I Got Mad Skills. Now What Do I Do With Them?

June 21, 2011

Posted by Kate Crockett

Having made it past my 90-day probationary period with Alistair I thought I would lay out where I have come from and where the experience I have brought with me will hopefully take me.

My career has been spent working in marketing & communications roles in a variety of industries. I've worked in restaurants, publishing, radio, construction, and motherhood just to name a few. I have found that each industry and each job has taught me something valuable that I can take with me to my next vocational destination. Here's the main skill from each industry and how I can apply it today at Alistair Tutton Photography.

Industry: Restaurants
Position: Waitress
Skills Learned & How They Apply Today:

  • Humility - I am not above any job that needs to get done. Whether it's making cold calls, scheduling travel, producing invoices, building decks or handling pet-related issues. I don't mind pitching in to see that it all gets done and gets done well.
  • Diplomatic Customer Service - I can smile and try and see a difficult situation from the other person's perspective and work a solution from that vantage point.

Industry: Publishing
Positions: Marketing Director & Some Sort of New Age Social Media Title
Skills Learned & How They Apply Today:

  • Pick Your Battles - Don't waste valuable debating energy and time on an idea or a point that isn't worth the time you are putting into it, instead save that time and energy for the big battles that need it.
  • New Doesn't Mean Necessary - Just because everyone is doing it and the media tells you that something is "hot" doesn't mean it's right for you, your business or your goals. Do what works even if it's not the cool new thing, if it's successful that alone makes it cool.

Industry: Radio
Position: Promotions Director
Skills Learned & How They Apply Today:

  • Flexibility - Changes are inevitable and last minute ones are inescapable. Learning to think on the fly and not be afraid to reach out and ask someone for their help allows you to land on your feet no matter how many times you flip in the air.
  • Courage - Ask for something -whether it's a sale, a donation, a giveaway, whatever - the worst someone will do is say no, and 9 times out of 10 they will even do that nicely and apologize to you that they can't help.

Industry: Construction
Position: General Manager & Marketing Director
Skills Learned & How They Apply Today:

  • This is Business & You Get What You Pay For - It's ok to let a job go. If it's not right and the amount someone is willing to pay is only going to hurt the end result leaving neither you nor the client happy, it's ok to walk away. Business is business and if it were charity we'd call it that. If you don't set parameters or limits no one knows your expectations so no one will ever meet them - leaving everyone disappointed.

Industry: Motherhood
Position: The list is too long for this space
Skills Learned & How They Apply Today:

  • They are numerous but the most important one, juggling - Through motherhood I have learned to do numerous things at once. Listening all the while to make sure I get the information I need to deliver on what's expected. I also learned I have to write stuff down…because having children kills more brain cells than drugs.

These are just a few of the skills I have learned over the years that I plan to use to help me be successful here.


Kate Crockett is a veteran member of the Kansas City advertising and marketing scene, a long time member of AAF-KC and the studio manager/jill-of-all-trades at Alistair Tutton Photography.

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