6.20.2008

outsourced

I don't often talk about the rest of my life here on my blog. One, because I'm a pretty private person, and two, because you all come here to read about Primrose and crafty-related things. My worlds are colliding today.

I've been busy this week finishing up the July/August issue of the magazine I design. I've done this magazine for four years now on a freelance basis, along with another magazine for the same company, different division. Together they make up about three-quarters of my graphic design work (and annual income). And this will be my last issue. I knew this was going to happen eventually but I officially got the axe yesterday. My job has been outsourced to India where they make about $3 an hour. Never mind that a large part of designing a magazine is having a good command of the English language. And never mind that the people that will be working on it are not really designers. Doesn't matter—the parent company (who is not located in the US) thinks it will save money.

As a business person I understand the need to keep costs down, but I have a real problem with the whole outsourcing concept. There are plenty of people here in the US who need jobs. Next week, I'll be one of them. As will all the in-house people they've laid off in recent weeks. And then there's the whole issue of quality. "Good enough" just isn't part of my vocabulary.

So, I've been polishing up my resume and working on my design website. And I'm officially spreading the word that I'm available. Logos, catalogs, brochures, magazines, newsletters, books, and websites—I've done them all. I'd love to stay freelance just because a regular full-time job won't leave me enough time for Primrose. Or blogging. Not that I have a lot of options for full-time jobs where I live anyway.

So, if you hear of anything, are starting your own business and need some help, or know of someone who is, please let me know. I'll post a link to the new website when it's up and running.

If nothing else I'll have lots of free time this summer to work on projects. Like painting my kitchen table and chairs. Stripping the wallpaper in the kitchen and downstairs bathroom. Cleaning the garage. Keeping the garden weeded. You know, making headway on that running "to do" list we all keep.

17 comments:

Anita said...

So sorry to hear that your job has been outsourced. Hope that you are able to find something even better.

Anonymous said...

Have you done textbook design before or designed book covers and do you have the URL to your design Web site? I am an editor and could pass along your design resume or Web site information to the people who commission that.

I share your pain about the outsourcing.

Anna

Jessie said...

They're making a big mistake! Sorry it has to be at your expense.

janet said...

Yes, I have done textbooks and covers. Some when I was art director of a children's magazine, some for that same company after I left, and recently for BowTie Press in California. I'll post the URL soon and there will be a downloadable resume available on the website.

Camilla said...

I know you were sort of expecting this, but it still sucks to have it happen. I'm sure you'll be able to find lots of new work with your talents. I'll see if I can think of anyone that might need your skills. (I need your skills but have no money at all to pay you)

Anonymous said...

We do college stuff, which is more conservative than el-hi, but I think we are always looking to expand our stable of designers and we're developing a media list, which is a little more edgy. I'll check back for the URL and resume.
Anna

Anonymous said...

Janet, I am sorry that your job has been outsourced. That happened to a factory in our town and it put many local people out of work. So sad. I personally find it so frustrating when I call an 800 number for help and can barely understand the person because of their difficulty with the English language. Just remember this: When one door closes, another opens. Good luck in the days ahead. Judy

pedalpower said...

It's always amazing to me that these companies don't care that their quality will suffer. It's all about the bottom line no matter what. Sorry to hear it happened to you. I'm sure with your talent you will have lots of work coming your way as soon as the word gets out.

ismoyo said...

Sorry to hear about this happening to you. "Good enough" sucks. Hope you'll find new exciting projects soon to fill up your time (and bank account!)

Amstershiresauce said...

So sorry to hear of your work travails. As a fellow graphic designer, I share your dismay. It's so hard not to be insulted to the core when people think someone untrained can do what we do. Not to say all great designers have a design degree, but you know what I mean.
I'm looking for freelance work too. Here's to us finding lucrative jobs!

Funky Finds said...

I'm sorry to hear about this. You might want to keep tabs on my new site Funky Town to see posted designer calls, etc.

http://funkyfinds.us/funkytown

Sweet P said...

How awful to hear you're losing your job. I hope some new opportunities come your way soon.

Carla said...

I'm very sorry but not really shocked, unfortunately. We would spoon-feed our babies from overseas if it were cheaper, I think.

Cece said...

Wow, I am so sorry to hear about this on so many levels. My career trade (clothing pattern maker) has been primarily outsourced now as well. And my husband is an engineer and you know I'm sure how many engineering jobs have been outsourced to India for engineering. Scary! I know you usually don't talk about this kind of thing on your blog but I want to thank you for sharing it with us. It is a important reminder about how our economy and culture are evolving and not in the best way. I wish you the best of luck Janet! You are so talented that I wholeheartedly believe you will excel with freelance!
BTW I wrote to you once about purchasing Primrose for wholesale; the only reason I didn't follow up is I did not get the space afterall. :)
Hugs! Cece

Claire said...

sorry to hear about the job - it's the same here in the UK with businesses out sourcing to countries with lower wages. In fact, some companies advertise the fact that they have a UK based call centre, which is a bad state of affairs rather. Hope that something turns up soon, but in the meantime, take time to smell the roses x

Sandie said...

I have just come to your delightful blog via Down to Earth.

As Claire above mentions, we have the same problem with businesses outsourcing to India here in the UK. I remember phoning about train times and speaking to someone who didn't have a clue about the geography of England - not helpful.

I do hope something comes along soon (which it surely will).

I loved your piece on your Dad for Father's Day. Had a similar piece for mine on my blog.

GOOD LUCK in all you do!

tlc illustration said...

Sorry - I've been out of town and am just catching up. Bummer when even more companies succumb to dollar over quality. Counter-productive in the long run, I suspect.

Best wishes to your new ventures!