What do you people think about jobs and money nowadays? Is it possible for creative minds to get a good job anywhere?


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Melinda Moore Profile
Melinda Moore , Creative, answered

How creatives contribute to the economy

The creative industries contribute hugely to the economies of western nations, employing some 6 million people in the EU alone, and contributing approximately 3% of GDP - and thus many employers are highly-aware of the value that creatives can bring to their businesses, even if they are less sure how to manage them!

While Dan is right to say that many academic courses lack creativity, those which do focus specifically on creative subjects, such as degrees in the creative arts, certainly do not. I have taken two degrees in my time, the first a highly-academic degree in English literature and politics, and the second in the creative arts, and there were major differences between the two.

I was surprised to find that the degree in the arts was not only much more creative than my earlier academic one, but was also much more diverse, intellectually-challenging and rigorous. It also prepared me much better for my move back into employment, after I completed my degree.

Creatives in employment

Creative people are much more able to "think outside the box" than those who are less creative, and are thus really good at identifying problems and finding ways to solve them.

They have a different take on things than their less creative colleagues, though, which can sometimes make things difficult in the workplace, and managing a team of creatives can be a challenge - as they don't always respond well to management techniques which are the norm in less creative industries. For example, setting rigid targets - which would probably incentivise less creative, or more competitive employees - can actively disincentivise creatives, who usually respond better to a looser style of management.

However, when you do have a happy set of creatives in your team, they will be incredibly engaged in what they are doing, very driven, and very enthusiastic about coming up with new ways to approach old problems - and thus probably won't require rigid target-setting anyway. If they feel their ideas are disregarded, though, they can then become easily depressed and disengaged.

Challenges when managing creatives

Managing creatives can also be challenging due to some of the characteristics shared by many artistic people (including me): from difficulty with timekeeping, sleeping at odd hours, sometimes suffering from depression, and a tendency to go off at tangents, when something inspires them with a new idea.

A friend of mine is an HR director for a multi-national company, which has a policy of assessing the personality types of prospective new employees, in quite some detail, to try to ensure balanced teams, in which members' personalities complement and enhance each other, rather than encouraging competition.

He says that, even if his company is presented with a candidate who looks great on paper, and who would seem to be a great employee, that person may still not get the job if his or her personality is too similar to those of a number of existing members of the team, as adding another, similar personality would then unbalance the team.

So, I guess I would say that there are certainly jobs out there for creatives, that they are a vital part of the economy, especially in our increasingly-digital age, and that they bring benefits to employers which - if properly managed - far outweigh any negative aspects.

Information on creative jobs, and what they involve

A great source of information on creative roles, what they involve and guidance as to the typical salaries paid (in the UK) is Creative Skillset, which will hopefully give you some ideas and encouragement!

Dan Banks Profile
Dan Banks answered

Yes, of course it is! Employers value creativity in the workplace, although of course this will depend on what line of work you intend to go into.


The problem with being creative is that it isn't necessarily measurable - especially not at a job interview. This is because the modern education system is weighted in favour of academically successful students - not creative ones! Getting an A in a maths exam has little bearing on how valuable you can be in most working environments.

I suppose the solution is to try as hard as you can with your academic studies, and try to display your creativity to future employers in other ways. For example, learning a musical instrument could indicate to an employer you're not just a one-trick pony.

Creativity has always been a desirable trait to have, and in a more connected world, you'll need to stand out in as many ways as possible! Good luck.

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Dan Banks
Dan Banks commented
Yes, that's also true - it is probably impossible to be truly creative if you work for someone else. However in my own personal experience, (and I consider myself a creative person) I find that some constraint is often needed in order to focus, motivate and drive someone with a creative mind.

I suppose it depends on what each individuals traits are and what they intend to do. Some great points there though, thanks!
SereneNSassy Soul
We are now on the same page :-)
Dan Banks
Dan Banks commented
Haha, it would seem so!

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