What is versatility?
For marketers, versatility refers to the ability to adapt and respond to the ever-changing wants and needs of the market. Versatility requires the qualities of flexibility, a willingness to adopt a growth mindset and ultimately the willingness to step out of your comfort zone. To meet the market’s ever-changing needs, marketers have had to adopt an attitude of versatility so that they can keep their abilities up to date and interesting.
Why is versatility important?
According to a recent report from Leadership IQ, 46% of newly-hired employees fail within 18 months, with 26% of them failing due to an inability to incorporate feedback from their bosses and coworkers. These numbers demonstrate that contrary to popular belief, it is not technical reasons that are driving these failures. Instead for 89% of them, it is their attitudes and their poor interpersonal skills.
This report demonstrates the value and importance of being versatile as a successful employee and not just as a marketer. From these findings, neglecting versatility will only set you up for failure. Furthermore, employees who only just meet expectations will be returned in kind, with little hope of promotion and progression. That’s why versatility can serve you as a tool for progression. Adopting a mindset that is flexible and is willing to step out of comfort zones, will grant you the perspective that recognises that there are demands from your company that need to be met that go beyond your simple job description. Once you show your leaders you are capable of exceeding expectations, you’ve demonstrated your worth to your team through action and that gives you bargaining power.
So how do I become versatile?
Versatility has 3 different components as mentioned before. It’s about being flexible, adopting a growth mindset and a willingness to step out of your comfort zone. The reason why I reiterate this is because of the importance of understanding your objectives. By acknowledging these are the qualities to adopt, you now have direction and can forge your own path towards these goals.
However, there are a few suggestions for developing versatility as a trait:
Travelling is an excellent way to get comfortable in new environments. Being a part of a new culture and travelling to new places requires an individual to step out of their comfort zone and try something new. This is a key philosophy of being versatile, a willingness to take a risk and draw from experiences beyond the known. In the workplace, you’re faced with different teams and different environments, having the background experience of travel helps to ease this fear of the unknown and better prepare you for change. Drawing from the experience of travel, one can bring positive and beneficial aspects of different cultures into their workplace. Adopting the Japanese aesthetic of minimalism for example favours a clean and uncluttered life and a love for natural beauty, all of which have a positive impact on your mental health.
Take a well-rounded approach
Being a versatile marketer doesn't just require marketing experience. Refreshing your surroundings and exposing yourself to new environments is part of being well-rounded which means participating and developing in activities that are beyond just marketing. Tapping into activities such as physical sports like rock climbing or martial arts and mental sports like chess offer a great way to become a well-rounded professional. This is because you can draw from different areas of life and use the knowledge and experience you’ve gained from each of them to utilize a different perspective and creatively solve problems.
Be a student
Ultimately, versatility requires an open and growth mindset. This is the key philosophy of the student who is here to learn and improve. Although every new opportunity has its challenges, it also brings along many opportunities to learn and gain new experiences that can help you with future prospects. To develop this mindset, be willing to take on tasks that play on your weaknesses and areas of growth rather than your strengths as they will only encourage your growth.
It’s undeniable that the role of the marketer has undergone a significant transition into the digital age. With these changes have come new challenges and the growing need for the ability to be versatile. Adopting a mindset of growth, and a willingness to step out of your comfort zone coupled with the quality of flexibility will help you develop the skill of versatility and be a more successful marketer.