Creativity: The new workplace survival skill

The American economy isn't what it was in the good old days of 1998. It's getting to the point where the lure of collegial, collaborative working environment might be giving way to watching out for Number One. That's especially true on the job front.

Lately I’ve been hearing about brand new college graduates hitting the job market with enormous amounts of debt in student loans but without any job prospects. The reasons could be a bad choice of college major or, even if it was a really hot major, a curriculum that’s inadequate for the realities of the industrial world. I’m willing to bet that among your own cohort you’re aware of several cases of long-term unemployment, stories of hundreds of resumes sent, all of which went into a black hole, exhausted financial resources, and half a dozen other equally nasty outcomes. As I said, sooner or later it becomes a case of looking out for number one, and justifiably, I might add.

Getting back into a situation more befitting your station in life might depend on your personal skills, not those of others. If so, I’d put a premium on creativity.

Consider standard business thinking. We decide what we think the marketplace wants; we identify and procure the resources needed to achieve the goal; the grand plan collapses when we learn of a shortage of some critical resource with no Plan B as a backup.

Compare that to the entrepreneurial approach. We observe what resources are readily available; we identify a need in the marketplace; we proceed and achieve the goal, all the while hoping the gamble was a good one.

I think the fundamental difference between the two is in creativity, more of which resides in the entrepreneurial approach. Creativity in most facets of life, it seems, is a survival skill worthy of development. To that end, I offer you “7 Ways to Cultivate Your Creativity - How to unlock your untapped ingenuity” by Ingrid Wickelgren.

Enhancing one’s creative juices obviously requires some amount of effort. You never know, this might be the day that changes your life. Perhaps you could pass this resource to some of those college students you know who aren’t yet gainfully employed in the work-a-day world of industry.