Now more than ever, employers are looking for multi-faceted individuals who can bring great value to the team.
At Jackrabbit, we often find ourselves pivoting outside of our job descriptions, or accessing different parts of our collective skillsets to help on a project. Within the realm of graphic design and marketing, this can manifest in a variety of ways:
- A project manager may try to learn basic HTML in order to help tackle basic development edits on a website project or an emailer.
- A developer may access the creative side of their brain while coding a site and envisioning a site experience.
- A designer could approach a web-based project through the lens of ADA Compliance, and go the extra steps to ensure that a design will be accessible for those who are visually impaired.
Let’s review some of our top tips for maximizing your multi-faceted skillset, and how you can bring even more value to your team.
Tip 1: Be curious and ask questions of your colleagues
Communication is key when it comes to learning new skills and bouncing ideas off of your teammates. It can also open opportunities for you to better understand your team’s processes, and equip you with the knowledge you need to make a project feel even more seamless.
- If you’re a project manager, and you’re trafficking website edits, talk to your developer and ask for them to show you how to tackle the low-hanging fruit of those development edits.
- If you’re a developer, shadow a UI designer who’s taking on a project that you want to learn more about—have them explain their process and the reasoning behind their decision-making when approaching the design of a website or an emailer.
- If you’re a designer, trying to balance multiple projects that require a conceptual mindset (say, logo concepts, etc.), reach out to a project manager or an art director to understand the best way to both manage your time and allow enough mental bandwidth to accomplish the tasks at hand.
Tip 2: Embrace projects that are outside of your comfort zone
It can be overwhelming to take on projects that you don’t have much experience with. Oftentimes we think that our lack of knowledge on a subject would be a detriment to the overall flow of the project. In reality, taking on these kinds of challenges not only exposes you to new opportunities, but it allows you to learn at every step of the way.
- If you’re a project manager, try to manage a project type that you haven’t tackled before—whether it’s a multi-site, or a long-form print project.
- If you’re mainly a front-end developer, volunteer to support the backend developer on a new website project that comes in.
- If you’re a designer, creative innovation starts when you step outside of your comfort zone. Embrace the discomfort that comes with working on new things that you may not have done before and see where your skills might apply to a new project that you don’t typically work on.
Tip 3: Find opportunities to learn
Nowadays, there are endless resources online that allow you to learn new skills, or enhance existing ones. It’s never too late to learn a new skill. Here are a few resources that we recommend checking out:
- SkillShare: Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes for creative and curious people, on topics including illustration, design, photography, video, freelancing, and more. Some of our favorites include this course about Web Accessibility and the best practices for building an all-inclusive website.
- LinkedIn Learning: LinkedIn Learning offers more than 16,000 on-demand courses on business, creative, and technology skills. For us Rabbits, we often find ourselves looking at the courses centered around various creative topics, such as User Experience, 3D and Animation, and Graphic Design.
- General Assembly: General Assembly’s robust suite of courses includes all the fundamental pillars of innovation to give individuals and teams several options for growth and development. They offer courses in web development, user experience design, digital marketing, product management, and more. Students can choose from a range of formats and modalities to help them best achieve their goals, including full-time, part-time, and short-form options — on campus, and online.
Tip 4: Seek collaboration on projects
More brains are better than one! It’s the melding of minds that allows for a variety of perspectives to be heard and new opportunities to be discovered. One of the most impactful ways to become multi-faceted can actually be through collaboration with others, especially those who may have a different job role, background, or approach than you do
- If you’re a project manager who is new to certain creative project types, you may suggest collaboration with experienced veterans on the team to ensure your approach, process, and project schedule are all on target.
- If you’re a developer who might be unfamiliar with the strategy or brand thinking that went into the designs of your coding, you may suggest a more collaborative approach with other members of the team in order to better understand important overall project goals.
- If you’re a designer, seek more collaboration within the creative team for that critical feedback which may just yield better creative results.
Tip 5: Be open-minded and welcome feedback
Being open-minded is an important trait to have as a multi-faceted professional. Open-mindedness is the ability to be receptive and open to new ideas, thoughts, and opportunities. An open-minded person at a creative agency will listen to feedback, ideas, and thought processes of their colleagues in order to produce the best end result for the client.
- If you’re a project manager, it’s important to keep guard rails on projects but at the same time you must remain open-minded, flexible, and open to listening to creative approaches that might be outside of the parameters you’ve established. In fact, promoting open-mindedness in the creative process will increase teamwork and opportunities.
- If you’re a developer, there may be more than one way to develop an element of a website to achieve the same result. Keeping an open mind and seeking feedback from other developers will help you to continue to grow.
- If you’re a designer, being open-minded is critical to the creative process. Welcoming feedback from people of all backgrounds and job roles can expand the teamwork and collaboration that brings an idea to life. Being open-minded to the ideas of others can help you grow and expand the way you think about creative challenges.
In conclusion, no matter what your job role might be currently, you can always find opportunities to grow, expand your skillset into new areas, and become more of a multi-faceted employee. We hope our 5 Tips in Becoming a Multi-Faceted Employee has been useful in helping you expand your horizons!
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