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Blog Post

What’s Your Professional Value?

05/02/2017

This is a great time to be a creative professional. Companies and organizations of all types need a wide range of creative content—to sell products and services, to teach and train people, and to tell stories and promote ideas and causes. The tools are more powerful than ever, and the internet has broken down distribution barriers and given everyone a global audience, but to take full advantage of this new landscape, you must skill up!

Now, it used to be that a creative pro worked in one field—say, typesetting or photography for his or her entire career. But the silos that used to separate creative fields have been blown to bits. Today’s employers and clients expect creatives to be able to do more than one thing. Designers don’t just create printed pieces, they also design websites. Photographers don’t just take stills, they also shoot video, maybe even with a drone.

In some ways, this is a great thing. After all, it means there are more ways to express yourself and communicate your message than ever before. But this new, diverse creative landscape requires that you have at least some familiarity with the tools required, which is no short order.

You’ve probably heard the old saying about being a jack of all trades, but a master of none. Well, let’s put a different spin on that: be a jack of all trades and a master of one, or maybe some. The more familiar you are with each creative field, the more qualified you’ll be to tackle multiple kinds of jobs and to collaborate with those people who are masters of their trades. 

And finally, one more really important point. It’s going to sound obvious, but it has to be said. Having the tools to tackle different kinds of creative projects isn’t the same thing as having the skills to do them well. Having a copy of Adobe Illustrator doesn’t make you an illustrator, and buying an expensive camera only means you own an expensive camera. Every creative field is a mix of science and art, a combination of the tools in your hand and the creativity that’s in your head and in your heart. 

The digital revolution may have broken down silos between different creative fields, but it didn’t eliminate the creative skills required to execute projects in compelling and tasteful ways. Successful creative pros need experience and skills in many different creative disciplines. This diversity is one of the keys to staying ahead as a creative pro. Fortunately, you can now access them online at your own pace and when it’s convenient for you. LinkedIn Learning combines the all the incredible content on Lynda.com with the largest business network – 500 million members and growing!

This content is made possible by LinkedIn; it is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of the HOW Design Live editorial team.