Question of the Week 21.07.09
In the second of our series of questions penned on our appropriately pared down, no-nonsense whiteboard, we want to know how the recession is treating you...
Last week's question about your reading matter provoked a great response and we're hoping that you can be as vocal with this week's poser.
So, how is the recession going for you?
How has it affected your business? Badly? A bit? Not at all? Are things worse than you thought, or have you seen little change?
What have you had to do as a result of the change in economic conditions?
Has it meant you've actually become more focussed on what you do?
Can you, like a handful of commentators and the odd government minister, see any "green shoots" of recovery?
Are there even opportunities to be had here that would otherwise not exist?
We'd like to know how the recession is affecting you and your work.
Question of the Week is produced in partnership with MajorPlayers.
As a student I'm inclined to take more risks and have more fun playing around with my work as a copywriter. It's refreshing to feel like I have no job as of yet and therefore nothing to loose.
I can see the light and I think things are going to get pretty interesting!
The recession is for sure effecting every aspect of my work. The industry wasn't exactly bursting at the seems with jobs before and now it's even harder: Cancelled projects, vanishing budgets, cut budgets, more 'free - complicated and big pitches', companies disappearing, magazines disappearing, an overwhelming influx of job / internship applications, increasing rent and power bills, being undercut and out-muscled more than ever by larger studios / agencies, projects started and cancelled the increasing price of coffee and cake... the list goes on...
My first-hand experience of the recession started in November 2008 when I was made redundant from a job I had held for 2 and a half years. It was through no fault of my own and came as a bit of a shock. I was informed of my redundancy on the Friday and by the following Thursday, after 10 interviews in 3 days I had gratefully accepted a job offer. My new job was much better than the previous one, with more creative freedom and more responsibility; as a result, I was producing my best work. I was also financially much better off with my redundancy pay. 8 months later I got made redundant again (this time I recognised the warning signs and was half expecting it) and have now embarked on a freelance career that has really taken off for me. Again I've found myself working on more creative work, with increased responsibility. Obviously freelance work comes with a much better rate of pay, so all in all, the recession has worked out really well for me, helped push me up the career ladder and ironically, made me more money!
Although I am spending a lot of time working on free pitches, projects with 'no budget' or projects that get indefinitely put on hold... at least there's a 70% sale on in most of the high street shops!
@Anys Brown - if you're a copywriter you need to brush up on your spelling or you'll be enjoying that freedom forever... 'Lose' not 'loose'.
Graduate Squirrel Master Plan Method
- Graduated Jun 08
- Summer of love (denial)
- Recession seriously hits (no job, no proper internship all summer)
- Get "other" jobs for Xmas ££££ (read: anything that pays cash - anything), freelance on the side
- Get good paying "other" job by minor miracle, nothing to do with design at all - this is surprisingly easy through the entry door of "agency work", is totally heartless, but gives you money and lots of time for freelance & airy experiments
...Keep doing this until Recession lifts
This is either the best idea ever, or career ending denial
YES WE CAN!
It doesnt feel like anythings changed. My manager never invested in stocks so our business continues to boom and we lost nothing so everything is sweet as over here :)
Booked up until the end of the year... but this is partly due to a lot of inactivity earlier on in the year, whether this is because people were worried I don't know, but now i think they're thinking 'bollocks' lets get on with it...
The BBC branded the downturn, and Robert Pestons reporting gloom daily didn't help paralyzing people into not doing anything but sit tight... But i think the leaner companies are now taking advantage of the situation.
I was very lucky and when I graduated and went straight into a packaging design job, however 9 months later I was made redundant . After 6 months of looking for work I had to find a job outside of the industry to make sure I could pay my rent. Now I have been out of the industry for over a year and feel like I may never find my way back. Despite being told I have a strong portfolio I am commonly turned away due to lack of experience...how will juniors/graduates ever get more experience if no one is hiring in the recession?! The only positive I have is that in the few months I worked as a designer I achieved what I had always set out to do and saw my work go from drawing board to shop floor.
