How to use your creativity to boost your career.

Are you creative at work? No, we’re not asking if you’re a dab hand at watercolours – we mean are you a creative thinker? Do you problem-solve easily and enjoy thinking laterally? If so, you could be boosting your career opportunities, and contributing to the success of your business.

Companies that think and operate creatively tend to do better than those with little or no imagination - and the same is true of individuals. A creative take on a situation or a project can be a breath of fresh air, inspiring others to ‘think outside the box’. Creative people, therefore, hold a huge amount of power if they can exploit it to its full potential.

Creativity fuels innovation, so demonstrating you’ve had this impact in your role can really impress potential employers and boost your career opportunities. Before you start work on your CV or head off to an interview, you might want to take a few moments to prepare some examples of how your creative thinking provided your company with a great solution to a problem. Be certain to back them up with solid evidence, so you can prove you’ve also got the qualities to deliver tangible results. It’s no good having lots of creative flair and good ideas if they don’t work in reality – you need to communicate to your potential employer that you spotted an opportunity, understood why it would be beneficial to all concerned and then acted on your instinct to bring about change and success.

Use creative thinking to maximise opportunities

Is there a sense of frustration within your team or organisation about a particular project or process? If so, it could be the ideal opportunity to exercise your creative thinking. Bring together an inter-disciplinary team to collaborate on streamlining and improving the situation, then present your findings to the people who can make it happen. Such an exchange of knowledge and ideas can shape future direction and being involved in innovation is a sure-fire way to boost your career, on paper and in practice.

Invest in ideas generation

If you have a budget for team-building in your current role, why not consider activities focused on getting employees to step away from their usual way of thinking, going beyond their comfort zone and seeing things from a different perspective? If you don’t control a budget, why not suggest such an endeavour to your line manager? There are plenty of organisations that specialise in innovation workshops and training - such as arts institutions and theatre companies – and could result in increased employee engagement, corporate growth and driving business success. Great for flexing your creative muscles and great for your CV.

Make your workplace culture more creative

Something as simple as a less formal approach to meetings and presentations can work wonders in encouraging creative thinking. We’ve all heard of writer’s block, but it’s not just wordsmiths who can struggle to find creative inspiration. If team meetings always take the same dull format, why not mix things up with a quick new task to get everyone thinking more freely? If annual reports or presentations send the entire audience to sleep, why not look at ways of better engaging with them, perhaps through amusing visuals, off-the wall facts or short break-out sessions to get everyone talking and thinking? Facilitating change in this way will demonstrate to potential employers your ability to inspire and motivate others, which in turn adds value to their business and boosts your employability.

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