Is It Ready Already? Dealing With Twenty-First-Century Rhythm
According to careerexplorer.com, “Marketing Managers rank amongst the least happy careers” due to “the stress of the typical work…
According to careerexplorer.com, “Marketing Managers rank amongst the least happy careers” due to “the stress of the typical work environment, and the ongoing pressure to meet deadlines commonly associated with the role”. As a Marketing Manager myself, reading this was a bummer; and it also made sense.
Turns out, careerexplorer.com made a valid point. As I was reviewing my day-to-day in my head, I discovered a pattern. An element present in every scenario I am part of. A question that most times makes me want to log out of Microsoft Teams and shout at the world. That question is: “Is it ready already?”
The Tense Reply
Because I started on a negative note, I feel the need to clarify that I like my job. It wasn’t an immediate fondness, but I learned to enjoy it. On another note, that daily-received question makes me roll my eyes, take a deep breath and take it out on the keyboard while answering.
“No. But I’m working on it”, I’ll reply smashing the computer keys while biting my tongue.
I’m aware that we all wear different hats and deal with different pressures. In my marketing position, I deal with things such as website management, reviewing press content, keeping track of analytics, and more. I also deal with the preconceived idea that everything has to be instantaneous. Let’s push prioritization off the boat. “We made that landing page public an hour ago, how’s it working?”
The Instantaneous Society
The necessity of instant results in today’s society is so ingrained that we take immediacy as unquestionable. “I needed it yesterday,” joked the general manager a couple of times. The real downside is that he’s usually not joking. He really expects all of us to have things ready almost instantly.
A couple of months ago, this situation made me think I was not good enough for the position I am holding. Every “Is it ready already?” led me one step closer to surrender. I had my speech prepared. They clearly needed someone who could work faster; someone who could juggle multiple important tasks and complete them successfully. That person, I thought, wasn’t me.
Then, after a lot of heart-racing frustrations in the search for improvement, I was struck with an epiphany: This question would follow me wherever I go. I would be saying “No. But I’m working on it” to another manager, at another company, about other tasks. Because everyone in the twenty-first century wants immediate results.
In the age of Google, where we can find the answer to almost anything with a few taps, it’s difficult for people to understand why things take time. Receiving immediate answers to every question that crosses our minds is one of the big gains of this century. It is also a big downside. We don’t know how to wait as we expect everything to be delivered instantly. Time is not considered when asking for a result. In our heads, most things are done as fast as the click of a button. As there is no time to pre-meditate answers; most of them are made of involuntary responses which we do not think through. We end up trapped on the surface level with no deep insights.
Work For You — Not Against You
The world is running at a rate similar to playing a record x1.5 faster. Because of this, the solution to avoid the question at hand would be to completely isolate ourselves from society.
I’ve come to realize that, given the actual scenario, the answer “No, but I’m working on it” is the best one I can give. Doing the work and knowing the conditions in which we find ourselves, is the best way to face that inquiry. It took understanding the mechanics of today’s society to be satisfied with my response.
Perhaps this is a key understanding that marketing managers must have in order to improve the level of happiness in their careers. I know “I’m working on it”