Wisdom and experience key for the future, not just skills

18 Apr 2017

  • Leadership
  • Digital Marketing

By: Nikola Hopkinson, Content Manager, ADMA

In a technology-led era, where fundamental shifts take place as often as new android phones and iPhones are released, we find ourselves obsessed with all things new and digital.

Everything old is out.

Including, sadly, the older generation of workers.

In industries that are trying to keep up with the fast-paced digital world (which, let’s face it, includes most industries), new digital skills take priority over decades of experience and a world of knowledge.

The Marketing Week Career and Salary Survey 2017 found that the marketing industry is no different. According to the survey, 29% of marketers feel that older people are under or not at all represented in the workplace.

Tom Goodwin, EVP, Head of Innovation at Zenith, also notes the lack of senior staff in the advertising industry.

“As an industry we're obsessed with youth, we're endlessly trying to get ‘upwardly mobile Millennials’.”

Goodwin says that while it’s become normal for agencies to not have any senior staff members, there are key problems arising from this, such as lack of context and wisdom.

“…we as an industry suffer from a lack of wisdom… we abandoned the voice of context. We need to establish what aspects are changing and what aspects are fundamental. We need to understand what is a fad and what is a cultural shift. And what would really help do that would be a wise person of a certain age who understands change.”

Making old new again

Sara Bennison, CMO at Nationwide Building Society, says that businesses need to embrace, utilise and seek out senior staff members in order to grow.

“…there is a huge generational difference between the digital natives and those of us who learnt our craft before. But if we let that become a divide, then we miss the real magic that comes when the two combine.”

However, the onus isn’t only on businesses – older professionals need to realise that the game is constantly changing and they need to keep up, according to Karen Shnek Lippman, Managing Director at Koller Search Partners.

“There is no such thing as a linear career path anymore. The only career goal you should be focusing on right now is staying relevant.”

Lippman says, “There are so many hybrid roles right now that require someone with multiple skillsets. You have to be ready in different function areas than you are used to and embrace it, because it’s the only way to survive.”

If senior professionals can keep up with changes and stay relevant, they will become unique – not only will they have skills for the future but they will also bring wisdom of lessons learned in the past.

Skills and experience - the ultimate package

At ADMA, we want to make sure that the experience and wisdom of senior professionals are valued and utilised well into the future.

So, we’ve developed a package of comprehensive online courses covering digital marketing, technology and content marketing to arm senior professionals with the skills and insight they need to be effective digital leaders.

The Senior Marketer Skills Package is designed to get you up to speed on digital and content marketing and is made up of four short online courses. Available until June 2017, the courses will give you insight into core digital marketing practices and principles as well as marketing automation, content and digital transformation.

Find out more on how to get skills for the future and gain a clear competitive advantage.

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