How can experienced printing and production candidates make their skills more relevant and up-to-date?

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Mark Kolier
Mark Kolier

In printing and production, there's not as many jobs as there used to be. When it comes to experienced candidates, there's a need today to learn new skills, and workers in this field can be resistant at times.

These workers been doing things the same way for a long time. However, this industry is evolving and you can see consolidation on the manufacturing side. There are a lot of really smart people without jobs because it's hard for them to market their skills.

The business has changed a great deal. Now, nearly everything is done digi­tally. Experienced people will say, “I don't really feel comfortable with all that new technology.” I tell all those folks that they're not going to get away with that. Candidates have to learn the new skills.

Instead of trying to learn everything, which is what everyone thinks they should do, candidates should focus on learning one new skill over a specific time period — for example, if he or she wants to take six months or a year and learn about variable data printing. At the same time, this candidate is making their skills more relevant, while also broadening their horizons outside of the, “How many do you need and when do you need them?” type of mindset. At the end, the candidate is a resource for the client, so they become more valuable with more skills.

People get intimidated by all the things they have to know — after all, there is a lot to learn. But you don't have to know it all. Pick something that you're comfortable with and learn a little bit more about it. You'll find that there's a lot of things that you have touched on in the past that you can relate to. That will make you more comfortable.

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