Take Control Of Work By Being A Lifetime Learner

Take Control Of Work By Being A Lifetime Learner
SHARE
THIS



In this guest post, former adlander and now Telstra product marketing specialist, Martyn Shaw (pictured below), offers his valuable advice on why being an inquisitive learner is the secret to a happy work-life in this digitally obsessed age…

I’ve never been someone who takes things for granted. For many reasons I’ve felt like the most fortunate person in the world, meet my beautiful pregnant wife and you’ll soon start to see what I’m talking about.

Martyn Shaw Photo

One of the biggest blessings I’ve had is from being a shy Yorkshire lad, 21 years old with a degree in Business IT, somehow stumbling into the crazy extroverted world of Digital media. I’ve met and worked with some of the most talented people in the industry who have always had the time to teach and inspire me. I’ve spent ten years working within both digital media and marketing and feel like the industry has evolved so much since back when we were sticking banners on MySpace & Lycos.

The measurement has gained new ground, the publisher landscape is completely changed; I’ve been through FIVE organisational restructures! That’s one every two years.

The biggest thing I realised during this time is if your world resembles a giant tumble dryer then you’re going to have to keep moving if you want to stay on your feet. The secret to being motivated, happy in your surroundings and confident in your skill set is to embrace change and force it upon yourself before it’s forced on you.

If you work like a machine then you could one day be replaced by one  

I don’t need to stress the point of Artificial Intelligence, or scare anyone into thinking their job is soon under threat. But rather than look upon this as a threat to my job I see it more as a wake up call. If someone really thinks their job could be replaced by a machine then they’re probably not thinking enough within the day-to-day, or talking to people enough, or mentoring people enough. There are things machines currently struggle to do which are arguably the most interesting parts of our days at work:

  1. Emotional intelligence – Being great at reading situations, compromising with stakeholders and making something happen. Machines tend to be quite binary in their objectives
  2. Connect the incompatible – Can you take what you learnt from one meeting and translate it to be relevant in another? It would take a pretty impressive computer program to be able to do this effectively
  3. Draw abstract parallels – Stitching experiences together and taking abstract learnings for other purposes is a hugely undervalued human attribute, and one that needs an attitude of lifetime learning to be effective

“If you’re in the tech industry and everyone else is just reading tech publications, but you also know a lot about biology, you have the ability to come up with ideas that almost no one else could”

Michael Simmons from the Observer, theorising on why Elon Musk is such a fast learner

 

Be more than a cog

In keeping with my tumble dryer analogy, the reality really hit me when one day my washing machine broke and it turned out the problem was this tiny valve that needed replacing. This tiny insignificant valve that took five minutes to replace and discarded even quicker, with no other value to me. It suddenly made me realise (whilst likely daydreaming/procrastinating as my washing machine was fixed) how fragile our employability is if we allow ourselves to be specific cogs within a machine.

Most organisations love cogs and are more than happy for you to be institutionalised and become one. Cogs are easy to train and fit nicely into an organisation chart. Have you ever wondered why your company has so many processes? Well one of the reasons is a continuity plan, if you fit a defined shape then if you ever choose to leave your role then it’s commoditised, put to market, filled and the world moves on – How else can media agencies cope with such high staff turnover? We all know that ex-colleague who thought they were irreplaceable….

No one is going to stop you from becoming an institutionalised cog apart from yourself. Insist that your role gives you the runway to learn new experiences as part of your day-to-day and if work is more physically challenging (with crazy hours and ridiculous deadlines) than mentally challenging then it’s time to take a stand.

Keep moving, keep learning

The best advice I can give to anyone is to keep learning. There’s a wealth of information freely available on any topic we just need a motivation to take it in. If you’re lucky enough to get the opportunity then there’s no better way to get out of your comfort zone than trying a different job. As I said at the beginning, I’m hugely fortunate as I’ve been thrown the opportunity a few times. I’ve lived in London, Sydney and now Singapore, and was lucky to be given the opportunity with Telstra to broaden my media knowledge to more marketing. And recently I’ve switched again, working within Product marketing.

I’ve made many mistakes, oversimplified challenges, overvalued my work’s significance and generally showed naivety to the bigger picture. Mainly due to the fact that I felt like I got Digital, until I moved into a different role and found a new dimension to the Digital ecosystem that completely blows my mind. Uncomfortably, I’ve met people who say they don’t understand digital that have a much more rounded grasp than I did coming from my media silo. The more I learn the less I realise I know, and I’m still in a marketing silo! Moving into marketing with Telstra has been a very humbling experience. There will never be a time to stop learning new things, things that re-wire and enhance the way I’ve thought in the past.

