“Are You Uncomfortable?”
That’s the title of a recent blog post from Leadership Now, which explores the correlation between personal growth and success in life with the amount of discomfort an individual is willing to endure. Typically, comfort is a good thing. Often times, though, being comfortable is synonymous with lacking the motivation to think outside the box and do things differently.
When I think of success, my father immediately comes to mind. He’s worked as a flavor chemist for the same company his entire life—more than 36 years. Like most that have tenure in their profession, he’s certainly experienced a myriad of challenges: relocation of company headquarters, new bosses and no shortage of client complaints. I recently asked him how his career got started:
“I didn’t take the ‘sexy’ route. When everyone wanted to be a flavorist, I chose natural products. I didn’t know as much in that space, but that’s where help was needed, and I was able to carve out a niche and become an expert.”
Looking at the PR industry, some might argue that there’s been discomfort, if not unfamiliarity, with the rise of content marketing. “Traditional” PR is becoming a thing of the past, as the days of developing pitches, reaching out to reporters, scheduling interviews and securing media coverage are table stakes.
As communicators, we know that the practice of content marketing isn’t new, yet so many of us are afraid to truly embrace it. A new study of marketing professionals from SkilledUp, a website focusing on online educational resources, took a deeper dive into content marketing and found that 34 percent of respondents have a difficult time finding job candidates with content marketing skills.
Clients are craving new ideas and strategies, and content marketing lies at the core. According to the same survey, 94 percent say it’s critical that content marketing become part of a company’s business strategy and 40 percent of the respondents’ companies reported increased spending on their content marketing in 2014.
The key to growth in 2015 for integrated marketing and communication firms and the individuals that comprise them will continue to be stepping out of traditional comfort zones. That may be embracing content marketing or it may be learning and becoming skilled in an area that’s not “sexy.” But as the Leadership Now blog post states: “We can put ourselves into an uncomfortable position or, in time, it will be thrust upon us—and not on our terms.”
In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt: “Do one thing every day that scares you.” It’s certain to make you a more successful professional.
What in your profession makes you feel “uncomfortable?” How are you embracing it?
Photo credit: Shawan Zain, Flickr.
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