Artisan Blog

Create Your Productive Week

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Create Your Productive Week

Weekends are regarded days of rest, blocked off to recharge or catch up on obligations outside of work. However, there is a marked phenomenon of "Sunday blues," a collective sense of frustration that comes from not getting as much satisfaction from our Sundays as we’d like. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps we can take to make our Sundays more productive and pleasurable as well as create a more productive week in the process.

If you want to get more from your Sundays, here are a few tricks you can try. You might make Sunday your new favorite day of the week.

Get Organized

You can use your Sundays as opportunities to make things easier on yourself during the rest of the week. This starts with setting your schedule, which allows you to take care of any details you can while you have the opportunity. Sundays also provide ample time to balance your budget, clean out your inbox, and cross out any other tasks you may want to complete in order to free up time and bandwidth on busier days. Organization can take the form of a self-care ritual, a time for peaceful reflection as you tend to the details of your life.

Make Lists and Set Goals

If it's Sunday and your mind refuses to rest, seize the opportunity to provide yourself some pre-set structure for the coming week. Make a list of some tasks you intend to do, or goals you would like to accomplish by week's end. By making your work week concrete and your goals achievable, you will find that you have plenty of time ahead of you to do everything that needs to be done. This may make it easier for you to spend your Sunday relaxing, with a clear mind and conscience.

Prepare Meals

Mindful eating is an oft-overlooked element in personal well being. In the hectic rush of the work week, making time to prepare healthy food can seem challenging. However, if you prepare nutritious balanced meals ahead of time on Sunday, it's a breeze to eat well during busier times. Mix up your favorite standbys with new recipes, and stack your creations in the fridge, ready to go to work with you Monday through Friday.

Pursue Personal Interests & Hobbies

An active mind is a healthy mind, and it's crucial to cultivate interests and projects. This could mean doing freelance work on the side, pursuing a creative "passion project" or hobby, or volunteering to work for a cause that resonates with your values. The right sort of work can be a pleasure. If you're not satisfied "doing nothing" on Sunday, try doing something you love instead.

At Artisan Creative, we believe a successful career is one part of a successful life. We help top creative talent fulfill their professional and personal goals. Contact us today to get started.

We hope you've enjoyed the 468th issue of our a.blog.

 



How to Find Your Ideal Candidate

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

How to Find Your Ideal Candidate

 

In past posts, we've covered some of the important factors that separate effective job descriptions from others. One of the most important is effective SEO using language familiar to your prospects, setting expectations appropriately, and differentiating between strict requirements and "nice-to-haves."

Today, we'll share a few pro-level tips that will really set your job descriptions apart and help you attract the most qualified, in-demand candidates.

Go Big

An increasing number of candidates, particularly those of the Millennial generation, are looking for job opportunities that align with their values. Therefore, look beyond the standard compensation package speak and whether or not it's important to know the full Adobe Creative Suite or just Photoshop. If you want to attract candidates at the cutting edge of technology and culture, write your job descriptions with an eye toward the larger mission of your company - what you do, why you do it, and how larger ideals (and groups of people in need) are served by your work.

Get Small

After you've conveyed a broader idea of what it means to work at your company, describe a typical day on the job, in clear, meaningful detail. This will communicate all responsibilities associated with the job, and also give prospective applicants a taste of your company culture. It will also demonstrate that you understand the position you're hiring for and that you know what sort of candidate would be most apt for it.

Use Pictures, Sounds, and Feelings

Take your first draft and rewrite it, making sure that every sentence paints a picture, creates an experience, and inspires a vivid emotional response to attract your ideal candidate. Potential applicants should be able to visualize an imagined scenario of working and excelling as part of your team. This will result in a memorable job description, and create an opportunity for your ideal candidates to resonate with your corporate culture.

Use Humor

Humor works well only if it's true to the personality of your company culture. If you write a job description that's comfortable with the realities of the job and life at your company, you can start the working relationship on a light and friendly note. Most teams of creative professionals who spend a lot of time working together develop their own collective sense of humor, including inside jokes and references. Using humor can separate your job description from thousands of similar ones.

With 20+ years of experience matching creative talent with top clients, we have a refined sense of how to cast a great opportunity in the most flattering light. Nothing makes us happier than making a great match. We know that a lot of pieces have to come together to make that happen, and we're here to help guide you through that process. Contact Artisan today to get started.

We hope you've enjoyed the 467th issue of our a.blog.


How to Build a Design Portfolio

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

How to Build a Design Portfolio

"It's easier to get a job when you have a job."

There is some ring of truth to this cliche. If you're a designer starting out - perhaps you're a fresh graduate, or you're changing careers - this can seem frustrating and paradoxical. Most high-status job openings are available only to those with years of experience. If you must have experience to get experience, how does anyone ever get started?

Fortunately, it is easy to build an impressive design portfolio with no professional experience whatsoever. Even if you've never had a paying client, you can do remarkable work and showcase it in a manner that will open doors.

Think Like a Designer

Before you create an online portfolio or get an account on Dribbble or Behance, rethink your entire life story, from the perspective of your identity as a designer.

"If you’ve ever solved a problem, then you have design experience," says Jason Early, a designer, entrepreneur, teacher, mentor, and author of the career guide Getting Hired. "You just need to reframe how you present it. The design process is used to address a challenge. Any challenge. And showing how you worked through the process to address that challenge can be a portfolio piece. Show your work. Just like in grade school math class, showing how you got to a solution shows how you think through a challenge. And that is what a portfolio is. A collection of examples showing how you reached a solution."

Say "Yes"

As you move forward in your career, you will learn to say "no" to opportunities that don’t serve you. However, in your early days as a designer, you must err on the side of taking on more work and saying "yes" to as many different projects as you can. Then, follow the green lights.

Look for pro bono projects for nonprofit and charity organizations you support. (Taproot Foundation, a clearinghouse for pro bono creative work, is one place to start.) If you have acquaintances who perform or promote shows, offer to design graphics and fliers for them in exchange for free admission (or beer and pizza). Seek out any opportunity to show up and create something.

If you're passionate about the early work that goes into your portfolio, you will likely find opportunities to do more work like it, for more generous compensation.

Make All the Things

Keep solving problems, embracing fresh challenges, flexing different muscles, and adding work to your portfolio. At first, you may be frustrated that your own work isn't up to the standards of the successful designers you admire. This means you're right on schedule.

Work through the "taste gap," push through the resistance, and keep showing up. The only way to do great work is to do lots of work. As you consistently generate more new samples, you can continuously update your portfolio to showcase better and better examples of what you're capable of.

Find the Others

You are one of many people building a creative career. It may scare you to think you have millions of skilled and hungry competitors. But you can shift your thinking and instead see the creative people around you as potential collaborators, eager to work and grow together. Being independent doesn’t mean being alone.

Attend networking events and reach out to those who have complementary skills. Then, work together on projects that showcase and challenge you both.

For instance, if you are a designer, join forces with a like-minded copywriter. You may build a fruitful long-term partnership, like copywriter Jeff Gooodby and art director Rich Silverstein, with a joint brand that combines your talents. At the least, you will build your professional network, enrich your thinking through cooperation and mutual respect, and do work together that you wouldn’t and couldn’t do alone.

At Artisan Creative, we have years of experience helping new and experienced designers build their portfolios, their networks, and their careers. Contact us today to learn more and get started.

We hope you've enjoyed the 466th issue of our a.blog.




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