The two sides to jumping into a new role:

  1. The stuff you don’t know– Leave your ego at home and be prepared to feel like the stupidest person in the room. Cling to every word and read whatever is suggested to you. Be as respectful as humanly possible to anyone willing to teach you new things, it’s a rare gift so grab it with both hands. They want to meet at 7:30AM? Be there. And repay them tenfold with whatever you can do in return to make their life easier.  Pedal like CRAZY to get up to speed with what everyone’s talking about as being ‘the new guy’ has an expiry date.
  2. The stuff you know– It’s hardly likely that there won’t be some overlap in what you know, otherwise there’s no logical reason why you’d be given the job. For the things you know this is your time to shine and you need to smash this out of the park. Put yourself under great scrutiny, more than your peers and manager can and make yourself useful.

Push the boundaries of your role

Whilst searching for opportunities to jump out of your comfort zone be on the lookout for new experiences in your role that can provide an extension. Find people you want to learn from and look for ways to make it happen. Perhaps there are projects you can ask to be a part of, or initiatives you can suggest that benefit the company.

If all else fails then learn something outside of work and then try to apply it to your work. If you’re a media buyer who wants to be the analytics guy? Try subscribing to Lynda courses on Google Analytics and start integrating it into your reports. Do it long enough and people will start asking you to do it for them, it won’t be long till it will make sense for the company to make this part of your role.

There’s nothing stopping you from embracing change and becoming a lifetime learner. Stop being bored at work and grab every opportunity you can to feel stupid again as it’s the only way to grow.

This opinion piece was originally posted on https://digitalplumbing.co

 

 

Please login with linkedin to comment

Designworks Martyn Shaw

Latest News

Monash University And Y&R Melbourne Launch Wristbands To Deter Drink-Spikers
  • Campaigns
  • Technology

Monash University And Y&R Melbourne Launch Wristbands To Deter Drink-Spikers

Y&R Melbourne has an innovative wristband on campus at Monash University that detect drugs by simply placing a drop of your drink onto the band itself. Designed for widespread use across festivals, events, bars, nightclubs and other venues where patrons are already accustomed to using wristbands, the ‘Sip Safe’ wristband is equal parts a utility, […]

Global Brand Events Agency INVNT Opens Sydney Office
  • Marketing

Global Brand Events Agency INVNT Opens Sydney Office

Brand events agency INVNT has announced it has expanded its operations to the Asia-Pacific region with a new office in Sydney. Originally founded in New York in 2008 by Scott Cullather and Kristina McCoobery, INVNT creates and produces brand engagements for every audience segment, including employees, customers, partners, investors, the media, and consumers. Cullather said […]

Former Fairfax Editorial Director Sean Aylmer Joins Res Publica
  • Marketing
  • Media

Former Fairfax Editorial Director Sean Aylmer Joins Res Publica

Full-service communication consultancy Res Publica has announced the appointment of respected journalist and media executive Sean Aylmer as its latest staffing addition. As editorial director of Fairfax Media from 2013 to 2017, Aylmer was the most senior journalist in the group and publisher of iconic mastheads The Age, The Australian Financial Review and The Sydney […]

The Copyright Agency Invites Visual Artists To Claim Image Royalties
  • Media

The Copyright Agency Invites Visual Artists To Claim Image Royalties

The Copyright Agency is inviting Australian artists and their heirs to nominate about where their works have been published or used on TV to receive payment for their copyright-protected work as part of a month-long campaign. The Copyright Agency, which recently merged with Viscopy, is Australia’s national copyright licensing organisation for the publishing, media, surveying […]

Study: Online Gambling Soars As Aussie Punters Take To Apps
  • Marketing

Study: Online Gambling Soars As Aussie Punters Take To Apps

A new study into the gambling habits of Australians have revealed that horse racing remains our number one bet of choice while we’re increasingly betting via online sports gambling apps. The study by Roy Morgan Research and titled The Gambling Currency Report found that of all bets 50.9 per cent was for horse racing, 12.5 per cent […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
League Star & Queenslander Cooper Cronk Fronts New Visit Sydney Campaign
  • Campaigns

League Star & Queenslander Cooper Cronk Fronts New Visit Sydney Campaign

This year, Sydney will host both a historic standalone State of Origin encounter on Sunday 24 June, when the NSW Blues face rivals QLD Maroons at ANZ Stadium in Game Two of the 2018 Series, and the first ever Women’s State of Origin game played under the Origin brand on Friday 22 June. In partnership […]

Nine Ways To Manage Underperforming Employees
  • Opinion

Nine Ways To Manage Underperforming Employees

We’ve all had one, and in this guest post, founder of HR Consultancy Ryan Gately, Karen Gately (pictured below), offers her tips on how to handle underperforming staffers. Gately is also author of The People Manager’s Toolkit: A Practical guide to getting the best from people (Wiley) and The Corporate Dojo: Driving extraordinary results through spirited people…. Are […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Pac Mags’ Emily Sak Joins Shopper Media Group As Its First Data & Insights Chief
  • Marketing
  • Media

