We Value Creativity

By Catherine Lang-Cline

One of the main reasons we started this business is because we value creativity. It was not necessarily to start a staffing business, but that was the closest model. And, I had gained a bit of knowledge of the basics of a staffing company as a freelancer because I had used companies in the past to help me find work while I also found my own projects. I was registered with a few companies at the time but my best jobs came from the company that specialized in creative. Knowing staffing is important, being connected, but by valuing the creativity, you can offer more.

Tell me if you see yourself here. Growing up I remember valuing my Spirograph®, sketch pads, new crayons with the pencil sharpener in the back. I would spend hours on someone else’s Etch-A-Sketch® because we couldn’t afford to buy one. Easy Bake Oven® led to decorating cakes, graph paper allowed me to draw out layouts for homes, doodles on my school paper contained little outfits I would design and the complete love affair that I had with photography.

My career started by getting a BFA and getting a job with an agency. Commercial art is creative from the problem solving to the finished deliverable. There is also no end to possibilities; headlines, copy, content, images, and format. I appreciate all of it like a symphony that comes together and makes something lovely. Don’t get me started on my love for music.

What else? I travel to see exhibits and art museums. I read great books, watch movies, listen to podcasts, and see speakers just because I love a great story. How about you?

I tell you this because creative people are a special breed. It a talent to visualize and create something out of nothing. Starting a business is also creative and this brings us full circle. Why do we do this? Why does Portfolio Creative exist? Why have we never taken on anything other than the creative space?

We value creativity.

Creative people speak a different language. (Sometimes no language, as for us, it is just sometimes easier to draw a picture.) Our favorite people to work with are the ones that understand us and our vision. The ones that want to turn us loose and see what we can do because they value the talent we possess. The ones that see what we do as having value, not something to be handed out for free. My business partner, Kristen Harris, also believes in the value of creativity and our first conversation in starting this company was, “We want this to be about making the right match, finding the right person for the job, making sure the talent gets paid what they are worth.” (Let’s face it, as artists, we are always asked to do something for free.)

“We value creativity” is one of the very unique things about us. Artists are unique. Creativity is unique. People that value creativity are unique. We exist for all of you.


How To Love Your Job (or at least make the most of it)

By Catherine Lang-Cline

Believe it or not, many, many people do love their job. The stars aligned and they found their calling in the field that they love with the team that works wonderfully together. It is actually possible that you can achieve this, too. It may require a few adjustments or it may require you getting what you need right now and then strategizing for your next move.

If you already love your job with no issues, congratulations! You are one of the lucky few and you may be able to guide others in making it a great job for them, too. Bear in mind, you can’t fix everyone and some people are just in the wrong place but you may be able to help. If you see coworkers struggling maybe offer them some thoughts on why you love your job. Maybe it is the flexibility or the opportunity. Sometimes it is a conversation about how what you do is helping people.

If you love your job except for maybe just one person that is also employed there, you might have to dig deep and be direct. Sometimes having a conversation with a person can fix a lot of things. If someone talks over you, constantly is late, is never accountable, etc., you will get better results if you approach that person and tell them how their action makes you feel or how it affects the team. The idea of this is not to lecture them, but rather see the results of their action. Going to HR could be a choice if you feel that it is beyond what you can handle but sometimes people are not self-aware and if a few small things can be rectified, you might have a little more love for your workplace.

Finally, you might just not be in the right place. The culture of the company may not match yours or the work style or the people. You can make the most of your situation by transferring to a new area or figuring out what you can add to your skill sets at this job to prepare you for the next. Can you take on new responsibilities? Can you work on leadership skills? Can you learn some new software or skill that might expand your career? It will definitely help the company you're currently working for and you all may like this change. You could possibly love your job! If all of that does not work, you have set the stage for the next step in your career. Don’t forget while you have a job you can work on passion projects or activities outside of work that can lead you in a new direction.

The point is if you are not in love with your job:

  1. Talk to someone at the company that is and find out why

  2. See if you can change things in your environment, you may need to speak up,

  3. Start looking at opportunities within the company to make a change or gather more experience for the next step in your career.


