Posts Tagged ‘job’

Is it time for specialisation of roles within Social Media?

Posted on: September 26th, 2012 by Fransgaard 2 Comments

I recently had dinner with a good Twitter friend of mine and his lovely wifeand at some point the conversation turned to job specialisation within social media. The conversation move on in a different direction before I could share my views and I am glad it did because going home afterwards I realised my views wouldn’t have been right.

My first instinct was to compare the Social Media industry with the Web Design industry because in the early days of Web Design there was only one job role: The Web Designer.

The evolution of the Web Designer

However, quickly the role Web Designer split in two; Web Designer and Web Developer, then three; Web Designer, Web Developer and Network Engineer.

My first instinct was to compare the Social Media industry with the Web Design industry because in the early days of Web Design there was only one job role: The Web Designer.

Several splits later the role as Web Designer has all but disappeared and replaced by specialist roles such as Information Architect, Business Analyst, Frontend Developer, User-Interface Designer, Digital Marketeer, SEO Specialists, PPC Professionals, Affiliate Marketeers, User Experience Architects, Motion Designers, Flash Developers, Mobile Interface Designers, App Developers, Object Developers, Drupal Themers and the list really does go on and on and on.

This evolution triggering these segmentations was the result of a growing industry. Today Web Design is big business requiring big results and nobody can do it all by themselves anymore.

Does this maturing of an industry sounds familiar to you from a Social Media perspective? It did to me… at first anyway.

But it is not the same for Social Media

Web Design is still an industry. It is not something the great unwashed masses do unless you count the DIY design of an page or similar.

I would argue that Social Media is not an industry. It is affecting the population as a whole re-wiring our brains to a new, always-connected world.

I have previously described social media as a second language and I think that description is still valid. Social media is part of or will become part of all jobs.

How does Social Media enhance my job role?

So I don’t think the question is whether Social Media is going into specialised job roles but rather the question is: How does Social Media affect any role? What Social Media knowledge is needed for any role?

  • Does a Marketeer benefit from understand Social Media? Definitely!
  • Does a journalist need to know how to use Twitter? Sure!
  • Does a bus driver need to know about YouTube?… Yes he does. If he behaves badly, he risk going viral online!

And if you are a Final Fantasy XI player…

If you have ever played the MMO game Final Fantasy XI there is an even better way of describing Social Media: Social Media is a subjob!

To those who don’t play Final Fantasy XI the in-game job system lets you choose a main job for example Warrior, but you can modify this role by applying a subjob which gives you a few extra benefits. So for example a Warrior with a subjob of Ninja can use two weapons instead of one. A Warrior with a subjob of Ranger is better at using a bow.

Think of Social Media as the sub job for your (real-life) job. How does it modify your job?

Why I left the London digital design agency world and joined Capgemini’s UX team

Posted on: April 5th, 2012 by Fransgaard 2 Comments

I’ve just been watching a video of David Reed, a Principal Consultant for Capgemini Consulting, talking about his first 100 days with Capgemini and it made me think about why I, as a creative person, made the move to join Capgemini.

Having worked in the amazing London digital creative industry since 1999, in 2010 I was looking for a new job. As expected I started interviewing with various agencies but none of the roles really felt right. This scared me as some of the roles on offer where top jobs at great companies.

Having turned down the first few job offers, roles I would have accepted in the past, I decided to take a look at what I wanted and where the industry was heading.

Place your bets

Just then a recruitment agency contact me with a role that did not fit what I was looking for. The role was an internal role for a betting company. I had never considered inhouse roles as an option before and not being a betting/gambling man and not having the slightest interest in watching sports, this role seemed wrong on all accounts.

But because I was going through this what-do-I-want-to-do crisis I went to the interview and was really gobsmacked at the professional approach to digital design, including proper user testing, real objectives to reach and a tangible creative design process.

It felt like utopian version of agency world where the team had time to create properly crafted work that delivers tangible results.

In the end the role was too junior, but it was the first vacancy I got really exited about, which was strange as I had no personal interest in the product.

Rethinking my views on digital creative work

And then it hit me: In recent years companies are increasingly establishing internal digital departments owning the digital strategy and the creative thinking leaving only tactical design work to the agencies (banners, anyone?).

I started applying for inhouse jobs and suddenly the roles got more interesting. I think it is because the inhouse roles and teams felt like a grown-up version of the digital agency environment, which to some extend still suffers from the early days of web design working crazy hours, mixed with getting drunk and playing table fussball.

But was I ready to work for only a single brand? I was looking for a company where I could stay for a long time and the prospect of working with the same brand day in and day out for years and years didn’t feel all that appealing even though I had no experience to base that negative feeling on.

Why Capgemini

The Capgemini role felt like the best of both words: One one hand it had the professional feel of the inhouse teams I had met and on the other hand it offered the variety of working with several clients that agencies can offer.

But the single thing that made me go “yes” was the creative freedom a company like Capgemini can offer. Think about it for a second:

If you work for an digital agency your creativity is actually limited to what your development team can deliver.

With a company like Capgemini I would have an army of tens of thousands of developers behind me. Whatever crazy solution I come up with there would be at least one developer  capable of delivering my concept.

I joined Capgemini in the summer of 2010 and so far all of the above has been true:

  1. I work within a UX team made of talented craftspeople in a professional organisation.
  2. I work with a range of exiting projects and clients.
  3. And I’ve made good use of the creative freedom of having an army of developers.

And there’s been further benefits: I have learned a lot of new things from some brilliant people (Windahl Finnigan, Laurence Buchanan and Guy Stephens to name a few). And this is the first time in many years I feel I am learning and growing rather than only teaching and mentoring.

I hope I’ll stay with Capgemini for a long time to come.