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Graphic Design USA Magazine

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Tag "The Creative Group"

interviewquestions

We have all been there. The sweaty palms, pounding heartbeat and dry mouth that come with anticipating a job interview. You hope you’ll get easy questions — sometimes I have — and you pray you don’t get the hard ones — sometimes I have.

The Creative Group suggest that you hope for the best but prepare for the worst. In other words (appropriate for baseball season) expect some curveballs. The creative staffing firm par excellence recently asked more than 400 advertising and marketing executives to share the toughest or trickiest interview question they pose to weed out poor candidates. Many of the queries could trip up even the savviest applicants. Here are five tough ones to contemplate:

1.  Why do you want to work here?
2.  Can you describe a frustrating workplace situation you faced and how you solved it?
3.  Why are you leaving your current position?
4.  What is your biggest weakness?
5.  Please give me a 60-second sales pitch about yourself.

In truth, I could never hit a curveball. And I wasn’t all that good with fastballs or change-ups. Luckily, The Creative Group not only throws the hard stuff but provides some coaching as well. To see tips for effectively answering these questions go to the TCG Blog.

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Twelve percent of advertising and marketing executives surveyed by The Creative Group said they will expand their creative teams in the second half of 2014. Nearly three-quarters (73%) said their organizations plan to maintain current staff levels and 12% said they project hiring freezes, down 10 points from six months ago.

TCG_0614_Hiring-Climate

Following are the top five roles executives plan to hire for during the second half of the year:

Account services – 24%
Brand/product management – 21%
Media services – 19%
Social media – 17%
Mobile development – 16%

For more information about these results, visit the TCG Blog.

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TCG_0314_Working-Weekends

In the GDUSA May Enewsletter, I  acknowledged that I am a habitual and compulsive overworker. It may be too late for me, but surely it is not for you. The specific issue that triggered by comment was weekend work, but it fits into the much large context of trying to keep a balance in your life between work and play. This is not a frivolous issue and for many graphic designers and other creative professionals, finding the balance is crucial — because burnout is so common and so devastating to designers, because staying refreshed and creativity is often the key to career success and longevity, and because, hey, you only live once (as far as we know).

Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group, the specialized staffing firm, recently wrote an article — which will be reprinted in GDUSA’s next magazine — called “Keeping All Work and No Play At Bay.” In it she notes that the average workweek for creative professionals is 47 hours, that four in 10 respondents work 50 or more hours a week, and 62 percent bring work home on weekends. Among other things, Diane offers five tips will help you maximize your time on the job so you can pursue interests off the clock.

Here are her thoughts, in very short form:

1. Keep Your Calendar Realistic
Don’t plan too much for one day. Spend 10 minutes each morning creating a realistic to-do list and break big projects into smaller, doable tasks.

2. Simplify Your Surroundings
Manage your space, both physical and virtual. Organize your real and your virtual desktop.

3. Minimize Distractions
This is a tough one in a digital era. But to maximize productivity without cutting off sources of inspiration, check social media feeds and personal messages only during designated periods each workday and not all the time.

4. Take A Break
Take a breather from time to time. Health and productivity suffer when there’s no time to recharge; refill your water bottle for a walk, eat a decent lunch, close your eyes for five minutes.

5. Set Limits
This includes taming time-sucks such as meetings, take home work only in exceptional situations, hire project-based staff at peak periods, and delegate, delegate, delegate.

You can read more about controlling your time on The Creative Group blog.

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allworknoplay

I have worked most weekends of my life. Sometimes it is motivated by practicality, and sometimes driven by sheer habit and compulsion. Sometimes it’s hard to separate the two but there it is — weekends in the office are my default position. Perhaps for this reason, I was drawn this week to a set of career tips by The Creative Group, the very wise specialized staffing firm, about how to minimize weekend work. The Creative Group presents quite nicely pragmatic ways to avoid unnecessary weekend labors. I thought they were also addressing the compulsive aspect — since one piece of advice is headlined ‘Seek Help’. Turns out they meant to hire freelancers, rather than a mental health professional. Oh well.

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