Artisan Blog

Job Searching: Research and Development Part 2

Laura Pell - Wednesday, July 01, 2015

In the second of our two-part series, Artisan Creative's President Katty Douraghy talks about how to develop your brand in order to have a successful job search.

The Development phase of the R&D process includes developing your brand. 

Start with Social Media. 
•Employers do check it out. 
•Learn how to control your privacy settings, so keep your private information private!
•Depending on your industry, set up your appropriate social channels, join groups or start adding relevant content.

LinkedIn is a powerful tool
•Update your profile and work history
•Join industry groups
•Expand your network and connections
•Get recommendations
•Participate in discussion boards, posts, or blogs to highlight your subject matter expertise

Develop Your Portfolio
•If you are in the creative space, update your portfolio with recent, relevant samples.
•Organize your samples by focus whether it’s digital, print, broadcast, or mobile.
•Detail your involvement (whether it’s concepting, executing, production) and remove the guesswork for Hiring Managers.
•Be specific if it was produced work, or comps or a class project
•If you don’t have web skills to create your own custom portfolio, then use the several online portfolio tools that are available. 
•The key is to be current, relevant and organized in the flow of presentation of your work.

Next, Develop your resume.
•Write, edit and proof it.  Did I mention to please proof your resume?  ◦A typo can quickly derail everything!

•Besides using spell check, Read YOUR RESUME OUT LOUD and enunciate words to catch errors! 
•Have someone else read your resume with a fresh set of eyes. 
•Remove the guesswork from your resume. ◦Be specific with your work dates. Clearly state the months and years. 
◦Indicate contract or freelance assignments, otherwise it can be viewed as job hopping.
◦Highlight your relevant work history
◦Use keywords, specific job titles, software programs, and certifications. Many online job application portals search and scan for keywords.
◦Use brief, concise bullets or phrases
◦Education: List graduation dates and completed degrees.  

Next, practice your interviewing skills, especially if it’s been awhile

-          Practice in front of the mirror

-          Practice with a friend

-          Do an interview prep with your recruiter

-          Record yourself and listen to your voice, tone, filler words

-          Join Toastmasters or other public speaking forums to practice your presentation   

The better your R&D phase in setting up the strategy for the job search, the more tactical you can be in your approach. 

Leave the guesswork and haphazard approach to your competition—and plan your success to stand out from the crowd.

Job Searching: Research and Development Part 1

Katty Douraghy - Wednesday, June 24, 2015

In this two part series, Artisan Creative's President Katty Douraghy shares her thoughts on the methods needed to conduct a successful job search.

In my experience, every job search or career change deserves its own Research and Development phase.

Some applicants have a haphazard technique of applying to jobs without discovering why they want to work for a particular company or venture into a new industry.


If hired, over 40+ hours a week for years to come will be spent at one of these companies—wouldn’t it be good to do some research ahead of time and determine if they are the right place for you?

One big lesson I have learned from the many candidates I have talked to over the years is that it’s not always about the money. Many other factors play into the decision of a career move or job change—the brand, the impact, the commute, the team, the culture, the recognition, the management, the philosophy, the growth opportunity as well as the salary are important.   

An important question for every candidate to ask themselves is why  do I want to make a change?  And what are my “must haves” in this new search vs. “nice to haves”?  This gives you a clear road map to start from.  Communicate these with your recruitment team, so they are also clear about your expectations and objectives.

Research Phase of the Job Search R&D

 
The research time involves getting clarity as to what you want in your next career move.

Is it a shorter commute?  Is it to work on the agency side and touch multiple brands? Is it to be client side and focus on developing one brand? Is it to be part of larger collaborative team? Or is it to be a sole designer or part of a smaller team so you can wear many hats and be exposed to multiple deliverables?  Is it to be hands-on, or to manage a team?

There is no right or wrong answer here—the important thing is for you to know why its important to you so can build your growth and development plan.

The research time into a company or industry is invaluable and not to be overlooked. It involves:

  • Looking at industry trends and growth verticals
  • Who is hiring, who is expanding and where the hot jobs are
  • Reviewing job boards
  • Reading LinkedIn profiles and company reviews
  • Learning about products you are interested in
  • Join the company’s LinkedIn page,  Facebook group or Twitter page to research their products and their culture
  • If you are not well connected within an industry, then work with a reputable recruitment firm. Good recruiters can be a great resource and often have insider information about hiring needs at many companies—your target company could be a client of theirs

 
Stay tuned for part two in the coming weeks.

