Need a seasonal boost: seek out your Rising Stars

Jo Francis is boosted by print's Rising Stars.

Are you one of those people who bounces into a new year, full of enthusiasm for the fresh start that lies ahead?

If you are, kudos – I’m envious of your perky propensities.

Speaking as someone who generally spends January (and, some would no doubt argue the rest of the year) in a rather more Eeyore-ish state I find January is pretty much the hardest month.

It’s dark when you get up, it’s dark when you get home, the weather’s awful and the twinkly Christmas lights that somehow take the edge off all of that have been packed away, sob.

At this time of year it’s really important to find people and things that can be classified as joy-replenishers rather than joy-suckers.

In this respect, I’ve found myself boosted by a relatively new feature in Printweek – our Rising Star Q&A, which focuses on young people making their way in our industry.

It’s well-documented that print has an ageing, predominantly male and not particularly diverse workforce. That we need to attract young talent is blindingly obvious.

We’ve featured five Rising Stars so far and they’re all worth a read or a re-read. You can find them online here And there’s more to come in future issues, of course.

A couple of common themes have particularly struck me in the responses so far: firstly, how these new entrants have found themselves impressed by the amount of technology that’s involved in printing. We are a high-tech industry one way or another and that’s something we need to shout about.

Another theme has been a sense of surprise at the variety of different opportunities and roles that are available. Again, something we need to bang the drum about.

And, in the current issue of Printweek Kira Latham of Route 1 Print says something wise beyond her years in answer to the question: ‘What could the printing industry be doing more of to entice millennials into print?"

She says: “I think often, millennials can be put off of a role in the print industry with the thought of needing a lot of experience or not knowing enough about such a large industry. I think recruiting on values and not experience helps massively. If the values are there, then experience can be learned.”

Focus on values rather than experience. Good advice, I think.

I hope every printing company out there has at least one Rising Star of its own – seek them out and have yourself a jaunty January.