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Creative brilliance can be hard to identify and even harder to harness. At Salt, we can spot the creative spark that will fire up your business. Traditionally, the best Creative talent has always gravitated towards agency businesses, however; recently there’s been a real transition into the importance of creative departments in large brands and Digital Products. Salt allows you to reach them all with extensive knowledge of the creative and digital market, and unparalleled networks across the industry’s top brands, products and agencies.
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Good news: The Creative industry has continually grown from strength to strength. Teams have noticeably grown in size and skills. With the demand for creative dramatically increasing, team size is having to mirror that, which means more available positions and headcount across brands and agencies.
With the digital, tech and software world taking over more traditional organisations, there has been a big shift and lift in digitally focused roles across UI, UX, CX, Product Design and Service Design. ‘Creative’ now spans across print, brand and digital in both contract and permanent basis.
Being a creative, you will always have an element of being hands-on, no matter your seniority. When you reach the ‘Manager” level, that doesn’t always typically mean people management, but project and strategy management.
The Creative industry encompasses many disciplines, so average salaries can vary significantly. However, the data below gives you a good ballpark annual figure based upon the level of experience:
|Typical roles - Design||Annual salary levels (RSA)|
|Creative Director||R 600K - R 840K|
|Head of Design||R 600K - R 720|
|Senior Art Director||R 420K - R 600K|
|Art Director||R 300K - R 420K|
|Senior Digital Designer||R 480K - R 600K|
|Digital Designer||R 240K - R 480K|
|Typical roles - UI/UX/Product||Annual salary levels (RSA)|
|Lead/Head of UX||R 840K - R 1,200K|
|Senior Product Designer||R 600K - R 840K|
|Senior UX Designer||R 600K - R 840K|
|Senior UI Designer||R 480K - R 600K|
|Product Designer||R 420K - R 600K|
|UX Designer||R 420K - R 600K|
|UI Designer||R 360K - R 480K|
|Typical roles||Annual salary levels (RSA)|
|Social Media Manager||R 420K - R 540K|
|Content Strategist||R 300K - R 420K|
|Copywriter||R 240K - R 420K|
|Community Manager||R 180K - R 300K|
The creative working landscape is constantly influenced by innovations and new ways of thinking. One result of this influence is that self-employment and freelancing are at the forefront of the creative market. More precisely, there are not many other industries in which the self-employment rate is as high as in the Creative industry. Particularly, a lot of young people prefer being portfolio workers and self-employed working as freelancers or consultants.
Currently, it is prime time for Creative professionals with the right experience and skills as creative agencies have been growing, and companies have been investing more and more money in their creative departments. Recent noticeable changes in the market supports this trend, which will continue and that the demand for Creative Directors, UI, UX, & Product design experts will particularly increase over the next couple of years.
Since the Creative industries became more and more digitalised, it goes without saying that employers expect creative experts to be natives in everything that is digital. This might range from online distribution, website and customer journey optimisation, user experience practices and end-to-end UI of a mobile app to the creation of online banners. You will be expected to know your strengths; even an impressive hybrid UI/UX designer will be heavily weighted to one of those aspects. The continued growth of creative means roles and opportunities are becoming more specialised.
In the creative world, CV translates to portfolio. A portfolio of your work is a must and typically, most hiring managers will look at a showcase of your previous work before reading a CV. It’s important to show off your greatest projects, so always keep this up to date.
During an interview for a Creative role, interviewers tend to have a close look at the applicants’ portfolio and ask relevant questions about their work. Besides portfolio questions, they might also ask you the following in order to get to know you better:
1. What was your favourite project and why?
2. What technology tools do you use regularly?
3. Could you please describe your design style.
4. What is your opinion about our creative materials?
5. Talk about your process and where you fit into the team.
A bachelor’s degree in a creative-related field, such as graphic design, television production, advertising, product design and publishing might be seen as advantageous by some employers. However, what really matters in the Creative industry is the professionals’ portfolio. An excellent portfolio is usually worth more than any degree, which is why creatives start working on their portfolios as soon as possible and rarely do a postgraduate degree.
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