WE’RE A CREATIVE, INTERACTIVE & MARKETING TALENT RESOURCE

The Zombie

from the desk of smartdept. inc. Principal, Eric Pairitz

1. The Zombie

Okay, it’s true, zombies are as popular as ever. Movies, shows, conventions about movies and shows — it goes on and on. Hey, for the purpose of entertainment, I love them too. But there’s one place that zombies are not welcome (anyone?). That’s right. In an interview. In this context, a “zombie” refers to a person who continually gives one-word answers and generally refuses to engage in a “conversation” during the interview.

There are many elements involved in successfully navigating the interview process. The most obvious is having the exact skill set the prospective employer is seeking. But perhaps the second most obvious is communication — being able to talk through a solution you’re offering in your portfolio, for example. Or, your approach to a difficult situation you encountered at another job and how you worked through it. Clear, concise communication can leave a prospective employer impressed and can sometimes be a difference maker if other elements of your interview come up short.

Besides, think of all the money you’ll save not having to buy zombie make-up! All by simply being conversational with your approach to an interview.

 

Smarties participate in Food Frenzy and look at one of the Food Lifeline programs it helps support

Our ongoing partnership with Food Lifeline has been very rewarding to our team. We continue to be inspired by the staff and volunteers at Food Lifeline that work day in and out to find new ways to feed hungry families. And this year, thanks to the wonderful staff at Food Lifeline, we got a look into the newly expanded Kid’s Café Program. This summer program brings meals to children who normally rely on the free or reduced lunch programs in Western Washington schools. With the help of many volunteers and staff, along with and fundraising efforts like Food Frenzy, kids from 1 to 18 are able to fuel their summer fun at 18 sites across Western Washington! The growth of the program is allowing more and more children to be served healthy meals every day. This June, the program served 12,298 meals and snacks over the first two weeks of operation. That is almost as many meals in two weeks as they served all of last summer – nearly 1,230 meals every single day! That’s exciting stuff, folks!

“Last week I went out to a Kids Cafe site. It was a Friday and after the kids were done eating and getting ready to go home, Sarah the site supervisor put out all of the fresh fruits and vegetables that would otherwise go to waste over the weekend and let the children know that they could take as much home as they wanted to eat over the weekend. I watched as almost a dozen children ranging from 5 to 13 years old ran to the fresh produce and began to fill the plastic shopping bags with food. One little boy came up to me and very excitedly told me how much he loves apples. It’s been a very rewarding experience to see first-hand how our Kids Cafe program is benefiting children throughout Western Washington.”

– Stephanie, Food Lifeline Kids Cafe Coordinator

If you want to learn more about the Kid’s Café program, here’s a wonderful cartoon that illustrates how the program works.

Meantime, you can help out this great program! This year, as part of the Food Frenzy fundraising competition, our Seattle smarties decided to mix things up (quite literally) and have a bake sale (July 13 and 14) as part of the fundraiser. If you happen to be in the Seattle area, specifically Pioneer Square, you can stop by, say hello and get a sweet treat courtesy of our in-house bakers and The Seattle Cookie Lady. And, if you’re not in Seattle, you can still support Food Lifeline. Check out our crowdrise page to donate for a virtual treat.

 

Getting Ready for Our July Fundraiser to Support Food Lifeline

From the desk of Seattle recruiter: Chessjuan Monk

1,290 lbs has little meaning when placed all on its own, but when talked about in regards to keeping children from being hungry after school, and its correlation to providing 1,075 meals for the hungry in Western Washington, it really does bring a heavier significance than just weight. Last Wednesday, June 24, I had the pleasure of volunteering with my new Seattle team at Food LifeLine’s food distribution warehouse in Shoreline. Being able to be part of an amazing organization that is providing such a great service to the community was priceless, and I’m looking forward to helping fundraise for this awesome group July 10-24.

If you’re in the Seattle Pioneer Square area, remember to stop by July 13 and 14 for our smartdept.inc. Seattle bake sale!

seattle-smarties-2

Chicago smarties Celebrate the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup Win with 2 Million of Our Closest Friends

From the desk of the Chicago recruiter: Leah Bye

Last Thursday, the Chicago smarties invited our families to stop by the office in prep to hit the street and celebrate the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup win. Back in 2013 and 2010, we were able to watch from our office windows – as many of you know we’re located on Washington St. – but this time we gathered in the office before heading over to Monroe.

We were hard pressed to find anyone downtown that wasn’t celebrating, and it was thrilling to be in the heart of it all. Even if you aren’t a hockey fan, it would’ve been pretty difficult not to hop on the bandwagon. Chicago is a city full of dedicated and determined people that also know how to enjoy themselves, and we feel lucky to be here, working with – and for – such passionate and interesting individuals.

It’s times like this that we remember toughing out the arctic blasts of the winter are for a reason, because Chicago is such a spectacular city to call home. Congrats Blackhawks, on your huge successes in the past several years, and thank you for sharing your excitement with Chicagoans all around!

blackhawks-stanleycup_2015

Life at smartdept. inc. Through One Recruiter’s Eyes

From the desk of Chicago recruiter: Leah Bye

Lately we’ve been discussing in our Chicago and Seattle offices the way the workforce is changing, both for employers and employees/job seekers (case in point, Beth’s last blog post).  While the job seekers are looking for extra perks in the workplace to engage them, employers also are looking at what job seekers are bringing to the table in addition to their career experience.  Look on any career information site, and you’ll see article after article about employers needing to be capable of motivating their employees to keep them engaged and happy. On the flip side, you’ll also see discussions that encourage hiring managers to bring on individuals that have inspirational attitudes, are a cultural fit, and can contribute something extra to the team. Obviously, experience is also part of the hiring process, and position details and potential to grow are players in the searching process (but let’s not worry about the minor details).

So, with that being said, I thought I’d share a bit about our workplace, how we keep engaged and how I, personally, have wedged my way in so my coworkers will suffer from sugar withdrawals if they decide they don’t need me in the office.

Here’s a little insight into what it’s like at smartdept. inc.:
As you may know, we have “boutique” spaces, both in Chicago, and Seattle. So, making sure that our teams work and interact together well is extremely important. On the work/motivational side, we keep each other in check, we encourage each other to push boundaries when applicable, and we always keep it constructive. On the interaction/frivolities side, you’ll occasionally see us at Cubs’ or Mariners’ games, or the Thai place around the corner. You may even see one of us walking around in our new “Winner’s” belt (see Eric’s last blog post). Our office competitions might sound silly, but the winner is always rewarded with something special, like pork rinds, which in turn creates a lot of running office jokes.

What I contribute outside of my job description:
Because I’m a narcissist, so why not talk about myself? I’ve positioned myself as the resident baker (in Chicago, sorry Seattle) – mostly birthdays, occasionally just because, always because I want to make something and can’t be trusted to keep it in my apartment. My contribution outside of what I actually do as a recruiter here at smartdept, inc. is that I make treats, hopefully well, and will even put together your own personal stash to take home if it’s your special day.  There have definitely been a few guinea pig moments. I’m thankful to have such an accepting crowd (especially Eric, don’t tell Michelle).

leahbye_baked-goods

I’m not saying your workplace has to be your everything, but, you do spend an awful lot of time there. So why not be somewhere that keeps you at your best, better than the rest?

– Leah Bye

 

Inspiration In the Open Air

Ethan Jack Harrington is a plein air painter who lives in Seattle, Washington. Plein air is a French term meaning “in the open air” and is used to describe the act of painting outdoors (I Googled it). Raise your hand if you’re from Seattle and have walked past a guy with his easel set up in the middle of a busy sidewalk. THAT’S ETHAN! I knew you knew him.

One of my first memories of starting the smartdept. inc. was walking down the street in Pioneer Square, and seeing Ethan working on one of his amazing paintings—right there, out in the open. We chatted about how Michelle and I were also artists, and we certainly appreciated his entrepreneurial spirit. Well, a baker’s dozen of years have passed, and you can still see Ethan out there painting in the open air. And, if the outdoors aren’t your thing, you can visit his gallery in the Pike Place Market (because it’s inside).

Alas, If you’re too impatient for a chance meeting in the street or just too busy to visit the market, you can check out his online gallery at ejakart.com. Give it a look! Maybe you’ll be inspired like Michelle and I were, oh so many years ago.

– Eric

Meet With a smartdept. Seattle Recruiter and Experience Pioneer Square Culture

We’d like to think of ourselves as trendsetters at the smartdept. inc., or even mildly psychic. So when The Seattle Times stated over the weekend that Pioneer Square is in the middle of a “not-so-quiet renaissance” we weren’t surprised!

Our Seattle office is located right smack dab in the middle of what’s becoming a bustling foodie’s haven and artist’s dream (galleries galore). Our building houses Bar Sajor on the main level, The Pharmacy (speakeasy) in the basement, Temple Billiards, and of course, your very own creative and marketing talent resource.

After a visit to meet with one of our recruiters, you can explore our happening neighborhood and get inspired! #smartdeptinspires

Click here to read The Seattle Times article.

 

Quote of the day

Innovation! One cannot be forever innovating. I want to create classics.

~ Coco Chanel

Quote of the day

“Throwing away ideas too soon is like opening a package of flower seeds and then throwing them away because they’re not pretty.”

~ Arthur VanGundy, Ph.D.

Quote of the day

“The essential part of creativity is not being afraid to fail.”

~ Edwin H. Land

Quote of the Day

“Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do.”

~Edgar Degas

Quote of the Day

You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job, and not be paid for it.

~Oprah Winfrey

Quote of the Day

“It’s not what you achieve, it’s what you overcome. That’s what defines your career.”

~Carlton Fisk

Quote of the Day

“The secret of all effective originality in advertising is not the creation of new and tricky words and pictures, but one of putting familiar words and pictures into new relationships.”

~ Leo Burnett

Quote of the Day

“Interpretation is the revenge of the intellect upon art.”

~Susan Sontag

Quote of the Day

“Inspiration grows into full-scale creation through persistence and imagination.”

~ Carol Lloyd

45 More Creative and Interesting Business Cards For Your Inspiration

Traditionally business cards were simple black text on white stock.  Today that has drastically changed. It is clear that the more creative, unique and interesting your business card is, the more it will set you apart from the competition and give you the edge you need to succeed. Whether you like letterpress, see thru, illustrated or just plain wacky business cards, there is something for everyone in this list.

Today, lets take a look at 45 More Creative and Interesting Business Cards For Your Inspiration

See the list here! (via www.designtutorials4u.com)

Quote of the Day

“Creativity is an advertising agency’s most valuable asset, because it is the rarest.”

~Jef I. Richards

Quote of the Day



“The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.”

~ Albert Einstein

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