You spend more time at work than at home or with your family. You might as well spend that time at a place you like going to and being with people you like.


A Day in the Life: Q+A with Ceci Clark

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I am Ceci Clark! I am a photographer, designer, but most importantly, a creative. I was born and raised in northern central Ohio by a family of creatives. My Dad is an executive chef and my Mother redesigns dilapidated houses. This sprouted my own passions and led me to be able to be unique with my methods in my art. I currently live in Delaware, Ohio and travel frequently.

Morning:

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I am constantly asking friends if they’d like to grab brunch with me so that I can connect with people first thing. What’s better than getting breakfast food with friends! I know I should be getting my coffee from local roasters, but I’m guilty of getting Starbucks almost every day. Mornings are also my time for discovering new music and make new playlists on Spotify often. Find one of my playlists!

Afternoon:

My goal is to go on at least one photoshoot a day, so a lot of my planned shoots are in the afternoon! I spend most of my days in Columbus usually because I’m taking photos or at an event, so I spend a lot of time driving to the city. I am consistently with people and working with them to make something beautiful! I love that my job and my lifestyle go hand in hand.

I love to shoot at one time events like parties or special places like the Chinese Lantern Festival. I adore taking photos of people in environments where they thrive like their homes or their favorite coffee shop! I mainly look for spots with lots of character and color.

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Evening:

I spend a lot of nights taking photos at concerts, editing pictures, or writing + recording my own music. You may catch me at Philco in the Short North or at a show sometime!

Check out more of Ceci’s work here!


Hey, We're Portfolio Creative!

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Hey—

We’re the stellar team that makes up Portfolio Creative. Since it’s a new year and we have a lot of new followers, we wanted to take a minute to reintroduce ourselves. Our company was founded in 2005 by Catherine and Kristen, who met while working as Graphic Designers at LBrands.

We’re focused on connecting clients with exceptional creative talent. We’re experts in creative and we understand the competitiveness in the creative marketplace. We love getting involved in our community and we’re all personally invested in making sure that this creative community thrives.

What makes us unique?

  1. We find A+ talent

  2. We value creativity

  3. We are good humans

Over the next few weeks we will be sharing a little bit more about our crew on our socials—so keep an eye out!


How To Love A Job Search

By Catherine Lang-Cline

I know what you are thinking, is it even possible to love a job search? I’m here to say that it can be. That is because with every change there comes opportunity, so if you look at it with those glasses on you will see the possibilities.

Let’s get really real for a moment. If you are laid off or if you are fired you can feel a bit scared or hopeless. You might also feel very relieved. Regardless of what brought you here, you need to get past the mourning process as quickly as you can and get busy with your new job of finding a job. Gather up all that you know about you;

  • What are you good at?

  • What do you want to do next?

  • What specific skills do you have?

  • What did you learn in your last job?

Look at it. Look at it again. You are a pretty awesome candidate for someone.

Now what?

  • All of that goes into a resume update.

    • Really focus on your strengths,

    • Customize your resume for the job that you want putting those skills first

  • Send your resume in for job postings.

    • Job boards are not my favorite thing as they can be a bit of a black hole, but if you get no response you at least know what kind of roles they have

  • Make a friend with a recruiter.

    • Find and work with a recruiter that you can trust and really wants to help you

    • Be open to a temporary job that leads to full time

    • Temp jobs are a great way for YOU to try a company out.

  • Send your resume to any company that you would like to work at

  • Now is your chance to get into that company of your dreams

    • Find out who the hiring manager is and send your resume directly

  • Tell everyone you know that you are looking for your next opportunity

    • The more people that know that your skills are available, the more connections you will have for that dream job

    • If someone can recommend you, that is gold

  • Get ready to talk about YOU

    • This can be hard sometimes

    • Own what you have accomplished and tell them how YOU can help them.

This is where the love comes in. You have a great history of work. You have probably worked for some great companies and learned a lot of things that will benefit your next employer. Be proud of that, really proud. You are in a position to choose where YOU want to work now, maybe get that salary you deserve. The possibilities are endless but your job search doesn’t have to be if you have a resume that says what you can do and when you interview you can really sell you. Embrace the change and love you and what you can do.

