Certain species follow tremendous migratory patterns. The Bar-tailed Gotwits have the longest known migration of any species clocking in around 6,300 non-stop miles. Perhaps the word migration conjures the images from National Geographic featuring the endless swarm of the wildebeest across the African plains. No matter the species, animals migrate as a survival response mechanism similar to fight or flight. Birds seek better weather and food sources. Wildebeest seek greener pastures.
People also seek greener pastures. A friend mentioned the other day how there have been talent migrations within the graphic arts industry. Talent first moved from the print providers to the vendors. Now talent is moving from the vendors to other pastures, some within graphic arts but many outside. Not only are current graphics professionals moving onto other careers, but the industry’s ideal candidate has also changed. Graphic arts now competes with many other technology centric industries. Whether it is Google, Apple, or the startup in the garage down the street, on perception alone it is not easy to compete and it will not get any easier.
Migrations usually involve leaving one place only to return to it later when conditions are once again favorable. Unless the industry starts getting creative with keeping and attracting talent, this migration may be a one way street.