Learning to be creative wasn’t a something I simply wanted to learn. I had become creative to save my job…

The Danger of School Success

When I was in school success came easy. I listened to my teacher, did my homework and felt good inside when I saw my grades. Maybe you knew a kid like me in your school. Many kids resented my follow-the-rules and get good grades attitude, but if they knew where that attitude and behavior would lead me, they would have pitied me instead.

My Struggles in the Real-World (not knowing how to be more creative)

Life couldn’t be more different from school. The office and the classroom are practically two different planets. And in preparing myself for the classroom, I wasn’t ready for the cubicle.

When I began working in an office, as a financial analyst for a small investment firm, I was out of my element. I would follow the company processes only to have my manager to tell me they were out of date. I would be attentive to prospective clients, only for them to not to sign-up. The be good and follow the rules model from school wasn’t working. It was as if the rules had been flipped on their heads. In a sense, they were.

The Difference Between Classroom and Careers

School is a controlled environment. The curriculum doesn’t change, and the teacher can teach what will be on the test. If you follow the rules, you win. It’s simple.

But in the real world, the environment is dynamic and constantly changing. What was true today, may not be true tomorrow. What worked yesterday, may not work today. The real-world is complex.

Straightforward analytical thinking is a sure path to success in school. Do the readings, follow the steps and you’re set. But that’s not what’s valued in the workforce. That’s not how winners are made.

Creativity Rescued Me

Thankfully, a mentor introduced me to the importance of applying creativity in the workforce. It turned my career around. At the end of my first six months, I was struggling. But by the end of 18 months, I had been promoted and landed three new clients.

Becoming more creative doesn’t happen by accident, but there are three practices that help your build the skill of creativity:

1. Ask questions.
2. Internalize your knowledge.
3. Be open.
Now you know the importance of creativity, and you know how to build your creativity skills. Here’s some inspiring quotes to help you push you into action:
“You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.” – Jack London
“Creativity is the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality.” _ Unknown
“Every child is an artist. The problem is staying an artist when you grow up.” – Pablo Picasso
“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” – Kurt Vonnegut
“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” – Henry Thomas Buckle

 

By Thomas Raider.