How To Climb Out Of The Skills Gap You Are In

Posted by Mathilde Zamour

Recently graduated? Woop woop! Now that the party is over, you start thinking about your options and this vibe around the startup ecosystem is getting a hold of you. Pumped by innovations, digital marketing, and working in sneakers?

Bored by the thought of a corporate job?


Welcome to the other zillion of us! Now, the bad news: there’s a high chance that just like I was (and the other zillion), you are falling head first  in what is called the “digital skills gap”.


“UI” = …? … Universal Instagram?


You probably scan through skills requirements of Marketing/ Biz Dev jobs positions and come across terms such as “lead generation”, “experiment design”, “web scraping”, “UX”, “customer centricity”, “conversion rate optimization” (...........)  and have no clue what is going on?

Sit back, and read on.


The Cold (Data-Proven) Truth


Whether you are freshly graduated, or an entrepreneur with a kick-ass startup/scale-up looking for talent: most universities do NOT teach the skills you NEED.

If you need to data-proof this statement (trust me, from now on, you should always do), Capgemini, Diginomica, and LinkedIn recently published an insightful study stating that 54% of the organizations surveyed were suffering from loss of competitive advantage due to lack of digital talent. But that’s not it.

The study also uncovers the fact that “close to 50% of the organizations we studied conceded they have not taken digital talent seriously”.

Long story short: the outcome of the study, suggests that most companies are aware of this gap’s impact, but that the majority of them are not proactively taking action to bridge it…


digital skills gap

See where this is going?


Still not?


Let me put that in perspective for you 


Last year, after graduating with a BBA in International Business that led me to live in three countries, meet extraordinary people and get rid off my French accent, I came to realize the lack of relevant digital skills I was facing.

So, what did I do?

I battled to get hired at a startup I felt compelled to work for, anxious from my lack of hands-on experience with digital and technical skills. I succeeded and started off as a trainee, impatient to learn by doing and be guided in the process.

Time to upskill from my dusty Marketing models.

beyond scared straight reality tv GIF-downsized_large

I very quickly realised that in such a fast-paced environment, you have to take your personal development into your own hands, and no actual “trainee” processes were in place.

So I started to teach myself through online courses like Coursera and Google Academy. Although essentials, I felt this wasn’t going to cut it to get at the level I wanted.

I needed coaching, had many questions on how to best implement the stuff I was learning, and most importantly, I lacked the mindset and a data-driven method.

I asked for support from my company to join a high-intensity training in parallel to my job which would lead me to invest all my newly acquired skills to the benefit of the company.                                                                                                   

If I lacked skills, so did they, I thought.

That did not work out.

As a result, I found myself a living example of LinkedIn’s study:

  • As a trainee in need to upskill, my company was aware that I was lacking the digital/technical knowledge to reach the results I was aiming for;
  • No concrete action was taken to invest in the company’s own interest regarding this skills gap.

So I left. And decided I had to invest in myself.


Growth Tribe Academy - 3 months


This is when I came across Growth Tribe Academy, providing courses on Growth Marketing, Artificial Intelligence for business, and digital skills training.

The Future Of Work”. Now, we’re talking.

During 3 months, and alongside 11 high potentials, I am learning the digital skills of the future in a real-life project within a startup.

To sum up, I GROW my skills, guided by individual coaching sessions and top-notch workshops, and the participating startups receive a trainee with the guarantee they are being trained on the skills they need to GROW!

Wait, is that what you call a no-brainer?

rock climbing GIF-downsized_large


The Climbing Gear 


The Growth Tribe Academy turned my entire “traineeship” experience 180 degrees.

I am now able to generate more ideas that my brain can handle, execute them, and days do not have enough hours.

My team and I are running multiple experiments on a weekly basis, using the latest tools to optimise the company’s growth and gather actionable findings. We work in “sprints”. No strolling allowed.

For a sneak peek in my magic toolbox, here are some of my favourite so far: UsabilityHub, SEMRush, Instapage, Mix Panel, Active Campaign,, and Zapier.


3 things you can do TODAY to bridge the gap


Finally, if the digital skills gap keeps you awake at night, here are four things you can do as of right now:

  1. Invest in your team’s skills. Startup founder? Team leader? This might just be your highest ROI this year.
  2. Upskill yourself and get climbing: take your education into your own hands. You would not believe the amount of resources out there that can get you the next level. Start by following courses online related to the skills you would like to learn.
    Google Academy, Facebook Blueprint & LinkedIn Learning have some pretty relevant courses online (for free). No excuses. When it comes to Web Design/ Development, Treehouse has online programmes too.
  3.  Read. Read. Read. Again, read. Here is a nice list of books to start with. 
  4. Be curious. Follow influencers (only the smart ones) in the sphere of entrepreneurship and feed on their successes and failures (Eric Ries, Andrew Chen, Noah Kagan, Gary Vaynerchuk…)Connect with people you would like to learn from! Spend time growing your network and drink countless coffees with whoever will accept to discuss with you. You would be surprised by how many people will be happy to share their experience simply because they’ve been there before. Reach out, do not be shy.


P.Ssss: Growth Tribe just opened applications for their Growth & Artificial Intelligence Traineeship. If you could identify with my story at any point, this could be your next move! Check it out 

This article was written by Mathilde Zamour during the Growth Tribe Academy. Mathilde has been participating in the academy since Feb 2018 and will soon be looking for her next opportunity as a Growth Marketer. 

Check her out on LinkedIn. 

Written by Mathilde Zamour