Pac Mags’ Emily Sak Joins Shopper Media Group As Its First Data & Insights Chief

Digital retail out-of-home media business Shopper Media Group has announced the appointment of Emily Sak to the newly created position of head of data and insights. The new role forms part of Shopper Media Group’s expansion plan to keep up with the accelerated growth that has seen its portfolio surpass more than 220 shopping centres […]

CX Lavender Appoints Business Development Director For Melbourne
  • Marketing

CX Lavender Appoints Business Development Director For Melbourne

Customer experience agency CX Lavender has announced the appointment of Michael Rummery to the role of business development director for Melbourne. Rummery (pictured above) was previously account director of client services at global marketing and digital recruitment firm Aquent, and has held roles at a number of talent agents and recruitment firms with a focus […]

The New York Times Appoints WeThinkMedia As Its Aussie Advertising Rep
  • Advertising
  • Media

The New York Times Appoints WeThinkMedia As Its Aussie Advertising Rep

The New York Times Company has announced the appointment of media representation agency WeThinkMedia to represent its advertising business in Australia. WeThinkMedia will be responsible for all advertising in the region, including print, digital, branded content, programmatic, and events. The partnership will be overseen by Tom Armstrong, vice president of advertising for The New York […]

The Future Of Influencer Marketing: More Than Just A One-Night Stand
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

The Future Of Influencer Marketing: More Than Just A One-Night Stand

Influencers are the new powerhouses in driving stock off shelves, but brands are yet to find the right recipe for successful collaboration, according to Gleam Futures’ Guillaume Deront (pictured below). Here, he argues that marketers need to look beyond purely targeting an audience and channel their energy towards building long-term collaborative relationships. Australia punches above […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Designing Cultural And Organisational Change
  • Opinion

Designing Cultural And Organisational Change

In this guest post, Bronwyn Van Der Merwe (pictured below), managing director of Fjord Australia and New Zealand (part of Accenture Interactive), details the four traits of a ‘living business’ – something she believes organisations have to become in order to transform successfully. The digital age has created a plethora of challenges for modern organisations, […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee joint hearing about Facebook on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, April 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Media

Free TV Calls For ACCC Oversight Of Facebook & Google

In a submission lodged with the ACCC inquiry into digital platforms, industry body Free TV today called for greater regulatory oversight of Facebook and Google. The FreeTV submission identifies a number of key areas of concern: Heavy regulation on traditional media providers and almost none on Facebook and Google Questionable claims about the reach, viewability, […]

APN Outdoor Confirms Retention Of Three Key Contracts
  • Media

APN Outdoor Confirms Retention Of Three Key Contracts

APN Outdoor has used its annual general meeting to announce three key contract renewals: Transport for Brisbane, Transdev Melbourne and Adelaide & Parafield Airports, for multiple years. Company CEO and managing director, James Warburton, said: “These contracts represent an important part of our advertising offering. The far-reaching impact they provide delivers a compelling proposition and cements our commitment […]

Women In Media Profile: Olivia Warren
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Olivia Warren

It's the latest in our Women In Media profiles, and this one is so good you'll possibly get a nervous twitch somewhere.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
LIDA Delivers Series Of Animated Info Bites For Busy Marketers
  • Marketing
  • Media

LIDA Delivers Series Of Animated Info Bites For Busy Marketers

M&C Saatchi Group’s customer engagement specialist agency, LIDA, has crafted an initial eight-episode series of bite-sized animated videos designed to help busy marketers stay ahead of the game. ‘60 Second Gets’ draws on LIDA’s wealth of experience to unpack the latest industry tools, tech and thinking. Launching today, the first video, ‘Success in 6 Seconds’, […]

Naked And Gidget Foundation Want Australians To Start Talking
  • Campaigns

Naked And Gidget Foundation Want Australians To Start Talking

Today Naked launches its ‘Start Talking’ campaign for Gidget Foundation Australia; a not-for-profit that provides support for families who are affected by perinatal depression and anxiety (PNDA). The centrepiece of the campaign is a powerful TVC that brings to life this common, but often hidden illness, and shows how Gidget Foundation’s ‘Start Talking’ telehealth program […]

MKTG Integrates Telstra Tracker Data With LED Signage At AFL Stadiums
  • Marketing
  • Technology

MKTG Integrates Telstra Tracker Data With LED Signage At AFL Stadiums

For the first time ever, AFL spectators will be able to view real-time Telstra Tracker player data via in-stadium LED signage, thanks to the combined efforts of Telstra, Champion Data and MKTG. By integrating the Telstra Tracker data into the LED signage at the MCG and Etihad Stadium, fans will receive contextually relevant information from […]