 

How to Let Go of Fear

Laura Pell - Wednesday, June 10, 2015


 

Why does it become hard to let go of some things? 

From the "Don't do that!", to "Watch out!" and the "No"s, that were fed to us on a daily basis as children; to what is pushed at us via numerous information outlets, fear often becomes deeply ingrained within our survival instinct. An instinct that is always on to save us from ourselves, is what makes it hard to let go.

Over the years we tend to hold on to a collection of "fears" that accumulate over our lifetime. It's only when we let go of these "fears", that we move forward and actually do the things we enjoy the most out of life. So the choice comes down to holding on to what's keeping us back, or finding the courage to get uncomfortable and let go. 

I recently had lunch with a cousin who'd just gone skydiving, even though she was afraid of heights. Once they were at 12,000 feet,  she wasn't going to go down without a fight, as she defiantly stood her ground. Finally, her instructor took control and out they went. As she screamed (first in fear and then in joy) all the way down, she realized that she has lost her fear of heights and with a big smile across her face they glided down with tranquility, their chute spread wide open.  

Since I often drive down to see her, and now that she was fearless, I asked when she would next come up to see me and she answered: "We'll I'm a little bit afraid of driving around on your LA freeways!"  

How do you let go of what's holding you back?

Jamie is the founder of Life Work Integration, a process that integrates passion with purpose and vision. You can reach him at jamie@lifeworkintegration.com & via Twitter @jdouraghy


Information Overload: How to Switch Off and Take Control

Katty Douraghy - Wednesday, June 03, 2015

 

For some time now, I have been astonished with the deluge of information coming from every source imaginable.   My social networks seem to be buzzing with the latest architectural craze,  the cutest cat videos to the top 50 of the world’s most spectacular destinations and so much more.


All is good and fun and I enjoying clicking through as much as the next person—but I realized that I was filling my brain with lots of (mostly useless) information, and I wasn’t really stretching my brain much.   

I stretch my body with yoga and Pilates, but what was I doing to stretch my mind?

This past January I set out to create a plan to help stretch my mind. Now that I have been active with it for the past 5 months I wanted to share my findings.  These are some of the tools I’ve applied:

Meditate:  
I have a hard time quieting my active mind.   My thoughts tend to jump from branch to branch like an active monkey.  Meditating does not come easy to me, but I am finding immense value in it.  By working on quieting my mind, I am finding a certain calmness and peace towards solving complex issues.   Sometimes I even meditate on that issue and the focus and clarity has done wonders for me.

Learn something new everyday: 
 
Each day I set aside 15 minutes to learn something new.  In our line of business it’s important to keep up with the market trends, so I block 15 minutes each day to read up on the latest SEO trends, or newest development platforms, or read design-related articles. By the end of the week, I’ve gained some valuable preliminary information, and then I can decide whether to continue the same topic into the next week and delve deeper, or if its time to select a new topic.  

Dance:

I love to dance, yet I am not a very good dancer.  It doesn’t stop me though from trying it on a several times a week.  I find trying to remember the various dance steps and choreography, is actually helping me both mentally and physically.  Although you’ll never find me on Dancing with the Stars, I do get immense satisfaction with how my mind gets expanded while my body is getting a workout.

Journaling:
I started with the Day One App.  Truth be told, I am not writing everyday, its more like 3 or so times a week.  I write a recap of the past few days, I write three gratitudes, and then via the app I can attach an image that sums up my thoughts and feelings.  I am still working towards doing this daily, however I am happy with the amount I have been doing thus far.

Once I perfect the above and can commit to daily journaling,  I will add learning a new language to my mind stretching routine.  Using the Duolingo app to work on my very poor command of the Spanish and try to improve by practicing and expanding my vocabulary will be an exciting new challenge that I am looking to undertake in the latter part of this year.

Do you have any tips to share as to how do you stretch your mind?

Katty Douraghy - President at Artisan Creative 

Putting Some Thought Into It

Laura Pell - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

This week's blog is brought to you by Artisan Creative's Founder, Jamie Douraghy. You can find out more about Jamie at the links at the end of this post.

When pressure is on to get something done, how much time do you put into thought vs. falling into knee jerk reaction mode?

With today's expectations on having everything handled rapidly; from quick decisions, to abbreviated texts and those cryptic emails that seem to be burning up our mobile devices until we respond, we risk painting ourselves into uncomfortable corners.

