Is the digital industry welcoming newcomers with open arms or are we a closed shop?

I recently had the pleasure of talking to a mature sales professional who had worked in traditional publishing for over 35 years. As a victim of the recession and in particular one of the many employees cut loose from their traditional publisher, he was looking to move into the digital industry.

While I was advising him on what and how much he would need to learn, it occurred to me that we aren’t making it easy for these consummate professionals to diversify into digital. We have created a vast array of acronyms that we then change every 6 months – SEO to NSO being my favourite de jour! We invent a complicated mix of revenue streams – far beyond the DPS, half page or at best, barn door of the traditional sales arena.

We are passionate about our industry and for those of us who have worked in it over the boom, crash, boom short history of digital, expect that those that didn’t jump on board at the start shouldn’t be allowed to walk in easily.

Well, perhaps we should evaluate. We should welcome new and old blood with open arms. That in itself would be the kind of attitude that we all so proudly aspire to have.
When traditional publishers are forced to let good people go, let us be the industry that embraces that talent.

I for one, welcome the mature, seasoned and consummate professional. For one reason, sales, design, marketing or editorial are skills that are acquired over time. Digital for all its complications, can and should be taught to all – irrespective of age or previous career path. Otherwise, surely we are letting good talent go to waste?

  • “it occurred to me that we aren’t making it easy for these consummate professionals to diversify into digital”

    Err, we have the best reference library in the world at your finger tips. Professionals use the best tools available to them to continue moving forward.

    What the digital industries have learnt over the past few years is that there is a wealth of knowledge in traditional practises that can’t be left behind and they do utilise these. Those wanting to change will and there are many traditional people in the digital sectors who don’t view the market as traditional and non traditional. They see their roles and ambitions developing to accomodate new practises.

    Yes transferring across sectors is not the easiest job in the world and it may take one or possibly two, even three steps but it is acheivable.

    If it was easy, everyone would do it.