silver lining?

For so long in the advertising and marketing business, it seemed that employees’ skill sets became narrower and narrower. I’ll always remember the first British designer I interviewed. His portfolio was a mix of the usual ads, identity/logos, etc. and then! wallpaper design and textile pieces and more! He had worked as a graphic designer, a product designer, and gasp! a sales professional (of the product line he had developed).

And, oh boy, did he have a tough time finding his next job. All the employers he met in our market wanted to see something more traditional, more narrow. There was a pattern then of becoming more specialized, within any discipline, to improve ones’ upward mobility, hireability, compensation, etc.

This recession seems to have changed that somewhat. A generalist who can adapt to change quickly and maintain a good attitude is looking better to many employers:

And that British designer I was so impressed with? He did stay in KC (yay!), had a good job in product development for a long time, and now is very busy with his independent design work.

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