Blog

Ten years ago, laptops were a whole inch thick, the world had only just been introduced to the "selfie" and we were unaware that our immediate future contained watches that did anything but tell time. Technology has moved at a rapid pace in the last several decades, and it can be difficult to keep up!

Many of us can get away without knowing the ins and outs of the newest programs on the market , but there's something to be said about "staying fresh." Whether it's your attitude, your skills, or your knowledge of what's out there, keeping up to date on the latest and the greatest and maintaining your motivation makes for a confident, successful worker. Here's how to do it.

Link Roundup

Take a class.

Or two..

...thousand.

Go to a talk.

Try out a new program.

Learn to love doodling.

And coloring.

Go to a creative meet up.

Do one of those Drink and Draw nights.

Do another one of those Drink and Draw nights.

If you design, learn a bit about coding.

If you're a coder, learn a bit about design.

Most importantly, read up on what's new.

Staying current in the creative/tech world is a toss-up between knowing the current technology and knowing about the current technology. If you have the right attitude, acknowledging that there are new and different programs and techniques being used in the industry is half the battle. You'll learn the specifics when you need to, but a fresh and informed attitude will get you far.

Brooklyn Brainery - If your technical skills are up to date, why not try your hand at something that'll make you a bit more well-rounded. Beekeeping, an Intro to Tapestry Weaving, and How to Talk to Strangers: the Art of Small Talk are all classes that could keep your creative juice flowing, without the boredom of being a topic directly applicable to Your Job

Posted: 6/26/2015 1:17:36 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments


It's a great problem to have: you find yourself in a good industry for jobs, it happens to be 2015 (a great year for job candidates)– the professional stars are aligned. While only a couple years ago the scenery was very different, recently candidates' ability to be choosy has been a given. When companies are more desperate than candidates, you might find yourself deciding between two companies– we have a few tips for when you're in the fortunate position of managing multiple offers.

Illustration_worker

1) (Pardon the French) Don't get cocky.

It's the first lesson that should be learned in every aspect of your adult life. Nobody likes arrogance, and how you handle a job offer can be a good indicator of your place on the jerk-o-meter. Don't flaunt your other offer to a company– you can mention it and use it for negotiation, but don't wave it in their face. Companies are willing to fight for candidates but not if they're you-know-whats.

2) Do negotiate.

This is the biggest benefit of having multiple offers. Leverage.

Now, this is a delicate dance. If you're a female, apparently even moreso. Mentioning that you have another offer is definitely tricky but is ultimately the best way to get closer to your desired salary, for a couple reasons. To the company, it's obvious that you're a desirable candidate, which validates their evaluation of you (who doesn't love giving themselves a pat on the back?), and it means there's a pretty solid reason you'd turn down this job. And they could easily remedy the situation by offering you comparable or better pay. Which means? They probably will.

2) Don't burn those bridges!

Any bridges! When you let a company know you're taking a position elsewhere, chances are they'll be a bit bummed. Even if you weren't excited about that offer, this is not the time to expose true feelings. Keep the connection lines open. Say you'll be taking another offer but you'd love to stay in touch because you really admire the work they're doing. Tell them you'll hopefully see them at that big citywide event you both brought up in the interview. And then when you do inevitably see them (the creative industry is still a pretty small community) you'll have nothing but nice things to say. There's a good chance mutual respect and friendliness could help you out professionally in the future– you never know who your company could be collaborating with on a project, and honestly? Professional creatives move around a lot. That person could end up being your boss or coworker someday.

And when it comes to leaving your current job after being offered multiple other ones– yes, we've all had dreams of walking out of a job with.. let's just say, less than a few nice words being said- save the drama for Jerry Maguire. Again, you never know where you or the company will be five years from now.

While being in high demand is a wonderful, glorious feeling these days, it's easy to forget how rare an occasion it really could be. Stay on your toes and don't make any assumptions about how things will go. We've all seen how quickly the job market can shift.

Posted: 6/12/2015 3:40:02 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments


Applying for jobs is one thing – building your professional network is another entirely. While job openings usually have pretty clear cut ways of being navigated, nobody seems to have written the manual on creating and maintaining a network of professionals and allies. Considering more than 70% of jobs are filled via referrals or professional networks, it seems necessary for job seekers to get some guidance on the subject. We've compiled a list of the 7 people you should have in your professional network. We all know the Muppets have quite a cast of characters, so we'll use them to demonstrate the sort of character we're talking about. Whether you're searching for a new job or just looking for some ideas to push your career forward, these are the people you'll need.

1. The Buddy

muppets_bert_ernie 

A friend and confidant. Someone who is at the same professional level as you (maybe you worked together or went to school together), who knows everything you're going through. You don't need to be working with them, but having someone who can pick you up when you're down, or curse the skies right along with you when you need to write yet another cover letter, is necessary.

2. The Mentor

muppets_Statler-Waldorf-Head-Bobbing

Potentially an old professor, a family friend in the same industry, or someone you have boldly reached out to, a mentor is the best person to keep you in line for prosperity. They've likely been in your shoes, have had their share of mistakes and successes, and ardmore than willing to pass some wisdom along to you. It doesn't hurt to buy them coffee. Or drinks. Or dinner. The Awl also has some great tips on acquiring a mentor that involves nothing but straightforwardness and honesty.

3. The Connector

muppets_bigbird

The person who has had a ton of jobs, in many different areas. The one who's "been there, done that" and can tell you if you should be there and/or do that. They maintain connections with their old bosses and coworkers, and if you tell them you're looking to take the next step in your career, they'll likely say "You know, I heard so-and-so is hiring. I'll give them a call and put you in touch." These are the people who can ultimately get you a job, and they are invaluable.

4. The Spark

muppets_Beaker1_280

They're energized, they've got ideas, they're one of those people you feel this inspirational buzz after you see. Chattiness is their game, and enthusiasm might as well be their profession. They're just the kickstart you need for new projects or a fresh job search and they're the spark you need when your job's feeling a bit tired.

5. The Pragmatist 

muppets_fozzy

You don't need a hater, but it's great to have a skeptic–someone who will tell it like it is and not how it could be. Even though the economy is on the upswing, it's risky to make any big moves, and these people won't be afraid to tell you you need to put some more work into it.

6. The Eccentric

muppets_swedish-chef

It's good to have unpredictable people in your connections wheelhouse. Prone to restlessness, eccentric people tend to have a wide variety of jobs, meet lots and lots of interesting people, and have no qualms about bringing you along. You never know what sort of job you might be looking for next, but someone who knows your eccentric friend may have just the position for you.

7. The Mentee

muppets_rabbit 

Having someone who counts on you for advice and guidance is a good way to mentally propel yourself to the next level. You'll need to be able to explain things well, teach them a trick or two, and assess their skills keeping in mind where you were just a few years before. Even if you feel like the position you're in at company doesn't make you mentor material, give it a shot. Plus, knowing someone is keeping an eye on your every move with put more weight on your decisions.

Networks aren't strictly for finding new jobs. They're for supporting you in every stage of your career, pushing you forward, pulling you into a reality, and tugging at your drive to turn it into full blown success. There's no rush to gathering your network (there's a very slim chance they'll be Muppets), just make sure you have people who will be supportive and positive influences.

Posted: 6/9/2015 11:33:34 AM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments