Artisan Blog

Workplace Trends in 2019

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Workplace Trends in 2019

Every day new talent enters the workforce, with new skills, new experiences, and even new expectations. Various industries will become more diverse, others will hang on as long as they can before they disappear. Innovations in technology will impact our careers and our lives.

A new year brings new changes. Existing currents will strengthen, fade, or continue. Here are five trends that we believe will shape the workplace in 2019 and beyond. These are already in progress.

Emphasis on Purpose, Wellness, and Growth

Surveys of younger workers indicate they feel happier and more accomplished when they work for companies with a sense of purpose, have flexible work schedules and offer continuous learning.

With a greater need for skilled and experienced labor, employers will provide new opportunities for training, upskilling, and mentorship. This will coincide with greater awareness of mental health and the unwavering importance of personal and financial stability. Ideally, these trends will lead toward professional relationships that are more mindful, more respectful, and better built to last. 

Adaptation to AI and Automation

Artificial intelligence and automation will continue to rise. Some occupations will decline, some will become far more powerful, and many people will find themselves partnering with new robotic coworkers. Much workplace activity will involve new training and new priorities to accommodate these new technologies until they become invisible.

Strength In Diversity

Recent controversies in the workplace are reshaping entire industries, making them more welcoming for women, minorities, and others who struggle against discrimination. Creating diverse workplaces and nurturing a culture for all isn't just good karma; it's necessary for doing business. Those who embrace changes and opportunities will help define commerce and culture for the years ahead.

Generation Z Goes to Work

The oldest members of "Gen Z" will turn 23, and many will join the workforce, of which this rising cohort will comprise an estimated 36% by 2020. They will usher in new expectations around technological competence. As Debby Carreau of Inspired HR said, "Even if you're not a member of Gen Z you'll start seeing software strategies, solutions and training trickling into your workplace; because if your organization doesn't offer them, Gen Z will find an employer that will in short order."

Meanwhile, members of older generations will continue to work longer and adapt their wisdom and experience to new circumstances. Chip Conley outlines this beautifully in his article calling himself a mentern (a mentor and an intern simultaneously).

Thus, we come back to the power of communication. If you are the sort of person who knows how to help the members of these different groups better communicate and more effectively work together, you will reap significant dividends in the years to come.

Change is the only constant. At Artisan Creative, we have years of experience in helping creative professionals and organizations thrive in times of change. Contact us today to learn more.

We hope you've enjoyed the 505th issue of our a.blog. 


Job Search Best Practices in 2019

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Job Search Best Practices in 2019

The beginning of a new year is a time to try new things, spruce up your perspective, and take stock of the opportunities in front of you. As a creative professional, you can take this cue to get serious about your job hunt. You'll increase your odds of success when you act mindfully and deliberately and know clearly what you're going to accomplish.

Whether you're angling to rejoin the workforce, looking for a new role that better matches your goals, or simply want to keep your job-search skills sharper, here are some best practices that will give you an edge and help you find work you'll love.

Know What You Want

Before you begin your search, take the time to form a clear vision of the job you'd most want to have, with the company that best aligns with your objectives and values. Then, you'll have clear guidelines on the sorts of opportunities you're best suited for, and that best suit you in return. Spend an hour or two to tailor your resume, write a passionate cover letter, and complete a thoughtful job application for an opportunity you really want; it’s worth the time rather than many more hours of applying for jobs at random.

Specificity Kills Ambiguity

Be specific about your skills, write out what you've achieved, and how you hope to grow in the future. When you crystallize your goals and can see them in detail, you'll find your job search gets more efficient when you explore the right niches. Collaborate with a creative recruiter to narrow down your job hunt and save yourself a lot of effort, time, and uncertainty.

Handle Your SEO

As part of cultivating the professional image you want to project, it's increasingly essential that you pay close attention to how you appear on social media and the web. Make sure your digital portfolio and any associated sites are up-to-date and portray you in the way you want to be seen by recruiters, hiring managers, and others in your industry. Plan to get professional mileage from your social media channels, particularly LinkedIn, or lock down personal accounts if you don't want them to be seen by curious strangers.

Work Your Network

The beginning of the year is a fine time to check in with your contacts. It's easy to let your mentors and peers know you acknowledge and appreciate them. A quick note can pay massive dividends throughout the year. If you're feeling lonesome, schedule some networking events. Commit to expanding your horizons and put yourself out there. A small interpersonal risk can go a long way.

Be the Best Version of Yourself

Getting specific, helps you appreciate the talents and skills that set you apart from the rest. Eliminate jargon and buzzwords from your resume and focus on ways in which you really stand out. Regard yourself as a brand and zoom in on the aspects that differentiate you from others. Learn from your experiences, emphasize your strengths, work on your weaknesses, and approach your job search from a spirit of optimism. When you're unique, there's no competition.

At Artisan Creative, we have decades of experiences in connecting creative professionals with the opportunities that help them soar. Take advantage of this season of renewal. Contact us today to get your 2019 off on the right foot and get the support you need to thrive through the year and throughout your career.

We hope you've enjoyed the 504th issue of the a.blog.

 


Visualize Your Year

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Visualize Your Year

Our Artisan Creative a.team creates a new vision board every year. What started as a fun team-building project, has grown into a mindset that many of our team members have now introduced to their families and friends to set individual and family goals together.

We each work on visualizing and creating our boards over the holidays, and present at our first team meeting in January. Our boards are as varied and eclectic as we are. They include short and long-term goals, as well as personal and professional aspirations.

We believe that by presenting and sharing we hold true to our values, and create a culture of accountability that enables the team to learn more about each other’s ambitions, dreams, and commitments. Some set a theme for their board or their year—others use inspirational quotes. All have a shared thread of growth, inspiration, and visualization, that tells a story and creates a visual roadmap for achieving our personal and business goals.

In addition to sharing our vision boards with one another to start the year, we revisit the boards mid-year together and also review in our year-end meeting. This way, we help keep one another on track throughout the year.

Here is the process we follow to create our vision boards, so invite co-workers and family members to get your new year off to an amazing start!

  1. Set your intentions & define your priorities for the year
  2. Select words and images that inspire and are true to your core values.
  3. Create positivity and inspiration for yourself and others.
  4. Imagine the integrated life/work that you want to live.
  5. Your board can be divided into sections for career, self, family, and community or be a mix of combined elements throughout. The key is to create the vision where your personal and professional aspirations are represented to help create an integrated life and work.
  6. Hang the board where you can re-visit it daily—read the inspirational messages out loud— and often! Mine is right in front of my desk, so I see it every time I look up from my computer.
  7. Share with others. Having an accountability partner will help you get closer to achieving your goals.

Tools needed:

  • A large poster board to give you plenty of space to visualize your year, yet small enough to hang on your wall. We use the 22 x 28 size available from Staples.
  • A good pair of scissors and a strong glue stick so the pictures stay on all year long.
  • Variety of magazines to look through and find those inspiring words and pictures.
  • (Optional) Markers/stickers to write on or embellish your board.
  • Patience and Creativity.
  • Time to reflect.

I cut images and words throughout the month of December. Then I create the actual vision board in one day. For some, it’s easier to start with a theme and for others, the pictures and words shape the direction of the board. There is no right or wrong method, harness your creativity in any way that works best for you.

Although electronic versions such as Pinterest or Trello also work, going old-school where you physically search for and cut out imagery and words from a magazine and decide where to place them, is in itself an opportunity to reflect and plan via a very tangible exercise.

What is your goal setting process?

Happy New Year!

We hope you've enjoyed the 503rd issue of our weekly a.blog.

 


Happy Holidays

Monday, December 24, 2018

Happy Holidays

Wishing you the very best this holiday season.

Thank you for a busy, productive and connected 2018. 

Here's to more of the same in 2019.

The Artisan Creative a.team


Favorite Books & Shows of 2018

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Favorite Books & Shows of 2018

As the year comes to end, we wanted to recap some of the fun shows, movies and books of 2018 that our a.team has enjoyed. We are clearly an eclectic group with a wide array of tastes. Hope some of these resonate with you too! What were some of your favorites?

Favorite Books of 2018

Favorite Movies/TV Shows of 2018

We hope you've enjoyed our 501st a.blog.  We wish you a happy holiday season.

 


Our Top 25 Blogs

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Our Top 25 Blogs

We are thrilled to publish our 500th blog today. As we approach the end of 2018, we’d like to share some of our a.team’s favorite blogs.

These cover a range of topics from self-development and time-management to job search, hiring and much more.

We hope you enjoy this top 25 greatest hits compilation.

We hope you've enjoyed our 500th post.  You can find plenty other tips, inspirations, best practices and advice on our a.blog.

We look forward to connecting.




Define Your Personal Brand

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Define Your Personal Brand

 

As a creative professional, no matter what projects you pursue, you can create a lot more opportunities for yourself when you establish a clear, concrete, and powerful personal brand.

Here are five steps to help you define who you are, what you do, and where you want to go.

Get to Know Yourself

No matter what work you do, you have your own skills, style, and experiences that are unique to you. Together, they make up a professional persona that differentiates you from your competition. The more specific you can be about your persona, the more consistent your brand can be, and the more work it can do on your behalf.

Developing an effective personal brand requires taking an inventory of what you do well, how others see you, and how you can help them. It can be difficult to look at yourself objectively, on the flip side, this process of inquiry will pay enormous dividends throughout your career.

Check Your Humility

To maintain a healthy grounding in reality, it's important to be realistic and think critically about yourself, your strengths, and the areas in which you can improve upon. When you're building your brand set this aside for the moment and begin with an open mind.

Flatter yourself. Emphasize your strengths. Present yourself as a legend, a rock star, larger than life. You can always be humble and approachable after people are intrigued!

If you have trouble getting excited about your own brand, this classic Creative Mornings talk from Richard Sauerman will provide a jolt of encouragement and help you fall in love with yourself a bit.

Go on a Vision Quest

Create a detailed picture of where you want to go in your professional life, and your mind will begin to automatically strategize how to get you there.

Before you begin the detailed work of building your personal brand, try this visioning exercise. It will help you understand why you're doing all this. Imagine the fruits of your success and you'll whet your appetite for the work it requires.

Become You, Inc.

Now it's time to open your toolbox and assemble the nuts and bolts you will use to build your brand. You'll develop your own style guide, visual assets, slogan, elevator pitch, and everything else a business needs to distinguish and differentiate itself.

To do this, you can use the same assignments and techniques that top agencies use on branding projects for multinational corporations. This article on the best practices of in-the-weeds brand-branding lists all the essentials you'll need, with examples from some of the world's best-known corporate brands.

Knowing how to stand out in the crowd is key to defining your personal brand.  Check out Winnie & Lorrie Hart's book on Stand Out for more details.

Get Engaged

Your brand may be born in the studio, and it will come into its own when it learns to survive on the street. As time goes on, you will develop and iterate on your brand based on how it interacts with the outside world at networking events, in pitch meetings, online, in the work you do, and in the content you create.

Whether you're an introvert, an extrovert, or somewhere in between, you'll ultimately build your brand through active engagement with your professional community. The more you do this, the more opportunities will open for you. It pays to be strategic, mindful, and deliberate about it.

Consider what you’re comfortable with, and then go slightly outside that zone. You’ll bring back some interesting insights.

At Artisan Creative, we pool decades of experience in the world of creative work to help you become your best professional self and hit goals you didn't know you had. Contact us today to find your next invigorating challenge.

We hope you've enjoyed the 499th issue of our a.blog

 



Practicing Design Thinking

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Practicing Design Thinking

Whenever dealing with difficult challenges, applying design thinking concepts can achieve interesting results.

The ideas, strategies, and methods associated with design thinking are not exclusive to the field of design. They're continuously being used to tackle crucial issues throughout society, from urban planning, to voter turnout, to climate change. Engineers, educators, and activists all make use of design thinking concepts and principles in their work, especially when they encounter problems for which older modes of thought have proven inadequate.

Here is a quick guide to some key concepts that foster design thinking. This should give your team what it needs to get started using design thinking to gain fresh perspectives on new or established challenges.

Observe the Core Principles

As laid out by Christoph Meinel and Larry Leifer of the HPI-Stanford Design Thinking Program, the driving principles are:

The Human Rule: All meaningful activity is a social activity. Always center on the humans.

The Ambiguity Rule: Test the limits of your own knowledge. Get out of your comfort zone. Dare to see things differently. Fall in love with the questions.

The Redesign Rule: There is nothing new under the sun, yet the context is ever-shifting. You're always using existing resources to address unchanged human needs in ways that are appropriate for new technologies, capabilities, and situations.

The Tangibility Rule: To facilitate better communication, make your ideas tangible, rendered in pictures, sounds, feelings, and working prototypes.

Respect the Process

Rikke Dam and Teo Siang of the Interaction Design Foundation break down the design thinking process into five steps. The steps often repeat themselves, sometimes overlap, and do not always occur in sequence. What they do, is serve as a rough guide.

Empathize: Design thinking is human-centered thinking, and always starts with the real needs and behaviors of the user.

Define: When you've usefully defined and formatted your problem, you've gone a great distance toward solving it.

Ideate: Generate ideas through collaborative brainstorming. Adopt the attitude that, if you eliminate creative blocks and properly value ideas, you'll never run out of them.

Prototype: Create a working model. Put your idea out in the world where users can interact with it in a tangible form.

Test: Let experts and non-experts evaluate and use your idea. Collect your results, organize them in a useful and actionable way, and use what you've learned to make your idea stronger.

Focus on Solutions

Design thinking frames problems as creative challenges and concerns itself with generating fresh, sometimes novel, always useful and compassionate solutions. It calls for respecting your users, collaborators, and stakeholders, and a willingness to entertain notions that may beckon you outside your comfort zone. It values criticism as long as it's constructive and encourages positive, optimistic engagement with the world as it is, with a vision of how it can enable people to work and live more effectively together.

Whatever you're doing, give design thinking a try, and let us know what you discover through experimenting with this new mindset.

We have decades of experience in helping people work together. Contact Artisan today to share our tools, surpass your goals, and work smarter.

 

We hope you've enjoyed the 498th issue of our a.blog.

 

 


With Gratitude

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

With Gratitude

“Start with gratitude. Then get to work.”

-Beth Lapides

During this Thanksgiving holiday season, we at Artisan Creative celebrate our clients and talent whom we work with all year. By working with the finest people and organizations, we always find ourselves amazed by the skills of our talent and the openness of our clients that facilitate the making of great matches. This gives us pride in the part we play in impacting careers.

This would not be possible without the courage and selflessness of those who hold up our communities from behind the scenes. We share our immense gratitude for the people who do so much to keep our society functioning at the hardest of times.

In the last few weeks, the Camp Fire and Woolsey Fire have posed unprecedented challenges for our home state of California. In response, Californians have come together to rally behind deeply affected families and businesses, and to support charities and emergency workers who are saving lives and helping communities prepare for rebuilding and recovery. We encourage joining these efforts and giving in the ways that are most effective, using wise-giving guidelines to make sure our dollars do the greatest possible good. Volunteering at your local shelter, donating clothes and essentials, supporting our firefighters are all ways we can help.

The people we work with have taught us much about strengthening our networks, bringing out the best in each other, and banding together to accomplish seemingly impossible breakthroughs. We enter this season in optimistic spirits, and we could never thank you all enough!

Our Artisan a.team is grateful for so much this year, our collective thanks are outlined below:

We are thankful for our health, loving spouse/partners, our children, our fur babies, our families, our A.team co-workers, our home, our company, our personal freedom, our friends and support system, our breath, our opportunity to travel, our ability to have life/work integration, the opportunity to work remotely, and our California.

We wish you and yours a happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday.


The Power of Ambiverts

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The Power of Ambiverts

When it comes to styles of socializing, most people aren't fixed at one extreme pole or the other, at least not all the time. Most of us spend our time somewhere on the spectrum between painful introversion or exuberant extroversion. Some of us shift positions based on the situation, whether we're wired or tired, the cold number of strangers in the crowd or the warmth of being surrounded by close friends.

If you identify as neither an extrovert or an introvert and you share key traits with both, you may be an ambivert. Does this sound like you? Here are a few common characteristics of ambiverts - see how many you identify with.

You're All About Context

In high-stress situations, particularly at work, you may prefer to keep a low profile and think before you speak. However, when you're around your friends, you may behave quite differently.

Ambiverts have the color-changing powers of the chameleon, subtly altering their presentation to what serves them best in the situations they find themselves in. When you cultivate the mindfulness and self-awareness to make these adjustments deliberately, you can dramatically increase your effectiveness, at work and in life.

You Love to Chat But Prefer Valuable Conversation

You combine an extrovert's gift of gab with an introvert's aversion to small talk. Although you're adept at casual banter, you're eager to get to the heart of the matter and address what you really care about.

If you readily understand social cues, yet not always in the mood to follow them, you may be an ambivert.

You Provide Balance

When you're around your boisterous friends, you may calm down a bit, or do less talking and more listening than usual. However, when you're on a corporate retreat, you put yourself in the mix, break the ice, and help others form the connections they need to be themselves and come alive.

Because of your sensitivity and versatility to others with more extreme social styles, you can provide the secret sauce that makes relationships work.

You Respect Your Own Boundaries

You do fine in social situations, as long as you're in your comfort zone. Over time, you've come to know how much socializing you can tolerate without getting tired, how much you can participate in different sorts of meetings without overextending yourself, and what sort of people bring out your best as friends, collaborators, or mentors.

With their appreciation for the best of both worlds, ambiverts are well positioned to help others better define and establish their own needs and preferences. There is power in this versatility - when you understand the inner lives of both extroverts and introverts and can switch gears as appropriate, you are capable of great compassion and empathy.

Ambiverts may be well suited to roles that require thoughtful negotiation (e.g., sales or management), as well as the "helping professions" such as therapy, advocacy, or creative recruiting. Author Dan Pink, in his book "To Sell is Human” has created an assessment to test for yourself. He argues most of us are indeed ambiverts.

At Artisan Creative, we believe in the strength of diversity. We have decades of experience helping all sorts of creative professionals and businesses bring out their best selves and succeed beyond their expectations. Contact us today to discover your capabilities and embrace your excellence.

 

We hope you've enjoyed the 496th issue of our a.blog

 

 



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