If you’re the type of person that works best when your responsibilities feel more “jack-of-all-trades” than specialized, getting your hands dirty across departments and functions, here are some great career paths for you:
People who work in operations are the link between various departments in a company, as well as between the company and its clients and customers. An operations manager ensures that an organization is running at full speed, improving internal organization and communication with external partners.
Their work environment is dynamic and fast-paced, rarely working on the same project every day and moving quickly between different job functions. In a typical day, an Operations professional could be managing all aspects of a company’s scheduling, production, purchases, finance, company’s freelance workforce, generating recurring revenue to hit a quota, assisting the marketing department with branding and advertising, and various other functions.
As a part of the Operations team at a company, you’ll be seen as a vital team support, doing the valuable and necessary everyday functions that enable other departments in the company to succeed. You’ll be driving efficiency, reducing costs, improving customer experience, and taking ownership of the key metrics that drive a company’s performance.
Technical Project Management
Technical project managers combine their skills as software developers with their skills as people-managers, leaders, and organizational masterminds. If you’re a software developer and want to expand your responsibilities beyond writing code and pushing pixels, project management is the perfect place to look.
You’ll be responsible for planning the completion of a set of requirements or specifications. You’ll work with a small team, who you're responsible for and accountable to, and drive the tools and processes that team uses to achieve their goal. You’re an efficiency, productivity, and crisis manager at a small team scale.
Project management allows you to take control and drive the metrics and methods others use every day, so it requires healthy communication skills and a results-driven mindset. From a technical project manager job description: “The successful candidate will work closely with users, development staff, product design team, quality assurance (QA), business managers, and Digital Product’s leadership team.”
Event planners have to wrangle with a hundred different tasks in the conception and execution of any given event. From scheduling to finding a venue to sending invitations to accommodations to third party vendors to fundraising to marketing to press coverage… the list goes on and on. And great event planners thrive on this long list of tasks. They’re highly organized, comfortable working in any situation, execute quickly, and can switch gears at a moment’s notice. A great event planner always knows what everyone else is doing, what needs to get done, and what they need to do next.
If you were involved in planning events in college or just love the thrill of executing an event from start to finish, consider a job in event planning. It’ll allow you to own an entire process from beginning to end, involve yourself in all aspects of the event’s operations, and measure your performance based on the event’s success.
Startup Office Management
Startups have taken the office management job description and flipped it on its head in recent years. Previously, office managers simply functioned as schedulers, handling the day to day operations of the office, answering the phone, and setting up meetings. While at a startup those responsibilities still exist, the role has taken on entirely new tasks that might take traditional office managers a bit out of their comfort zone.
As an office manager at a startup, you’ll act as one of the faces to your company. You’ll act as connector between departments, you’ll take on recruitment and human resources responsibilities, you’ll help to onboard new hires and familiarize them with the office and culture, run office and social events - the possibilities are endless. Every day, you’re finding ways to help current employees love their office and making new employees crave the opportunity to work with the team.
Digital marketers in today’s tech and metrics driven age are required to do a lot more than just come up with and execute clever marketing ideas. This breed of technical digital marketers are being dubbed “growth hackers” for their ability to combine technical skills with marketing prowess. They’re design-focused, research-driven, and passionate about user experience. They also understand how to track and measure their marketing campaigns across several analytics tools, and are capable of testing and adapting ideas, rapidly iterating on high return on investment initiatives.
On any given day as a digital marketer, you could work on A/B testing ad designs and marketing materials, brainstorming and implementing new growth tactics, running email and advertising campaigns, and optimising marketing strategy to reduce cost and increase conversion. It’s a great role for marketers who want to gain or use their tech savvy to grow a company and promote a product.
Account managers work directly with a company’s clients to help them successfully use that company’s products. From providing technical support to brainstorming and testing campaigns to educating on use cases, account managers take control of the relationship and become the point person for client success.
As an account manager, you’ll satisfy clients with the aim of retaining their contracts, upselling them on further product and service offerings, and interact directly with a varied group of decision-makers at your customer organizations. If you’re the type of person that can prioritize tasks and clients effectively, is a great communicator, and has patience with others, account management is a great career option for you.