Creating Your Personal Brand

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019|

As a creative professional, how do you open better opportunities and do more of the work you love? How do you differentiate? In the context of personal branding, this means presenting yourself in a way that sets you apart from others in your field. Your personal brand should be easy to explain in an elevator pitch, yet complex enough to generate a range of ideas and evolve over time.

You can get some unusual personal branding insights from a classic Harvard Business Review interview with Bernard Arnault, the chairman of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the richest person in the fashion world, and one of the world’s leading authorities on building “star brands.”

Become a Star Brand

According to Arnault, a star brand has four key characteristics. “A star brand is timeless, modern, fast-growing, and highly profitable,” he says. “It is very hard to balance all four characteristics at once – after all, fast growth is often at odds with high profitability – but that is what makes them stars. If you have a star brand, then basically you can be sure you have mastered a paradox.”

To work toward becoming a creative rockstar, you should cultivate your own unique sensibility independent of passing trends. At the same time, you should pay attention to your media diet and attune yourself to the zeitgeist. And, you must have the courage to ask for what you’re worth. A creative staffing firm such as Artisan Creative can help you get a fair price for your work.

Be Your Own Biggest Fan

“A lot of companies talk about quality, if you want your brand to be timeless, you have to be a fanatic about it,” says Arnault. As a creative professional, this means pouring your passion into every piece of work you do. It also means presenting that work in a way that showcases your personal brand in the most flattering and exciting possible light.

Make sure you invest time and attention to detail when building your creative portfolio so it best communicates who you are and what you’re capable of. Attend networking events to build a professional support system and get comfortable with promoting yourself.

Be Bold and Take Risks

When working with the world’s most famous designers, Arnault’s biggest management priority is to give them the freedom to be themselves. “If you think and act like a typical manager around creative people – with rules, policies, data on customer preferences, and so forth – you will quickly kill their talent. Our whole business is based on giving our artists and designers complete freedom to invent without limits.”

As the manager of your own personal brand, this means giving yourself some space to pursue unusual ideas and try new things. You can orchestrate the right environment to loosen your creative muscles, or do fun and experimental work on your own time – work you really love – to freshen your perspective. Also, give yourself permission to occasionally pitch a risky idea. It may unlock some hidden potential in a project.

First, build rigorous self-discipline. Then give yourself the freedom to be yourself and shoot for greatness.

Seek Inspiration From Unlikely Sources

While he doesn’t make demands, Arnault does encourage designers to broaden their horizons. “Not long ago, I said to one of our designers, ‘Why don’t you take a trip to Japan and see what the teenage girls are wearing on the streets at night?’ These girls are very leading edge in fashion; they create trends years before they hit the mainstream, like with those very high shoes, and it makes very good sense to watch them. I did not say to the designer, ‘Go and see what kinds of shoes they are wearing and copy them,’ although I was hoping he would notice their shoes. I just suggested, ‘Go look.'”

To grow and refine your personal brand, capture ideas and inspiration from as many different places as you can. Go to museums, art galleries, symphonies, and public gardens, and take note of anything that strikes you. Explore the hidden history of your profession and how it’s done differently in other times and places. Keep an open mind, and you’ll have the flexibility to do unique, courageous work that is unmistakably yours.

At Artisan Creative, we help creative professionals get more from their lives and careers. Contact Artisan today to learn more.

We hope you’ve enjoyed issue # 546 of the a.blog.

The Art of Self-Promotion

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019|

Whether you’re looking for the perfect job, starting your own business, or building your career as a creative freelancer, your success depends on more than doing great work. Others must know you’re doing great work, which can only happen if you share your skills, accomplishments, and passions in a visible way. This means you need to promote yourself.

Many creatives are shy about self-promotion, as it feels hard to do so even when you know you’re worth promoting. Experiment with these ideas and you’ll develop habits that amplify your work, increase your presence in your community, and put you on track to seize opportunities, careers, and the life you want.

Learn the Basics of Marketing and Branding

As you build the groundwork for your promotional initiatives, you can use the same principles and strategies that guide the marketing and branding efforts of the world’s largest corporations. The basics are freely available in our brief guides to defining your personal brand and marketing yourself like a business – you just need to apply them. To start, make sure your creative portfolio represents you as well as possible. Then, test your efforts in the real world by attending networking events. If you’ve built up some resistance to self-promotion, now is the time to take some risks and raise your comfort level.

Make a Brag Document

To promote yourself effectively, you should be keenly aware of your body of work, what you love, where you excel, and your larger career trajectory. Of course, when you’re immersed in creative work, it can be easy to lose track of how much you’ve accomplished. To keep track of where you’ve been and find clues about where to go next, maintain a “brag document,” an inventory of what you’ve done and a key to analyzing how it all fits together. Julia Evans explains the purpose and substance of a brag document and provides an easy-to-use template so you can create your own. This can help you prepare to get recognized, negotiate, back up your claims, and angle for promotions and new opportunities.

Defend Your Ideas

One of the most useful tools of self-promotion is also an essential skill in giving effective presentations: the power to defend your ideas. To do this, you should understand your own work better than anyone else. You should be prepared to explain your decisions and to field questions, comments, objections, and criticisms in a way that preserves the integrity of your work while allowing healthy space for improvement. This is easier said than done, and Mike Monterio can help. As the author Design Is a Job and You’re My Favorite Client, he’s one of the go-to sources of insight on how to get tough and give your ideas the robust defense they deserve. In this fierce and funny keynote presentation, while geared toward graphic designers, can help anyone dramatically improve their mindset around explaining themselves and their work, which is a key to effective self-promotion.

Beware the Negativity Bias

According to the science of evolutionary psychology, our brains have evolved to help us merely survive; if we’re going to thrive, we have to do it ourselves, with intent. Historically, negative information was more important to our survival than positive information – a tiger chasing you deserves more attention than a sweet-smelling daffodil beside the trail – so we’re wired to prioritize the negative over the positive. In the modern world, our natural negativity bias can hold us back if we fixate on risks and weaknesses and don’t focus enough attention on the rewards we want and the strengths that can help us achieve them. To cultivate a winning mindset, it’s important to bolster ourselves with positive information. This means choosing our relationships carefully, being mindful of our self-talk, and learning the basics of positive psychology. After all, our strongest self-promotion comes from within.

At Artisan Creative, we love to showcase your talents and promote your skills to our clients. When you’re ready to take your business or your career to the next level, let’s get in touch!

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 540th issue of the a.blog.

Digital Spring Cleaning

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019|

Happy Spring! Today is the first day of spring, the vernal equinox when the sun’s rays shine directly on the equator, and our days begin to get longer.

Spring cleaning is in the air, and this year we are focusing not only on de-cluttering our home offices and work stations but also focusing on our digital clutter and noise!

Multi-version files, copies from years ago, duplicate images, a multitude of apps, and incessant notifications lead to not only a cluttered digital space, but also to a cluttered mind leading to distraction and reduced productivity.

Below are several tips to help you with your digital spring cleaning:

Managing your smartphone

Moving all apps into a folder, alphabetizing and deleting those no longer in use is scary, yet liberating. In his article Beautilty, Jason Stirman describes the step by step to do this task.

Duplicate Files

If you aren’t already using proper naming conventions, start now. It’s too easy to get bogged down with multiple file versions with slightly different names. Choose a file naming convention process and stick with it. Whether you start with the name or date, stay true to it and implement it across your team or department.

If things have gotten out of hand, manual intervention may not be possible. In this case, duplicate file management apps like Gemini or a variety of version control options such as Git, SVN, and others will solve your problem. If you are a creative, use Adobe Bridge or DAM to manage those assets on an ongoing basis.

Backup and Delete

Once your files are organized, then back them up to the cloud, or to a drive. Back it up and have the peace of mind that you can always find that one elusive file. Delete all non-current files as well.

Say Goodbye

Turning off notifications, and unsubscribing from emails and newsletters that are overflowing your inbox will give some breathing space. Whether you change the frequency of newsletters or divert them to their own folder, change this flow of digital noise to something that is both manageable and realistic for you. You can use Unroll.me to batch unsubscribe and remove email subscriptions you no longer need.

Inbox Zero

It’s hard to start, however, once you achieve inbox zero, you’ll never want to go back. A few easy steps can get you organized and help build a workflow so you can get to inbox zero. Tools like Sanebox help manage all those LinkedIn invites, or Basecamp notifications.

 

We hope you’ve enjoyed our 513th a.blog.  Please connect if you are looking to hire your dream team, or looking for your next job opportunity.

Selecting Your Recruitment Partner

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019|

Challenges around staffing, hiring, and human resources are ever-changing. They take time, money, know-how, and people power. Sometimes they can distract from other priorities your team needs to be focusing on. That’s why many businesses work with recruiting partners, outside agents with specific experience in finding, vetting and placing talented job-seekers.

As a business decision-maker, you have a range of recruiting partners to choose from. When evaluating your options, it’s crucial to ask the right questions in order to find the recruiters and agencies that best suit your needs.

Specific Industry Focus

To get the best results for your search and to fill the roles you need to fill, specificity is your friend. For every industry, there are recruiters who exclusively focus on that area. For example, if you are focused on creative work, your most effective partner is one who lives in the creative space, who knows how that world works and thrives in the creative culture and lifestyle. This holds true for whatever business you’re in. You may decide to work with a generalist agency with different areas of focus, make sure the people you engage with directly have an intimate understanding of your work and the people who do it.

Track Record of Success

Good recruiting partners take pride in the work they’ve done for other clients. When gauging potential partners, check out testimonials on the web or ask your peers and colleagues for advice and referrals. If you’re unsure, schedule a call or meeting and ask for years of experience, case studies, processes and results for roles similar to yours.

The Candidate’s Perspective

When evaluating how a recruiting partner picks and matches their talent, consider the candidate’s point of view. Are the recruiter’s processes optimized to bring on board and successfully vet that specific skillset? Does the recruiting firm’s core values, culture, marketing, and mission fit with the attitudes of the talent you want to attract? If you need candidates with particular skills, or who can pass a particular background check, can you rely on this agency’s expertise to bring you those candidates? Connect with someone who is an expert in searching for candidates you’ll love to hire.

Harmony of Process

When considering a recruiting partner, find one with a rich talent pool of readily available candidates, as that’s only half the battle. You’ll also want to ensure that the recruiters understand the rhythms of your hiring process and can work smoothly on your terms. Will you need to staff up quickly on short notice? Your recruiting partner should be able to find and vet appropriate talent on tight turnarounds. Do you favor a slower, more thorough hiring process, with multiple rounds of interviews? Look for a recruiting partner who will work with you diligently to find the exact talent you need. Would you rather outsource an entire project to an external team? Make sure your recruiters have the connections in place to make that happen.

Get It in Writing

Feel free to ask tough questions of your potential partners, and make sure you’re both clear and concrete on all details and machinations of your agreement. How does the process work? How is communication handled between you, your recruiting partner, and the people they place with you? If difficulties arise, who takes responsibility for what? Business relationships go best when everyone is in sync from the start. Good recruiting partners will align with your values, answer all your questions in the spirit of full transparency.

At Artisan Creative, we have 23+ years of experience in creative and marketing talent, a strong network of a.players, and a passion for exceeding client expectations. Contact us today to start the conversation.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our 506th a.blog

Find Your Passion

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018|

#ArtisanAdvice -Find Your Passion 

Joni is a self-taught designer with a natural curiosity and gung-ho attitude toward picking up new hobbies and monetizing passions. In several years shehas launched a food blog, a granola company, became a certified holistic health coach, and launched a baked goods and flower collective. We spoke to herto find out how she went from public health and art major to successful designer without any formal design training.

Joni began playing around with the idea of a design career after graduating from Berkeley. She studied design tutorials via CDs (remember those days?) and YouTube. She loved learning and figured she had a good shot of doing design full-time. This is when Craigslist was a hotbed of job postings for kickstarting careers and Joni landed a full-time role at a design studio where she cut her teeth on the whole gamut of the design process. So what should you do if you find yourself in a similar situation? And where should you even begin?

With literally thousands of hobbies out there it can be tough to know where to even begin to find your passion. Try to be curious about everything around you and find things to do outside of work. Joni likes to be active and pack in as many activities as she can. “When you get to a certain point [in your career] there’s always a way to make it more legitimate. I tried to monetize a lot of hobbies and quickly realized some should always stay as exactly that — just hobbies.” When it comes to design, Adobe is great about providing free tutorials. And remember, you don’t have to be the best but as long as you’re scratching the itch that’s all that matters at the start.

Give Yourself a Creative Outlet

Joni worked hard at giving herself a broad skill-set, “You don’t want to be one dimensional when you work in the creative industry. It’s important to have additional places to be creative outside of your job.” In Joni’s case, she loves interacting with people and learning about new topics and industries– be it a blog or sketchbook, find a creative avenue and see where it takes you.

Nurture Relationships

So you’ve reached the point where you’ve found your passion, you’ve got the skills so now what? Work won’t find its way to you without you putting yourself out there. “I’ve always been successful with word-of-mouth business. Friends’ businesses or friends of friends are referred to me and as long as your social network knows what you do and what you’re interested in, people will come to you.” No doubt there will be times when you are pushed out of your comfort zone and here’s when you have to fake it until you make it. It’s a cliché term, but when it comes to gaining confidence it truly works. And what if you’re nervous about putting your work out there? Don’t be, Joni reassures, “The moment you get over your shyness about showing work it opens so many doors. Take your ego out of criticism and people will come to you to seek your services.”

 

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 495th issue of our a.blog.

 

Resume Refresh Checklist

Thursday, October 4th, 2018|

Are you starting a new job search? Could your ongoing search use an energy boost? Have trends in your industry shifted? Have you accomplished those professional goals you committed to at the start of this year?

If you answered yes to some or all of the above, it could be a good time for you to review your resume to give it a quick update and polish.

For most recruiters, hiring managers, or connectors who find you through a LinkedIn search, your Linkedin Bio and resume will be your best chance to make a first impression. You will approach the job market with more confidence if you’re sure your resume is as strong and polished as it can be.

Have a look now at your resume to make sure it meets all the important criteria.

Is it fresh?

If you haven’t spent any time on it in more than a few months, it pays to give your resume a close read, especially if you’re actively sending it out. You may be able to improve some awkward phrasing, use more modern formatting, or even catch a stray typo. Grammarly and Hemingway are two popular and trusted tools you can use to improve and tighten your writing.

Is it current?

Clearly, if you change jobs or achieve new professional goals, you should update your resume to reflect the new you. You must also be mindful of changing trends and language in your industry. Any expert who reads it should know that you know your stuff. With the rise of applicant tracking software, exceptionally strong SEO is one of your best friends during a job search. You are your own marketing department, so familiarize yourself with the latest SEO tricks and techniques that marketers use to boost visibility. Also, read job descriptions for jobs you want and rework your resume to use similar keywords. Make yourself easy to find.

Is it exciting?

Write in the active voice to present a stronger sense of who you are and what it might be like to work with you. Rather than “responsibilities” or “duties,” focus on your accomplishments and how you provide value and ROI. Rather than your “objective,” be descriptive – every line should be lush with details about what you know, what you can do, and what makes you different. Grab your reader’s attention and lodge in their memory.

Is it on brand?

Your resume works in concert with your social media profiles, your online portfolio, and the rest of your overall digital presentation. Make sure they all present a consistent sense of your personality, your professional values, and your realms of expertise. Create a buyer persona to represent the hiring manager whose attention you want to attract, and redesign all aspects of your digital presence to communicate directly with that person.

Is the design appropriate?

Always emphasize content over form. Every element of your resume should add; none should distract. Unless you are a visual designer with a distinctive aesthetic, stick with common typefaces and simple formatting. Trends in aesthetics and language change rapidly; present yourself in a manner that will have perennial appeal. If you’re in doubt, find a mentor or a peer you respect and ask if you can use that person’s resume as a model for your own.

At Artisan Creative, we know that building your dream career isn’t just about attention to detail – it’s about knowing which details matter.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 491st issue of our a.blog. Get in touch today and continue the conversation.

Create a Creative Workspace

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018|

Living things don’t exist in isolation – we are who we are through complex interactions with our environments. This means building strong relationships with colleagues and coworkers. We can also pay more mindful attention to the details of our physical surroundings. This can help us bring our workspaces into harmony with our projects, our values, and our personalities.

Whether you work from home or have a desk/cubicle in a larger office, these tips can help you spruce up your space, which can help you become happier, more productive, and more creative.

Shed a Little Light

The light you work under sets the tone for what you think and what you accomplish. It can have a powerful effect on your psychological and ocular health. If you can, invest in a stylish lamp you love. If you love to work with your hands and you know a bit about electronics, you can even try making your own.

Know Your Ergonomics

We did not evolve to sit at desks all day. But with a basic understanding of the principles of ergonomics, you can make your work much easier on your health, and feel better as well. Understand what you need from a chair, how to place your equipment, and how to sit. You’ll feel better, accomplish more, and preserve your long-term health.

Keep Your Vision in Sight

Keeping your vision board prominently placed in your workspace can help you stay cognizant of your larger goals and mission. When you’re in danger of getting lost in the details, your vision board can realign your mind with a larger perspective. Whatever you’re working on, the big picture is only a glance away.

Add a Splash of Color

In every culture, colors have deep symbolic significance. According to color theory, the right combinations of colors can inspire new ideas and perspectives. In your space, experiment with colors to find your ideal aesthetic and psychological balance. You don’t need to turn your office screaming neon pink; minor accents can be enough to alter your brain chemistry and enhance your insights.

Go Green

When we strengthen our relationships with nature, we put ourselves in touch with the rhythms of the earth and the essence of life. Bringing plants into your workspace (even just a modest succulent) can freshen your perspective. Taking care of a plant also provides a sense of responsibility and accomplishment, a valuable reminder that what you pay attention to always matters in this complex web of existence.

Work Within the Code

When we innovate within the rules, we become, as Proust writes, “like good poets whom the tyranny of rhyme forces into the discovery of their finest lines.” If your employer has rules governing how you can decorate your space, this can drive you to be more creative, not less. Go through the rulebook in detail, and figure out fresh ways to let your personality shine within the structure. This can inspire you and those around you to look at established guidelines with a fresh perspective.

At Artisan Creative, we support all aspects of your career, because we believe the best work can only be done in the right environment. Contact us today to learn more.

 

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 490th issue of our blog.

 

 

Employee Ghosting and the Value of Respect

Wednesday, September 12th, 2018|
Which one of these do you feel is harder: to be rejected outright, or to be simply ignored? Today, many employers are facing this question almost on a daily basis.
 
In dating and romantic relationships, the practice of one partner ignoring another – not responding to texts and treating all attempts at communication with radio silence – is known as “ghosting.” Similar practices are steadily creeping into the business world, with a wave of talent and prospective employees not showing up for scheduled interviews and agreed-upon start dates, or even for jobs they’ve already committed themselves to. Ghosting is giving hiring managers and employers a scare.
 
How We Got Here
The United States is in an era of low unemployment and sustained economic growth. As the demand for new talent outpaces supply, employers have struggled to find the right people for all of their open opportunities. Talent and employees thus have much more power than they did during the Great Recession when many lost their jobs with little fanfare and interviewers often ignored candidates they didn’t want to hire. The new reverse imbalance manifests in cavalier employee behavior such as unannounced absenteeism and a failure to communicate.
 
According to USA Today, as many as 20% of workers in some industries now engage in ghosting practices. This trend is negatively impacting large and small businesses, along with their customers. On the other hand, it’s inspiring conversations about how workers and employers can treat each other better, to foster more healthy and successful relationships down the line.
 
In order to facilitate mutual growth, the culture of work requires trust, respect, and core values to be shared between employers and employees. As any discerning politician can tell you, it is foolish to pin one’s fate to shifting, unpredictable trends in economics. We advocate that employers, employees, clients, and talent use the advent of ghosting as an opportunity to get reacquainted with the core values that can sustain them through booms and busts.
 
Communication
As a talent, it’s ok to reject opportunities that aren’t right for you, however, do it in a manner that respects the offer and lets any relevant stakeholders know. Honest compassionate communication always makes the truth easier to convey, and with an appropriate heads-up, everyone should be able to move on more smoothly. When leaving your current job, give two weeks’ notice when possible, and offer to tie up any loose ends in your work to facilitate an easy transition.
 
As a hiring manager, when you decide not to hire a candidate after an interview, let the candidate know. If you can, provide some constructive feedback, even if it may not be what the candidate wants to hear. It can be difficult to deliver bad news, however, it’s worth it if it means supporting a culture of openness and mutual respect. It is also important to acknowledge that it’s a candidate driven market, and many candidates are experiencing multiple interviews. Providing timely feedback is key, especially if you are interested in the next steps with a candidate.
 
Transparency
When we give accurate information to others, we empower them to make better-informed decisions in the future. We also invest in the strength of our own reputations, because everyone appreciates those who deliver the truth with respect and understanding.
 
As your circumstances change, make sure everyone around you knows what they need to know to prepare for any impact this may have. As a talent, this means letting your employers or recruiters know if you are available. As an employer, it means keeping your team informed about the state of the company and letting them know you’re all on the same side.
 
The world is small, and life is long. As technology makes us all more closely interconnected, our reputations, previous actions, and patterns of behavior are more likely to open or close new opportunities for us. If you must exit a difficult situation, and you do so with grace and full disclosure, you will more likely find support from your former colleagues when circumstances change and may be less in your favor.
 
At Artisan Creative, we believe a culture of respect is paramount in all human endeavors. We give our talent and clients the tools and support they need to succeed when they lead with their values. Contact us today to learn more.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the 488th issue of our a.blog.

Are you a Digital Nomad?

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018|

As humans and especially as creative professionals, we must learn to maintain a delicate balance between security and adventure, as our minds and hearts deem appropriate. If you are the sort of person who tilts toward adventure, or you crave a lot more risk in your life and career than you have currently, have you ever considered the life of a digital nomad?

Digital nomads take advantage of the wondrous interconnectedness provided by flourishing digital technologies. The consumer internet has only been around for a bit more than two decades, and these digital nomads live to explore new landscapes both virtual and geographical.

To be a digital nomad, one condition is to hone the skills you can do remotely, such as web design and development, copywriting, social media marketing, or any other creative trade that requires only an agile mind and a laptop. You must also cultivate your adaptability, learn to strategize, and develop a whole range of travel and interpersonal skills, some of which are so specific that they don’t have names.

You can start to live a successful life as a digital nomad, with all the romance and adventure that come with it, if you can master these four core principles.

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify

Before you travel the world on your own steam, get smart with your money. Eliminate as much debt as possible and cut expenses to the bone. Own only the property you absolutely need – place most of your items in storage, and if you own a home, consider renting it out on AirBnB for extra income. If you don’t own much, don’t owe much, and lead a simple life, you will have an easier transition to becoming a digital nomad.

Plan Ahead – Take Care of the Details

The life of a digital nomad involves lots of improvisation. That’s much easier to manage if you handle as many potential variables as you can before you go. Figure out your communication strategy – how will you stay in touch with clients and creative recruiters on foreign soil? Plan your itinerary – where are you staying, and where can you stay if those plans go awry? Do you need travel insurance, or extra guidance and protection? Use your networking skills to find a community of mentors and peers who have overcome some of the challenges of being digital nomads. Their friendship, camaraderie, and insight will make your travel experience less lonely and more fun and fruitful.

Put Your Assets to Work

As a digital nomad, you won’t have access to the same professional networks you would if you were anchored in one location or community. You can make up for this if you create assets that will work in your favor when you’re traveling or go offline. Make sure your online resume and digital portfolio are attracting new business while you sleep (especially if you’re sleeping in an unusual new time zone). If you have unique skills to share, you might create an online course – this can generate passive income to help you get through any rough patches.

Keep an Open Mind

The most important skill of a digital nomad is adaptability. This bold lifestyle will teach you how to embrace unpredictability, dive into the unknown, and change your mind on the fly.

“Travel has a way revealing that much of what you’ve heard about the world is wrong,” says Rolf Potts, author of the acclaimed travel lifestyle manual Vagabonding. ” Even on a day-to-day level, travel enables you to avoid setting limits on what you can and can’t do. On the road, you naturally ‘play games’ with your day: watching, waiting, listening; allowing things to happen. There’s no better opportunity to break old habits, face latent fears, and test out repressed facets of your personality.”

At Artisan Creative, we can help you conquer the challenges that matter to you as you claim the life and career you want. Contact us today to learn more.

 

 

Turning Your Passion Into a Career

Wednesday, August 1st, 2018|

How do you turn your passion into a career? People are often advised to follow their dreams and passions, but let’s face it–turning a passion into a career is easier said than done.

In the first blog of our new feature, Artisan Advice, we spoke with Basir, a writer we recently placed at our client’s Texas location. Basir is one of the few who turned his passion into a career.

When Basir was young, he voraciously read automotive blogs and publications. He dreamt of being an auto journalist and reviewing cars but ended up pursuing business and marketing–that is until he took a 180-degree turn and decided to chase his passion.

He’s since worked for the likes of the BBC and TIME in New York, startups in San Francisco and now as a writer working on automotive with our client. So how did he manage to achieve his dreams and what did it take to get there?

Find a Mentor

As a fresh graduate, Basir landed a writing job at the BBC. Their past interns were mostly journalism majors and lacked the same thing–automotive knowledge. Basir’s deep knowledge of the automotive industry impressed the Editor in Chief so much he hired him without any writing experience. Thanks to the Editor’s faith, Basir learned firsthand the skills needed to write well. Many people we’ve spoken to have shared similar experiences with us. Do you have a mentor or a former supervisor who has taken a chance on you?

Start Your Own Blog

Starting your own blog is solid advice, especially when you need to bolster your portfolio or submit some samples to an application. Think about what topics you’re passionate about and start a Medium or WordPress site. “Your blog doesn’t have to be the next big thing, but when it’s time to apply to gigs you can send your samples. It develops your skills, too. Not only that, but clients can see how serious you are.” In Basir’s case, it’s clear that clients will take a chance if they see potential, but you need to prove yourself, too. A blog is a great way to quickly convey your interest and passion before you even get to the interview stage.

Know Your Value When You Lose Inspiration

How do you place a value on something you write or design and how do you know if it was a success? If you’re feeling like you’re stuck in a creative rut, take a look back at some of your successes and see how many times your article was viewed or shared. Seeing the fruits of your labor and results can help you to feel inspired again.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 482nd issue of our a.blog.  Get in touch today and start the conversation!