Here at Moving On we know that as young people, you enjoy the subjects that you enjoy and that you are drawn to study that draws on your talents. Rather than taking about whether it’s better to study STEM than art, we want to look at the importance of creativity in the workplace.
Over the last few years we’ve heard a lot in the news about how creative subjects are being squeezed out of the curriculum and the importance of promoting the value of studying humanities and arts subjects as well as STEM subjects.
What does it mean to be creative?
The temptation is to link creativity to things like artistic talent but this is a very narrow view of creativity. Yes, of course if you are a chef or an artist of any kind then creativity is your lifeblood, but have you ever thought about how important creativity is to problem solving, engineering, management?
Thinking creatively is an important part of, not just not just finding a way around problems when they occur but also of producing effective and efficient ways of working – this can save you and your employer both time and money.
How can you develop and practise creativity?
We live increasingly in a world where we see the same old, same old repeated to us. Even the newspapers seem often to carry the same stories, and as pupils you are probably taught a ‘formula’ for writing essays and answering questions. So, how can you make yourself more creative?
You can start by taking the time to think about the tasks that you have to do and how you might go about them. Yes, you could just do what everyone else has done before but let’s be honest, the person who want to be an author or painter but merely copies the style or storylines of the great authors or artists that came before them, not how much they admire them are not really showing any creativity; creativity is about new ideas, new approaches to working and about pushing the boundaries. This is often why people question whether a machine programmed by human beings can ever truly be creative.
A good question to ask yourself is ‘is this the only way that this task can be completed or this problem overcome?’ Simply asking yourself this question will lead you to consider other possibilities, some of which might be much more interesting, efficient and cost effective than your go-to method.
How to you demonstrate your creativity in an interview?
Often in interviews you will be asked what are called competency based questions. These take the form of ‘tell us about a time when you x’ or ‘can you give us an example of when you have y’. You can show your potential employer your creative skills by talking about how for example, when faced with a difficult task or situation you were aware of the outcome that was needed, could identify different ways of getting this done and any problems that existed and that you were able to creatively think of a solution. Obviously, the best scenario is one where everything turned out brilliantly, but try not to worry if it didn’t first time – the important thing is to show how you adapted if your initial plan didn’t work – which probably involved even more creativity!