You mosey into the office sometime between 11am and 1pm. You’ve got your ironic band t-shirt on and one of your chucks is untied. You walk into a meeting you weren’t invited to, say three words, everyone applauds and opens you a beer. You spend the rest of the day napping at your desk.
Oh wait. That didn’t happen. You’re not Don F*cking Draper (plus, that dude wore a suit).
If you imagine your work day going something like the above, we’ll call you a pre-teen, in the stage of pre-creativerty (Don’t worry. If you don’t imagine your day like that, you will still learn something here anyway). Don’t be afraid. We have been through this before and we want to help. Here is a 5 part, prescription strength system from a blemish removing specialist. Enough puns yet?
No. There are never enough puns. Understanding that is step zero.
1.) Find leaders in your field (and otherwise). Who is doing work that you really dig? Who would you love to work for one day? Who do you want to have a drink with? You don’t ever have to meet these people. Just read their blogs. Follow them on twitter. Click all of the links on their site. Some people I have followed for many years are: David Airey, Jesse Thomas, and TED. Feel free to start there. They are good people (that I’ve never met). You will learn a lot from just seeing what other professionals are up to or talking about.
2.) Be collaborative. Working with others can be intimidating, competitive, and sometimes defeating. But it can also be super-awesome. If people are working with you every step of the way, they will be more likely to have your back when client presentation time comes. Also, remember the time you had that awesome idea but thought, “that’s a little too crazy,” or “can a website even do that?” Working with a team will help validate that crazy idea, or if it is crazy, at least you’ll know before you’re too far down the rabbit hole.
3.) Say yes to (almost) everything. A project is up for grabs and you are pretty overloaded at the time. You say, “yes.” You will learn something from this project. Someone can’t make it and you are asked to run a client presentation. You say, “yes.” Jim Carrey did it, and that got him Zooey Deschanel.
When to say no: Someone says, “let’s put a QR code on it.” You say, “no.”
4.) Work on your own stuff. Working with clients is necessary and typically really fun and challenging, but it’s nice—and necessary—to use some of the time and talent you spend on others to focus on something you’re passionate about. Come up with an idea and execute it. It could be a fun website, a poster, a video, a sketch…whatever. Just do it.
5.) Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. This is a pretty tough one. Your concepts and ideas will be challenged. It’s normal to be frustrated when that happens, but it’s even more frustrating if all you had to do was explain your thought process in order to get everyone on-board. Don’t be aggressive, just be cool and talk through it. It may not work out, but the best you can do is try. Also, if you are wrong, admit it. No sense in standing up for an idea that you know isn’t the right one.
Do you have any specific questions regarding Creativerty? If you’re a creative adult, what tips might you prescribe? Let me know below.
*overcoming Creativerty will take far more than 5 steps. Side affects of Creativerty include: drowsiness, upset stomach, depression, and others. See your mentor if Creativerty lasts longer than two years.