Which Hat Do You Want to Wear Today?

We’ve all been there. For me, it was my first job after college as a newspaper reporter. After writing seven stories for the week, I was instructed that it was now time to lay out the paper. ‘Lay out the paper?,’ I panicked. ‘Shouldn’t an art team do that?’ After all, while I may certainly be a whiz at Word and NewsPro, I quite candidly do not know the difference between leading and kerning and justification and hypthenation.

But the reality is, with strapped purse strings and limited resources, companies all over are asking their employees to wear many hats—and oftentimes ones that aren’t the correct size or fit. We are seeing artists become their own publicists, communications specialists making room for Excel as they double as project managers, and CEOs writing their own blogs because they don’t have the resources for copy editors. We all find ourselves asking, “How am I remotely qualified to do this task in addition to my actual job?” But somehow we do. After all, if we can’t play musical wardrobe, there is someone else who will.

Perhaps no profession wears more hats, however, than a social media manager or strategist. While arguably, all their hats are the same brand—related to communications—they are still tasked with assuming several different roles.

While a social media manager’s chief responsibility is to share your organization’s messages through various networking channels, this is only a small piece of the picture. A community manager assumes a multitude of personas – from customer service representative to corporate cheerleader to business pacifier to company translator. A recent infographic from Social Fresh does an incredible job depicting the nuances of this role. Click the picture to view the entire infographic.

blog infographic

Most notably, a community manager has to be in charge of managing the brand’s reputation, which involves responding to both negative and positive posts expediently, addressing questions and concerns posed on social media, and fostering a sense of community on these various networking channels.

In today’s economy, the individual who can assume multiple roles is often the one who gets the job, the one who gets the promotion and the one who earns esteem. We are no longer in a siloed work place where you can stick to the confines of your job description. And of course, your boss never wants to hear, “That’s not part of my job.”

So embrace the new fashion era of multiple hats, find two or three that suit you well and master the art of something new.