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Margaret Jung’s 25th year with Artisan Creative

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020|

This month marks a momentous occasion at Artisan Creative where we celebrate our senior account manager, Margaret Jung’s 25th year with our company. 

In this day and age, it’s extremely rare to find such continued loyalty and passion; a quarter of a century is quite the feat. 

For those of you who have been fortunate to meet Margaret, know that she enters every room with the biggest smile, the loudest hello, and usually with a handful of cupcakes (every time, without fail, they are always from Dots Cupcakes).

Working for a company whose values are aligned with hers, the opportunity to create a difference in people’s lives and to build long-lasting relationships is what motivates her. Her energy, enthusiasm, and drive come down to one phrase: creating relationships based on trust.

She is a consummate business development professional, highly knowledgeable in the world of creative and marketing recruitment, and has a first-rate understanding of the design marketplace.

We had an opportunity to sit down with Margaret and have a conversation about the past 25 years and the lessons learned to stay strong all these years. 

Margaret believes we must:

  1. Stay positive 
  2. Be open to change
  3. Be realistic
  4. Work with and hire the right people–it goes a long way
  5. Know you have a team to back you up
  6. Support your team
  7. Believe in the core values of your company and share the same philosophy with your team
  8. Be accountable to yourself and the team
  9. Be self-aware
  10. Know your capabilities
  11. Keep yourself motivated
  12. Have a boss who gives you constant encouragement and advice
  13. Lead by example
  14. Have the mindset of being your own boss (especially in a remote business model like Artisan Creative’s)
  15. Have good communication skills with both internal and external stakeholders
  16. Understand that things aren’t always black and white
  17. Compromise when needed
  18. Don’t be afraid of having difficult conversations 
  19. Sometimes you need to just pick up the phone to get your point across (emails and/or text can get lost in translation)
  20. Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up…
  21. Control what you can control and what you can’t–move on
  22. First impressions are lasting impressions
  23. Stress can be managed. It’s not the end of the world 
  24. Be true to yourself, know your limitations and stick with it
  25. Finally, life is so much better when you are laughing.

If you need help with recruitment to hire a position on your team, reach out to Margaret. You’ll see what we mean.

Thank you, Margaret, for an amazing 25 years. Here’s to creating even more impact and new relationships in 2020 and beyond.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 557th issue of our a.blog.

Adaptability Quotient

Tuesday, March 10th, 2020|

In our quickly changing modern world of work, there is much more to success than raw, intellectual intelligence, or the mastery of facts and information. Much has been written on the importance of EQ, or emotional intelligence, and that it’s becoming ever more essential. Now there’s even more to the story.

The key to long-term thriving may be an ability to enthusiastically embrace change itself. AQ, or Adaptability Quotient, refers to this sort of resilience in the face of ever-changing circumstances. It’s vitally important, and it can be learned.

The Importance of AQ

According to recent research, the average U.S. employee spends 4.2 years in one job, which means they may have nine different jobs over the course of their standard-length career. Furthermore, they can expect up to 35% of the job skills needed to change over the course of just a few years. Clearly, change is a constant, and adaptability to this change is the one job requirement guaranteed to endure.

How to Improve AQ

The good news about AQ is that, compared to IQ, it is relatively fluid. Steps we take now can help us significantly improve our AQ over time.

To boost AQ,  leadership consultant Mattson Newell recommends a four-step approach: 

  • See it: be aware of what’s going on and interpret it in a spirit of intellectual honesty
  • Own it: take responsibility for mindfully adapting to ever-changing conditions
  • Solve it: use your strategic capabilities to take useful and novel views of your situation
  • Do it: adopt a posture of agency and action

Strategist Robert Cerone suggests we cultivate:

  • An open mind: to avoid fixed ideas and continuously refresh our perspectives
  • An open heart: to enrich our thinking by taking on the perspectives of others
  • An open will: to release ego and identity and plunge willingly into new waters

Diversify Yourself

Honing AQ is more than a job skill; it’s a way of life. You can boost AQ by adding an array of different elements and activities to your lifestyle – and have a lot of fun in the process.

Fast Company points to the example of Yangyang Chang, who has achieved success as an auditor at Ernst & Young, a teacher of Chinese language and culture, and an improvisational comedian (a skillset that may be particularly useful for building AQ – and having a great time doing all of these).

Indeed, the easiest way to get enthusiastic about change may be to build the most interesting life you can.

Become Antifragile

Those with the highest AQs don’t just accept change – it makes them stronger. The mathematician Nassim Nicholas Taleb writes about this concept of antifragility.

Several overlapping skills, mindsets, and practices can help us become antifragile, including choosing the right risks, seeing life and work as a laboratory, and grounding ourselves in tradition while preparing for the long game.

Start the Conversation

At Artisan Creative, we have a long track record of helping creative professionals and leaders move into the future prepared to get more from their lives and careers. Contact Artisan today to learn more.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 555th issue of our a.blog.

International Women’s Day

Tuesday, February 25th, 2020|

International Women’s Day is coming up on March 8th and celebrates achievements by women in business and across all areas of society. IWD is also a chance for reflection, for focusing on and encouraging diversity implementation in the workplace, and to increase opportunities for mentorship and peer support among women in the business world.

Here are a few ways we plan to celebrate International Women’s Day this year.

Celebrate Success

We believe it is important to take this time to be grateful and inspired by the tremendous success and remarkable inroads that women have made into the realms of business and entrepreneurship. In the last decade, entrepreneurial women have worked both smart and hard to leverage the economic boom to launch numerous new ventures across multiple sectors. 

According to recent research, women-owned business enterprises are now generating more than $1.6 trillion in revenue and employing over nine million people. This creates a more robust opportunity for women to support each other in the workplace. One that has never before existed in U.S. history.

Support Professional Women and Women-Owned Businesses

Artisan Creative is itself a women-owned business. Sharing our experiences and connections has provided us with many opportunities to enrich our community, especially when it comes to helping other women-owned businesses find their footing and utilize all the resources available to help facilitate their growth and success.

If you are interested in obtaining a Women Business Enterprise (WBE) certification, or in providing others with the specific steps they can take to get one, our own president, Katty Douraghy has shared the process in detail.

This is one example of the knowledge and experience that Artisan Creative shares with professional women and women-owned businesses.

Break Through Taboos and Challenge Social Norms

In the modern era, women are ascending to positions of global leadership at an unprecedented rate.  However, even in this new and more empowered time, unique challenges remain for professional women on their path to success.  So that we won’t have to face these challenges alone – let’s work towards creating a platform of support for professional and entrepreneurial women that can make things smoother for all of us.

The Emotional Financial Intelligence Coach Anne Beaulieu offers some advice and insights on “embracing the new normal” and supporting ourselves, and each other, in an era of new and exciting opportunity and change.

Discover What You Can Achieve

At Artisan Creative, we have a long track record of helping professional creatives and creative businesses understand and harness their unique strengths to open new avenues to success, become more involved in thriving and supportive communities, and get more from their careers, their ventures, and their lives.

Contact Artisan Creative today to learn more. We hope you’ve enjoyed the 554th issue of our weekly a.blog.  

Emotional Intelligence at Work

Tuesday, February 11th, 2020|

As the world becomes more networked and the workplace becomes more collaborative, one of the most important professional skills to develop is emotional intelligence, also known as “EQ.”

EQ is associated with empathy, strength of character, and getting along well with others, whether on difficult projects, in virtual meetings, in brainstorming sessions, or in social situations. Speaker Jen Shirkani identifies emotional intelligence using her “Three R Method,” recognizing strengths and weaknesses, reading the room and the people in it, and responding appropriately and usefully to your circumstances.

This concept has been discussed since the 1990s, and has gained increasing prominence, with 71% of recruiters and hiring managers claiming to value EQ over raw intelligence (as measured by IQ).

It’s the “It” Factor

Because emotional intelligence is hard to quantify, it represents many of the “intangible” qualities sought by creative recruiters and hiring managers and is also highly valued by coworkers, clients, and collaborators. It manifests as empathy, charm, tact, or a “gift of gab” that allows you to bring people together, make others feel valued and understood, and build consensus around your ideas. Indeed, it’s one defining quality of work that cannot be automated or outsourced to AI, as technologies such as chatbots still struggle to replicate the behavior of emotionally intelligent humans. In meetings, client presentations, or job interviews, EQ can make all the difference.

It Can Be Cultivated and Improved

When you make an investment of time and attention, you can improve your own emotional intelligence. It takes patience, practice, and effort. And it’s well worth it!

Here are some areas in which emotional intelligence can bestow significant advantages, in life and at work.

Relationships

Life is all about connecting with other people. Much of your professional success comes down to how well you work together with others to achieve mutually rewarding and satisfying outcomes. Emotional intelligence can help you build your network, work well with the right people, and build a career that survives setbacks and gains momentum over time.

Collaboration

Most of the work we do is about:

  • Mutual respect
  • Careful listening
  • Processing and incorporating feedback
  • Appreciating a diversity of perspectives, incentives, and contributions

Great collaborators are present, mindful, and thus more open to the ideas and experiences of others. Emotional intelligence emphasizes the skills of effective teamwork, understanding that they can always be improved and that collaboration is a process, not a product.

Decision-Making

Being emotionally intelligent on the job can help you make more thoughtful decisions. You can better understand the facts of a situation, put them in context, and account for important hidden variables, such as how others may react emotionally to sudden changes.

As you become more well-regarded at work and gain a track record of trust, strong emotional intelligence can help you ascend to leadership roles.

It can also help you stand out in the hiring process, navigate job interviews, and make mutually beneficial decisions about what work to take on and what opportunities are right for you.

At Artisan Creative we help creative professionals and leaders get more from their lives and careers. Contact Artisan today to start the conversation. We hope you’ve enjoyed the 553rd issue of our weekly a.blog.  

Planning for 2020

Tuesday, January 14th, 2020|

You’ve set your goals, declared your intentions and shared your resolutions with others.  Now the real work begins to create action steps and smart goals to bring them to fruition.

Before you can create those action steps here are seven ways to prepare and help improve your circumstances, your state of mind, as well as your state of being in 2020.

  1. Get Organized

Account for you how you spend your time and energy. Use the 80/20 principle to lean on your strengths and allocate your resources more effectively. Plan for productivity, organize your physical and digital space, outsource what you can, and simplify your life.

  1. Get Going 

As many Americans are becoming less geographically mobile, that shouldn’t stop you from seeing what you want to see of the world. If you want to travel, relocate, change jobs, or become a full-on digital nomad, now is as good a time as you’ll have to make those plans and put them in motion. Artisan Creative can help.

  1. Get Focused 

We are what we attend to. Use your sharp and curious mind to better know yourself, so you can understand what you really want and determine how to get it. Practice mindfulness, hone new skills and stay engaged with a rapidly changing world.

  1. Get Physical 

If you want to feel better, get more comfortable in your body. If you find the right diet and fitness plans and stick to them, the rewards will enhance all areas of your life. At the very least, have a glass of water and get your teeth checked out.

  1. Get Social 

In our culture of hard work and proud individualism, loneliness can easily become a problem. Whether you’re an extrovert, an introvert, or something in between, it is essential that you actively engage with other humans, whether through networking events, in peer and mentor relationships, or by making sure you spend plenty of time with your family and with friends old and new. You will build a strong network and a strong spirit.

  1. Get Grateful

Take time to fully acknowledge how much support you have from the people and things around you. To do this, cultivate a daily gratitude practice and make lists of everything you appreciate. Incline your mind toward opening your heart.

  1. Get Over It

In a viral article, creative director Momo Estrella shares the story of how he transformed his mindset and his life when he changed his computer’s password to “Forgive@h3r.”

You can use the new year as an opportunity to release old resentments – if not for others, then for your own improved well being, you’ll be happier, more productive, and more creative when you are able to let go of anything from your past that’s holding you back. After all, you’ll almost never hear anyone say, “I wish I hadn’t forgiven that person!”

At Artisan Creative, we help creative professionals reach their full potential in life and work, whether that means having more success where they are, or by seizing a new opportunity. Contact Artisan today to learn more and make the new year your best yet. We hope you’ve enjoyed the 551st issue of our weekly a.blog.  

Personal Branding Tips for Twitter

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014|

Whether you are an individual or a brand, social media puts many challenges in our path. If you are having a bad day, your personal voice can easily lean toward the negative. A company brand voice can do the same.

When you are thinking about your personal brand, though, you want to be presenting yourself as professionally and positively as possible.

Do the links that attract your attention today tend to talk about potential mistakes or potential successes? Are you posting articles about bad news stories or good ones? If you are drawn to the negative, it might be a good idea to take a break, take a walk, get a fresh perspective.

There can be a fine line between good branding and not-so-good and at times it can be hard to tell where that line falls. Here are some of our tips for walking the line:

  1. Universal truth–If that meme would make anyone with a heartbeat give you a high-five, you’re good to go.
  2. Check the source–A great quote can still come from a controversial person. If you think your audience might object to the name at the bottom of the meme, you might want to find another one with a similar sentiment.
  3. Timeliness–If something negative is actually taking place locally (like a fire) or it is a trending topic and you don’t mention it, you might sound out of touch. It is never out of place to wish a current event would work out as well as possible or express condolences.
  4. Watch out for cleverness–You are a writer and a clever turn of phrase is probably your bread-and-butter, but how many times have we seen communications pros get caught in a clever–but tasteless–tweet? Too many. Use a scheduler like HootSuite to give you time to look at that 140 characters before it gets published. Or run it past a trusted colleague if you think it is worthy, but may go out of bounds. 
  5. Know your audience–What are they interested in? What do you have in common? What do they like that may not be your cup of tea? Your audience is not you necessarily. Put yourself in their shoes and offer them content they will want to click through to.

Sometimes personal social media communication can get difficult. We are all out there hoping likeminded folks are listening. Body language is no help. Take a breath. Your follower might be having a bad day, too.

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative

Time for a Resume Refresh

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014|

Don’t you wish your resume had a Refresh Button? We hope you’re spending some time this summer recharging your creativity, refining your goals and planning for new experiences. Summer is a good time to get your resume out and refresh it as well. We don’t have a magic button, but we did take a look at some current resume trends and wondered whether you would like to try some of these new approaches:

Charts and Graphs

Those metrics you have in your bullet points might make better visual information. If your accomplishments can be quantified, try adding some colorful graphics to your text resume.

Refine Your Keywords

Are recruiters finding you when they look for someone with your experience and qualifications? Make sure your resume is going to pop up in scans for your skillset. A great tip from CAREERREALISM: if you are targeting a specific posting, use Wordle to turn a job description into a word cloud–you can be sure you know the most important keywords to put in your text.

Tighten up your Summary

Put metrics in your summary as well as in your bullet points for previous jobs. You only have a few seconds to make an impact–make sure your summary does the job.

Hyperlinks

Since most resumes are being sent electronically, don’t forget to add hyperlinks to your online portfolio, LinkedIn profile, and email. Make it easy for recruiters and hiring managers to find out more about you–they will want to.

Numbers

Your bullet points should already be using active verbs, but it is even more important to use numbers to illustrate your accomplishments. You have some new achievements since the last time you revised your resume and you might have more results on previous projects now. 

Although a traditional resume can be updated, you can also try a non-traditional format, like a video, an infographic, or even a Facebook Timeline. And don’t neglect your LinkedIn profile–it must always reflect your most recent work and include samples.

How often do you revise your resume? You should be revising your resume every quarter, even if you are not looking for a new job. 

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative

Having an All-Star Job Search Team

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014|

We are on teams at work, collaborating on projects and inspiring creativity in one another. Teams are becoming more and more important, even in academic subjects, at school. We are also on teams in our personal lives, whether we practice sports or do DIY projects at home. 

Have you ever been on a job search team? We all need people to help us along, especially when we are looking for that perfect new role. Who should you be scouting?

A Pitcher

A friend who is not averse to getting in there and making big moves is a great motivator. She has great ideas and unafraid of risk. Brainstorm with this team member for new strategies and energy. And let her take the lead if she has great connections.

A Catcher

Good advice is always welcome and this colleague always knows when you are in need of a little pep talk, help handing a particular situation, and a calm voice. He can also throw the ball back to you when it’s time for you to be proactive.

First Base Umpire

When you are between interviews or waiting to hear, she can keep you steady on the road to landing your new job. Someone with great focus on your goals can help you stay focused as well. Is it time to take a breath or time to head for home?

Mascot

No matter what, your mascot thinks you are the best. Staying positive is one of the hardest things about looking for a job and you definitely need someone to cheer you on.

Coach

A recruiter can help you see the big picture, improve your resume and presentation skills and get you out there interviewing for the jobs you want. 

Do you have everyone you need on your team? Don’t job search alone. Pull your team together and go for the win!

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative

Every Day Can Be Independence Day

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014|

Most freelancers are freelancing by choice and happy about it. There is more flexibility than in a permanent job. They can choose their own schedule. It does take a lot of self-discipline, though, to be a successful freelancer and wearing your PJ’s all day isn’t part of it. If you want the independence, here are some tips to help you make it work:

Create a routine

Having flexible work hours is a great benefit of freelancing, but spreading your work out over a long day can just mean working longer than your office counterparts. Plan your work time and your breaks to maximize productivity and minimize overtime.

Be prepared

Every performer knows that a significant amount of a character can come from wearing their costume, especially the shoes. It doesn’t take a suit or tie to have a successful day or a successful business, but getting ready for work in the morning can make a significant difference in mindset, especially if you have meetings over the telephone or computer with clients. You never know when a client will call to discuss a project!

Say No

Some of your friends may assume you are free to do whatever you want when you are a freelancer and they might wonder why you can’t go out on a moment’s notice. TThe rules of your school years apply just as well here: homework before playtime. If you want to keep your clients happy and get referrals to others, keep your deadlines in mind. No one knows if you are working through lunch or going to a picnic except you. Choose wisely. Your friend will call again.

Say Yes

On the other hand, of course, the freelance lifestyle means you can take time for yourself and your family when your workload permits. Don’t spend all your time staring at the screen. Your creativity will suffer! Especially when you have a little lull in your schedule, take advantage of it and enjoy!

Independence is a wonderful feeling but it does come with responsibilities–to yourself, to your clients, and to your family. When independence and responsibility are in balance, the freelance life is a very happy one.

Artisan wishes you and yours a very happy–and safe–Independence Day!

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative

Boost Your Summer Creativity

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014|

Do you feel more or less creative in the summer months? High temperatures and humidity can seem to leach energy and productivity right out of our day. There are, however, some special things about the summer season that we can use to boost creativity if we let them:

Time with family

From K through college, kids are home for the summer and underfoot. But don’t let work stop you from spending some quality time with them–it could actually make you more creative. Let their enthusiasm boost your own and make sure to remember any crazy ideas that come to you during special playtimes.

Travel

A small change of scene can make a big difference, but a big change of scene can do even more. Even the light is different in another country. Be especially present when you are somewhere new and different, take lots of pictures to help you recapture how you felt there, and carry a notepad with you just in case of a brilliant insight.

Relax

We can’t play and travel all summer–sometimes we have to get some work done. “All work and no play…” isn’t a well-known saying for nothing, though. It’s okay to slow down, take breaks and remember why you love to do what you do. We are hardwired to think of summer as a slower season so go ahead and do so. You will probably improve your productivity during working hours.

Try something new

What have you always wanted to learn? Whether work-related or a new hobby, learning something new changes your perspective on the familiar and may spark new solutions to old problems. 

My family decided to take a break and vacation right at the beginning of the summer, and now I get to use all that inspiration from traveling with them overseas to rejuvenate my creativity. What are you doing to boost yours?

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative