Amidst the high unemployment rates of creative professions, it’s difficult to be optimistic about the immediate future. But the situation will improve and there are a number of areas which are even doing well amidst the pandemic. Many of us will choose to ride out the storm, some of us won’t have a choice. But now could be an opportunity to realign skill sets with a view to creating the future you want.
SOME COVID WINNERS
No one is really a winner during COVID, but there are challenges facing many companies that can be converted to opportunities for young creative people. Of course us old dinosaurs who are stuck in our ways will have a harder time rebranding ourselves, but for those starting their careers, now is the time to really think about what the end goal is and what steps you can take to get there.
Film and Television production has all but stopped in many parts of the world. In Australia and New Zealand, Corona has brought unexpected opportunity with many foreign productions coming to our shores. Why? Our low COVID rates makes shooting actually possible. So why not aim for what many regard as the pinnacle of the creative industries? Marvel has recently wrapped their latest production, Shang-Chi in Sydney and from all reports, there are a number of big productions coming to Australia including Thor amongst other blockbusters. Many smaller TV serials are also shooting locally creating both jobs and opportunity. Now could be the time to try get a start on set and make those connections within industry.
UX and UI continues to grow. It hasn’t been a good year if you work in events or promotions, but if you work in digital, there’s a good chance you’ve remained employed. Agencies continue to struggle as they did pre-COVID and clients are now finding it more cost efficient to bring these roles in-house. They are becoming a permanent and essential service for the day to day operation of every company. Whilst it lacks the glamour of agency life, the talent pool itself, is starting to see client-side as a more stable and less life consuming way to make a living.
Businesses are finding new ways to reach their customer base during lockdowns, many investing in ‘quick win’ projects whilst long term solutions remain in planning phase. COVID has permanently changed consumer behaviour and the world has retreated even further online during the pandemic. This has created a multitude of opportunities for those in the field, and new entry level positions for those looking to make the move.
Furthermore many companies are now investing heavily in creating the right tools to ensure their workforce remains productive whilst working remotely. The proven efficiency of home working has forever changed the office. Employees now enjoy better work/life balance, and employers also coming to the realisation they can start saving on office real estate. The virtual office is here and it’s not going away anytime soon.
Previously underutilized resources such as intranets, extranets and even newsletter emails have gained sudden uptake and importance. Creating these and/or customising off the shelf packages will create jobs for both graphics and usability specialists. Again, many solutions currently in place are quick roll-outs in response to the pandemic whilst many long term solutions remain fledgling. There will be more opportunities to come.
Brand. Brand seems to have gained more importance in the eyes of marketers even as advertising has lessened in importance. The trend was already there pre-COVID reflected in client spend. Many would say marketers are missing a trick, but the visual consistency of a brand has taken centre place as data driven marketing has put the squeeze on marcomms creative budgets. Interestingly, the data itself has shown tactical sales campaigns still need the support of high level brand communications for long term success, but with limited budgets, investment in short term gain has become the norm.
Content. In a world where disruptive advertising is becoming noise, content driven marketing is on the rise. Articles, images and videos shared across social is often the approach of the savvy budget constrained marketer. This opens the way for new roles for specialised in house content teams and agencies. In addition marketers are constantly striving to optimise their core web content for search engine ranking. Being top of the google organic search results is often the holy grail for many website owners and SEO content writers can expect a steady stream of work coming their way.
We live in strange times and there are many talented people out of work. But don’t give up and become a day trader just yet. Clients now know there are seasoned multi-awarded art directors/copywriters/creative directors deemed ‘too old and expensive’ by agencies who can fulfil their comms needs at a fraction the price of an agency. Consultancies are starting to monetise creative talent too. Working client side is becoming the new norm, with new roles for everyone from videographers to writers, designers and even traditional concept creatives. The future’s not great during COVID but it’s not as bleak as it looks. Post-COVID we can expect even more creative opportunity as the markets reopen. The consumer rebound is coming and whole new worlds of creative opportunity will come with it.
At Avoca, we’re always on the lookout to solve creative problems be it UX/UI or traditional marcomms. We’re also looking for top talent to engage so if you’re amongst the very talented currently looking for opportunities, please get in touch.