I checked my LinkedIn profile rarely. I know it's a treasure trove for networking, but I have managed to get by building communities and getting more people to use technology through offline means (since the purpose of what I do is to get more people to use technology). I also rarely read email notifications from social media sites, but one email caught my eye. It was from an educator/musician from Sydney and he was asking for advise on how to improve his career. He also mentioned that it would really be an achievement if he'd be able to join the company I'm working for.
Organizing and Being Focused. I learned this from my Mom. When I was about four years old my parents and our neighbors worked on building a new and bigger Parish church. They had most of their meetings at our house and being the baby of the neighborhood I always sat with them. My Mom always thinks ahead and lists down everything that needs to be down. I learned the 5Ps from her -- proper planning prevents poor performance.
Sales and Distribution. My first corporate job was at a telco and our team was tasked to break in new products in our sales channels. I learned to pitch, close sales and maintain relationships with frontliners to purchasing to executives. I'm not very good at selling and getting a no from a client always breaks my heart, but it helped me have better interpersonal skills and presentation skills. From this job I learned also how to strategize breaking in new products.
Production and Being Entrepreneurial. When I left the telco I worked on completing my MBA. My parents then decided to start a business on manufacturing stone crafted furniture. I had to learn to do costing, purchasing, production, managing workers, banking and finance etc. It was very hard to be an entrepreneur and at that time the export market was very hard to crack. I learned a lot about production processes since we were in manufacturing. The key skills I got from this stint was costing, budgeting and creating forecasts.
Marketing. Aside from production work, I was in-charge as well of marketing our items. This was back in early 2000s so digital marketing was just starting back then. Aside from offline brochures, I learned how to create a website and I explored the many online directories. It's so effective that we still get calls until today even if we closed shop more than a decade ago already. During this time I realized that I had a huge interested in the online world and I wanted to become a product manager.
Advertising, Research. and Trainings. I was eventually moved to the main company backing up the startup. Since the setup was more corporate I had the chance to pick up more skills. I jumped on the chance to be mentored by Dr. Ned Roberto for Research and I did not shy away from other marketing work that would be assigned to me. I had the chance to work on ads (TV, radio and newspaper). Since I was managing our online and mobile product I had to conduct a lot of trainings across the country. I learned a lot during this time but I unfortunately had a tyrant boss so I decided to leave.
So that's what I told him (this is an expanded version though). In the 2 decades I've been working this is has been my mantra:
1. Pick up as many skills along the way.
2. Never shy away from an opportunity to learn.
3. Be open and flexible.