Zack Hargrove

@zackhargrovejr

Beware of the New Kind of Procrastination

We are living in a very interesting era where everything changes in a blink of an eye. If you want to keep your job and be high in demand among recruiters and headhunters, you have to learn more and more things every day. But do you, though? Trying to keep up with the latest news and discoveries in many subject areas can lead to stress, productivity decrease, and low self-esteem. The more time you spend on getting new knowledge, the less time is left for you to actually do something. Is this race for getting new knowledge worth the efforts? Or is it just one more kind of procrastination?

Avoiding the state of fear

The beauty of the digital era is that the information spreads with the speed of light. Once a marketer somewhere in Singapore came up with a new advertising approach that showed good results and wrote a post about it, millions of people will read it. It means that in some time it can turn into an effective international practice. If you fail to explain its concept or give an example of its implementation in real life during a job interview, you won’t make a good impression.

This fear of missing out and losing some vital information that can help you become a better professional can become a big issue. It may turn into an obsession that takes most of your time. All of the jobs that in one way or another use the power of the digital world seem to require us to listen to fresh podcasts, watch educational videos, sign up for a series of online courses. If you want to succeed you have to be informed.

Finding a specific niche

I see how fast the requirements for a job in marketing change. A few years ago it was enough to have some practical experience and know the essential concepts of advertising to get to the next stage of an interview. Now, a marketer has to know some basics of UX design, SMM skills, content writing techniques, etc. The list can go on and on. The problem with this approach is that it does not let you focus on one particular field and improve your professional skills. A talented applicant should become some sort of a juggler with a universal knowledge.

It may seem that this is what the future technologies require from us. Taking a universal approach when everybody knows a little bit of everything looks like a good idea until you start analyzing it. It is easier to convince yourself that you lack knowledge and need more time for learning than actually start working. The downside of trying to learn as much as you can is that you don’t have enough time to test it in real life. You can add a long list of your learning accomplishments to your CV but there will be no specific projects you can be proud of.

Results above all

This is what I can see happening now to me and my friends. I hope we all will be able to find a specific niche to show off our talents. The story of a person always trying to learn something new sounds great until you start being that person. The new digital era requires results. Procrastination, as you may very well know, results in nothing.

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