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By J.T. O'Donnell Last week, I published the 10 things a recruiter won't tell you. The article got some interesting reactions from a few recruiters who weren't too happy with me. Yet, others agreed to the validity of what I was trying to point out (read the Recruiting Animal's response in the post's comments). I can see how some recruiters would take offense. Honestly, it hadn't been my intention to criticize them. Having been in the staffing industry for many years, I know how tough their jobs are. I had only meant to point out to job seekers why they need to take their professional development (a.k.a. their personal brand) into their own hands. And then, Susan Boyle came on the scene and I realized I had a way to prove my point. For those of you who don't know about Susan, I'll recap: She's a 47-year old woman from England who is currently on a show called Brittain's Got Talent. In the interview before she begins to perform, she shares she is unemployed, has dreams of being a huge singing star, but for some reason, can't get hired. If you watch this video clip, you can assess potential reasons why. WATCH VIDEO HERE (they've disabled the ability to embed the video on a site because of the number of viewers) What is most amazing about Susan is her voice. It is heart-warmingly, eye-tearingly beautiful. Not to mention, her song selection couldn't be anymore spot on. And yet again, as she explains in her on camera interview, she can't get a singing gig - anywhere. So recruiters, here's the challenge... In the comments below, write how you would explain to Susan what she needs to do to be more marketable to employers. Show us how you can coach this woman to leverage her singing strengths and land a job in her profession. While Susan may now be lucky enough to have everyone under the sun wanting to help her, thousands more job seekers won't be so lucky. How did she get to middle-age and not land a gig with that beautiful voice? Share your opinions and suggestions below. And then, let's all watch Susan and see what happens!
Learn how to land a career you love

Everyone needs to feel their voice is heard and their contributions are important. Something as simple as sharing a drink the last hour of the day on a Friday with the team to recap wins and give praise can build camaraderie within the team.

All of the above are fairly simple to implement but can make a huge difference in morale and motivation. Have any of these tips worked well for young the past? Do you have other tips to motivate your creative team? If so, please share them with me!

Encourage curiosity. Spark debate. Stimulate creativity and your team will be better at handling challenges with flexibility and resourcefulness. Create a safe space for ideas, all ideas, to be heard. In ideation, we need the weird and off-the-wall ideas to spur us on to push through to the great ideas.

Sure, there are a ton of studies done on this, but here is my very unscientific personal take. When team members can make decisions about how they work on projects, they are more engaged and connected to the project outcome. When they see how potentially dropping the ball would affect the entire team, they step up. When they feel like what they are doing is impactful and valued, they are naturally motivated to learn more, and be even better team members.

Rarely does a one-size-fits-all style work when it comes to team motivation. I have found that aligning employee goals with organization goals works well. Taking time to get to know everyone on your team is invaluable. What parts of their job do they love? What do they not enjoy? What skills do they want to learn? Even going so far as to where they see themselves in five years career-wise. These questions help you right-fit projects, and help your team see you are committed to creating a career path for them within the company.

Most designers I know love a good challenge. We are problem solvers by nature. Consistently give yourself and your team small challenges, both design-related and not. It will promote openness within the team to collaborate, and it will help generate ideas faster in the long run. Whether the challenge is to find a more exciting way to present an idea to stakeholders or fitting a new tool into the budget, make it a challenge just to shake things up.