Artisan Blog

Determination vs. Motivation

Katty Douraghy - Tuesday, August 05, 2014

 

Determination vs. Motivation

Have you ever found yourself in a situation when you started out incredibly motivated and passionate to get something done, then after a while your motivation waned and the energy you had was gone? I recently had a similar experience and as a long time competitive fencer, motivation and determination are both at my core.

The World Fencing Championships

It began in 2013 after a decent result at the Over 50 World Fencing Championships where I took 14th.  I was motivated to make the US team in 2014 and had planned a routine to follow. At one of the qualifiers I was down a few points in the first elimination round and it was clear my motivation was on the wane. I became determined not to lose. I worked hard to win a pressurized bout 10-9. I was clearly in the flow and focused. I finished 2nd.

As with many sports, the National Championships are the culmination of a year’s worth of training and competing. There were six people fighting for the two remaining spots to make the team. It was going to be tight!

I was motivated to make the team. I fenced hard, won several tough bouts and reached the final 8 when I felt a pop in my knee. I won that bout and had the trainers tape my knee – I was now in the top 4.

My motivation was gone. Things felt different and I was down 1-4 in the semi final. The emotional high one gets from feeling motivated was all too fleeting and I felt empty. A good friend shouted:  “What’s going on, Jamie?” I paused, asked myself the same question and suddenly I could feel a familiar determination physically develop inside. This was not the same emotional feeling of motivation, (or lack thereof), it went much deeper. Feeling determined I won the bout 10-6. I finished 2nd again and made the US Over 50 team.

Seeking Motivation

Motivation comes from an external want while determination comes from an internal need – the latter being a more powerful driver. We spend thousands of dollars and hours of our time seeking motivation from dynamic speakers and others, learning their life lessons and hoping some of it will rub off and last longer than our drive home. We build best habits, work hard at what we love, yet somehow motivation comes and goes, leaving us with that empty feeling.

We are all reliant on external motivation but what if we see how far life will progress by using a daily determination mindset instead? Use it to complete the tasks at hand; be it that next sales call, getting that deliverable on time to your client, a difficult conversation that needs to be had or a commitment to your health. Whatever you set your mind to do, inner determination is stronger than waiting to become motivated by something, or someone else.    

Jamie Douraghy, Founder  Artisan Creative

Personal Branding Tips for Twitter

Wendy Stackhouse - Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Whether you are an individual or a brand, social media puts many challenges in our path. If you are having a bad day, your personal voice can easily lean toward the negative. A company brand voice can do the same.

When you are thinking about your personal brand, though, you want to be presenting yourself as professionally and positively as possible.

Do the links that attract your attention today tend to talk about potential mistakes or potential successes? Are you posting articles about bad news stories or good ones? If you are drawn to the negative, it might be a good idea to take a break, take a walk, get a fresh perspective.

There can be a fine line between good branding and not-so-good and at times it can be hard to tell where that line falls. Here are some of our tips for walking the line:

  1. Universal truth--If that meme would make anyone with a heartbeat give you a high-five, you're good to go.
  2. Check the source--A great quote can still come from a controversial person. If you think your audience might object to the name at the bottom of the meme, you might want to find another one with a similar sentiment.
  3. Timeliness--If something negative is actually taking place locally (like a fire) or it is a trending topic and you don't mention it, you might sound out of touch. It is never out of place to wish a current event would work out as well as possible or express condolences.
  4. Watch out for cleverness--You are a writer and a clever turn of phrase is probably your bread-and-butter, but how many times have we seen communications pros get caught in a clever--but tasteless--tweet? Too many. Use a scheduler like HootSuite to give you time to look at that 140 characters before it gets published. Or run it past a trusted colleague if you think it is worthy, but may go out of bounds. 
  5. Know your audience--What are they interested in? What do you have in common? What do they like that may not be your cup of tea? Your audience is not you necessarily. Put yourself in their shoes and offer them content they will want to click through to.

Sometimes personal social media communication can get difficult. We are all out there hoping likeminded folks are listening. Body language is no help. Take a breath. Your follower might be having a bad day, too.

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative

Time for a Resume Refresh

Wendy Stackhouse - Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Don't you wish your resume had a Refresh Button? We hope you’re spending some time this summer recharging your creativity, refining your goals and planning for new experiences. Summer is a good time to get your resume out and refresh it as well. We don't have a magic button, but we did take a look at some current resume trends and wondered whether you would like to try some of these new approaches:

Charts and Graphs

Those metrics you have in your bullet points might make better visual information. If your accomplishments can be quantified, try adding some colorful graphics to your text resume.

Refine Your Keywords

Are recruiters finding you when they look for someone with your experience and qualifications? Make sure your resume is going to pop up in scans for your skillset. A great tip from CAREERREALISM: if you are targeting a specific posting, use Wordle to turn a job description into a word cloud--you can be sure you know the most important keywords to put in your text.

Tighten up your Summary

Put metrics in your summary as well as in your bullet points for previous jobs. You only have a few seconds to make an impact--make sure your summary does the job.

Hyperlinks

Since most resumes are being sent electronically, don’t forget to add hyperlinks to your online portfolio, LinkedIn profile, and email. Make it easy for recruiters and hiring managers to find out more about you--they will want to.

Numbers

Your bullet points should already be using active verbs, but it is even more important to use numbers to illustrate your accomplishments. You have some new achievements since the last time you revised your resume and you might have more results on previous projects now. 

Although a traditional resume can be updated, you can also try a non-traditional format, like a video, an infographic, or even a Facebook Timeline. And don't neglect your LinkedIn profile--it must always reflect your most recent work and include samples.

How often do you revise your resume? You should be revising your resume every quarter, even if you are not looking for a new job. 

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative

Having an All-Star Job Search Team

Wendy Stackhouse - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

We are on teams at work, collaborating on projects and inspiring creativity in one another. Teams are becoming more and more important, even in academic subjects, at school. We are also on teams in our personal lives, whether we practice sports or do DIY projects at home. 

Have you ever been on a job search team? We all need people to help us along, especially when we are looking for that perfect new role. Who should you be scouting?

A Pitcher

A friend who is not averse to getting in there and making big moves is a great motivator. She has great ideas and unafraid of risk. Brainstorm with this team member for new strategies and energy. And let her take the lead if she has great connections.

A Catcher

Good advice is always welcome and this colleague always knows when you are in need of a little pep talk, help handing a particular situation, and a calm voice. He can also throw the ball back to you when it's time for you to be proactive.

First Base Umpire

When you are between interviews or waiting to hear, she can keep you steady on the road to landing your new job. Someone with great focus on your goals can help you stay focused as well. Is it time to take a breath or time to head for home?

Mascot

No matter what, your mascot thinks you are the best. Staying positive is one of the hardest things about looking for a job and you definitely need someone to cheer you on.

Coach

A recruiter can help you see the big picture, improve your resume and presentation skills and get you out there interviewing for the jobs you want. 

Do you have everyone you need on your team? Don’t job search alone. Pull your team together and go for the win!

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative

Time: Your Greatest Asset

Katty Douraghy - Wednesday, July 09, 2014

What is the one thing we all want more of, but cannot buy it, earn it, or save it? The one thing that when it passes us by, it can never ever be regained? Time!

No matter who we are, or what we do, we only have 1440 minutes in a day. We all start our days with those same elusive 86,400 seconds and spend vastly different ways of enjoying or squandering it.

Time is a mystery, and if I don’t figure out a way to manage it, time will manage me.

How do I manage my time?

The only way I know how is to diligently work from a plan. Without a plan I become disorganized and distracted. To keep me on track and on time, I adhere to some of the pointers below, and am adding in new ones to take my plan to the next level.

This is the plan that works best for me and I am most productive when I follow it:

1) Start my day by 6 AM so I can take advantage of the early morning hours, my favorite time of the day.

2) Schedule workouts, meditation, journaling and learning a new tool into my calendar every day and do these in the early AM hours.

3) NEW: Schedule my lunch and a 15-minute afternoon break for a walk outside or a nice cup of tea. I find mini-breaks serve as fuel for the soul and get me more energized and productive than if I powered through lunch.

4) NEW: Schedule my calendar and To Do list the day before. Schedule the time to work on your schedule.

5) NEW: Plan a regimented but fluid schedule down to every ½ hour task. Schedule all calls and meetings and don’t be late…or this will have a snowball effect.

5) NEW: Avoid distractions -- Don't turn on Facebook/Twitter on mobile devices unless on a break or it’s scheduled time. I LOVE social media, but it can be a time thief if I allow it. I can easily spend countless hours on social media. I schedule time for social media. Same with emails… It’s OK to have emails turned off while focusing on other tasks. I absolutely turn off the notification beeps.

6) Adhere to my version of Zero Inbox rules. My version is not an inbox that has zero emails, rather it’s one that adheres to a zero unread inbox. This adapted system works well for me and is a daily goal. I read each email, file, flag, delete or add a task to those that can’t be answered immediately or require research.

