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Finding your creativity

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Published: 20 September 2021

Student drawing

You might think of creativity as something just for people who work in the arts – writers, designers, painters etc.

But throughout your adult life, you’ll need to be creative. That could be in work or in your free time.

Employers are often looking for proactive solutions to their problems, so becoming an employee with a reputation for out-of-the-box thinking could be your route to better job prospects.

But how do you become creative if it’s not something you’ve thought about before?

Ask questions

Creative people are curious. That means they’re always trying to know things and find solutions.

Try writing out a question you want the answer to. For example: ‘How can I bring more money to my company?”

Then think of ten different ways of putting it, e.g “where should our money come from?” or “how can I make people want to spend more at our company”.

Eventually, you’ll write down a better question than you started with.

Be an expert

Another thing creative people are known for is their expertise. This doesn’t mean you need to know everything about your topic.

Instead, try learning as much as you on one small aspect of your work.

Do your research. Spend time on Google, read articles, watch TED Talks.

Plus, it’s worth looking for a mentor who knows about your topic. That could be one of your lecturers, someone you meet through LinkedIn or just a friend you admire.

Stay open to new ideas

Creative people rarely close themselves off to any idea. It’s how you stay open to new ideas and possibilities.

Try to be curious when people are talking with you. Ask questions, learn and think about what they’re saying – don't just wait for your turn to speak!

Come up with lots of ideas

You can’t expect to think of brilliant things every single time.

The way most creative people work is to come up with lots of ideas and act on the very best ones.

Try out ‘free association’. This is a game you can play with yourself to get your creativity flowing.

You think of a word (e.g., ‘carrot’) then you must come up with something related to it, and so on for as long as you can.

Avoid things that are too similar. So, in the carrot example, don’t just name other vegetables. Think of things about its shape (e.g., ‘stick’) or its colour (e.g., ‘orange’).

All of the tips above are about coming up with creative ideas. They can, of course, be applied to whatever field you’re in, whether that’s tourism or nursing.

But creativity shouldn’t just be something you do when you need it. It’s better if you’re always practising it.

So, try taking 30 minutes out of your day to try some of the ideas we’ve talked about in this article.

You’ll find yourself becoming a creative guru in no time.

We’d love to hear how you’ve put your creativity to good use. Share your thoughts with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram using #WeAreSunLon.