With Paul on our team, we're pretty much unstoppable. Anyone with a career such as his is a wealth of information on the changing scenery within the creative and technological job market. Combined with Kristin's parallel experiences (within the Boston market), these two have had some in-depth conversations about the industry. So, here are some of CM Access's thoughts on what the future holds.
The landscape of the creative job market is changing.
We mentioned the other day that the team at CMA has been focused on design and digital rather than information technology. We began to see that creative and technical jobs were no longer mutually exclusive, and with this realization came a glaring need for an individual with IT expertise (Paul).
Lately, design has been having a larger impact on how businesses operate than it ever has in the past– a solid user experience is crucial, and an appropriate design and "feel" must be incorporated into every aspect of the user's interaction. While there are still traditional design roles, companies are discovering the value of putting designers in strategic areas that they haven't previously occupied. Tech-savvy companies move interaction experience to the forefront, surrounding it with new departments and roles developed to stabilize its importance and efficiently produce end results.
It's affecting the region.
The Northeastern market is, in a word, competitive. It's tricky enough developing new positions to fulfill the ever-changing needs of an innovating company, but try finding employees who fit the bill. Employees who might have the skills, but aren't familiar with a new title they've never seen before. Mobile engineers, creative technologists, agile project managers, and solutions architects are all examples of new job titles popping up around the region, and employees with a broad range of skills necessary for the jobs are in high demand.
Digital knowledge is necessary.
From the more creative side of the industry, Kristin explains that designers in the highest demand have embraced technology and have learned more than enough to lead creative. They've also assisted IT in understanding the vision for the user experience being created, have excellent communication skills and, most importantly, a grasp of technology necessary to translate the vision to final execution.
The modern workforce understands that technology is constantly advancing, so the technological shift in responsibilities hasn't come as much of a surprise. Often, they've seen their responsibilities change within an existing position before a company decides to move those responsibilities to a new position entirely.
Suggestions for navigating a changing job market:
Kristin says it's absolutely critical to stay current in your field, and to "network, network, network."
Similarly, Paul suggests not being complacent in whatever field you're in. Have discipline and understand how your profession (in its entirety) is changing. Also, make sure to stay involved in your particular community.
Posted: 5/27/2015 3:15:59 PM
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Hi, everyone. This is Paul.
You're probably wondering, "Who in the world is Paul? Why should we know him?" and the answer is coming up.
We've talked a bit about the future of the design/tech/digital/creative industry, and at this point you should all be aware of the path the market is going in– if not, we will summarize. You need to know a bit about everything, be familiar with both sides of the creative-technical fence, and be willing and able to learn new skills and collaborate with people on the opposite side of it. (If you saw last week's post, you know what we mean.)
CM Access has had a strong presence for job seekers in the creative and digital market, and now it's about time we answer the needs of our clients' changing landscape. We're becoming a full service solution to the technology and marketing space by expanding our expertise to encompass IT. In order to make the expansion of services, in keeping to our core mission of delivering high quality talent to our clients, we needed to bring in a subject matter expert! So, we're beyond thrilled to announce that we have a new Regional Director in New York, Paul Sember.
Paul has been involved in IT staffing and career management for the last 15 years, working at a few boutique firms, running a desk of clients and candidates, and was even a director a several of those firms. When asked why he's stuck in this particular area of the industry for so long, he says "It's a really, really exciting industry to be in– the startup world in New York is so dynamic. The people are fascinating to talk to, and no one day is like the next. Being involved with some really big companies, you also get the opportunity to work with them extensively and see some really cutting edge stuff." He knew CMA's mindset was aligned with his, so the move here was seamless.
Paul brings strong knowledge in the staffing field as well as the IT expertise the team needs. He knows the ins and outs of the digital and IT landscape, and has proven to be a valuable asset to our team. Welcome, Paul– we're excited that you joined our quest for total and complete domination in the IT and marketing career placement niche!
Posted: 5/26/2015 12:52:45 PM
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Years ago, we all made our own things. If you needed shoe laces, there was a leathery in your town. If you needed a big cast iron pot, you'd go to the blacksmith, and for shoes, a cobbler. For a long time, the idea of "being a master of your trade" was predominant, and this carried through to the job market until quite recently. Many many years after blacksmiths and cobblers came jobs like graphic designer, art director, web designer, things like that. Clear cut jobs. Single-area-expertise jobs, just like in the past.
That was great while it lasted, but it seems we've turned a corner. While the days of the one-track job aren't exactly behind us, the landscape of creative jobs has changed. Now you need to know a bit about everything.
Say you're a pastry chef. You're working with another chef to bake a cake, and you've decided to make the actual cake while the other chef will make the icing. Shouldn't you both have an understanding of what each other is doing? Talking can explain it, but without tasting what you're both preparing, you won't know if they'll go well together and you'll end up with a terrible cake.
The creative job market was the same way. Lots of baked cakes and icing made, but without either having a taste of the other. These days, designers without coding experience are finding it a bit of a detriment, and while all jobs don't necessarily require it, they're certainly more likely to go for a candidate with more knowledge of web-based languages. The same goes for developers needing design skills. The years-long discussion about whether or not designers should be coding, whether coders should study up on design, has opened a can of worms on the employee side. Some are for it, some are adamantly opposed. Regardless of anyone's personal feelings on the subject, the market is turning towards employing those who have skills on both sides, for two major reasons:
The most important reason for a right-brainer to be familiar with a left-brainer's (and vice versa) is so they both learn the same "language," if you will. If you, cake-baker, spoke Spanish and your icing counterpart spoke Russian, would that cake be any good? Newer positions need to be able to successfully communicate with other departments, and the more knowledgeable about their work you become, the better your relevant vocabulary, and the better your understanding of the effect your project has on them. With an employee who can act as a liaison between creative and technical, you'll prove to be irreplaceable.
One of the more interesting, and perhaps overlooked, points in the argument is that while yes, being well-roundedly knowledgeable is more productive and efficient for your company, it will also bring a bit more respect your way. Have you ever had a boss who doesn't have the faintest idea how to do what you do? They don't have a great sense of a reasonable timeline, you find that you don't respect their opinion (because they weren't "trained" in your field, you say), and the words they use to describe what they're looking for are cringe-worthy. They're like a bad client, but you work for them every day.
Same-level employees not understanding each other's work, not knowing how to do it, is the same situation. Designers and developers are both guilty of not readily offering up respect to those who don't "get" what they do, so if you do? They'll like you, appreciate your effort, and you'll become more considerate towards them, because you understand what they're dealing with. Mutual respect creates a balanced workplace, and a balanced workplace is more effective.
Necessary job skills ebb and flow, especially in the creative market. These days its all about staying ahead of the competition, and if you're experienced and/or knowledgeable about both the creative and the technical-digital, you're ahead of the rest. If enough candidates hit the market with thorough knowledge like this, the market will change drastically over the next few years.
Posted: 5/6/2015 3:23:28 PM
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