Not so long ago, I was an advertising copywriter. If someone asked me what I did, I could just flip my title “I write copy… for advertising”. This role let me focus on nothing but the craft. And while it came with its own set of challenges – like the dreaded blank page – I never had to worry about budgets (aside scaling down ideas), timings (apart from my own) or processes (except the creative ones).
Fast forward to today and I’m now an innovation executive – which is not as easy to define. I’m not simply executing innovation (whatever that means), I’m playing a huge range of roles every single day. I could be babysitting a humanoid robot one minute and refining the UX of an app the next. I’m a creative, UXer, project manager, assistant and content manager all wrapped into one – and there are 6 more just like me in the lab.
Going from single discipline to a multi-faceted role has forced me to adapt really quickly.
Instead of working autonomously, I’m working transparently – this means taking the team along the journey every messy step of the way.
I’ve also had to quickly school myself on the latest tech buzzwords (AR, VR, AI, IoT, bots, quantum computing, holograms and drones are pretty standard topics of conversation these days). It also means my multitasking has had to extend beyond scrolling through my phone while watching Survivor (addictive show, BTW). And finally, it means I’ve had to break through my comfort zones and accept that making mistakes is part of the process.
Transitioning to a jack of all trades has been a steep learning curve, but would I change it? Not on your life.