You wanna know how to stay employed in this cutthroat world?

Pretend your a specialist.

Came across this job posting today for a Senior Graphic Design Specialist. The job seems pretty reasonable and “normal” until you get to the end…

The ideal candidate will have an advanced knowledge of PowerPoint and a working knowledge of desktop publishing/ graphics software including, but not limited to, Visio, Photoshop, Corel Draw, PageMaker, Quark, and Director.

Now Powerpoint is completely understandable. You can do most stuff you need, especially in a corporate environment, in Powerpoint, and the other graphics programs make sense. Photoshop is king. Visio is a tool for techies, and a pain in the ass for designers, but its very common. Quark is an industry standard (even though I don’t like it), so those all make sense.

But then you get to CorelDraw, PageMaker, and Director. CorelDraw is a tool that never was adopted by professionals, seems it was more designed for semi-pros or amateurs to allow them to make stuff *almost* as good as professional software. Pagemaker was standard maybe 10 years ago before being replaced by Quark. And Director? I haven’t seen that name in a long time. Used to create Shockwave files, which are remarkably similar to Flash files. Which is why Flash replaced Director.

So why do I care? It’s just funny to me how susceptible management level is to so-called “experts” below them. And I say this as one of those so-called “experts”. They have literally no idea what these people do, how they do it, or what tools they use to do it. Can you imagine going into that place and being stuck with this software?

My last job, I encountered this in a way. The previous person had used some software called Xara. I’d never heard of Xara before, and never heard of it since. No other designer I have ever run into has ever heard of it either. But the lady had sworn that any designer worth their salt uses that software, and of course this limited the amount of people who could apply for the position. The gig was up when one designer and then another came in and said “What’s that?”