I believe that putting some thought at the forefront of our decision making/ability to rapidly respond, will help slow things down.  Asking a few discovery questions before jumping right back in and executing, will help separate the important from the urgent:

Why is this important to me, and who else will this impact?

Does this need to be done right now?

Why am I choosing to go down this path?

Have I thought about the outcome, or am I just adding fuel to the fire?

Do your best to overcome that internal pressing desire for momentary satisfaction that comes from responding, before considering what that response could lead to. 

When you've deliberated the possible outcomes, move forward with more self awareness and confidence since you have put time and thought towards achieving your desired outcome.

What mindset do you employ to generate thought before action? 

 

 Jamie is the founder of Artisan Creative and Life Work Integration, a process that integrates passion with purpose and vision. You can reach him at jamie@lifeworkintegration.com & via twitter www.twitter.com/jdouraghy


When Bad Habits Creep Back In

Laura Pell - Wednesday, May 20, 2015

How many times have you started a new project or committed to an important change in your life, only to fall back on things you were going to "stop doing", overwhelming those good habits you were developing?

Our brains are sometimes just like that garage above. We simultaneously store a lot of valuable information and junk that we will someday want to use. When we feel stuck, or have too much on our minds, we commit to clearing that garage out. And we've all been to many a garage sale in our lives!

To change any habit it takes a minimum of 90 days. At the 45-day mark, we are halfway to where the opportunity for real change is just starting to take hold. At the same time, this is when many of us feel that transition is just not going to happen, so we slowly let our old road/mental blocks creep back in again.

Here are a few things to work on to become aware of what I call " the slide back 45".

Keep a brief journal. Then take a look back to see where you’ve come from, what progress you’ve made, and look forward to where your commitments still lie.

When the slide back starts to take over, recognize it and squash it!

If need be, go back to the basics and start over.

Some basics:

Decide on what you’re going to stop doing before you start doing anything new.

Find an accountability partner other than yourself.

Develop a flexible blueprint, then commit to a plan and live by it.

Take small steps first, then build momentum.

Be patient with yourself.

Know that you have to want to do this, even more than you need to do it.

Celebrate your successes along the way. Use these moments to raise the platform for your next move, one that will be up and away from where you used to be.

Keep in mind that on average it takes about 90 days for good habits to take hold, (after all, you’ve spent several years building up the bad habits in the first place!)

 What pointers to stop bad habits from creeping back in can you share?

 Jamie is the founder of Life Work Integration, a process that integrates passion with purpose and vision. You can reach him at jamie@lifeworkintegration.com & via Twitter @jdouraghy


Passion Projects: Finding Your Way through Busy Schedules to Do What You Love

Laura Pell - Wednesday, May 13, 2015

 

I recently read a thread where a commenter was aghast at how someone could have so much time to work a full time job, work out and still find the time to pursue passion projects. And what was their response? “I don’t have the time, I make the time.” This really resonated with me. Everyone is always so busy that it’s easy to forget about the things that matter. Some of us are lucky to have careers that exercise both our passions and our skills. Others are in roles that provide financial security yet still yearn to flex their creative muscles outside of their day job.

So what can you do if you fall into the latter category or you’re one of those who just don’t have the time or the energy to pursue a passion project?

If you haven’t found your passion yet, there’s no need to fret. You may not discover what makes you tick right away. It may be as simple as sitting down and thinking about what you’re missing. Are you sociable and outgoing but lately haven’t been getting much interaction? Did you used to volunteer or paint on weekends? By making a few small changes to your routine you can find your passion.

Learn to say no
Perhaps you lack assertiveness or you don’t want to be impolite, but that doesn’t mean you have to agree to everything that is thrown your way. If you’re constantly busy and it’s causing you stress, just say no. Be mindful of what is asked and how you respond but a simple “I’m unable to right now, but I will let you know if anything changes” is a more indirect, yet still polite way to decline. Your time and your life are precious. If you find you’re putting in crazy hours at work or spending your free time doing things you’d rather not be doing, it’s time to take a step back.

Do what you love
It sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? What do you love doing? What’s your favorite way to spend time? A passion project isn’t something you do half-heartedly. We recently placed a blogger in a full time position who had never held a professional job as a blogger, but it was her passion in her spare time. Without fail, come rain or shine, each week she would put out 5 posts on her personal blog because it was what she loved. She spoke with enthusiasm and it was evident to Artisan, and our client, that she truly loved what she did. And now she gets to live out her passion every day as a career. By being persistent and taking the time, it is possible to find your passion and make it work for you.

