Take 10 with… Debbie Kitson
The DA team want to support our community through these unprecedented times – something we kept coming back to is a focus on connection and community. So we want to do what we think DA does best, sharing ideas, inspiration and information and profiling our community.
With that in mind, we launched a new series Take 10 with… to do a pulse check on how you’re feeling, how you’re working, what you are missing, and what your hopes are for the future. We invited some of our friends, peers and the DA team to participate and we hope you enjoy these honest and candid profiles of Aotearoa designers today.
Hi there, I’m Debbie Kitson, Director of Portfolio Recruitment – proud sponsors of DA!
How did you get into design?
I’d come from a background in support roles in Branding, Advertising and PR agencies, as well as a stint in Marketing. Having had exposure to recruiting for the admin team I was keen to explore recruitment further so joined an agency as a consultant. They were more of a general office recruiter but I developed the advertising/creative/design sector as a major part of my portfolio. From there I went to a specialist creative recruiter and then set up Portfolio back in the late 1990’s.
What do you love about design?
The creativity, the people, the innovation. NZ design certainly punches above its weight and its great to see how far that spreads.
What or who inspires you?
Many things inspire me – my family, my team, my friends, and being out enjoying nature.
How are you feeling right now?
It’s a bit of limbo right now. Whilst there are definitely benefits to this WFH lark, I’m well and truly ready to have some face to face contact outside of my bubble. Things for us as a business are fairly quiet. A number of roles we were working on just prior to lockdown are now ‘on hold’ but we’re hopeful that this wont last for too long once we can return to some form of normality. It’s sad to hear of a number of redundancies around the industry, but hopefully this will open up new and exciting opportunities in the longer term.
Are you working right now, if so what does your work from home day look like?
Yes I am working from home – in something of a limited sense. Remaining in contact with the team and letting clients and candidates know that we’re still here for them, even if we can’t get out and meet up over a coffee. I can’t say its super structured. I’m in front of my computer off and on most of the day but there are definitely distractions. I’m making sure I fit in some sort of exercise – local of course – to keep the energy levels up.
What’s your one tip right now?
I’m sure you’ve heard it from others – but remain positive and take the time to enjoy the world outside your door. Appreciate the fact we can hear the birds, enjoy the peace, quiet and clean air of your neighbourhood. Breathe!
Tell us about your current workspace.
It’s not an office – rather at the dining table – but close to the espresso machine and great coffee (thanks @ozonecoffee). Apart from the laptop I don’t need a lot of other stuff to take over the table. I’ve got awesome natural light and a great outlook of pohutukawa trees across the road so can’t complain.
Which local business are you going to miss most during our isolation period?
As above Ozone Coffee Roasters – they’re our neighbours at the office – but we did stock up prior to lockdown and so far it’s lasted. They are shipping again now too! Also missing my hairdresser – aren’t we all! – but sounds like that’s a way off yet!
What do you hope for the Aotearoa design community going forward?
I hope the industry will find it’s way out of this and continue to do amazing things. The landscape may look very different from what it did in the past. I am hopeful that the industry will continue to utilise flexible working arrangements. It’s a good time to take a breath and try different ways of doing things rather than just continuing with the way it’s been done before. Listen to your team and what they like and don’t like about the ways of working that we’ve all been forced into. It doesn’t work for everyone but for others it’s a time for them to truly prosper.
It seems in these highly unusual times that there has been a real sense of community – both in our local communities – as well as in our design industry community. Its nice to see lots of collaboration and connection – even if its not face to face – rather than lots of secrecy. Long may that continue