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Blog about Digital Asset Management


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What are some DAM job descriptions?

“Mind readers wanted.”

This is first line from an actual Digital Asset Management (DAM) job description posted this year. More on that later.

Aside from asking where to post and find DAM jobs, several people are asking what are typical DAM job descriptions. After presenting this information during a DAM Conference, here are parts of actual DAM job descriptions and knowledge shared by several DAM professionals on the job market today.

This is part of the equation that involves people along with process and technology for DAM.

While some people may use Digital Asset Management (DAM) sometimes within an organization, there is an increase in the need for people who may work full-time on DAM within an organization. We’ll explore several of these positions so you can have an idea of what some organizations have for talent and resources for those who do this type of work.

Here is a part of a job description for a Digital Asset Manager:

  • Responsible for leading overall strategy, implementation and workflow of the Digital Asset Management system for [organization]
  • Acts as primary liaison between [organization] and various photo studios with regard to image names, new photography and archiving
  • Responsible for assigning appropriate metadata for assets to ensure accurate usage rights
  • Manages the Digital Asset system and facilitate the uploading of assets as well as maintaining and upgrading the system
  • Registers internal and external users to the Digital Asset Management system based on permissions
  • Facilitates retrieval of previously cataloged images/shoots
  • Processes raw images using the appropriate software
  • Archive assets as necessary
  • Generates asset download reports
  • Maintains accurate procedures and records for the system
  • Keeps informed of latest Digital Asset Management technology trends and innovations
  • Other duties as identified and assigned

What are we looking for when filling the human resources gap with people needed to help manage your organization’s digital assets?  There are no hard and fast rules, but rather guidelines. Any of these could be staff or contractual positions:

  • Administrator (DBA)
  • Archivist
    • With Digital, not just analog (print) experience
  • Analyst
  • Consultant
    • Either an internal, permanent staff for ongoing consultation OR an external (temporary), outside perspective looking in with a fresh viewpoint
    • Advisor, coach and/or functional role
  • Digital Asset Manager
    • Support DAM system and users
    • An industry expert in the field
  • DAM Specialist/Coordinator
    • Organize and upload assets
    • Metatag assets
  • Data Entry Specialist* (depending on volume)
  • Engineer/Developer/Programmer/Information Architect
  • Help Desk
  • Intern
    • Temporary position (more on this in a future blog post)
    • Willingness to:
      • Learn about DAM
      • Work on metadata and taxonomy
      • Upload assets
  • Librarian
    • With Digital, not just analog (print) experience
  • Metatagger (aka “Metator“)
  • Project Manager
  • Sales
  • Taxonomist

What we call the position (job title) is less important than what they actually do.

DAM professionals who communicate with management need to have an understanding of high level business needs and how DAM can meet those needs. Why? Because it is important to quantify:

  • Cost savings
  • Time savings
  • Reductions in risk (with knowledge of rights)

Yes, Digital Asset Management is a business need, not just a technology or another database.

If you are looking to hire a DAM professional, such as Digital Asset Manager, have potential candidates include their answers to the following questions as part of the job application:

  1. Have you worked with a Digital Asset Management System? Where? How long?
  2. How much experience do you have creating Metadata Schema?
  3. Do you have any training experience? What type?

That should help gauge the level of experience of most candidates.

Now about that “mind reader” job posting. Often, management and human resources do not know what DAM professionals are supposed to do (a bit difficult to write a job description that way), but they are slowly realizing there may be a need for Digital Asset Management and that is followed by realizing the need to fill a position with a DAM professional. That professional may be assigned (or volunteered) within the organization. The professional may be hired from the outside. Beside that, DAM professionals should use best practices and notice common behaviors when these practices are not followed. How?

  • Communicate
  • Evaluate
  • Recommend
  • Reference
  • Document
  • Estimate
  • Train
  • Plan
  • Budget
  • Deliver
  • Report
  • Anticipate
  • Follow up

That does not take any mind reading. I am not a mind reader. I am a Digital Asset Manager.

Besides, I forgot my mind reading hat at home.

What is your DAM job description?

Administrator
Business Analyst
Consultant
DAM Architect
DAM Director/DAM Manager/Digital Asset Manager
DAM Specialist/Coordinator
Digital Archivist/Librarian
Engineer/Developer/Programmer
Intern
Project Manager
Taxonomist/Metatagger (aka Metator)


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Where can I find some DAM jobs?

Despite current economic times, Digital Asset Management (DAM) jobs are listed on a regular basis throughout the United States and the world. While many positions are clustered around major cities, there are often 100+ jobs listed at any one time. So the question is if you have relevant job experience (according to the individual job description) in the field of DAM, where do you look?

Here are several online job sites which display DAM jobs regularly:

As many DAM professionals know, metadata is important. Specifically, keywords.

Keywords which work well when searching within relevant job sites are:

  • “Digital Asset Management”
  • “metadata”

Keywords which do not work as well are:

  • “DAM” (unless you really are looking for jobs related to hydroelectricity or any other word with the letters “dam” in it)
  • “Asset Management” (often yields financial or real estate positions)

What if you do not have relevant job experience? If you are a college student, consider a DAM internship.

If you are a working DAM professional or between DAM jobs, consider seeking the skills of a talent scout or head hunter with experience in placing individuals with those technical skills. And experience.

It is not a secret that Digital Asset Management is a technical field, but the DAM users are not necessarily technical people. DAM professionals need to be able to ‘translate’ the complex blah blah blah into terms non-technical people do understand. As a Digital Asset Manager, I am a bridge between creative and technical groups. There is a lot of hands-on activity and training which involves plenty of hard work and, of course, metadata. Like many positions, this job is not for everyone. If you are job hunting, do yourself as well as the hiring managers a favor: Don’t apply if you are not qualified according to the job description.

Nowadays, many employers only accept digital copies of your resume and cover letter when applying. Human eyes may not even see your completed application unless it first passes filtering technologies. As with most resumes, Human Resources may read them in less than 30  seconds. Depending on a variety of factors, there may not be a line forming outside the door for DAM job applicants.

Many people may not understand what DAM professionals do for a living nor how digital asset management works. In order to get hired as a DAM professional, you need to know what this involves and be able to explain it to people clearly.

Let us know when you are ready for consulting or assistance in finding Digital Asset Management professionals for your business.

Where do you find DAM jobs?


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How do I plan for a career in DAM?


Most of us did not go to college nor university knowing we would be working on Digital Asset Management (DAM) today. Many might even say ‘DAM picked me. I did not pick to work on DAM.’ Those of us who are working on DAM come from diverse career backgrounds, which may include:

  • Archives and records management
  • Business Management
  • Design
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Film
  • History
  • Journalism
  • Library Science
  • Marketing
  • Photography
  • Project Management
  • Sales
  • Video
  • And many other career paths

Is a career in DAM really planned at all? It may be fair to say that at the time of this blog post and according to a recent poll, most people did not plan on a career in DAM, but rather volunteered for it or were volunteered for it. Either way, that is okay. Allow me to explain why…

  1. DAM is a growing field
  2. Growth in DAM means growth in careers which manage information  (Has your organization stopped accumulating digital assets? This is not likely to happen anytime soon)
  3. DAM has the ability to measure growth and progress within an organization, which is very lucrative in any business, as long as you know exactly what is being measured
  4. Part of running a DAM can lead to better record keeping and Rights Management which reduces liability within the organization (aka not getting sued for unauthorized use)
  5. There are more and more DAM jobs waiting to be filled
  6. There are not enough DAM professionals available with the needed experience, some even say there is a shortage of qualified individuals
  7. More education about DAM is coming soon to help reduce this shortage and further the knowledge of people who find themselves newly involved in DAM
  8. DAM internships and mentorship program are now available in order to share the knowledge and hands-on experience needed
  9. It takes a certain type of individual to work on DAM and not everyone can do this type of work. You may be that person and not realize it. Do not expect overnight change, but rather baby steps of progress
  10. Some organizations are still scratching their heads wondering why there is a low adoption of their systems, while their own people don’t understand how to use them and there is no one to help them internally. As soon as it dawns on them, they will begin seeing the value of a DAM professional who can assist them within their organization whether it is an internal resource who knows their processes (is that you?) and/or an external resource (such as a consultant) if you are not sure where to start or how to move forward in a phased approach. Yes, I will be blogging about the phases of DAM too.

There are courses available in DAM from:

  • CMSWatch (also offered by AIIM) offer an online certificate education course on the Fundamentals of Digital Asset Management Technologies
  • King’s College London to offer a Master of Arts in Digital Asset Management (MADAM) in late 2010. This is being offered not because we needed more acronyms in this field, but because we need more education about DAM.
  • Tutorials offered before and after each Henry Stewart DAM Conference held in the USA and Europe
  • More events and workshops for DAM users are coming soon
  • Internships are now available
  • Mentorship program has been established for professionals.

Of course, DAM vendors offer documentation and support for their specific DAM systems, but it is not enough. Who will drive the adoption, implementation, operations, support and workflow of the DAM within your organization? Enter the DAM Professional.

Anyone can supplement their DAM education and experience with:

  • Books (take note of their publish dates though because technology changes rapidly)
  • Blogs (not just this one)
  • DAM Foundation (the author of this blog is an active member)
  • Linkedin groups about “Digital Asset Management”
  • Podcasts (you do not need an iPod to listen to them, just a computer and internet access)
  • Vendors publicly offer great marketing materials  (even if they are not your preferred vendor, you may learn something new)
  • Webinars (there are several every month)
  • Twitter (users and vendors are both there)
  • Do not limit yourself nor your sources of how/where you can learn something new

In an upcoming post, I will list some job descriptions and various levels of experience for DAM-related positions.

How do you plan your career in DAM? Educate yourself and keep informed.