The changing workplace

Sometimes it’s the obvious which appears a revelation when presented from a new perspective. Like understanding (and actually accepting) that work is but one element of our complicated lives. For most of us it’s a pretty big part – and often one which impacts on other areas of our life and the lives of those around us. Equally we must accept that work can be effected by the other areas of our lives in both good and bad ways . . .

This was the central theme to a presentation Salt attended yesterday to mark the launch of 2015 Mental Health Week.

In many workplaces it is considered ‘unprofessional’ to let our personal lives effect our performance at work – but can we really be expected to leave our worries, hassles, loves, anxieties, highs and lows at the door each work day? Potentially this misguided expectation can compound emotional issues to a point where we may struggle to cope and perform our job.

The challenge to acknowledge, respect and accept that mental health issues may at times affect a person’s ability at work. We would recognise this if someone arrived at work with a broken arm! So why are we expected to ‘suck it up’ ‘get on with the job’ and leave our personal issues at the door?

David Cooke, the first non-asian Managing Director of Konica Minolta (Australia) provided an insight into how he has approached this issue and changed the workplace culture of his organisation. He explained how through even the smallest of gestures we can encourage, empower and support our staff. And by doing so we can enrich their working lives and improve the efficiency and productivity of an entire organisation.

If we can identify a computer not working correctly and take steps to repair it – we need to enact a process to support and assist any member of our team if they are not functioning at their best. The awareness of mental health as a medical issue is increasing. However we appear to still struggle with accepting and dealing with it in the workplace as practically as we would if it was a broken arm or a head-cold. If we value ourselves and our staff, workplace culture needs to evolve to one which is more understanding, supportive and accepting.

Useful links
Human Rights
Open Minds
Queensland Mental Health Commission

Pictured // Our information pack including neon piggy banks!

salt-shaker-signoffBecause everything tastes better with a sprinkle of salt!

Worth your salt // Part 3 – Designing your portfolio

Following on from our previous posts about Applying for a design position and Getting started on your resume, we’d like to inspire you to be creative and informative with your portfolio.

Seeing is not believing

Your portfolio is the single most important introduction to who you are and what you are capable of.

It’s not just a showcase of pretty pictures – every piece is the result of a process. Explaining your experience during that process is most important element to a prospective employer.

We don’t necessarily want to hear about the client and what they do – unless of course, they were a contributing factor to the result. If they were difficult to work with, set in their ways, insistent with a particular colour or image – explain how you worked with that challenge.

Explain how you created each piece.

  • What design software did you use?
  • Why did you choose a specific font or colour?
  • What was the client brief?
  • How long did you have to develop the design?
  • What was the budget?
  • Was it printed – if so how?

If it’s a branding project – we’d love to see your workings. Tell us the story of how you developed the logo, selected colours, the research you carried out. Include design concepts that worked and perhaps some that did not – along with an explanation of why they were not accepted or why your creative direction changed.

Don’t be afraid to explain who else was involved in a production. Was it professionally written by a copywriter? Were you directed by another creative? Did you brief another designer on part of the production? How did you work with a printer to achieve the particular result?

It’s all part of the story which unfortunately we don’t know unless you tell us.

So our words of wisdom are to consider what to include in your portfolio not for how the finished product looks – but for the story behind it. How it showcases your creativity and ability as a designer.

Give your portfolio the edge // handy links

Our next post in this series is on Industry experience – applying for a position when you don’t quite meet the experience level…

salt-shaker-signoffBecause everything tastes better with a sprinkle of salt!


Images // Book Binding // Talent // Font Pairing like a Pro // Creative book covers