How to be a Successful Designer

Being a Successful Graphic Designer
Source: https://www.pinterest.com/samanthat1259/infographics/?lp=true

You know the old adage that everyone and their dog thinks they are a graphic designer. It can really tick you off because REAL DESIGNERS spend so much time learning, honing their skills, and finding just the right way to “say” the intended message.

With that being said, designers also know that they have certain skills and personalities that others simply don’t possess. Take a look at the included infographic. Let’s work through this guide, digging into it to see if these skills are really specific to what designers need.

Sky is the Limit

This is great for designers, because often clients come to you with a general idea and want you to take it to the next level. Which means you need the ability to think way outside the box. On the other hand, I believe everyone has the potential to be great if they just put enough effort into it. So, this means that regardless of your career, you should always be pushing yourself.

Creativity Comes from Within

Any successful designer knows that they often have to try out numerous ideas before the right one works. But they also know that they shouldn’t give up until they find it.

Communicate

Don’t be surprised if your design is way off from the point if you don’t take the time to communicate about the goals of the project. Not only do you save time but you also have a much more enjoyable designing experience because you actually know what to do!

Get Your English Right

Proofread, proofread, proofread. And then check it again. You are bound to have missed something.

Develop Constantly

As much as you might think you are an expert, don’t forget that you should always be learning, learning, and learning. Each new skill or more experience with the ones you already have is another opportunity to add a new and different design method to your repertoire.

Practice Makes Perfect

Not sure how to approach a project? Wish you could make a design you see on a sign or online? Well, what is stopping you? Use these as practice clients and test your skills remaking these creatives.

KISS (Keep it Simple Silly)

Simple is elegant. Simple is concise. And simple is what wins people over. Don’t overly complicate your designs. Spend some time organizing what you foresee as your end product and work your way there. Then be willing to erase if it is just too busy.

Never Stop Learning

This one was sort of covered already above. But every time you use one of your skills, you are getting better at it. And each time you create a design, you are building a canvas to build others on or to use as a foundation to then go in a million different directions. So, never stop learning.

Be Persistent and Passionate

Being able to match exactly what a client has in mind can be difficult. But if you listen, ask questions, and are persistent, you will prevail.

Jack of All Trades

…And master of none. Being a jack of all trades is not often a positive because it implies the individual can sort of do a lot of things but each not very well. But with design, it has a different connotation. The more skills you can bring to a project means your final product will be miles ahead of the competition.

Acknowledge

Use your manners. It really is as simple as that. Don’t forget about those who have helped you along the way and helped you gain your skills. And then on the other side, remember that you were a newbie once too so help out others just like you were helped.

Want Your Creative Skills to Shine?

Creative Talent Management offers top creative and design talent opportunities. Let CTM help you find our next great opportunity. It is closer than you think. Get started today by calling one of our experienced recruiters at 800.338.4327.

 

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Navigate the Job Search Process: Explore Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Advancing your career doesn’t happen in one day. But professionals in a variety of fields can improve their skills and knowledge by participating in Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Through CPD, opportunities abound in a variety of channels. Learners set objectives for themselves (e.g. specific skills to be learned or practiced) and afterward participate in self-reflection of the progress they’ve made.

Advancement in your industry might require a myriad of skills. Some are concrete and visible actions, while others are more subjective. CPD offers opportunities to hone these skills whether they require more physical or mental capabilities.

maze-navigating-job-search

Soft and Hard Skills
It is no doubt easier to measure hard skills (physical tasks) over soft skills (e.g. time-management, creativity, etc.). But job performance improves with both kinds. The desire to broaden your horizons illustrates workplace adaptability. And the very notion of wanting to participate in CPD is itself an indication of workplace and skill growth potential.

Sharing is Caring
Volunteering might be an excellent CPD option for someone wishing to change careers. Donating your time can get you in the right places at the right times. Additionally, you could also be the individual offering up the CPD to others. Showing others the ropes is a great way to stay fresh yourself.

Go for the Freebies
Online learning has taken off the last few years. This means that professional development can be had off and online. Check out YouTube and udemy for free (and paid) courses in numerous fields and subjects.

Legit CPD
Independently-guided CPD might not quite be intensive enough for some learners. To help with this, formal CPD is offered through organizations, associations, and companies. Offering staff these opportunities gives employees a chance to build deeper professional-to-professional relationships and interactions.

All learning might be the same to some people. But formal CPD takes the usual rote approach to a new impactful level. The information gleaned from these interactions is immediately at a higher more usable level. Learners can see the information in action.

Did You Read that Somewhere?
Absorb the literature within your chosen field. Such information is often written by those right in the thick of the industry themselves. Consider publications, articles, trade journals, and news. Stay up to date with new business practices, innovative technologies, and the right skills to learn to put you at the top of the applicant pile.

Don’t Forget to Reflect
CPD is not just about absorbing a few bits of information from professionals. For CPD to truly be effective, the learner must be active throughout the entire process. Reflection is critical to successfully improving your skill and knowledge base. Use the exercise to grow, both career-wise, emotionally, mentally, and educationally.

Enhance Your Career with CPD
Use CPD to gain an edge in your field. Find a mentor, enroll in an online course (independently or through official channels), read, volunteer, research, and more to improve your knowledge base and skill set. Organize it yourself or seek out professional opportunities. Either way, become an active learner in your future endeavors. Reflect on the knowledge gained and use it to take you where you want to go.

Enhance Your Career with the Right Community of Professionals
Contact an experienced recruiter at 800.338.4327. Simplify and expedite your job search or posting process the moment you need it with Creative Talent Management.

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Snag that Promotion Today

handshake-business-promotionIt is human nature to always want a bit more (i.e. more money, higher social standing, better position or more responsibility). But wanting these is only part of the equation. You might even feel ungrateful because your current position isn’t really terrible, but you have an underlying feeling that where you currently are in your career isn’t quite enough.

You might have your eyes on a higher position or on another job. Regardless of your aspirations or perceived inadequacies in your job, consider the following tips to help you achieve that promotion.

Stay Positive
Thinking of rising above your current position while continuing your current workload is a daunting task. It sounds like a motivational speech; but it really is critical to maintain a positive outlook while in your current setting. Promotions don’t go to Debbie Downers. Constant frustration at work takes your mind off current performance and pulls you further back from successfully completing important projects.

Quick Put on a Happy Face Tip? Try calming yourself by taking a few moments to reflect—in the morning and then in the afternoon. Take some deep breaths or take a quick walk outside to clear your head.

Find Someone Who Actually Knows What they are Doing
Seek out someone in your own company (or through a friend at another company) who has gone through all these career-enlightening experiences before. You can find a mentor through both formal and informal avenues. Above all, seek out someone who likes, trusts and believes in you already, and who you can really talk freely with (i.e. not a stranger). Conversation runs both ways. A mentor needs to feel that he or she can offer up constructive criticism as well as helpful advice.

Quick Find an Expert Tip? When searching for a mentor, it is also helpful to seek out higher level professionals. People at higher levels have obviously been there longer which means they likely hold greater insight into the company overall.

Be Your Own Advocate
When you are on the path to a promotion, you need to be the one who is doing most of the pushing. Also, if you are the one behind a successful project, own up! It can be intimidating to step up, especially if someone else steals your thunder, but make sure you receive credit where credit is due.

Quick Get Yourself Noticed Tip? Track your projects and accomplishments. By specifically writing them down, you will be able to freely discuss them during promotion opportunities.

Do it for Free!
Well, maybe, not really work for free, but showing your desire to take on more responsibility illustrates to senior staff great potential. But of course, you probably already have plenty of actual paid work that fills up your time. Finding other projects to work on can help you develop other pertinent skills.

Quick Way to Volunteer Tip? Research potential volunteer opportunities within your own section as well as outside your department. Use these as chances to compare skills needed for these projects and compare with those currently utilized with existing projects.

Be a Never-Ending Learner
Improve your business know-how and show your employer you are serious about a promotion. Employers always want the most qualified individual to fill a position. Be that prime candidate by participating in a variety of learning outlets.

Quick Knowledge-Gaining Tip? Seek out seminars, conferences, and online courses to enhance understanding of your industry.

Ready to Snag?
Creative Talent Management has a range of open positions available right now. Your next opportunity is closer than you think. And your next promotion is even closer when you team up with CTM. Get started today by calling one of our experienced recruiters at 800.338.4327.

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Find Your Perfect Job and Perfect Snack Combination

foods that go togetherFinding your perfect job is no easy feat. Sorry to burst your bubble and not present you with a magical formula, but finding your perfect position takes effort on your part as well as some reflection. But there is a starting point.

You need to discover what you are truly passionate about and actually enjoy doing and will want to continue to do for quite some time. Also, think of your skill set. What are your strengths, weaknesses?

Take these seven questions below and use them to delve deeper into your dream job. You will probably discover some similarities and commonalities that will help guide you in the right direction. After you have discovered these insights, head over to CTM to get in touch with us.

1) What are my hobbies? What has always interested or fascinated me?

2) If money were no object, what would I do in life?

3. What gets me up and out and at ‘em in the morning?

4. According to others, what do they consider my strengths?

5. Do I agree with these as my strengths?

6. Are there any activities that I can do and lose track of time while doing them?

7. What are my goals in life? What do I want people to remember about me?

These questions might seem lofty and out of reach, but they are critical to getting to a personal understanding of your career interests and prospects. Now, you are ready to tackle that next great opportunity. Creative Talent Management is always ready to help you. Contact us today at 800.338.4327. Then grab a perfectly matched snack and explore our site to find what CTM can do for you.

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9 Questions to Expect During Your Next Interview

handshake-job-interviewThe job search process can be very unfulfilling. Unless you score the position, it can seem like you are just going through the motions, day after day, with nothing to show for it. But each time you get the chance to interview, it raises the stakes. But getting an interview and acing the interview are two completely different scenarios. That is why you need to show up prepared.

Here are 9 questions you can expect to be asked during an interview as well as some tips for how to impress the hiring manager.

1) Tell me about your creative process.

