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Five Ways Creativity Can Enhance Your Career

Jul 22, 2008 Jennifer Williamson, Distance Columnist | 0 Comments

Creativity is a hard quality to pin down.  Creative people can make unusual connections, spot hard-to-see problems, and come up with unique solutions.  Creative minds are intuitive rather than logical, and while most logical problem-solvers follow the same mental path, no two creative minds think alike.  Creativity is highly valued in the workplace—and it’s difficult for companies to train their employees to think this way.

You may not think of yourself as creative, but there are things you can do to boost your creativity.  One of the most effective is pursuing an interest in a creative hobby.  This interest will be different for everyone—it could be anything from writing haiku to gourmet cooking.  But if you cultivate a creative interest outside of work, it can help you think and problem-solve in new ways—and it can give you an edge in the workplace.  Here are five ways creativity can help your career.

It makes you a better problem solver

Creative people tend to recognize problems earlier and are often able to find solutions that others haven’t thought of.  Creativity encourages people to think of things in new ways, to make unusual connections, and to consider what the company is really trying to accomplish—a skill that can lead to useful insights.  Creative problem solvers often come up with valuable, unique ways to solve problems.

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It helps you think “outside the box”

Creative thinkers don’t need managers to tell them to think outside the box.  They do this naturally.  A creative thinker can see things from different angles and make connections that others don’t see and wouldn’t make on their own.  Creative thinkers often think intuitively rather than logically, which leads them to come up with ideas that nobody else could have planned or predicted.  This ability to come up with fresh, interesting ideas is valuable to any company.

It helps you make connections

A creative hobby brings you together with others who share your interests.  When you discuss a creative interest with a coworker, you find some common ground outside of work on which to connect—and start a friendship.  It’s true that success at work relies as much on your relationships as on your abilities, and the more solid your relationships with coworkers, supervisors and employees, the better it is for your career.  In addition, when you connect with others outside of work through your creative interest, you may be making connections with people who can help your career down the road.

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It can save you from burnout

A creative hobby relaxes you.  If you have a fun activity you can escape with at the end of the day—something more fulfilling than sitting on the sofa and watching television—you’ll have an easier time going back to work the next day.  Creative work often gives us fulfillment and joy, and having a passion that can help you get your mind off work can also save you from feeling burned out.  If you’re missing that at work, having a source of it outside of work can keep you happy and productive.

It gives you a new skill to bring to the workplace

Love to draw?  Your workplace might find your graphic design skills valuable. If you love to write, your company might appreciate it if you rewrite their website content, write them a blog or edit their newsletter.  Creative people have many skills to offer companies—skills that can enhance your career, make you look good to your supervisors, and possibly earn you a promotion to a job you find more satisfying.

Next time you don’t have plans for the weekend, think about pursuing a hobby.  Go to a museum or a bookstore, and get inspired.  You never know where your new hobby will lead you—but it will definitely help you think creatively, bring valuable skills to the workplace, and make connections that can help your career. Exercise Creativity at Your Job




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