My discussion of my weaknesses in my last post led me to think about what skills I need to work on. These are not personality flaws or bad work habits, more technical abilities that I would like to get some more practice with as they are important to have in the marketing field but also because I find them interesting.
Areas for potential growth
SEO – I know the very basic principle of SEO but have yet to actually learn the details of how it works or how to do it.
Graphic design – I love working with images and desktop publishing. Unfortunately I haven’t had access to the Adobe Suite since I was at UNCW in 2010 and had a wonderful Mac lab full of computers loaded with the Adobe Creative Suite. While at Chick-fil-A I designed all of our promotional materials using Open Office because there was no room in the budget for CS. Open Office is great free software but it doesn’t have the same capabilities as Photoshop and Illustrator so I feel like I may have lost my touch. Working with Open Office was a challenge because I knew the quality I wanted in the final product but I had to figure out how to get there using the limited software available. Basically I can’t wait to get my hands on the Adobe Suite again.
Website design – Other than editing the website template provided for our Chick-fil-A operator site and dabbling with the HTML to make my middle school Freeopendiary as fancy as possible I’ve got no experience with making websites.
Blogging – I blogged about my experience studying abroad in Swansea in Spring of 2009 but I’ve recently changed the privacy settings to limit the readers to only me. I don’t want potential employers to find that when they Google me and judge my writing and blogging abilities based on 20 year old me writing primarily for my friends and family. Comparing that blog to this one is good for me to see the clear improvement in my writing style and understanding of aesthetically pleasing layouts.
How am I working on these?
This blog! Well I still don’t have the graphic design software I want but the other 3 I mentioned are being somewhat exercised on this blog. I’m hoping to learn more about SEO and implement some of those strategies to promote this site. The writing and formatting of these posts addresses my need for more blog experience. Finally, while not open ended website design, playing around with the layout here is still practice in manipulating the setup of a website.
Why it’s hard:
I feel like all of these skills are best learned through practice using them and watching how other people use them. That would be much easier if I was in a working environment with people to learn from in person and see how individuals apply these tools in real life. For now though, I’ll keep doing what I can to learn on my own through this blog and the vast knowledge available in the internet community.
As always, I welcome any feedback or suggestions on other ways I can practice these skills to be as prepared for getting back to work as possible. Happy Monday!