7) NEW: Set reminders and alarms for all tasks. My brain cannot remember everything—nor should it be wasted trying to remember mundane to-dos—that’s what reminders and alarms are for.

8) Use time management tools like Chime, Slimtimer, Evernote, or Doodle to schedule meetings and keep track of tasks. There is a tool out there that is right for everyone—find yours.

9) Communicate my calendar. Artisan Creative proudly promotes a virtual work environment—for this to work well, we communicate regularly via AIM, Zoom or Skype. Therefore we set our status on our AIM to communicate our availability or lack of ….In a meeting, OTP, DND

10) I am not perfect and occasionally fall off the plan. I’ve learned to forgive myself, and quickly course correct so I am back on track.

Katty Douraghy, President, Artisan Creative

Every Day Can Be Independence Day

Wendy Stackhouse - Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Most freelancers are freelancing by choice and happy about it. There is more flexibility than in a permanent job. They can choose their own schedule. It does take a lot of self-discipline, though, to be a successful freelancer and wearing your PJ’s all day isn’t part of it. If you want the independence, here are some tips to help you make it work:

Create a routine

Having flexible work hours is a great benefit of freelancing, but spreading your work out over a long day can just mean working longer than your office counterparts. Plan your work time and your breaks to maximize productivity and minimize overtime.

Be prepared

Every performer knows that a significant amount of a character can come from wearing their costume, especially the shoes. It doesn’t take a suit or tie to have a successful day or a successful business, but getting ready for work in the morning can make a significant difference in mindset, especially if you have meetings over the telephone or computer with clients. You never know when a client will call to discuss a project!

Say No

Some of your friends may assume you are free to do whatever you want when you are a freelancer and they might wonder why you can’t go out on a moment’s notice. TThe rules of your school years apply just as well here: homework before playtime. If you want to keep your clients happy and get referrals to others, keep your deadlines in mind. No one knows if you are working through lunch or going to a picnic except you. Choose wisely. Your friend will call again.

Say Yes

On the other hand, of course, the freelance lifestyle means you can take time for yourself and your family when your workload permits. Don’t spend all your time staring at the screen. Your creativity will suffer! Especially when you have a little lull in your schedule, take advantage of it and enjoy!

Independence is a wonderful feeling but it does come with responsibilities--to yourself, to your clients, and to your family. When independence and responsibility are in balance, the freelance life is a very happy one.

Artisan wishes you and yours a very happy--and safe--Independence Day!

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative

Boost Your Summer Creativity

Wendy Stackhouse - Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Do you feel more or less creative in the summer months? High temperatures and humidity can seem to leach energy and productivity right out of our day. There are, however, some special things about the summer season that we can use to boost creativity if we let them:

Time with family

From K through college, kids are home for the summer and underfoot. But don’t let work stop you from spending some quality time with them--it could actually make you more creative. Let their enthusiasm boost your own and make sure to remember any crazy ideas that come to you during special playtimes.

Travel

A small change of scene can make a big difference, but a big change of scene can do even more. Even the light is different in another country. Be especially present when you are somewhere new and different, take lots of pictures to help you recapture how you felt there, and carry a notepad with you just in case of a brilliant insight.

Relax

We can’t play and travel all summer--sometimes we have to get some work done. “All work and no play…” isn’t a well-known saying for nothing, though. It’s okay to slow down, take breaks and remember why you love to do what you do. We are hardwired to think of summer as a slower season so go ahead and do so. You will probably improve your productivity during working hours.

Try something new

What have you always wanted to learn? Whether work-related or a new hobby, learning something new changes your perspective on the familiar and may spark new solutions to old problems. 

My family decided to take a break and vacation right at the beginning of the summer, and now I get to use all that inspiration from traveling with them overseas to rejuvenate my creativity. What are you doing to boost yours?

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative

Coffee Shop Etiquette

Wendy Stackhouse - Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Even if you work from a home office, it’s nice to get away on occasion. If you need internet access, a coffee shop with wifi is the logical choice for many freelancers. These establishments expect to have some customers bring their laptops along and stake out a claim, but some people take advantage of the conveniences and think of coffee shops as their personal space.

How can you be a great coffee shop patron while you work?

Buy something--The coffee shop/work relationship shouldn’t be one sided. Spend a little money when you arrive and again later if you stay a while.

Tip the staff--Especially if you are a regular at that corner table. You are taking up space in a restaurant and the barista is your server.

Share power--You’re probably already scoping out the location of the electrical outlets, but make sure you’re not blocking one if you’re not using it and offer it to the people next to you if you’re the one with the best seat.

