Before we answer that burning question, allow me to address another one—where have I been (or, more specifically, why haven’t I been keeping up with my blog?)? Truthfully, I’ve been busy. I’ve had some amazing opportunities to do some pretty incredible work with some of the smartest people I know, so like a good little careerist, I went for it. Along the way, I got to help launch an amazing product for kids, got to see my words on a billboard in Times Square, and even put a serious dent in getting started writing my book. All in all, it’s been a really productive break from blogging.
So, back to the issue at hand. Titles kind of annoy me because I don’t think they’re indicative of the level of work you’re capable of doing. I know of several writers and designers who have been on the scene for a handful of years. They’re naturally talented and are more than capable of turning the lamest ideas into pure gold (see also: turd, polishing a). However, their relative lack of experience defines them as a junior level creative, which is actually kind of a professional insult, when you think about it.
The whole junior-senior level thing also affects us on a much more fundamental scale—money. Juniors make less, yet, in this economy, seniors are either forced to be ultra-competitive for even fewer jobs, or those few jobs go to juniors because they cost less to the company/client, which can have a lasting impact on the quality of the finished product, depending on the talent of the creative chosen to work on the project. Either way, we don’t really win this—talent no longer determines employability.
So, here’s my question—what determines whether or not you get the job? Is ability enough anymore?