Saturday, August 02, 2014


The Devil indeed is in the details, and when we choose to ignore him, everything goes to Hell.

Recently I received an email from an Internet company, looking to reach out to the class of 2014, and to discuss what I feel is the key to a successful career. Here in part is his request from his email.

My name is Bob and I'm the Community Manager at Webucator, an online learning company. I wanted to see if you would like to write an article to post on your blog about what you consider to be a valuable, marketable skill as part of our "Most Marketable Skill" Campaign in honor of the class of 2014. The job market is a scary place, hopefully this campaign will help it seem less daunting to this year's graduating class!

What is it that you think is essential for success? We want to read about the skill that you personally feel is the most important, how you acquired or plan to acquire the skill, and why it's so indispensable for people going into the workforce.”

At first I was a little hesitant and then started to ask questions enough to put at ease any suspicions I might have about Bob. So on to Bob’s question, what is the valuable marketable skill needed to achieve success in any field., and how did I acquire it? But more importantly, why is Bob so scared of the marketplace?

What I think the answer to Bob's question does not need to be marked as a skill. It all boils down to the management of details. Without a close eye on what you do, with your imprimatur, it will reflect on you and you alone. No one by any means is perfect, and we all make mistakes, even the most mundane of things, even Bob does, however with the finish product, something you will show to your superiors must be right. It means you have to take ownership both by actions and words, by the fact that you are dependable, trustworthy and able to successfully complete a task, like Bob got me to do.

One of the most annoying things a supervisor has to deal with is telling someone under him to go back to the drawing board and fix something. If the individual responsible had taken the time to check and double check, what he does becomes seamless and fluid, going through the process only once.

Details are the many facets of success. Being on time is a detail, research is a detail, checking for any math or wording are all details that need to be considered. If your mind is elsewhere and your heart is not in what you are doing, you are lacking passion, and therefore not interested in the details. Your work suffers!

When I started out I promised myself that the one thing I would always do is try my best to learn from everyone. That came in the guise of the details that go into planning what I would do after we all had laid out the grand plan. I was an advertising person, dealing with art and copy, making the customers message understood and executing the plan my agency laid out so people would respond to the message meant I needed to research and understand what I must do before I began. Seeing how others prepared and dealt with details was part of the learning process. This affects my agencies bottom line since it affects the client’s bottom line consequently.

Having completed the task was only part of the mission, my mission, since I needed to know that what I did was correct, that no assumptions were made but that I worked with the facts.

Are there any rewards? There are many, recognition for work well done, given more important tasks, taking control of a larger piece of the companies vision and of course the money.

Attention to detail comes not from genes, nor from a textbook we read and study in college or high school. It comes from the passion you bring to your work, the willingness to cooperate with others, the need to every once in a while think outside the parameters, but also know when to stay inside the box. You see, when you pay attention to the little stuff as well as the bigger things, success is there, life is so much sweeter, and everyone wins, even Bob.

One other thing- we are all in it for the money to some extent. If money is your only goal, don’t stay where you are: find something else to do, because more than money, loving what you do should be the criterion on which to measure. It is not the end of the day that makes you happy, but the promise of tomorrow coming, when that happens, you know you love what you do. Just ask Bob.



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