant to Do.)
It takes a lot of work to identify what I’m good at. That’s not because I’m not good at anything, it’s just that actually sitting here saying “I do this well…” is awfully showy for someone who was told repeatedly that no one wanted to hear my bragging, thank you very much, just do your job and don’t expect much praise.
But there are a number of job-related tasks I’m good at and skills I’ve acquired and developed over the years. So I’m going to break through the mental barriers that usually keep me from exploring this and share some of them here in no particular order:
- Organization: I get so much joy from tagging and labeling things it’s almost filthy. My external hard drive is a masterpiece of directories and folder trees. I was always futzing with Box.net folders I shared with other people, finding better and more efficient ways to categorize and label the documents stored there. And the editorial calendars I managed for client programs had columns that were so finely-tuned you knew exactly what to do with them and what they were for. The first two examples make finding material super-easy while the third played an important role in program reporting, providing numbers and insights that other analytics tools didn’t or couldn’t.
- Writing to an audience: As someone who’s written for a number of different outlets and formats over the years, I’ve had to adjust my voice regularly. You can’t write the same way when producing a white paper as you can when writing a blog post. The audiences are different and so require a different voice and style. As long as I know who the audience for a piece of content is and what it’s meant to accomplish, just cut me loose and I’ll deliver.
- Willingness to learn: This has been true multiple times over the years. Growing up in an age before YouTube instructional videos and such, I just kind of had to figure out how to use various software and tools. Even now while I do appreciate tutorials and other guides, I prefer to dive in and get my hands dirty, figuring out how to use something by just…using it. I’ll find that maybe I’m overlooking some feature that’s super-cool but it’s often a “nice to have” and not an “essential” element. So when I see someone looking for experience with software like Marketo and the like I acknowledge that I haven’t used it before but it’s just software and can be figured out with a bit of exposure.
There are more, of course, but those are the first three that occurred to me. More later, perhaps.