Go home--Just because you could stay all day doesn’t mean you should. The coffee shop really isn’t your office for an entire workday.

Be polite--Loud phone conversations and poor table manners won’t make you any friends. You’ll probably be seeing those people again next week--don’t make them groan when they see you coming.

I usually work from a local coffee shop one morning a week, just to get a change of scene and a little bustle to keep me motivated. How about you?

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative

How Does Technology Impact Your Life?

Katty Douraghy - Wednesday, June 11, 2014

I’m currently reading and implementing some of Shawn Achor’s The Happiness Advantage Principles. One best practice is to write down your daily gratitudes.

My gratitude for today is Technology. That one thing we are all so reliant on--it does everything from opening up car doors to turning on the lights.

When Artisan started over 25 years ago, it was the world of Xacto knives, spray mount and paste-up and the time of the Macintosh and then Powerbook. A lot has changed. We at Artisan have continued to evolve with technology and with the talent we work with and clients whose digital needs we service daily.

The technology-related gratitude I am writing about today comes from a personal experience. Last week I traveled to Greece to attend the Entrepreneurs' Organization’s Global Leadership Conference. We were 1100+ strong and I was excited to reconnect with friends and business owners from across the globe. We stay in touch regularly through social media, but opportunities to meet in person are less regular. With WhatsApp, Facebook and my laptop handy, I set off for Athens excited to make plans in between meetings and lectures.

However, the technology gods at my hotel had a different plan... Unable to connect to a very spotty wifi meant no way of easily finding the people I was looking for, so I set out in person the old fashioned way—hanging around the lobby to see who I would bump into.

How did I ever function without cell phones, IMs and chats? Just fine actually. I just got lost a bit more often and missed a few people in the big crowds. In some ways, it was liberating not having technology to rely on—though I realized it’s not something I would like to be without too often. I like to be connected.

I like how technology enables me to Facetime with my little niece and two nephews who live in Europe. I like how technology allows me to celebrate their birthdays and be a part of their lives, and for a few moments have them transported back into my living room. I like how technology enables our virtual team at Artisan to be cohesive--and connected.

I like how technology allows me to be connected to clients and talent even when I am thousands of miles away. It gives me access to the answers to the silliest of questions. “Who created the sandwich?” was a recent question my friends had pondered… Without technology, we wouldn’t know the answer!

And for these reasons, my gratitude for today is technology.

Have you ever found yourself without the technology you take for granted?

Katty Douraghy, President, Artisan Creative

Is Recruitment the Career for Me?

Laura Pell - Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Moving from agency to recruitment

Have you ever noticed there are a lot of creative recruiters who used to work in agencies? Perhaps you’re working in AdLand and have entertained the idea of moving into recruitment?

Chuck Palahniuk once said “Find joy in everything that you choose to do. Every job, relationship, home. It’s your responsibility to love it, or change it.” When I was no longer finding joy in my job, I changed careers. I joined a recruitment agency in London and spent two years working under an ex-Project Manager from Ogilvy who was a huge influence on my career. Having worked at a digital agency, changing careers into recruitment seemed simple, especially when applying project management techniques.

Moving from the creative world to recruitment is a natural transition for many people. Some of the best recruiters I know once worked for agencies--production artists, account managers and project managers. Many of the core responsibilities of working in an agency can be applied to recruitment: managing briefs, dealing with budgets, scheduling, leading meetings, reviewing design portfolios, blogging, social media, marketing and events. It’s all there.   

Why would someone choose to leave an agency and move to recruitment?

For me, I wanted a change. I knew I wanted to do something that allowed me to have some kind of avenue into the creative industry but I also wanted my own independence and freedom. When you work as a recruiter, you’re working on your own to build a network--the more work you put in, the more you get back (which is true for many jobs, but especially applies to recruitment.) 

Artisan is a virtual agency. We work remotely and stay connected by Skype, AIM and phone. This setup isn’t for everyone, but it works wonderfully for those who crave their own space and have the skills to work autonomously--obviously being in LA, no commute is an added bonus. 

How do I make the first step into recruitment?

There’s a lot to consider, so make sure you do your research. Find out about local agencies. Do they focus on design or are they technical? Do their recruiters manage full desks (meaning they do sales AND recruitment)? Are they owned by a bigger corporation? Do you prefer to work for smaller independent companies? What kind of positions do they recruit for? Ask questions. Contact other recruiters who made the move. Find out about their culture and see if it resonates with you.

If you have a question about recruitment, Artisan or changing careers, connect with me on Twitter, LinkedIn and email.

Laura Pell, Talent Acquisition for Artisan Creative

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