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Become More Employable with Tech and Marketing Skills

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Do you desire to be a more employable candidate? Consider combining tech and marketing skills on your resume.

As tech becomes a more pervasive part of every aspect of a business, leaders will be looking for professionals who understand the tech while being able to communicate with end-users. There is a definite line between tech and marketing and yet you may be surprised to find a number of similarities between the two roles.

straddle the fence, right left brainIn an article entitled What Cloud Companies Must Do Before Promoting Engineers to Marketing, the author, Derek Handova, interviewed several professionals for their insights into both right and left brain careers.

Some may think that marketing and engineering are vastly different and that the idea of a professional being able to transition from engineering or technology to marketing is an impossibility. However, you may be surprised.

Tech and Marketing Shared Skills

Here are just a few of the skills and qualities both technology and marketing have in common:

  • Uncovering the needs of the customer/end-user
  • Creating a solution – requires creativity and imagination
  • Asking questions to understand the true problem/pain point
  • Developing a variety of possible solutions

You may be surprised to find that you already have a strong candidate in your own workforce that can straddle the fence between the IQ and EQ (Intelligent and Emotion quotients). From the article:

“Engineers moving into marketing actually have the same challenges as most marketers,” says Ed Marsh, management consultant, Consilium, business advisory firm to B2B manufacturers. “Marketing requires high EQ to conceive and execute approaches for each stage on the buyer journey.

While some fail in the transition, there are a good number of candidates who can actually succeed. Marsh goes on to say:

“Engineers are trained, much like journalists, to ask questions in an effort to understand root causes.”

This kind of tag team approach to marketing with engineering is a great way to identify engineers who can naturally blend IQ and EQ into a go-to-market strategy for solutions, according to other former technical role players.

That way with the speed of the market, I can find engineers who can straddle the line with existing marketing initiatives rather than having to teach people how to do it. There are already people on your teams or in your network who can easily straddle these roles and will be open to this new capacity.

How Do You Uncover Employee Potential?

Jamie Walters wrote an article for INC fifteen years ago entitled How to Uncover Employee Potential.  Two of the techniques are really important to consider as you look to move someone from one role within your company to another:

Ask the employee what she likes to do. There’s a funny equation applied to many promotions: People who excel at a specific job are promoted to management level. As a result, you’ve often taken the person out of the exact environment in which she succeeds and which she likes — possibly reducing her success in the new position. Also, you cannot fully uncover a person’s strengths without her input. Tap into what she discerns as her strengths by asking what she enjoys most, and why, and in what role she believes she’s of most value to the organization.

Allow the employee to test-drive a new role. Maybe you’re seeing the employee in her specific role, yet more of her strengths would blossom in another role. Consider establishing a mini, internal internship program, in which employees shadow co-workers for a day to learn more about the roles and responsibilities available. This test-drive might spark new ideas about increased value from the employee, and allow you to see where a role-shift may make sense for the company. Ensure that the internship leads to valuable information for the company and the individual. Set clear goals and intentions for the exercise, including, what we want to know at the end of this exercise.

Moving from technology or engineering to the softer skill of marketing can be an excellent move for the right person. Before making assumptions about the abilities of your team, provide them the opportunities and tools necessary to succeed outside their current role.

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JJ DiGeronimo JJ DiGeronimo, a speaker, author, and thought-leader for Women in Tech and Girls and STEM, empowers professional women and consults with senior executives on strategies to retain and attract Women in Technology to increase thought and leadership diversity within organizations.

Check out JJ’s new book Accelerate Your Impact by downloading three free chapters.accelerate your impact

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