Creative and design positions require unique perspectives. Hiring managers want to know what kind of designer you are, how you design, and where you get your inspiration. It is during this time that you can explain your design process and how long you spend on research, storyboarding, etc.

2) What do you do if you get in a creative rut?

Expect this question because it explains what happens if the creativity well runs dry? Do you give up and cave? Do you reassess the purpose of the design to see if you started at the wrong end? Maybe you change only certain aspects of it and rework just those. Your answer will also explain whether you can take feedback and how you work when you are in stressful environments.

3) In your previous design experience, what have been your roles?

With this question, you can explain your responsibilities, whether you just did the concluding phases, developed projects from scratch, or just strategized the end product? Have you worked face-to-face with clients, or just by yourself?

4) Practice situation.

The hiring manager might have you work through a practice situation to get an idea of how you approach a new idea. You should include how you might create your first draft. Then add in how you would go about targeting the right audience. Would you work with the client (and how)? How would feedback be received and how would you go about adjusting your design? You should be able to explain your process and why you would choose to do things this way.

5) Explain a time when your work was not well received by a client.

The hiring manager wants to know how you react to criticism. You need to be able to explain how you reacted. How did you go about finding what the client wanted to change? Answering this question will help illuminate your ability to address both design and results.

6) How do you stay organized?

Everyone organizes differently. One person’s chaos is another’s sense of order. Hiring managers might ask this question to gauge how you manage working on a variety of projects all at once. People on your team depend on you to finish your part of the project. So, you need to be able to share with others what they can expect during your design process.

7) How do you begin a project?

This question speaks to how you as a designer take what the client wants and bring it to life. Client work is all about results. You need to be able to explain or share the questions you ask clients in order to feel out exactly what the project entails.

8) Share a project you are really proud of.

This question will let you share what you consider to be your finest work. This is your chance to share your passions and the kind of design programs or styles you thrive on when using.

9) How do you work on a team?

Collaboration is a fact of life in a company. You don’t need to love everyone you work with, but you do need to be able to work with them and produce a successful product. This is a chance for you to explain how you work and share responsibilities with your team, bounce ideas back and forth, and take over when deadlines are near.

Connect with Us

Now that you have the ammo to ace those interview questions, contact us and check out our job openings. We will help you find the perfect fit and help you score that interview. Call us today at 800.338.4327 or email us at info@talmanagency.com.

The job search process can be very unfulfilling. Unless you score the position, it can seem like you are just going through the motions, day after day, with nothing to show for it. But each time you get the chance to interview, it raises the stakes. But getting an interview and acing the interview are two completely different scenarios. That is why you need to show up prepared.

Here are 9 questions you can expect to be asked during an interview as well as some tips for how to impress the hiring manager.

1) Tell me about your creative process.

Creative and design positions require unique perspectives. Hiring managers want to know what kind of designer you are, how you design, and where you get your inspiration. It is during this time that you can explain your design process and how long you spend on research, storyboarding, etc.

2) What do you do if you get in a creative rut?

Expect this question because it explains what happens if the creativity well runs dry? Do you give up and cave? Do you reassess the purpose of the design to see if you started at the wrong end? Maybe you change only certain aspects of it and rework just those. Your answer will also explain whether you can take feedback and how you work when you are in stressful environments.

3) In your previous design experience, what have been your roles?

With this question, you can explain your responsibilities, whether you just did the concluding phases, developed projects from scratch, or just strategized the end product? Have you worked face-to-face with clients, or just by yourself?

4) Practice situation.

The hiring manager might have you work through a practice situation to get an idea of how you approach a new idea. You should include how you might create your first draft. Then add in how you would go about targeting the right audience. Would you work with the client (and how)? How would feedback be received and how would you go about adjusting your design? You should be able to explain your process and why you would choose to do things this way.

5) Explain a time when your work was not well received by a client.

The hiring manager wants to know how you react to criticism. You need to be able to explain how you reacted. How did you go about finding what the client wanted to change? Answering this question will help illuminate your ability to address both design and results.

6) How do you stay organized?

Everyone organizes differently. One person’s chaos is another’s sense of order. Hiring managers might ask this question to gauge how you manage working on a variety of projects all at once. People on your team depend on you to finish your part of the project. So, you need to be able to share with others what they can expect during your design process.

7) How do you begin a project?

This question speaks to how you as a designer take what the client wants and bring it to life. Client work is all about results. You need to be able to explain or share the questions you ask clients in order to feel out exactly what the project entails.

8) Share a project you are really proud of.

This question will let you share what you consider to be your finest work. This is your chance to share your passions and the kind of design programs or styles you thrive on when using.

9) How do you work on a team?

Collaboration is a fact of life in a company. You don’t need to love everyone you work with, but you do need to be able to work with them and produce a successful product. This is a chance for you to explain how you work and share responsibilities with your team, bounce ideas back and forth, and take over when deadlines are near.

Connect with Us

Now that you have the ammo to ace those interview questions, contact us and check out our job openings. We will help you find the perfect fit and help you score that interview. Call us today at 800.338.4327 or email us at info@talmanagency.com.

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