I graduated in Graphic design but rumours of the recession meant I changed my career to digital marketing and SEO since then I hav gone from strength to strength with a portfolio of experience that means I am secure in my job and feel comfortable that I would find a job quickly. I left a job in April due to bullying but within a week I had another, better job with a higher salary and more freedom. We have too much wrk and not enough staff but finding good staff in digital is hard. I am looking forward to the end of the recession but at the moment I have only benefited from a wise career move before it all kicked in.
My other graphic design classmates have not been so fortunate however and I worry that they are all doing jobs they are over qualified for.
The beginning of the year was a bit shakey but since then it's been realtively steady. Being a web designer it's all been about making the most of and improving what clients already have. Although having said that a few brave startups have walked through my door over the past few months. Plans to expand are on hold though - will give it a good few more months I think.
The recession is the third in my lifetime and most certainly the worst!
The amount of other creative individuals I speak to who are working in this industry who mention they are desperate for work is very concerning. especially photographers: budgets cut, cut again and day rates reduced.
My company SCARLET, has thankfully just about enough existing clients to keep me going - but this position has encouraged me to consider something I have been thinking for time time, as I am currently applying for part-time lecturing jobs.
I feel very sorry for graduates coming out of colleges this year, I really can't see whether there's any light for them within this darkness.
I hate to sound moribund: let's hope things recover soon.
@Grumpyface was your face always grumpy or was it the recession? Glad to see you have an opinion and helpful advice!
Work with us seems to be really busy and then really quiet, very strange. I've had a lot of friends made redundant and it's really sad, but the best of them seem to be pushing themselves harder and actually finding they're getting better at all aspects of their work and improving due to competitiveness. Every cloud...
There's so awesome sales going on at the art stores, buy-one-get-the-rest-free, 70% off etc. I'm stocking up on materials. No longer am I paying 10 quid for a layout pad.
Time to take the Kurecolor's off the Christmas list.
Spending tips for those who can't stop... even in a recession.
The truth of the matter is - you have to be wise. Be your own private investigator. Be your own collector.
Buying things is great, we love the sense of accomplishment having found something perfect.
Unfortunately, in our current times, with incredibly cheap clothes stores, Banksy rip-offs and 2for1 vouchers everywhere we are fooled into thinking we are getting a bargain when in fact we’re not.
As much as it pains me say it, I shouldn’t eat pizza every week, even if one of them is free, we shouldn’t be crawling on all fours through dust & pumps to snag that £10 dress, and we definitely should not be ‘investing’ in art prints that 2000 other people own.
This is the time to rekindle our wise genes! We all have them, we’ve all been thrifty, now we need to be strong.
Wise buys are not exactly easy to find, so here are a few of tips to avoid the sales, encouraging investing & having a smile about it after.
Food – you don’t even need to save to taste the delights of the family run Pattersons - http://www.pattersonsrestaurant.com/ Mill Street, London. The décor that of charming and sophisticated warmth without pretension. The lunch menu is exciting and affordable, try smoked haddock soufflé, a bargain at only £6.50 and the slow braised beef a snip at £11.
Clothes – For a suit, try HugoMorris - http://www.hugo-morris.com/About.aspx tailor & shirtmaker in Brighton, a bespoke suit is likely to cost £600, which is a snip for the quality & service you receive. Manager Mark Jenkins will personally post you samples to help you decide on fabric and as soon as you step in, he’ll measure you up just from sight.
Art – http://www.centralillustration.com/shop is an on-line art print shop, with over 50 giclee art prints designs to chose from at only £120 each. Most editions are capped at 10 so in 20 years or so, these are likely to be worth a heck of a lot more. So while you you wait for the investment to mature, they can sit beautifully on your wall.
So there you have it… Wise spends!
I was very lucky, had the urge to relax after graduating a year ago, but applied for several jobs and got into a great agency during the week of my final year show. Many other graduates from my year waited about, and as the recession hit, struggled to get jobs, and were basically hoping the top creative agencies would call them. I was grateful of the opportunity to start working and get experience.
I have been lucky, but through hard work and extra freelance work, Im about to buy a house which I had not thought possible until the recession dropped all the house prices and enabled me to scrape a deposit together.
30% pay cut for 4 months then redundant after 4 years.
Switched from design to illustration freelance and now the work is dwindling.
The sense of freedom that came with freelance has gone and financial security has vanished.
Everyones working harder for jobs that are very few.
For the first time in my life I'm considering doing something else.
At the beginning of December I found myself made redundant from a design/print job I completely adored. It had taken me a long time to get that job and just when my confidence was getting to a great level, I got told I had to go.
It's hit me really, really hard. It frustrates me that it had nothing to do with me and only the 'current conditions'. Currently can't see me getting back into the industry with the little experience I have. Thing is, graphic design is all I think about, so what do I do? In a positive way it's helping me get to grips with new web technologies and I now do charity photography work (which are published in local papers). The worst part is designing alone, but I'm hoping the web may save my day/week/month/year.
I must stay positive!!! There has to be light at the end of this very, very long tunnel and when there is... I'm ready to pounce! I don't want other people's greediness (aka - the bigwigs at the banks) to be the end of my career.
I went freelance by choice in August last year (and left a secure and well paid job - I must be mad!) and have been getting steadily busier since. I'm not earning a fortune, but I'm working with some great clients and on the most interesting projects in my career. Can't be bad!
I have just made redundant and decided to freelance (as a motion graphic designer). Well, 6 weeks in and things could not be better - I now earn more money, have a wider variety of clients and get more time off. I'm booked until the end of September, so I hope I continue to prosper beyond then as I realize that freelancing can be quite a fickle business.
I think going freelance has been the best decision for me - it was *very* scary at first, but I realized that it also forces you to make sure you're very good at what you do and keep on top of your skills and art. If people can survive the recession as freelancers, then hopefully, things can only get better.
What I've noticed as a freelance illustrator is not, fortunately, a reduction in the amount of work, but three key changes in the workflow which emerged slowly and took hold around the start of this year. This is not the case for every job - but there are enough occurrences of each for me to see a trend.
First - more requests to pitch in unpaid work, although this has been coupled with paid pitches. It's as if the client needs to be really, really sure before committing their budget.
Second - I'm being involved in the job later and later in the process. At what feels like the last second - after which the job would run the risk of becoming un-doable in time - I'm informed that I've been considered for the job, the samples have been looked at, the meetings have been had and can I therefore get it done over the weekend/in the next few days? I'm guessing this is born of a need to wait until the job is on green before committing - ie: 'look again now we're ready to go - do we still have the money?'
Third - although appearing to resolve itself now, payment was taking longer and longer. In one case, 12 months. In another, 9 months. Of course, I sympathise with clients' cashflow - but if we all pay on time, everyone's wheels can keep turning.
I have always done a great deal of promotion and advertising, and I've made sure I keep up at least the same amount plus more during the recession. I want my clients past present and future to know I'm busy, proactive and positive!
I was made redundant this year as project manager, only four months in a new agency and during probation period. Needless to say that it hit me really hard. The negative response on so many applications that followed is difficult to cope with - does this really reflect the quility of my work or is it simply based on the economic situation. The fact that it just doesn't seem to be in my hands is frustrating.
What irritates me most, and this is a personal impression, is the reluctance of those who are affected by this complex situation. Those, who are occupied seem to stick on to what is left, the ones, who have lost their job feel bad or even guilty for a situation that they just didn't cause. One is left with the impression that the solid institutions we once believed in will not recover, unless they are willing to rethink the nature of their business and I just don't see this happening at the moment.
However, I have become much more focussed on what I understand as a benefit to myself and what pushes me forward. I've had the oppurtunity to freelance on smaller projects in the last months that are no big deal, no big brands, no big budgets, but doing this has sharpened my view on what my profession clearly is about and what is important to me.
Thanks for asking, Creative Review. I was beginning to think I was struggling along in my own little vacuum - projects on hold indefinitely, clients asking for work as cheap-as-chips because of a no-spend within their business, and policies of not using outside agencies for creative after a swathe of redundacies within their organisation. Its tough all over.
Outwardly, most of the creative mags look the same as they always have, and seem to be almost passing over the recession and the impact it is having on the industry. Well a lot of us are hanging on by our fingernails. And this recession has certainly forced us all to look long and hard at ourselves and the way we operate. Which, in the long run, can only be a good thing.
We have found that companies are much more open to our services. We offer Trend Forecasting & Business Development Services (linked together) for the Interiors sector (Scarlet Opus).
Companies that we approached pre-downturn (especially manufacturers and retailers) had a very 'we're doing fine on our own thanks' attitude. Now some of these companies are approaching Us and saying 'what can you do to help?'
Any extra edge they can get is valuable to them. Before they were happy to trundle along doing things the way they always had behind closed doors.....now the doors have been flung open and they are welcoming us in to contribute to their survival.
So basically we are seeing less arrogance and more open mindedness.
It's a positive side effect of the recession.....the forging of new business relationships.
I am a 55 year old designer/artworker and I have been freelancing for 25 years. I have had an awful year. In fact, it is so bad that I have got an interview on Monday to become an undertaker!
Steve Moore at Art Attack Graphic Design 01371 820625
I always believed that UK has the best graphic designers in the entire world. but now knowing there scenario they are working in I feel really bad now. I operate in India and have close friends in china and i can't believe that designers here with 1/4 the talent are doubling there salary every half year and still there is a huge talent crunch ! I really feel your pain guys and i really hope and pray that things get better there as soon as possible and the world gets to see more and more of awesome commercial projects comming out of uk !
I'm a non-fiction book author and I guess I'm pretty lucky to still have work coming in regularly. However, whereas I used to have several projects lined up before I finished my current one, I am wondering what will happen when this one ends in a couple of weeks as I haven't been approached for new work yet. I may have to go after it rather than have it come to me as it has done in the past.
I am a Freelance Photographer.
During the last recession I was lucky because people could not take risks employing "newcomers".
I was considered the old knowing hand.
I also think it was a time when AD's thought that if I shoot for them an Award is nearly in their bag.
Different now to the times when I had too much work.
Requests, cancelations, request to shoot for no fee (!!) etc.
BUT, because of the recession people buy more stock, a slight advantage.
Any Freelancer has to get used to rejection but it is so bad right now that even a cancelation is a good thing because somebody out there THOUGHT of using your services in the first place. Helps the moral but not the wallet.
Reading through the comments I'm amazed that there's seems such a clear divide between those that have had no impact or have experienced growth in areas and those who are being squeezed quite tightly.
On my own end, the office I've been working at for 2.5+ years has experienced quite an amazing burst of activity, though admittedly much of that was due to the launch of a local tourist destination which has since slowed down. I'm personally amidst the move to a freelance-based career, which despite being a bit of a gamble given the economy and number of designers to compete against these days, is what I've always wanted to do. So the recession really hasn't hit me.
Read this as an uplift.
I am a Graphic Designer and after graduating in May 2008 and being made redundant for the 3rd time since August 2008 I have found it pretty challenging. Companies making wrong decisions in hiring an extra designer. I have found myself having to adapt my work to cater to each job I apply for and applying for jobs that I would never usually would, just because they have an element of design work to them.
But on the up side it is making me resilient, adaptable and really pushed me. It has opened my mind to new ideas and kept me more up to date with other goings on in the design world.
I have also met loads of other designers and people within the industry creating freelance work and opportunities. And am keen to work with a variety of people. So if you are in the Bristol area and you have any projects coming up that may need a graphic design element to it them then please do get in contact.
Rosalie Wilkinson. - email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Report from Australia:
It's not as bad here but I have used the time to experiment and spread out my income. Have opened two new creative agencies, broadened my offering and am trying my hand at publishing and online entrepreneurialism. Is that a word? Anyway I have tried a few low cost things so that in future we can spread our income and assets and not rely so heavily on my breadwinner husband (photographer) whose work is getting thin.
My wish though is that those on a salary would spare a thought for us who are not. And when we cold call to try and sell you something, we're just trying to do our job, just like you.
I'm a relatively young graphic designer with a lot of ideas. I haven't been through a recession before so everything is new, actually everything was new anyway because I've not been a graphic designer before either! ha ha. I've worked in London and Hong Kong for around 4 years and now I run my own business in London. I've always wanted to run my own design studio and the recession seem to be the perfect time to do so. There were a lack of jobs out there (at least good jobs) and even the freelance jobs were few and far between.
However the direct client work is flowing as I guess clients are looking for a cheaper option compared to the big boys in our industry. Big agencies have become complacent and overpriced. Too many people doing too little work for the client. Yes we have to price to our worth and continue to show the value in design and marketing but there's no point in pricing ourselves out the market.
Everyday is still a learning curve but this is definitely a better way to learn quickly rather than hiding in a safe job in a big company doing menial tasks.
Some tips for new grads...
1) Get an internship or two or three. Work for free but make sure you get the training you need. Get involved and help the studio as much as you can. The studio will pay you if they can, but in these tough times money is just not there sometimes.
2) Send you CV/folio to targetted studios. Don't send to 100 places and cross your fingers. Choose 10 email them, phone them and write them a letter. Show you're keen but don't be a stalker.
3) Create something. You'll never have so much time on your hands to do your own work when you don't have a job. Think of a project and make it. It will be great for the interview.
Tips for companies....
1) Collaborate and keep costs low so you can be agile.
2) Work on a variety of projects. We produce apps, virals and other websites just for fun and to raise our profile. It's hard work and often for free, but long term goals have to be hit. Check out http://www.lovebox.org.uk .
3) If renting, ask for a reduction as there are so many empty offices right now.
Good luck out there!
I started to notice a trend in 2007 that things were starting to tighten up slightly. I was working freelance and was worried about being left out in the cold so decided to come in-house.
What a mistake. OK I have a regular pay check, and when reading some of the comments on this bored, makes me feel a bit guilty. But what it does mean is that due to the current job market I am stuck in a dead end studio. Surrounded by people that are happy to look no further than the end of their nose!
To save my sanity I have enrolled in a Postgraduate course to save my sanity. Hopefully by the end of it I things might have improved some what so I can start to feel human again!
I hope things pick up soon as we can't all cut hair!
As with Lee Faber comment, I too have a similar worry. I am in publishing, freelance, and have work at the moment to complete, but am concerned about the next project after this one. Will there be one? The pubishers are very slow coming with my payment this year- is there a problem with THEIR creditors I wonder?
I don't ask, just do the job and wait for the cheque. But I am now questioning my next move with my work, and plan to make some drastic changes once the deadline is done.
You have to keep one step ahead all the time, and THINK FORWARD all the time.
I am a professional photographer in Liverpool who also owns a design business. We've been looking at all sorts of ways at making our business recession proof. I wrote a blog article a couple of months ago, that may help other Creative Review readers:
The first thing to do is to not panic. Panic, knee-jerk reactions can cost more money and not actually help in the long-run - for example the poorly thought through advertising campaign, or the quick email out to all your customers.
Instead, use the time to re-focus your energies into something more productive for your business. These are usually things within your control. Here is a little list of things I have been moving forward with DJC Design in the last 3 months.
1. Concentrate on your existing customers - a repeat customer is as good as a new customer, but you don't have to work so hard to get the business. A simple phone call is a great start, create a line of communication with them, perhaps offer them a loyalty discount on their next purchase, or a discount if they pay your invoices early.
2. Monitor your business expenses - without having a clear idea of where your money goes you can't start saving money. We did a full business audit with our accountant and it enabled us to start 'with a clean slate'.
3. Re-negotiate with your suppliers to reduce costs – this can a reduction in basic price, but more easy to negotiate are things like longer payment periods, buying stock in bulk, a barter exchange of services, perhaps in return for a long-term contract between the companies. Also look at any financial business loans you have, now is the time to negotiate better deals.
4. Our business, providing photographic services to businesses, doesn’t hold much ‘stock’ in the traditional sense, but a quick audit meant we kept more than we required in the office. Either run-down or sell slow-moving stock at a reduced price.
5. Check your utility costs using your audit – like household utilities there are bargains out there to be had, that a lot of businesses don’t switch because of the ‘hassle’. We changed our electricity suppliers to a green provider to match our mission statement and were surprised, even with green credentials; we still saved the business money! Things like insurance policies are also worth investigating.
6. Don’t cut back on advertising or marketing – seems an easy thing to do. DJC Design actually has decided to increase its advert spend, as we intend to get the customers from the photography and design businesses that are failing. I guess re-evaluate where your marketing spend goes and look at the effectiveness – we have successfully used some targeted advertising on Facebook for example which has been great at pulling in leads and getting new projects.
7. Look at your billing and invoice procedures. Are there ways to spend up payments – perhaps move to electronic invoices, electronic payments via BACS, automated reminders to debtors. These have all helped us maintain a steady cash-flow here – I put as much importance on getting people to pay on time, as I do getting that piece of business in the first place.
8. Finally, don’t be afraid of asking for help. There are loads of organisations, both specific to your field of expertise, or to the geographical location that are there to give advice. Many support groups have forums and real-life networks and I find these very useful to bounce ideas around and give me a little support when I think things are going wrong.
It's been great. Having a whale of a time. Made new friends and hope it never ends. I LOVE working for free.
After a year out of work it forced me to become self employed. That in its self has been a huge challenge, but it motivated me to go out there and look for work properly, instead of working with recruiters as they are no help whatsoever! (*cough* major players *cough*)
I found some great work and have been offered a full time job.
Graduated Jun '08, quickly got a great job as a junior designer with a really decent agency in here in Bristol, short-term contract of 3 months...
Got that extended until Xmas, but work proper dried up and I had to be let go in January. Took a couple of weeks to get my arse in gear after Xmas and the depressing walk into the job centre, came up with what would be a very successful mailer...
Sent them out end of Jan, and ended up going on a bit of a tour of agencies, got a decent amount of freelance in that time, enough to come off the dole. Got to a point where I had 3 job offers: all good quality agencies, however one of them was my old agency...unfinished business for me as I'd developed creatively big time in my stint there...so came back and have been here since end of March. This time on a full-time contract.
We've got a fair amount of work in, and it deffo isn't as bad as Christmas, so things are looking up. Finding pitches an absolute bitch to win though...lots of people going in VERY low at the moment...!
I am a junior/midweight web/graphic (In-house) designer and was made redundant in January from a contract job, therefore did not have any type of payoff. Luckily I was given a months notice, so could start looking whilst I was still being paid.
At first I panicked and cried a bit, but then just got on and got my Website completed (which I had been meaning to do for ages). I had 6 interviews over a 2 weeks period (4 of which were in the space of 48 hours) and got a job to start 2 days after my months notice ended paying more money.
I still get emailed and called by agencies every day looking for designers.
My advice... Don't panic. Every cloud has a silver lining :)
Being a printer and designers I think that the worst is over for me. I went into this about 6 months ahead of everyone else and true to form I am coming out of it 6 months ahead of the rest.
We are seeing much more positive signs in our local economy. A steady stream of new customers over the past 2 months and rising order levels from existing onces.
Gosh i thought i was the only one made redundant 3 times in my life, recession it comes and goes, six years in property sales "redundant" late 80,s recession when interest rates were up 17.5% and my £40k house cost me £800 per month "do we remember that" never made a profit in 10years, sold it at a loss.Retrained in a travel agents, after six years it all fell apart, internet bookings and attacks on airlines killed the industry. Retrained in mortgages and interior design and worked at that for six years, made redundant from the estate agents as nobody is buying, although a 200k mortgage now costs less than a 40k one I first took out, Its all a riddle of finance to me, I took my redundancy money and after being in agencies for 3mths and not getting any work, decided to open an art & design shop on Brighton seafront, Everybody says "are you crazy there's a recession on" no big design jobs yet but sold 2k of art and soft furnishings made on the premises, in my first 3wks so lets smile take a deep breath and hope the bubble doesn't burst just yet (or I will be sleeping under the pier on my handmade cushions) oh and keep smiling its catching, What recession!
