By Guy LeCharles Gonzalez, Chief Executive Optimist, Digital Book World
Q: What do you think would be the best response for companies like yours to address the changes in your functional area?
A: 50% say their company needs to help employees learn new skills.
The last job I had that offered notable training of any kind was when I joined the Army and learned how to change the oil and tires on a HMMWV and take apart an M16.
That was back in 1991.
It’s unfortunate, but in 2010, few companies offer much in the way of continuing education; even tuition reimbursement has become a luxury benefit, and it’s often wrapped in so much red tape that few take advantage of it. And yet, for all the talk of the Internet’s disintermediation of the publishing industry and the effects of the digital transition, I was surprised to see half of BISG’s survey respondents looking to their companies to help them learn new skills.
Just as authors are encouraged to learn about the new opportunities available to them, and to be proactive about marketing themselves while looking to publishers to augment their efforts, everyone in the publishing industry should be doing the same thing.
Publishers aren’t the only ones who need to “fail better, faster, cheaper;” their staffs need to have the same mentality, too. If you’re waiting for your employer to provide the training you need to advance, you’re going to lose your job to someone more ambitious.
The future of publishing will belong to those uncomfortable with the status quo; those willing take risks, to push their job descriptions to their limits, and to push their employers to their limits. Or find a better employer.
Today, in 2010, there are no excuses for not educating yourself and staying ahead of the curve.
Now get to work.
Guy LeCharles Gonzalez is the Director of Programming & Business Development for Digital Book World, and a published poet, writer, and active blogger since 2003. An old and new media pragmatist, social media realist, and marketing strategist, he views publishing as a community service, and is optimistic about its future.