Grab the cocktail sauce, the world is your oyster.


A Day in the Life: Q+A with Alexa Sison

I am a Filipina originally from Cleveland, Ohio but I’ve been living in Columbus for 9 years now—currently living in Italian Village. I am a plant lover and sustainability activist. By day, I am fortunate to being doing something I really love and have fun as a Graphic Designer at Green Growth Brands.

Morning:

Though I work in an office full-time, my mornings are always a little different. I like to check in with my body to see what it needs every day so some mornings, I need to stretch and do yoga before sitting down (or standing) to work at my desk, other days I go to the gym, do a guided meditation, or write in my gratitude journal. I like to ease into my day every morning reading emails and organize my tasks with a hot cup of lemon water or herbal tea.

Afternoon:

Every day is always so different. We have a lot of exciting things happening and a lot of different types of projects so I never get bored! We’re always challenging what we can do with our designs and rooting each other on which I think helps us all to do our best work. Some days I work on analog projects like hand-lettering for a t-shirt or blog concepts. Other days, I’m grinding away on product labels for Meri + Jayne water bottles or our recently launched CBD-infused beauty products for Seventh Sense Botanical Therapy. CBD is something I personally really believe in, and I’m so thankful to get to work and live in this world every day. I’m so happy that Katie at Portfolio Creative connected me with such a great team of people.

Evening:

I’m a hugeee foodie. My partner and I cook together at home a lot, but we also love going out to restaurants. My favorite places in Columbus are Comune and Alchemy. I have a lot of food restrictions, but those places always have options for me that make me feel good and taste amazing.

How Columbus Captured My Heart

By Catherine Lang-Cline

When I first came to Columbus it was anything but a love affair. 20+ years ago I left my home in the Chicago suburbs for what was referred to as a “flyover city”. No family, no friends, and I didn’t have a job but quickly got into Bath & Body Works as a freelance designer.

Fast forward 20+ years and this has become my home. How? It was quite the evolution. A perfect storm. Let’s start with this, Les Wexner and the people at his companies delivered some of the most amazing talent from all over the country to live and work here. Many stayed long after their career ended with LBrands and they started businesses, joined the other Fortune 500 companies here and really got involved with growing the area. Many people started seeing that Columbus was something special and keeping great talent here was key.

This flux of talent started getting Columbus noticed. Starting as a test market for fast food, it quickly evolved to be a great market to open any restaurant. Now you could lose count of all of the great places to eat when before your choices were limited. Who doesn’t like a city that can provide you with a great meal?

Restaurants grow even more when there is something to do. The Greater Columbus Arts Council has increased the quality of life here by helping artists, museums, theaters, etc., with the help of City Council and the community. We have experienced huge strides by having an amazing art museum, wonderful theater, all types of music, and full arsenal of every type of talent either living here or visiting here and it can be found everywhere. The people living in Columbus welcomed all of this into the community.

What else was growing? Well, just about all businesses. The Columbus Partnership, Columbus 2020, the Columbus Chamber, NAWBO, WPO, EO, YPO, Vistage, Business First, Columbus CEO, Smart Business, and more, started or grew by really investing in making this a strong business community. Worth mentioning that at the same time Columbus had a mayor that was full of passion for the city, Mayor Michael Coleman and his team lead the charge on a lot of this change that continues today.


That perfect storm changed Columbus from a college town, a flyover town, and a cow town. Columbus rose up and began getting on many prestigious lists of why this is one of the best cities to live in or travel to. It has become a hub of craft breweries, entrepreneurs, fashion, food, and a place to raise your family. Columbus is offering so much that it won the Smart Cities competition for a grant to show how smart we actually are.

For me, in 20 years I have made many friends, grew a family, and grew a business. What’s not to love about that? Columbus, I am grateful to you and the wonderful, helpful, friendly people living here. When I arrived here I was skeptical, but you surprised me... and I am a bit dizzy from the love that I have for you. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Health is Important at Any Age

By Dani Shimits

When I was 23, I got my cholesterol numbers taken for the first time. It was a service offered at work and I was like sure, why not. Although I was young and considered myself a healthy individual overall, I was shocked when my total cholesterol came back high. This is when I learned cholesterol runs in my family and these numbers are something, I need to be aware of.

Heart health is important no matter what age or how healthy you think you are. There are many factors that can affect your overall health and being aware of your risk factors can help you manage your own heart health. The higher your blood pressure is, the harder your heart must work to pump the blood throughout your body. The more plaque you have built up in your arteries (which is considered your cholesterol) the harder is it for the blood to be pumped through your arteries. This leads to your heart doing extra work which then may lead to heart health issues down the road.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, someone in America has a coronary event every 25 seconds. Awareness is a key factor when looking at heart health. Knowing your family history and getting yourself screened on a yearly basis can prevent heart disease.

Keeping your heart healthy is also going to keep yourself healthy overall. Being mindful of your movement and how you fuel your body daily. How are you managing your stress? Taking care of your overall well-being is also going to keep your heart healthy. It is never too late to invest in yourself and your well-being. Start now by going and getting a health screening from your doctor. Look at your numbers and be aware! Your health STARTS with you!

Tips for managing heart health:

  1. Manage overall nutrition. Be mindful of your sodium and processed food intake. Limit alcohol (I did not say avoid) intake. Cook meals at home and meal plan with your family.

  2. MOVE!!! Move throughout the day. You are at home and work the majority of your day so do things to get more movement. Example, park further away from the door, make copies to the printer that is further away from your desk or use the bathroom further away from your desk.

  3. Avoid tobacco and nicotine because they can cause damage to your arteries, raise your blood pressure and make it harder to get oxygen throughout the body.

  4. Be mindful of your stress and how much sleep you are getting. These can both lead to higher blood pressure and higher blood sugar readings, which then can lead to increased risk for heart disease.

  5. Be an advocate for YOUR health. You know your body the best, be mindful of the signals your body gives you daily. For example, I get irritable and sassy if I have not slept well. Some people get headaches when they are stressed.

Time Management: Getting It All Done in the New Year

By Kristen Harris

If you’re anything like me, you’re headed into the new year with big plans and goals, maybe a long list of things you want to accomplish both personally and professionally. Goals are good, but how on earth are we going to get it all done?

Time management is one area where I’m continuously trying to improve. We’re all given the same number of hours in a day so I want to use my allotment wisely.

First, I have to decide what I’m going to spend my time on, and the answer can’t be “everything”.

  • Be Clear on Priorities. I have lots of different interests and new ideas every day (#curseofcreativepeople). I am also fortunate enough to be offered many opportunities, from trips and events to board positions, business connections, and creative projects. While I want to do everything all the time, I know that I just can’t. I’m one person, and being worn out isn’t fun either. Over the holidays I spent quite a bit of time thinking about what is most important to me right now and where I want to spend my time and energy this year. Being clear on priorities helps me decide whether a new idea, opportunity or plan is the right thing for right now. Which leads to...

  • Saying No, or Not Right Now. I’m really working on this one because by nature I’m a “yes” person. I like helping people, I like new opportunities, and I have a lot of different interests. But I’ve realized that I can’t do everything well all at the same time, so right now I’m working on saying “not right now”. Join a new committee? Not right now, but maybe when this current one is done in June. Start a new project? Not right now, ask me again in a few months. Meet up for a coffee chat? Not right now, but let’s schedule a time next week. Stopping to consider whether a new opportunity is something I really want to do and if it fits into my schedule has helped me say yes to lots of things, but not all at the same time.

By knowing my priorities and saying “not right now”, I’ve reduced the number of things I’m trying to fit into my day. From there, I apply a few tools and techniques to manage my time to get the things I’ve said “yes” to.

  • Schedule Meetings. I live by my calendar! While it might seem counterintuitive, scheduling meetings can be a great way to manage your time. I have weekly meetings with people on my team and try to schedule short meetings to discuss issues or solve problems. This saves us both from continuous interruptions or pop-ins and reserves time where we have each other’s undivided attention. If the issue can wait, we save it for our weekly meeting. Of course, anything critical or time-sensitive gets taken care of right away, but you might be surprised how many things can wait a few days. Plus, reducing interruptions increases productivity, so by having meetings I’m actually saving time!

  • Decide What’s Important. I’m a big fan of the Eisenhower Matrix. (I’ve used this for years but only recently found out the origin. Apparently, it was a favorite tool of President Dwight Eisenhower...who knew?!) Basically, every task is urgent or not urgent, and important or not important. Something that is urgent and important needs to be done now, and usually always happens. But items that are important but not urgent often don’t get time dedicated to them even though they could be very impactful. Things that are urgent but not important should be delegated to someone else, and just let go of anything that is both not urgent and not important–delete it from your to-do list. Using this system can help identify items that need time scheduled to make sure they happen. Great segue...

  • Schedule Work Time. I am notorious for trying to jam too much into a day. To overcome this, when I have projects that need dedicated time to concentrate (like writing this article), I schedule blocks of time on my calendar. This accomplishes three things: it reserves time to get the work done, other people see it on my calendar and give me space, and it’s a reality check on what I can really get done. Often I start to block time for projects in addition to the meetings I already have scheduled, and suddenly my calendar is full. Or overfull. If there are simply not enough hours in the day or week to accomplish everything I’ve planned, then it’s time to make some decisions. Depending on the situation I might need to shift deadlines, reschedule meetings or change priorities. But at least I’m making these decisions upfront rather than getting to the end of the day having run out of time for an important task or deadline.

    Managing time helps me accomplish what is most important, and that doesn’t necessarily mean more work. Time management means you can work on art projects, go to the gym, spend time with family, take an afternoon nap, go to the park, or start a side hustle. This year, put it on your calendar and get it done!


What’s Hot This Season? Contract Employees!

By Catherine Lang-Cline

Paychex recently put out a news release titled “New Paychex Data Shows Independent Contractor Growth Outpaces Employee Hiring in Small Businesses”. The data basically tells us that contractors are being utilized more than hiring employees to do the work. Why is this happening and would it work for your business?

According to the data, small businesses are using the most contractors. This is because it is much easier to hire a person on a temporary basis to complete your project than to hire them as a full-time employee. A business can hire a highly skilled professional to tackle a project to perfection then have them step out and move on. No costs for hiring, firing, or healthcare. Think of it like this, your company will always have plumbing. Do you need to hire a plumber as an employee or just call them when their specialty is needed? More realistically, do you really need an employee that is an IT specialist or web designer 24/7 or can they set you up and go?

Large businesses use contractors a lot as well. They are used for IT, creative, trade work, transportation, and utilities. If you are a large business you report to advisors and possibly a board of directors. Full-time employees are headcount. Contractors are expenses. If things get slow or as projects become complete, it is much more pleasant to report to the board that you are cutting expenses rather than cutting headcount. The cost of hiring comes into play here as well as is trying to hire the perfect individual with the ideal skill set. Most of the time, the perfect person isn’t even looking, they are already working for someone else.

If you choose to add contractors rather than hire a full-time employee there are some rules you will need to follow according to the IRS and they listed in layman’s terms on the Paychex website that was referenced in the news release; payx.me/contractor.

“The level of control an employer has over a worker generally determines whether a worker should be considered an employee or contractor for tax purposes. Here are commonly accepted indicators of control:

Behavioral: Does the employer control how and when the worker does their job?

Financial: Does the employer control when and how the employee is paid and which expenses, if any, are reimbursed by the employer?

Relationship type: Does the worker have a written contract or receive any type of benefits such as sick leave, paid vacation days, or health insurance? Is the relationship ongoing or finite in length?”

There is another option. For example; at Portfolio Creative, a staffing, recruiting, and project company has been finding temporary workers and contractors for their clients for years in marketing and advertising. Portfolio Creative can serve as a bit of a buffer for the IRS and they handle the requirements listed above as well as the additional ones on the Paychex website. This sort of situation makes it even easier to get the best talent at your office on a temporary basis.

After all, all of the cool companies are doing it, don’t get left out.