As ever, the design industry is hard for some, easy for others, the recession perhaps shows some more extremes. The 'Big Boys' of the industry continue taking big jobs, but could lose a client along the way. Ad agencies still have some big budgets for campaigns, but are being more cautious with cashflow in case their own clients are hit by the recession. Editorial commissioners still look for regular illustrators to work with, but some are cutting their budgets to ensure long-term stability. New companies still need branding, but perhaps with a safer budget due to starting up in the 'current climate'. Talented new designers arrive, some will get good jobs and understand how to build a career, some will be hyped until their style has tired, some will struggle to make a name for themselves. The design industry won't grind to a halt, it will be as exciting and varied as ever.
This year marks a decade of being self-employed and surviving for me, and this is by no means my worst year. Having worked as a duo with my wife for three years now, I have learnt to diversify (producing art prints and homeware products alongside commissioned illustration work) which brings in an extra income and extra enjoyment, I have been able to spend more time focusing myself and honing my skills (ensuring bigger and more interesting jobs from more interesting clients). At the beginning of the year there was a lull in enquiries to us and our agents, but there often is in January, we prepare for it, but since February it's all work as usual, I almost feel guilty to say that we're enjoying a productive and profitable year.
This is an interesting time, it's a good time to test yourself, learn some new skills using your basic design/illustration skills, understand the best ways to manage your business in good and hard times, if you have a lull in client work, focus yourself, develop some personal projects, long-term projects that might just be completed when the recession has passed and more people are investing more money in more creative projects. If you can survive this year, you can survive next year, heck, you could survive any year.
Never work so many hours in my life! Survived a few rounds of redundancy.
Surviving, thats all I can say. I've had to diversify a lot more, im pretty much a full blown web developer now. Print based design is less important now, working in a inhouse creative team. There just isn't any way we can afford to blow money on fancy design or print it just doesn't get enough results.
I really feel sorry for all the graduates trying to break into work, it was hard enough 3-4 years ago. Yet maybe it will be easier, they are cheaper after all!
Everything is being "tested by fire" at the moment. Seems only the strongest will see it through. There is money to be made there always is, just no easy wins.
Im in a great position for the next 6 months, fingers crossed it gets a lot easier for everyone!
Recession has just about killed off our picture library and freelance journalism, with slashed budgets everywhere and just about no one prepared to pay for use of a picture ...and not much for words either. It's now virtually impossible to make a living from newspapers and magazines. Luckily we had already started to change direction: about two years ago we set up a travel website, which is going well . Our clients are members of the public who can view our website for free rather than buy expensive guidebooks, and advertisers who would rather spend money online than in the printed media.
Nowadays it's hard to find a job because of the recession. There are many got unemployed and seeking job now. As a worker, I am also a blood donor to help on my daily needs. I think this is a very big help for the students who are seeking for a part time job now or got unpaid internship and especially it is summer time which are some of us need extra income. I'm donating for 2 years now and it really helps because every donation I make up to $50/hour for blood donation. As we all know, Blood bank shortages kill tons of people all the time and it is the time to spread the word about blood donation and give blood, you will never know when YOU might need blood. This really helpful even it is just a part time job, the bottom line of this is to saved lives.
If you are thinking to be a blood donor and looking for specific blood banks and a directory of blood donation centers you can check it out here at bloodbanker dot com/banks.
Well I'm writing this from Tripoli in Libya, not the place I expected to be this time last year but it's something very different and gives me a chance to learn Arabic. Hopefully by the time I'm back in the UK things will have picked up and I'll have a few more skills that may be useful for agencies looking to do more work in the middle east.
Good luck everyone and don't give up.
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