Creative Staffing Tips

When it comes to Creative Staffing, we've been there, done that, now serving 130 tips in 14 categories ranging from Art and Creative Director Careers to Writing and Editing Careers.

How can I be sure my Web based training program is a good one?

Creating A Web Based Training Program: Step 4

The final step in creating a Web based training program is the review and revision process. Once people have gone through the training you can begin to address any issues that arose as the program was used. Sometimes these may simply not be apparent until the training is underway--or finished. Once identified, these issues can be adjusted and it will strengthen the training program overall. It can help to think of any revisions as a positive step.

There are many ways to review a Web based training program. User feedback is one tool that you can use to uncover any problems that may have come up along the way. You may also want to sit down and have a discussion with the web design training professional that set up the system to see what their thoughts are. They can often pinpoint any issues or see any potential problems that may be coming up down the line.

   
Is there a lot of competition in big cities for work in graphic design?

Big Cities, Big Competition?

If you want to be a Los Angeles graphic designer or are trying to get a job in the field in Chicago, New York, or other major cities, aligning yourself with a career agency is a smart move. The competition in these big cities is extremely stiff, and talent agencies are a tool that can be used to help you connect with work quickly. They can also assist you in finding a position that pays well and has the potential to turn into a full-time job. The bottom line is, if you're going to throw your hat in the ring in a place that has lots of competition, it's a great perk to have someone else helping you look for work.

Even if you're not a freelancer, a talent agency can be a good way to get started on your career in a large city. Unless you have a job lined up, the search for work can be overwhelming. Traditional methods, such as job boards or looking through the paper may not bring immediate results or connect you with work that pays well. Even if you choose to look on your own, it doesn't hurt to have professionals who are familiar with the big city searching for you at the same time.

   
What happens after the Web based training program is created and tested?

Creating A Web Based Training Program: Step 3

Once you have come up with an idea for a Web based training program and created the design for it, it's time to roll it out for people to use. If you have done all of the preparation, this step should be a fairly smooth one.

Based on the information you came up with in step two, you'll know if everyone will be doing the training at the same time, or if you will do so in stages. You can split people up by department, do it alphabetically, or in any other way that is convenient. If possible, try to choose a slow time for the training so that it won't overload anyone with extra work.

Sometimes not everyone in the company may need to complete the particular training program you have created. For example, Web developer training will probably not be extended to those in the sales department, unless it relates to their job as well. This type of specialized training may be a bit easier to implement, as it won't require a large-scale effort.

   
As a creative professional, how can I line up a job in a new city?

New City, New Job

If you're moving from one area to another, a job search is usually part of the package. For creatives, this can be especially challenging, but some talent agencies specialize in finding freelance work for artists. Signing up with a career agency that will connect you with employment is a great way to go if you're able to find one in your area. It isn't always possible to find a job before you move, so if you find yourself in this position, you'll want to get some money coming in as quickly as you can once you're settled in your new home.

Make sure that you keep your portfolio and other related materials handy so you can interview right away for any jobs that the agency finds for you. There's nothing worse than trying to find something important when all of your belongings are still in boxes. Also, be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to find the spot where you're supposed to interview.

   
How should I present a Web based training program?

Creating A Web Based Training Program: Step 2

The second step in creating a Web based training program is to actually create the material as it will be used on-line. This step will be implemented by your Web professional, although you will undoubtedly want to review and approve the final content. It is during this portion of the process that you will need to address issues such as bandwidth demand, ease of access to the material and storage.

At the beginning of the Web programming training issues may arise, such as overall speed and loading times. You may need to adjust the materials to fix these problems, and the best time to do it is during this phase. Once the training program is live, it will be more difficult to change.

Be sure and communicate with your Web professional and make any tweaks to the overall picture before you begin using it with employees. You may want to run through the finished program yourself to review it, or have a few select employees test it before you sign off on the final product.

   
Is it better to be a freelance graphic designer or an employee?

Graphic Design: Freelance vs. Full-Time

Do you want to work in a graphic design agency or would you prefer to freelance? If you aren't sure, ask yourself some questions about your work style. Here are some to consider:

  • Do you prefer to be told what to do most of the time, or do you like to schedule tasks as you have the time and energy? Freelance work allows you more flexibility than working for a company does, but you have to be a self-starter to ensure that you complete projects on time.
  • Do you enjoy working from home or do you prefer interacting with people during the workday? Freelancers spend much of their time in the home office (unless they're contractors, in which case office hours may apply). If you enjoy the company of others in your field, working on-site as an employee may be more appealing.
  • Do you want to have weekends off most of the time? Freelancers may wind up searching for work over the weekend and completing projects during the week. Full-time employees will typically have weekends off. For many freelancers, the flexible schedule makes this worth it.

   
What is the first step in creating a Web based training program?

Creating A Web Based Training Program: Step 1

If you are thinking about using some type of Web based training for your employees, the very first step is to come up with any information that you will want to include. This step is the same regardless of whether you are working on a Web page design training program or a grammar review for writers. It can help to write out the idea and your objectives for the training as well.

Once you have an idea and direction, you will need content for the training program. You may choose to hire a content writer to pull this all together, or you can always have someone in-house write the material. Content writers generally have expertise in writing for the Web, which can be an advantage in this type of situation. They may be able to package the material in a way that is more user-friendly than someone who hasn't done much writing for the Web.

Once this step is complete, it is time to talk to your Web designer about where to put the information and how to present it to your employees.

   
What types of jobs are possible once you become an art director?

Art Directors: Diverse Work Responsibilities

If you are an art director looking for creative director work, chances are you will be well prepared. Most art directors have numerous responsibilities, which often overlap with those expected of creative directors. Art direction has to do with creative concepts, layout and style. This can mean many different things—from working with copywriters to implementing the ideas set forth by those setting the direction of the company.

Layout work requires a savvy technical side. Art directors will often work with programs such as In Design or Photoshop to create pages or imagery for a particular catalogue or campaign. They also need to be able to work well with people, as fine-tuning pages often means revisions are being asked of the copywriters. The art director must wear many hats in order to get the job done, but doing this type of work can open the doors for a move up to a creative director position if done well. Both are "big picture" jobs.

   
What is a content writer and how can they help in Web based training?

Hiring A Content Writer

A content writer is someone you may want to consider bringing on board if you are putting together a Web based training program. These writing professionals are experts in packaging writing for the Web and can help make the process of developing a training program on-line much easier.

The content writer may be willing to sit down with the Web developer and talk about design. They can help in areas such as phrasing questions well, keeping a consistent pattern or theme and making sure instructions are easy to understand. They can also help keep things concise by using bullet points, numbered items and other "Web friendly" tools.

There are many different types of content writers out there, so when hiring, make sure the person you select is right for the job. Ask if they have had any prior experience writing training materials, and see if they are willing to work with you on revisions down the line if needed.

   
What are some ways to know if a Web training program is a good quality one?

Quality Training

If you're going through the time and trouble to set up a Web based training program, you'll want to be sure it is a quality offering. There are some factors that you can take into consideration that will help you stay on-target for this. Here are some questions you can ask about the program to see if it measures up:

  • Is the program centered on the learner and not the content?
  • Is the material interesting?
  • Is the training interactive?
  • Does the training address different learning styles?
  • Is the training easy to access?
  • Is the material that is being presented organized well?
  • Does the material help people apply what they have learned?
  • Is the training user-friendly?
These are just some examples of the questions you can ask about any Web based training program. It doesn't matter if you are trying to come up with a new Web development training program or simply see if a current refresher program is meeting your needs; assessing the quality is a good idea.

   
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