In my last post, I explained the first phase of my professional development on the Client Solutions team at Percolate. In this post, I will look at how mastering our problem solving process has also led me to build out my technical proficiency, which is an inescapable requirement in today’s workforce.

Whether it’s mapping out complex workflows or advising on social strategy, I recognize a confidence in myself that has grown significantly over the past year. I attribute a lot of this newfound confidence to the skills and knowledge I’ve learned working with our product managers and engineers. The things we’ve worked on together have helped me grow my understanding of how technology powers our product.

Part 2: Developing a Technical Fluency

Coming into this position, my background, as it is with many people on our team, was based in community management and writing. I’ve always aligned myself more closely with the creative side of marketing, rather than the technological. I never thought I would have the technological understanding to have an in-depth conversation with a front-end or back-end engineer, let alone be able to understand how they build software.

However, working at Percolate has allowed me to deepen my understanding of technology, and grow my confidence when it comes to the subject both inside and outside the office. A big part of the Client Solutions role is working closely with the product team. I firmly believe the close relationship the two teams have built is one of the key reasons we’re able to do our jobs so effectively.

Our clients sit across a broad spectrum, from community managers to brand executives. The more I talk to them, the more it becomes clear to me how critical it is to have a strong understanding of the role technology plays in marketing. It’s not unique to tech sector either. Every company is becoming a tech company and employees within those companies are already working in technology day in and day out. Or put another way by partner at Andreessen Horowitz, Benedict Evans,

When tech is fully adopted it disappears. Software is eating the world, but more than that, tech is outgrowing the tech industry.

We see this happening with brands in their budgets. Gartner found that 67% of marketing departments plan to increase their spending on technology-related activities over the next two years. As someone with a background in communications and marketing, with a newfound skill set in technology, stats like these motivate me to continue my technology education.

Now, after a year at Percolate, I find that not only my understanding of technology has grown, but so has my overall confidence in the workplace. This actually goes against trend, as a recent Udemy survey highlighted in the Harvard Business Review showed that 61% of 1,000 randomly selected Americans feel that there is a skills gap when it comes to their jobs. As I dove into this article to learn more, I noticed that the two skills that most people know they need, but don’t have, fall into technical skills and management skills.

Skills Companies Need but don't have

The article concluded by saying that “New technology — especially information technology — is raising the skill level needed to thrive in the workplace. Schools don’t teach all of these skills and consequently on-the-job learning is very important.” I’ve learned this first-hand at Percolate. There have been times in the past year that have felt like a college seminar where I have studied with a teacher. But there have been other times that have felt like my learning has come from just rolling of my sleeves and doing what needs to get done.

Ultimately, education is an ongoing process. The sign of a great job is when you never stop learning. The more I learn, the more my professional confidence grows. This confidence not only carries over in my day-to-day client work, but it has transcended into my everyday life outside of the office. Whereas previously I may have shied away from offering to help a friend or family member with an issue, be it with an app or a Google Doc, now I find myself jumping at the chance to help. I look at myself now and realize, I’ve become the one who can fix things.

Interested in solving problems and making clients happy? Our Client Solutions team is hiring in New York, London and San Francisco.