A Job Should Also Be an Education



This spring will mark the two-year anniversary of my tenure as the director of marketing for the International House of Prayer. And this post is my way of affirming that I think it’s okay to write about things in which I am not a thought leader.

It has been two years since I worked as a full-time designer. Which means I’ve had two years of board meetings instead of creative meetings; two years of creating reports instead of mock-ups; and two years of hiring, budgeting, and business planning.

And it has been a great two years. And, it has been a horrible two years.

I adore my job. It gives me plenty of opportunity to work hard with lots of fantastic, clever, and fun people. Every day presents a new challenge which I’m usually up for. I love my responsibilities because I think I’m good at them. And I even love the hurdles and frustrations I face regularly because, thanks to them, I seem to be learning something new all the time.

This morning, I woke up thinking that if something is worth doing it’s worth doing poorly. Which at first seems to be completely opposite of what we always hear: “If something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” But I think both are true and should actually be considered together. That anything you do you should do the best you can, but even if you don’t have it perfected before you start, for goodness sake, man, still start.

My uncertainties, struggles, and discoveries as the director of a marketing and creative team are something I’d very much like to talk about more here on shawnblanc.net, but I honestly don’t know where to begin.

I started to briefly in “Marketing Shoes” and in my responses to Cameron Moll’s questions on leading an in-house design team. And posting my 1:1 form was another attempt at it.

But talking about management, leadership, marketing strategy, and creative solutions from a corporate-feeling, non-profit organization’s standpoint is something I don’t feel very smart in. (And I generally prefer to only talk about things which I feel very smart in.)

The truth is I am learning every single day — as if I’m living on the cusp of where my education meets my responsibilities, and each day I just barely learn what I need for that day’s work. And I’m not learning as much about typography, layout design, or Photoshop as much as I am about how to give a short and sweet PowerPoint presentation, or how to keep my staff in the creative zone, or how to get board-level approval on a new homepage design.

And so there are times when I hope to write about more than just design or software or other nerdy things. Such as marketing, leading, managing, and creative solutions that don’t involve Adobe Creative Suite. I hope it not only helps me learn more, but that it also gives you permission to write about the things you’re not an expert in, either.