Prioritize
We’re supposed to do the arduous tasks first and get to the menial stuff later. How many of us whittle away our precious time on tasks that don’t really require our undivided attention? A to-do list doesn’t have to stop at the office. Make a list for everything you need to do that week and figure out what’s most important. It may seem like a lot in your head but on paper things start to make a lot more sense.

Take a break
A break from your desk or a break from your routine, whatever it is, take a break. Go for a walk around your neighborhood, grab a coffee and relax. Think about where you want to be and how you can get there. Do you just want one day a week dedicated to you? If so, what needs to change in order for you to achieve it? Calendar yourself an hour each day to step away from work and do something for you.

What is your passion project? Do you have any advice to share based on your personal experiences?

 

Knowing Where You're Going

Laura Pell - Wednesday, May 06, 2015

 

On a trip to Washington DC, I noticed this group of sailors walking up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with a sense of purpose. I could see this with the pace they were walking at and they way they were speaking to one another. Clearly their destination had lot to do with it, as did their proximity to their goal for the morning. 

Once inside, what had started as animated conversations quickly turned to hushed voices, combined with thoughtful reflection. Their short journey up the stairs was complete and they could now fully take in and appreciate the moment in front of them.

 

 A few thoughts on the importance of knowing your way every day:

     Know your purpose, you'll know what direction to head in and WHY
    When you know your WHY, you'll know your WAY
    A plan will put you on the right path
    You'll spend less time waiting and more time doing

As the baseball sage Yogi Berra once said:

"If you don't know where  you're going, you'll end up somewhere else!"

Do you know where you are going  and how you're going to get there?

 Jamie Douraghy - Artisan Founder

20 Years in the Making: Why Stay With a Company for 20 Years?

Laura Pell - Wednesday, April 29, 2015

 

Why stay with a company for 20 years?


Last month we celebrated a rare milestone with one of our employees: 20 years!   I asked Margaret Jung (on the far left of the picture) why she's stayed with Artisan Creative for 2 decades, through growth and success, as well as through trying times and cutbacks. We thought it would be interesting to share some of her thoughts, as this one question brought forth so many answers:

Artisan fosters a rewarding environment where I feel appreciated, recognized and supported. The people you work with must have chemistry and each other's backs. Over time, this builds friendships & relationships that last even as people move on.

The versatility of my business development role offers flexibility, autonomy and no bureaucracy. Plus, I have the opportunity to create success, for our clients and talent, our team and my family.

I believe in being consistent  and loving what you do.

I do not watch the clock.

I believe in relationships based on trust, and that honesty and integrity are essential within a company.

I enjoy working with strong personalities that come with being in the creative field. I find the dynamics of the creative mindset engaging as we are always learning and growing from this ever evolving field we work in.

I am driven by the search to find the best solution for my clients and talent.

We share and believe in common values, that set the foundation for a good business model.  Compensation is in alignment with results delivered.

The president has ability to listen and make change for the better. I'm kept in the loop and frequently communicated with. I feel valued and understood, with a lot of trust in my abilities to deliver.

The entrepreneurial environment at Artisan suits my personality. An open door is truly open to share the good and the bad, in a genuine environment that cares.

I hold  myself accountable to my commitments.

I have a passion for selling and a desire to perform.

I enjoy the constant learning from being in a dynamic industry and working with really smart people.

I have mentorship from the president along with a leadership responsibility to create success for the team.

I've learned how to manage growing pains and make tough choices.

In a lifetime you only really find a few leaders that you truly trust and respect, and know that they are there for you.

The tougher periods are handled by not listening  to the negative for too long and by focusing on the positive. Always believing that more good than bad is around the corner, and never, ever, giving up!

 For me, this is the difference between a career and a job. And over the past 20 years everything I gave the company, I got back and more.

How long have you been at your career, and what keeps you engaged and coming back for more year over year? 

 Jamie Douraghy - Artisan Founder

Earth Day: How Are You Celebrating Today?

Laura Pell - Wednesday, April 22, 2015

 

Earth Day is a celebration and a recognition to show support for environmental protection. Celebrated in more that 190 countries, the aim is to educate and activate an environmental movement through campaigns. 

Whether you want to save the bees or take note on climate change, there are a number of ways to get involved. Here in LA the Arts District is having an Earth Day Community Clean Up beginning at 5.30PM today.

Will you be participating in Earth Day today? If so, how to you celebrate?


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