Westfield Shows Off New Visual Identity In Line With Fresh Digital Offering
  • Marketing

Westfield Shows Off New Visual Identity In Line With Fresh Digital Offering

Scentre Group has unveiled a new brand look and feel coinciding with the re-launch of the Westfield.com.au and Westfield.co.nz sites. This digital-first visual identity sees a shift towards creating a more contemporary, invigorated and colourful brand, reflective of Westfield’s in-centre experience. The iconic Westfield logo will continue to lead brand communications, supported with a new […]

The Age Of The Ephemeral: Why Experiential Marketing Is Compulsory This Year
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

The Age Of The Ephemeral: Why Experiential Marketing Is Compulsory This Year

In this guest post, Keep Left’s head of consumer engagement, Johanna Murray (pictured below), explains the merits of experiential marketing, as well as sharing some tips on how to do it – and do it well. Humans love to label things – especially intangible things, like time. We like eras and ages and eons because they […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
The Top Social Media Marketing Trends For 2018
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Technology

The Top Social Media Marketing Trends For 2018

This trends report is a must-read for all marketers, although it contains no news on the return of the bubble perm.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
How To Give And Take Feedback At Work
  • Opinion

How To Give And Take Feedback At Work

Georgia Murch (pictured below) is an expert in creating feedback cultures and author of Feedback Flow; The Ultimate Illustrated Guide to Embed Change in 90 Days. In this guest post, Murch offers her tips on giving (and receiving) feedback from colleagues without botching it up… We all know that feedback matters.  Most of us want the good, the bad and the […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Dentsu X Expands Operations To Sydney
  • Advertising
  • Media

Dentsu X Expands Operations To Sydney

Have you completely forgotten what Sydney looks like? Well, thankfully this story comes with a handy pictorial reminder.

SBS Radio Introduces Three 24-Hour Digital Radio Stations On Digital TV
  • Media

SBS Radio Introduces Three 24-Hour Digital Radio Stations On Digital TV

SBS Radio has announced two new digital radio stations – SBS PopAsia, SBS PopDesi and a refresh of SBS Radio 3 – is now available on digital TV. SBS Radio 3 will broadcast world news and current affairs from the BBC World Service (previously airing on SBS Radio 4 on digital radio) and special events […]

Aussies Invited To ‘Money With Sunny’ In New Suncorp Campaign
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Aussies Invited To ‘Money With Sunny’ In New Suncorp Campaign

At a time when more than two thirds of Australians are feeling confused and concerned about their finances, Suncorp has unveiled a new creative platform focused on making the complex simple. In a move that expands the brand beyond the sunshine state, Suncorp’s strategic approach is all about helping Australians focus on what they do […]

Champion Launches Music Platform Championing Emerging Aussie Artists Via Emotive
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Champion Launches Music Platform Championing Emerging Aussie Artists Via Emotive

For its first Australian campaign, Champion has partnered with creative and content agency Emotive to launch a music program titled ‘Revealed’. The program champions emerging Australian artists by intimately telling their story through video, and providing funding and creative support to create world class music videos for new release music. The first Revealed artist is […]

Finalists (And Host) Announced For Siren Awards 2018
  • Media

Finalists (And Host) Announced For Siren Awards 2018

Finalists for the best radio ad for 2018 have been announced, with 10 of Australia’s leading agencies from Sydney, Melbourne and Perth competing for the coveted Gold Siren. The finalists include The Monkeys, Clemenger BBDO, Marketforce, J. Walter Thompson, Ogilvy, BMF, McCann, YR, Fenton Stephens, and The Brand Agency. One half of last year’s winning […]

Delacon Launches Call Analytics In India
  • Marketing

Delacon Launches Call Analytics In India

Australian-owned call analytics provider Delacon has continued its international expansion, opening an innovation centre in India to service local and global partners, and develop the next generation of call tracking and analytics solutions. The office in Chennai is the eighth for the Sydney-headquartered business, which enables brands and agencies to optimise marketing campaigns by accurately […]

Protein To Handle Retail Roll-Out Of Recycling Initiative Return-It
  • Marketing

Protein To Handle Retail Roll-Out Of Recycling Initiative Return-It

Sydney brand and digital agency Protein has been appointed to handle the retail and digital roll-out of recycling company Return-It, which has just been announced as the container collection network for the ACT. Return-It awarded the work to the 17-year strong agency, following Protein’s tender support and brand development of the retail concept. The public-facing […]

Why We Need To Talk More About Failure
  • Opinion

Why We Need To Talk More About Failure

This is an excellent article about celebrating failure. Although, admittedly, we failed to get to the very end of it.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Women In Media Profile: Kimmie Neidhardt
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Kimmie Neidhardt

Kimmie Neidhardt doesn't just have a very cool name, as you'll read here. There's a good head on those shoulders, too.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine