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It's August and we all know what that means– beach time, lake time, Europe time, whatever sort of break you need, it's VACAY TIME. ... Right?

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you're looking for a new job, there's no time to be sipping pina coladas on a beach. At least not without a resume in your other hand.

For many of you, the summer is when your friends, significant others, kids, or families are actually able to take time off, so you're stuck (poor you) going on vacation anyways! Like we said, your job search can't take a break, but that doesn't mean there aren't ways to keep it moving while you're.. not moving (laying on a beach is hard work, we know!).

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Make a Schedule

Hold yourself accountable by making a schedule for each day of vacation. If your end goal is to have applied to five places, hash that out and assign yourself tasks each day. While ambiguous goals are easy to drop, specific tasks keep you focused and moving along in your search.

Job Search in the Mornings

Everyone knows how quickly the day can get away from you, AND everyone knows that nobody likes doing things in the morning except going for a run, being quiet, or sitting and drinking coffee. Luckily, two of those things can be done in front of a laptop used for searching for jobs. Get a head start and knock a few things off your to-do list before everybody else even wakes up.

Be Honest

Though a vacation does wonders for the mind and body, there's nothing like coming back from a break to a mental pile of things that Need to Be Done. If you really need a job, don't let yourself think of this vacation as primarily vacation. Spend your mornings searching job listings, your afternoons by the pool drafting cover letters– you can be around your companions but don't let yourself drift into happy hour without having put in some work.

At the Very Least, Utilize Your Travel Time

If you're driving or flying somewhere, use that time! With airport timing so up in the air lately, you might end up having 1.5 hours of free time at the gate (you planned to get there exactly 2 hours before, right?). Every little bit counts, and if you can't spend time once you get to your destination, do it while you're wasting time waiting for a plane, just like everyone else.

Beat the Crowd

This isn't so much a tip as a pat on the back to you. Everyone thinks you can take a break from the job search to go on vacation, so you're a step ahead of the rest. Don't lose your edge.

Happy vacationing, and best of luck with your job hunt!

Posted: 8/29/2016 10:43:02 AM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments


In our last post, we discussed the constantly morphing landscape of the creative economy. More and more people are freelancing , a change reflected in the prevalence of common workspaces and the sky-high projection that 50% of workers will be freelancers by 2020. Sidling up next to the professional freelance workforce is a less-than professional workforce that has jumped on the bandwagon of freelance flexibility and market accessibility. It might be a suitable structure for driving cars, but it becomes a hodge podge of work of varying quality. The problem for professionals becomes: how do you distinguish yourself from a sea of amateurs?

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1. Brand yourself.

Think about Coca-Cola. Is there a single person that looks at a Coke ad that doesn't know whose ad it is? Nope. Treat yourself like a company – after all, if you're a freelancer you are your own company. Branding yourself is often not as high a priority as creating quality work, but it's just as important. You'll be more recognizable and look more professional, so it's easier to get your foot in the door with a potential client. It's also the very first example of your work that can be seen. Before they even look at your portfolio, they've seen a peek of what you can do.

2. Maintain existing relationships.

If you've worked with a client in the past, even if you haven't done any work for them recently, check in. Companies would much rather use a freelancer they already have a relationship with than go out in search of new talent. You may have just drifted to the back of the pile, and giving them a friendly hello and a prompt for any new work will keep you fresh in their mind.

3. Network.

Ask people you've worked with to refer you for future work wherever possible. They'll understand, since they want you to succeed as a freelancer (so they can continue to work with you) and probably understand you have some time in your schedule. The best reference is a happy customer, so why not have them do a little networking on your behalf?

4. Be proactive.

Put yourself out there rather than waiting to be found. If you were a business owner, you'd find yourself spending your time as efficiently as possible. You'd more likely spend your money on a designer who reached out and put their work in front of you than spending your time searching for a freelancer, right? So do just that– put your name and work in front of companies and see what comes back.

Posted: 8/17/2016 10:14:11 AM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments


You get in a car with a stranger who drives people around for some extra money. You pay to sleep in someone's spare bedroom, and you'll hire a cleaner based on online reviews from other people. The gig economy is alive and well, and it's not just for musicians anymore.

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Think about it - decades ago, if you were a professional working in an office environment, you likely spent most of your life at one or two companies. Being a consultant or a freelancer was not as widely accepted: it's lack of permanence and stability was seen as risky. Nowadays, the workforce has transitioned into the mentality that changing jobs more frequently promotes adaptability and creativity. This comfort with job hopping, extrapolated over the next decade or so, becomes a thriving gig economy.

Average Joes become "pros" and branching out on your own while still under the umbrella of a reputable company has become the norm. While the gig economy structure works well for our on-the-go, on demand lifestyle on the consumer side and for our need for flexibility and decent pay on the provider side, it is a system that is uprooting everything the working world has become comfortable with. Certain industries are more conducive to a fluid workforce of less experienced workers, but what does this mean for the creative industry?

In short: we're not sure.

Although content mills like 99designs and Fiverr are already in existence, we doubt sites like these will be the face of the creative gig economy. With an estimated 50% of the workforce being freelancers by 2020, the quality and value of the work will go up, but there's still one main issue.

How can skilled professionals compete with such a low cost market, and how can they distinguish themselves from the pack?

We'll tell you in our next post!

 
Posted: 8/15/2016 12:08:45 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments