I just celebrated my one year work anniversary, or “workiversary”, with The Get Smart Group on June 17, 2020. If I had been told a year ago that I would have gainful employment writing about pools and hot tubs during a pandemic, I would have gawked. There was so much about 2020 that I didn’t see coming, and it’s no surprise I’m not the only one. However, I am so grateful I happened to find this job posting online and applied (almost) on a whim. To celebrate, I’ve decided to highlight my Top Five Things I’ve Learned and Accomplished while working with the Get Smart Group in the at-home recreation and home improvement industries.
Top Five Things I’ve Learned and Accomplished during my First Year at The Get Smart Group.
#1 – I know more about pools and hot tubs than I ever thought I would know.
During my interview, I was told that The Get Smart Group had a “niche market” which was pool and hot tub businesses. Unbeknownst to my new employers, this was something that made me raise my brows. While I’ve swum in swimming pools at family member’s residences, my immediate family has never owned a pool, let alone a hot tub. I didn’t know the first thing about them. How was I going to write about pools and hot tubs?
Luckily, I learned quickly on the job and had plenty of support from my team (and because I asked an endless amount of questions). And while I’m no pool or spa expert, I now know the differences between various hot tub brands and the best time of year to renovate or build a swimming pool in Illinois. Go figure.
#2 – I’m better about getting over writer’s block.
Although I enjoy writing and I’ve gotten quite good at it over the years, it was not my first love. In fact, I was a voracious reader as a child and an aspiring cartoonist. If I wasn’t reading, I was drawing. Writing was not something I explored until I was in high school, and like most beginner writers, I was not very good. At all. Sometimes I find old snippets of pieces I wrote in high school and shudder.
However, as someone who enjoyed reading and drawing, I felt like writing was a vital skill I would need to improve. This is ultimately why I chose to major in it when I went back to college in my mid-twenties; to become a better writer. Why am I saying all this? Since writing didn’t come to me until later as a skill, I suffered from writer’s block extensively. I had no proven method to overcome it.
Working with The Get Smart Group has forced me to challenge writer’s block on a near-daily basis. When our clients need content by a certain deadline, having writer’s block simply isn’t an option anymore. Do I still get writer’s block? Of course, but now I’ve found a way to overcome it. I consider this to be a huge accomplishment for me.
#3 – I’ve learned so much about analyzing the needs of an audience.
As a writer, I’ve heard so much about determining who my audience is, but this wasn’t something drilled into me until I started working at The Get Smart Group. One of the pieces of advice that sticks with me the most is from co-founder Scott Reynolds. During a group call, he said something along the lines of, “It’s more than just trying to sell pools and hot tubs. We’re trying to solve real problems for people. People do want to spend more quality time with their families. People do want a way to relieve stress from work. How do pools and spas help do that?”
It really changed my perspective on who I was writing for. It’s advice that will always stay with me, whether I’m writing professional content or writing the next Great American Novel.
#4 – I took my passion with me where I went.
Speaking of advice, I once heard a great tip from Mike Rowe. I was a huge fan of Dirty Jobs back in the day, and I follow Mr. Rowe on Facebook. One of his biggest causes is encouraging young students to pursue vocational training and careers after high school, as there is a huge skill gap in the workforce and a stigma of wanting to become a tradesman, like a plumber.
As a young adult, whose top passions were reading, writing, and drawing – the furthest skills needed in a vocational trade – I had a fear of not finding gainful employment as a starving artist. Would I have to give up doing what I loved in order to get work? I had always been told to “follow my passion” but that didn’t seem to be a viable option for me.
Mr. Rowe had an amendment to that advice, saying, “Don’t follow your passion, but take it with you where you go.” With The Get Smart Group, I get to use my passion for writing and even my artistic skills to produce marketing content for mom-and-pop pool and spa stores across the U.S. I feel like that’s pretty cool.
#5 – I’ve learned what it’s like to be a valued and respected employee.
I’ve had jobs in the past where I was needed and even had jobs where my work was somewhat appreciated. I’ve also had terrible jobs where my efforts went completely unnoticed. Not that I need a pat on the head or a gold star for doing my job, but you know what? Appreciation for hard work and effort in your job shouldn’t be equated to a child’s reward. I’ve to date never been valued as an employee like I am with The Get Smart Group.
Not only am I supported, encouraged, and challenged to grow every day, but I am also reminded almost daily how my skills are valued and respected here. And I’ve noticed that because I’m appreciated as an employee, I strive to be an even better employee all the time. Since I’ve started working here, I’ve learned to hold my head higher and know my worth. And that alone is priceless.
I love my job as a Digital Marketing Assistant in the pool and hot tub marketing industry. I never imagined that would be my job, but here I am a year later. And I look forward to continuing to work with The Get Smart team to provide marketing solutions for your business. Contact us today for a free marketing consultation!