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Last time, we talked about whether or not you should hit the job market, based on the state of the industry. But what about the state of YOU? Isn't that just as important? Yup.

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(image source: Monument Valley & Pocket Gamer)

Trust your gut.

If you're reading articles like this and this and you get caught up and ohhh all of a sudden you're looking for a new job, that's not a bad thing. Sometimes you just need to take a leap. Get out while the going is good, and if the "going" is the economy, then it's definitely worth it. People are more likely to regret not doing something then doing it, and you don't live a life of regret! Right?

Figure out what you're looking for.

Do you have a bold, butt-kicking resume? Are you a stronger candidate in person? Are you looking for your next job to be THE job? These are important things to ask. If you're a strong candidate on paper, no need to wait. A limited job market will probably be fine for you. Better in person? Sometimes getting that first interview is the challenge, and you'll do better when there are more jobs, so the candidate pool is spread a bit thinner. If you're looking for the perfect job, you might want to hang on until the industry as a whole is doing well–more budgets will be devoted to creative jobs as companies everywhere are putting out better work.

Are you up for it?

Before you hit the job market, make sure you're all-in. It's often a flood of output without much return (though that could be different, if you meet with us first, wink wink.), so the job search is as much a time investment as an emotional one. Make sure you really want to take that step first, so that all the following steps have direction. Job searches can be a grueling and exhaustive process, and if your heart's not in it, you won't succeed.

Update your portfolio.

Perhaps the most telling indication of your readiness to hit the job market is your drive to update your presentation of work, however it lives. A website, portfolio, resume, or anything similar needs to have recent examples of your skills, and your subconscious knows that. Haven't updated? Don't want to? Ask yourself why not. And if you can't figure it out, you probably don't want to put yourself out there just yet. However, if you do, it might stir up some productivity. So, do or don't. Depends on the type of person you are.

So you tell us, are you ready to hit the job market? Give us a call.

Posted: 3/25/2015 3:00:42 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments


Maybe you've been thinking about it. Your friends have been hinting at it. Your trips to the unemployment office remind you of it. Your fluorescently-lit lunches sitting at your computer are slapping you in the face–you need a new job. Which can be a crazy maze thats often difficult to navigate.

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(image source: Monument Valley & Pocket Gamer)

First we'll talk about gauging the market, determining whether or not now is the time for you to hit the pavement with a pile of resumes.

Check the industry.

Every job-related site writes some sort of "Job Market Predictions for 2015!" or "You Should Be in This Industry!" (You saw ours, right?) article. Read up. If your industry seems like it's about to pick up, then that's a good thing. They've studied the trends from year to year and it's safe to assume they know their stuff.

If you were, say, asking us about starting a job search right now, we'd direct you to this, and tell you that job openings for "graphic designers" and "art and design workers" were in the top six occupations that had an increase in job openings last month.

See how the salaries compare.

Do some investigating. If you haven't been in the market for a while, see how salaries stack up. Look at trends from the last year–are salaries higher at the beginning of the year? Wait until then, if you can. PayScale ad Coroflot are great resources for comparing salaries of different positions and job titles.

Glance at your finances.

Sometimes a job change can affect your cash flow– if there's a gap between your last paycheck and your new one (weekly payroll vs. monthly, for example), or if your take-home pay is changing, just be aware some adjustments might be in the near future. Make sure you can swing it.

Network

Whether or not you currently hold a job in the industry you want, the best way take the temperature of the market is to dip in your toe. Talk to some others who are working at companies, find out if they're in desperate need of new employees, ask if they've let anyone go recently, find out if others are also trying to sniff out some new opportunities. Though media sites can report all they want on the national scene, hyper-local and personalized interactions with those in the specific community you're looking at will be abundant with relevant information.

All this being said, are you personally ready to hit the job market? Check back.

Posted: 3/19/2015 2:54:48 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments


In the creative industry, the unemployment rate is at 0%.

Just kidding.

But it might as well be – tech jobs have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country right now. And. AND. Massachusetts has the lowest unemployment rate it's had in 6 years. So, if you're one of our Boston-based job-seekers, you're in the right place.

December (remember that time? When we didn't have six feet of snow on the ground?) marked a decrease in unemployment in 42 states, not to mention 4 of the remaining states had an unchanged unemployment rate. Forty-two states! Considering that December of 2009, five years before, had a rate of 10.2%, today's 5.7% really is news. People are getting jobs. Applications for unemployment aid have droppedHourly pay is rising (up .5% in January, the most in six years). People are seeing that they have options.

This is especially good news for workers in the tech industry. With an unemployment rate that is consistently lower than the national average, IT is doing just fine. The end of 2014 saw a remarkably small 2.5% (less than half of the national average) of tech industry workers unemployed. On top of that, 64% of hiring managers say they're seeing candidates ask for higher salaries than they were only six months ago, and almost a third say more candidates are rejecting offers.

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Though unemployment rates are an odd thing to be excited about, we can't help but see the positive side of these recent changes in the job market. An unemployment rate of around 5% is considered healthy, and the United States is well on it's way to returning to a state of normalcy as far as jobs are concerned. If tech candidates have the capability to be choosy, turning down offers and asking for more money, this hopefully predicts a healthy job market for the entire country is in the near future.

Posted: 3/6/2015 4:12:04 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments