Four of the hottest “triple-deep” skill sets to advance your personal brand


Personal brands can no longer be one-dimensional in the digital enterprise marketplace. The term “generalist” aims to create the illusion that a candidate is multi-dimensional, and yet it actually says, “I’m willing to try anything to get a job.”

The marketplace is becoming more and more specialized, and even people with self-perceived specialist skills are being made irrelevant by those with even deeper vertical skills in certain industry segments.

To advance one’s personal brand within the enterprise, it takes an understanding of the hottest skill sets, preferably sets combining at least three areas of expertise. These triple-deep skills require a new kind of integrated fluency across the individual skill areas that essentially becomes a language of its own.

For example, I tell my personal branding students that simply taking a biology course and a physics course does not make one a double-deep bio-physicist. Nor does taking a social media course, a marketing course and a technology course make one a triple-deep “social marketing technologist.” Instead, triple-deep skills are tightly woven into new talents and the “languages” that exist within specialized fields.

Let’s take a look at four triple-deep skill opportunities that pop up in the industries I’ve been working with:

  1. Social/unstructured content analytics

The amount of data exhaust coming from unstructured digital conversations and transcripts has increased in orders of magnitude, and so has the insight that can be extracted from these sources. Needless to say, social media monitoring has become mainstream not only for sentiment analysis, but also as a key component of a predictable supply chain.

We used to tell tech professionals they must have SMAC — skills related to social, mobile, analytics and cloud. Today there is no shortage of self-proclaimed social media experts and an equally growing pool of data scientists. But the skill of the future is the integration of the areas of social media, content architecture and data analytics to make sense and reliable business decisions from unstructured content and conversations.

  1. AI for interoperable connected devices

As disparate wearable and standalone devices/monitors increasingly communicate with each other, interoperability will be the key to reliable data feeds on the edge and in the data center. In addition to having a common API or FHIR protocol between the devices, the ability to gather intelligent insight at the point of care or data extraction will be a key factor in areas such as clinical decision support.

Professionals with unique triple-deep skills that leverage the nexus of AI, interoperability and devices in a global IoT environment will have a jump on their single- and double-deep competitors around the world.

  1. Voice-enabled artificial emotional intelligence

Alexa will continue to develop multiple personalities. The days of simply being able to retrieve playlists, weather reports and sports scores will evolve. Increasingly, we will see robots that have the ability to go beyond menial tasks at home, office or factory. We are already seeing pediatric robots that have the ability to speak with children and sense their happiness, anger, pain or frustration and respond to those emotional needs.

This technology requires skills at the intersection of artificial and emotional intelligence using machines and devices that recreate human interactions beyond binary “get me” commands like “Turn off the lights,” and extend to unprompted dialogue like “Sorry you’re feeling sad or ill.”

  1. Cybersecurity breach communicator

I’ve written in the past about an eye-opening experience at a simulation center that reinforced the fact that cybersecurity is only in part a technology issue. We all hear about developing a security culture and zero-trust security strategies. My cybersecurity breach simulation experience taught me that the most important parts of security protocol may well be communications and messaging — being able to communicate the impact of a breach to customers, investors, government officials and internal stakeholders.

This increasingly important role can evolve from a communications professional who wishes to apply the skill to cybersecurity or from a cybersecurity professional who wants to develop skills in internal and external communications. Regardless, any company who has seen its stock price tank following a breach will realize that the communications architecture — from receptionist to technical suite to Wall Street — will no longer look at these new roles as niche.

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