Growth is highly encouraged at our company. Our CEO offers us a yearly professional development budget to use for courses, seminars, etc. to expand our skills. One of our company values, Willingness (do your best, never stop learning) is one that we embody each day to continue improving ourselves. One important way we promotes growth is by encouraging data specialists to switch category ownership.
When I first started I worked on Smart Wrist Wearables and Home Entertainment Devices. As I craved a heavier workload, I launched the Wireless Routers category in fall 2018 which gave me the opportunity to build out my first category. As I worked that category into my routine I needed just a little more, so I offered to build another category (which ended up being one of our largest) and launched Headphones in Spring 2019.
Building two categories and overall owning six individual categories taught me the skill set of time management, attention to detail, and category nuances. I learned so much about products that I really had no clue about. For example, I knew nothing about wireless routers until I started researching the category and looking up spec definitions. I learned so much I even wrote a whole blog about it for beginners. Working with these individual categories opened up my eyes to the consumer electronics world and shaped me into the smart consumer that I am today.
New Category, Who Dis?
Beginning of this year I was transitioned to the Home Appliance team. For those of you that don’t work at gap, you’re probably thinking it’s an easy switch. However, it’s a completely different world.
There are nuances within home appliances that I had to learn because it never affected any of my consumer electronics categories. Nuances from ad collection, retail collection, and even different posting times were all an adjustment I had to get used to. This only strengthened my time management skills and allowed me to open up more bandwidth in my workflow. The new categories I own now are Air Purifiers, Hair Dryers, and Vacuums (a whole new realm of products).
What I learned during this transition is how much I can improve my skills by learning different Excel formulas, more exposure to clients, and manage a new weekly workflow. As I delved into my data work, I noticed some nuances within their files, specifically formulas, that they implemented that I didn’t use previously. This aligned perfectly since I had just recently finished an Excel course that helped prepare me for using these types formulas. Not only did this help me improve my data skills, but I was able to build off that by continuing to make files more efficient to use. I am also now getting more client exposure which is helping me sharpen my skill set.
It’s been perfect timing that I inherited two cleaning categories that would be pertinent during this pandemic. I immediately noticed heavier ad promotions and out of stock products during this time for vacuums and air purifiers, and was so interested in seeing the ads switch from outdoor marketing to staying indoors and cleaning. Consumer reports also wrote an article about what you need to know on Air Purifiers and Coronavirus – which I highly recommend if you’re thinking about purchasing one as we shelter in place.
I am looking forward to many new opportunities as I work on home appliances. New category launches are what I am most excited about. The sky’s the limit. I can’t wait to see where the home appliance hub takes me and what growth it will continue to bring to our company.
Do you have what it take to be a gapper? We’re hiring. Head to our culture section to learn more about open positions. We’re conducting phone interviews as we work towards flattening the curve. Stay safe and healthy. We’re all in this together.