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New culture secretary compares UK creative industries to a woolly mammoth



New secretary of state for culture Matt Hancock has described the UK's creative industries as "a mammoth" in his first speech to the sector in his new post.


Speaking at the Creative Industries Federation's anniversary event at the Natural History Museum in London on the 9th January, Hancock noted how the museum contains "one of the world's finest collections of artefacts, from the T-Rex to the woolly mammoth".


"And I see only one mammoth," he added. "And that's the mammoth that is our creative industries."


The statement comes amid widespread concern that Brexit will damage the UK's creative sector, with restrictions on immigration viewed as a particular threat to the industry.


Creative sector worried over impact of Brexit.


Hancock was promoted to the high-profile role of secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport as part of prime minister Theresa May's cabinet reshuffle this Monday.


He previously held the post of minister for digital and culture, a more junior post within the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).


"The creative industries are one growing faster than ever, contributing almost 100 billion pounds to the UK economy every year," Hancock added in his speech.


However the Creative Industries Federation (CIF) has repeatedly expressed concern about the government's handling of Brexit negotiations and their potential damaging impact on the creative sector.


Most recently it urged the government not to adopt "reckless" immigration policies that could hurt creative businesses.


"Our global reputation has made us a magnet for world-class talent who, in turn, have helped build our international renown," said CIF chief executive John Kampfner. "It would be reckless to lose this hard-won success."


Many architecture and design firms rely on skilled workers from abroad, with with half of employees at some London firms coming from the EU. There are increasing concerns that tougher immigration policies, combined with the falling numbers of young people studying creative courses in the UK, could lead to a skills crisis.


Hancock met Dezeen last year to discuss Brexit concerns.


Just over a year ago Hancock attended a dinner organised by Dezeen, where he met leading figures from the architecture and design sector to discuss concerns about Brexit and to highlight issues raised in Dezeen's Brexit Design Manifesto.


In a statement issued after the dinner Hancock praised the UK's architects and designers, describing the sector as "vitally important to our future as an outward looking, creative nation".


The UK has the world's third most valuable creative sector after the US and China, employing three million people and £87 billion to the UK economy, according to CIF figures.




Article orignally posted on Dezeen | 10 January 2018

7 things to do before you start a new job



New year new job? If this is you, then we understand it can be an exciting - but equally scary - time in your life. It’s a big life change, as you may be climbing the career ladder or venturing out of your comfort zone to explore a brand new work opportunity. You’ll naturally be feeling a little anxious as the first day approaches, but there are some things you can do before starting a new job to put your mind at ease and reduce any unnecessary stress. 


As with all new things, there’s always an element of uncertainty, but with some careful preparation you can start off on the right foot, make a great first impression and settle into your new workplace and position. 



Take Time Out


If you can, it’s always great to try and schedule a break between leaving your previous job and starting a new one. And when we say break, this could just be a long weekend or a week off. Use this time to reset yourself, take some me time and catch up on life admin, before you become engrossed in your new work life. Use it as a mental break and  a way to establish a separation between your old job and your new one. 


Plan Your Route


Sounds obvious, but make sure you are familiar with your commute to your new place of work before your first day. And ensure you have a plan B incase your preferred route somehow doesn’t work out. Know the drive or the train lines you’ll be taking and have a good idea of how long your commute will take. Always allow extra time for getting lost or facing unexpected events, like rail strikes or traffic jams! 


Understand the Dress Code 


Every workplace is difference, your new office dress code won’t necessarily be the same as the last. And probably won’t be what you wore to your interview there either. We suggest getting in touch with HR and finding out what you will be expected to wear for your position. As you settle in you’ll get a better idea of dress code, but it’s always a great idea to have some go to outfits ready for the first few days to avoid any unnecessary stress and time wasting in the mornings. 


Get to Know Your Co-workers


You’ll be introduced to most people you’ll be interacting with on a daily basis within your first few days there, but it doesn’t hurt to try to familiarise yourself with colleagues before then. You can easily get to know the names and roles of your future work colleagues on LinkedIn. 




Even if you’re moving into a role that’s very familiar to the one you just left, it doesn’t hurt to freshen up on the skillset your role requires. Use the time in-between jobs to re-visit and revise the skills that got you hired. We’d also suggest reading up on any news or events within your new company too. 


Arrive Early 


Last but not least, it is important to arrive early for the first day of your new job. Arriving exactly on time may be considered late by some and you only get one chance at a first impression. 


Good Luck!

The Top 14 Graphic Design Terms Commonly Misused by Novice Creatives


We all have to start somewhere right? If you're just starting out in graphic design, or your a marketer in a design agency, you might find a few graphic design terms leave you a little bewildered. 

Tracking versus kerning? Lettermark versus wordmark? 

In this digital world, we all end up wearing many hats, which makes it all the more reason to know your stuff.

Well help is at hand thanks to Think Design who have created an awesome infographic to shed some light on a number of frequently missunderstood graphic design terms, with their handy side-by-side explanations. 




via Think Design

Hays reveals 2018 Hiring Trends



We’ve reached December and 2017 is drawing to a close, and so it’s that time of year when we look ahead to what changes 2018 will bring and the recruitment trends we could expect. 


Recruitment giant Hays has laid out what they think the top recruitment transformations will be next year. They include; recruitment fuelled by data and science and digital technology; Virtual Reality that enhances a job seeker’s profile; and upskilling as a benefit. 


Nick Deligiannis, MD of Hays added that these changes were unsurprising. As the demand for professionals with digital skills grows, so too shall the digitisation of the recruitment process. 


He said: “The overall theme is that of technology changing history norms in recruitment, from using data science analytics to help identify the most suitable person to the virtualisation of the screening process and the growing demand for high-skilled professionals in response to digitalisation technologies. 


“These changes present opportunities for adaptable and innovative employers and jobseekers to stand out and secure top talent or their next job.”


As well as these evolutions in recruitment, Hays as also laid out ten likely changes that will happen in recruitment next year. 


  1. Recruitment driven by big data
  2. Artificial Intelligence to screen candidates
  3. Virtual reality to enhance jobseeker profiles 
  4. Augmented reality to give candidates a proper experience i.e. walkthrough of a new workplace
  5. Jobseekers enhancing their personal brand with videos on their CVs 
  6. Automation will impact temp jobs
  7. Roles with ‘upskilling’ become increasingly popular 
  8. Low-skilled jobs in lower demand; high skilled in higher demand 
  9. Fintech professionals in huge demand 
  10. Diversity remits and increasing hiring priority 


Do you think these changes will happen in 2018? 

10 Steps to Accomplishing Your Goals in 2018



New year new goals! Whatever your resolutions or aims are for 2018, we’ve put together some steps to help you on your way to achieving them - whether it’s finally choosing a new career path or moving up the career ladder.

1. Set Your Intention 


Where do you want to be one year from now? Think of it as a promise to yourself, that you will do everything to get there. Everything you do will you focused on obtaining this. An intention is less about the specifics of what and how, and more about who you are and your why. For example, your intention might be “to be truly free from the 9-5 world.”


HOW TO ACTION: Say it to yourself and right it down somewhere so you can see it daily. Use all your emotions and feelings that you have about your present circumstances to help you make this commitment to your intention. 


2. Brainstorm Ideas


It’s time to start thinking about the what and how. What are the requirements and resources you need to reach your intention? How can you get there and what do you need to accomplish? Maybe there are people in your life that can help you. Try to keep these ideas as natural and intuitive to you, your experience and interest, skill set and knowledge as possible. Now is not the time to completely reinvent yourself. 


HOW TO ACTION: Brainstorm your list of ideas of how you can reach your intention. Whether on paper, in a documents or in your notes. Using digital lists such as Trello are great because you can take them with you and just add new ideas when they come to you. 


3. Set 3 Smaller Goals


What are the milestones or major steps that can lead you to get there? For example is there any knowledge or skills you need to obtain, any certifications you might need, resources to save for or purchase, connections to make, sales goals to hit, skills to utilise and so on. You’re looking to identify these MAJOR milestones. 


HOW TO ACTION: Use your list of brainstormed ideas from step 2 to set 3 smaller goals for yourself. Be as specific and quantitative as possible to keep focus. Avoid fluffy adjectives. If it helps, think about setting SMART goals, which are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound.


4. Schedule To-Dos 


What timely tasks do you need to do and when? You’ve set yourself goals, now it’s time to dig deeper into the requirements of meeting that goal. Think of yourself as a pyramid with your intention at the tip, then your 3 smaller goals in the middle, now you’re scheduling your to-dos for said goals at the bottom. 


HOW TO ACTION: Break own your 3 goals further into timely task. Schedule time into your calendar to work on these to-dos. It’s best to find ways to incorporate your to-dos into your daily or weekly routine. Establish your time-line and set deadlines for yourself. It’s important to keep reminding yourself of them to create a routine and habit of accomplishing them. 


5. Prioritise 


This is a two-fold step: determining what is a priority for you to accomplish to reach your intention and also to prioritise your resources to get it done. What needs to be done first? You need to be able to determine the difference between what needs to be done and what would be nice to do. Your path towards your intention needs to be as direct as possible. 


Also think about how you need to prioritise your three resources of time, money and energy. How much of that is required? You only have so much of each so choose to-dos that are doable. Prioritise what is essential, for the best cost and has the greatest potential outcome. 


HOW TO ACTION: Take your to-dos and cut or move anything that isn’t a must to the bottom of your list. Also, remove any to do tasks that are not achievable because of time, money or energy required. 


6. Be Accountable 


Think about those who can help you stay on track. Just as if you were planning on losing weight or getting fit, those who are more likely to achieve their end goals do so with other people, who provide moral support. Use a family member, partner or friend for private accountability or think about using a business partner or mentor for professional accountability. Social media and blog posts are also great to broadcast your intentions for more public accountability. 


HOW TO ACTION: Establish all three levels of accountability. Tell them your immediate goals and ask them to help keep you on track. It’s also helpful to find someone who understands your industry that you can check in with regularly. 


7. Find Your Focus 


What is it that helps you to focus? This is something you are going to need to figure out to get your to-dos done. Sometimes you need to remove or deal with what’s preventing you from focusing. Maybe it’s a change in environment and setting aside a quiet time in the week to dedicate to working towards your goal. 


HOW TO ACTION: You’ve already scheduled in your time, now it’s about getting it done. figure out your routine. Think about tidying your workspace, or finding a quiet spot. Implement whatever it takes to help you get it done.


8. Get Started


What can you achieve TODAY? A new year gives you 365 days of opportunities, but the hardest part is just getting started. Don’t try to be perfect, aiming for perfection hinders progress. You don’t need to have it all together to put yourself out there and accomplish something. Just get going, worry about improving later. 


HOW TO ACTION: You’ve prioritised your to-dos and scheduled in your time, you have accountability and you’ve found your focus. Start with an easier, less time consuming task that can give you a quick win to encourage you onwards and upwards. When you reach a difficult task keep talking to those keeping you accountable to help you get it done or to give you advice to help you get through it. 


9. Stay Motivated 


What is it that motivates you? If there’s nothing to motivate you, the likelihood is you’ll never achieve those goals you’ve set out for yourself. Think about your internal motivation - the thing that keeps you going when you’re tired and overworked. And also your external motivation - such as a song that inspires you, or a TED talk that inspired you. Whatever it is, use it to stay motivated. 


HOW TO ACTION: Discover your internal and external motivations. Consider what it is that gets you going and stirs up the motivation. Put on that song, watch their talk and do this every day! 


10. Review and Adjust


Did you accomplish what you set out to achieve? Don’t put yourself down when you experience set backs, just make adjustments for the next month, or create a few extra tasks. Always try to keep moving forward. If you find yourself struggling week by week, review and adjust your goals and to-dos. It could just be that you’ve been overambitious or created a path that’s a little bit too complicated. A smaller win beats no progress any day. 


HOW TO ACTION: At the end of each month review your progress and make adjustments where you need to. You should always be keeping track or what you’ve done and what you haven’t. Also hold quarterly reviews with your accountability partner if you can. 

Have Designers Lost Control Of Design?



Design is everywhere and more influential than ever. But that power has come at a cost, says designer and technologist Matt Webb.


Do designers have an ethical responsibility toward their users? It’s a question that designers struggle with, as the products and interfaces they help bring into the world can have unintended consequences, from spreading fake news to exacerbating mental health problems. Even tech luminary and Nest founder Tony Fadell has expressed regret about the products he brought into the world.


But for Matt Webb, managing director of R/GA’s IoT Venture Studio in the U.K. and founder of the now-defunct influential London-based design studio Berg, the conversation about ethics is focused on the wrong question: How can you talk about ethics if designers aren’t the ones making decisions about how products and interfaces work in the first place?


“The gap between what the designer creates and what the people who use it actually touch has gotten really big,” Webb says. That’s a problem because designers are trained to base their work on empathy for the user and the user’s needs. When products and interfaces are persuasive, engaging, and maybe even psychologically manipulative, they haven’t been designed with empathy. They’ve been designed to be so user-friendly that they take advantage of the user’s weaknesses.


This is a unique problem of the software age. Historically, design was about making physical things, whether it be office chairs or album covers. Now, designers are coders–or at least working within the constraints of code–typing inputs into a computer that conjure up an interface that lives across millions of screens.


That shift has occurred in tandem with a new design process. Designers create the parameters that dictate interfaces, which are then A/B tested and optimised based on how users interact with them. (Designers have always done user testing, of course, but it’s much harder to change a physical object than it is a piece of code.) Now, the constant tweaking of software creates a never ending design process, where every click is another piece of data to optimise. “The thing that generates the most money or that people use the most wins,” he says. “So who actually designed that?”


One example: the Amazon Echo ecosystem, which consists of “skills” that other companies and individuals can create so users can access their products through the Echo. Designers of these skills–which can do things like give you a recipe, guard your secrets, and even tell you about the flat Earth conspiracy–work within constraints so that their skill fits within the Echo interface. But there’s no guarantee of the quality or usefulness of any of the 15,000 skills that the Echo currently offers–the only measure is popularity. “It’s more like a scaffolding [where] loads of creators can throw an interface at the wall and see what’s most popular,” he says. “And then that’s what everyone uses. Who’s actually designed that user interface?”

Engagement becomes the chief metric, and just because something holds someone’s attention doesn’t mean it’s good for the user. Take the Facebook Newsfeed, which has arguably been optimised to hold your attention within an inch of its life. Facebook boasts that its users spend an average of 50 minutes on its various platforms per day. But the same algorithms that enable this incredible amount of user engagement also enable sensationalist fake news to spread like wildfire. The problem was so bad during the lead-up to the 2016 election that it may have contributed to Donald Trump’s win.


Call it a design paradox: More than ever before, designers are sitting on the C-suite of companies. Large corporations are investing in design because it makes good business sense, both through hiring and through “innovation labs” that have become a crucial part of how companies grow and adapt. But as design has become integrated into the heart of companies, Webb believes there has been–ironically–an unintended consequence. Designers themselves, beholden to business interests that demand the most optimised, most persuasive version of something as opposed to the most useful and helpful for the user, have decreased agency. In other words, with power has come less responsibility. “Designers have less control over what they put out, in some cases,” he says.


Webb likens this conundrum to how engineering as a discipline has evolved. Engineers used to be the only ones who made the devices and appliances that people used, but as more things have become integrated into the internet, engineers now also create the constraints of systems–whether they’re game systems or AI systems–and a fully optimised world emerges within. These engineers, who Webb calls “the debuggers, the AI whisperers, the people who know how to do the robot psychology of the future,” no longer code the systems. They code the code that builds the system.


Webb sees a similar trajectory within design. Design as a whole has greater influence over organisations–even as it has ceded agency over the intricacies of interfaces to optimisation and A/B testing. As Webb put it, “individual designers can wield the supply chains of China.” But that also has made it harder for designers “to deliberately create something which is going to have the effect that we want.”


What does this mean for designers? If they have little power in this ecosystem where A/B testing and optimisation are the kings of the hill, what is their true responsibility? What ethics should designers adopt, if any, if they don’t have the power to deliberately create things that will actually serve users? Can designers keep their position of power within organisations while maintaining their agency? What does a revised design process for the digital era look like? Do chief design officers have a role to play? How can organisations address this problem?


These are not easy questions and Webb doesn’t pretend to have answers, but we’d love to hear what you think.


Sourced from Fastco Design 

10 Easy ways to upgrade your CV



Whichever industry you’re applying for, a CV will always matter. And even if you’ve managed to secure a job interview thanks to networking and connections, you’ll still have to hand over a piece of paper that formally lists your experience and credentials. Here’s 10 easy ways to upgrade your CV, so you can concentrate on nailing your job interview.


1. ALWAYS proofread and then proofread again! 


It’s a total no-brainer, but there’s nothing more off putting to a hiring manger than a typo in a CV. So always proofread it. And then have your mum read it, your best friend read it, your flatmate read it, and your uncle read it. Typos and grammar mistakes happen, even with spell check turned on! But they don’t need to prevent you from getting a job. 


2. Always save as a PDF


Lots of hiring managers say that their biggest pet peeve is receiving CVs that are oddly formatted. Saving and sending your CV as a PDF is the bare minimum of professionalism, so if you haven’t got into the habit of doing this yet, we recommend you start now. 


3. Include appropriate links 


In this digital age, you should expect recruiters to asses you based on your digital life. It’s always helpful if you add a link to your LinkedIn profile, as well as your twitter handle or Instagram account, especially if you’re an influencer who has built up a big network. Including this information on your CV shows you understand that your online life is one more part of how you present yourself. 


4. Delete the year you graduated 


Employers may see that you graduated a decade ago and consider you too experienced for a position, regardless of whether you changed career paths. Less than five years after graduation may still place you in the novice category. Removing this small detail will help keep the focus on what you can do and how you can benefit the company. 


5. Include your name in the file name 


Very obvious point, but people frequently send out their CVs without their full name in the file name. It’s really unhelpful to recruiters when they receive a file called “CV2017” or “BusinessNameCV.” Make yours easy to distinguish from others. We suggested including your full name with an underscore, and the word CV (FirstName_LastName_CV.pdf) so that whoever is looking for the file knows automatically just what they’re going to get. 


6. Get keyword savvy 


Many CVs will be scanned before they even get into the hands of an actual human being at a company. Choose SEO-optimised words for your industry. We suggest looking at the job profile and using as many of those words as possible. For example, if you’re applying for a position as a marketing manager and the job descriptions states it’s looking for a candidate that has CMS and marketing automation experience, make sure the CV you’re submitting contains those words. When it comes to an in-person interview, you can hand over a more creative, less jargon-driven version. 


7. Delete “references on request”


It takes up space on your CV and it’s pretty obvious. If they want a reference, they’re going to request one if you’ve spelled it out on your CV or not. Other obvious lines to delete include: The fact you’re familiar with Microsoft Word or Excel - in this day and age, that’s like saying you know how to use a smartphone. CV experts are split when it comes to lines offering hobbies or interests. If you’re going to include them (or to fill in this part on LinkedIn) make sure you choose something that shows you’re a great candidate. For example, marathon training shows dedication. Seeking out the best food truck burger? Not so much. 


8. Use hard numbers


Grew web traffic by 30%? Increased a Facebook audience by 200,000? Whatever it is, using numbers has much more of an impact than just words. 


9. Never go to page two 


This goes without saying, but your CV should never be more than one page, especially if you’re a new uni graduate. But even if you’re 10 years or more into your career, you should still be carefully editing your CV so it still fits on a single sheet of paper. Your current job should get the most room on the page, and you should provide fewer and fewer details for those first jobs and internships, eventually removing the least relevant ones altogether. 


10. Add variety to your verbs


In 2013, Careerbuilder conducted a survey of hiring managers and asked them to identify which CV words and phrases are cliche and which ones get their attention. Do you have “think outside the box” on there? Time to delete that one! Among the top 15 most liked phrases are action verbs like “create” and “achieve.” While “manages” isn’t the most thrilling of words, it does clearly state what you did and is much better than “worked.”


Just remember the golden rule, don’t rely too heavily on a thesaurus and fall into the trap of misusing a word. Nothing will turn a hiring manager off quicker!

10 Things Ridiculously Successful & Productive People Do every day




You might not be an entrepreneur, a billion or successful athlete, or even want to be! But the secrets of the successful might help you to get more done in less time and help to stop you feeling overworked and overwhelmed.


1. They focus on minutes, not hours


Most people will look at the day in hour or half an hour blocks; highly successful people know that there are 1,440 minutes in every day. There is nothing more valuable in this world than time. Money can be lost and made again, but time spent can never be bought back. If you can master your minutes, you can master your life. 


2. They focus on only one thing


The most productive and successful people will always know what their most important task is and focus just on that for one or two hours each morning without interruptions. What’s the one thing that will help you get that new job or that promotion? It’s what you should dedicate your mornings to every day. 


3. They don’t use to-do lists 


Perhaps this comes as a surprise, but maybe not when you hear that only 41 percent of items on to-do lists ever get done! All those undone items can lead to stress and even insomnia, which means that uncompleted tasks will always be on your mind until you complete them. Highly productive people will do away with the to-do list and schedule everything into a calendar instead, and then work and live by that calendar. 


4. Make time for their family 


Successful people know what they value in life. Yes, work, but also what else they value. It’s different for each individual, but for many, these values include family time, exercise and giving back. They will consciously allocate their 1,440 minutes a day to each area they value, and then stick to that schedule. 


5. Carry a notebook 


Ultra productive people will clear their minds by writing everything down as thoughts come to them. As Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis said, “Always carry a notebook. Write everything down…That is a million dollar lesson they don’t teach you in business school!”


6. They process emails only a few times a day 


The most productive people don’t check their emails throughout the day, and they definitely don’t respond to each ding to see whose in their inbox. Like all aspects of their day they schedule time to process their emails quickly and efficiently. It could be once a day, or for others, it’s morning, noon and night. 


7. They say “no” to almost everything


Billionaire Warren Buffet once said, “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.” Remember with only 1,440 minutes in a day, you don’t want to give them away easily. 


8. Follow the 80/20 rule 


Known as the Pareto Principle, the idea is that in most cases, 80 percent of result comes as a result of 20 percent of activities. Productive people know which activities drive the greatest results. Focus on those and forget the rest. 


9. They touch things only once


How many times have you read an email and then close it and leave it in your inbox to deal with later? How many times have you opened your post, a bill maybe, and then put it down, only to deal with it again later? Really successful people try to “touch it once.” if it takes less than five or ten minutes, whatever it is, they deal with it then and there. It reduces stress, since it won’t be lingering in their minds, and it’s efficient, so they wont have to re-read or re-evaluate that item again in the future. 


10. Energy is everything 


You can’t create more minutes in a day, but you can help to increase your energy to increase attention, focus, and productivity. The highly successful will never skip meals, sleep or breaks in the pursuit of more. Instead, they view food as fuel, sleep as recovery and breaks as opportunities to recharge in order to get more done.

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