Making The Leap from Corporate to Creative? Five Things You Must Do

Brittany Thomas, Senior Producer, Developer – Shop Marketing & Creative Group

One sunny afternoon I was, again, for the fifth time that week, updating Salesforce with the same redundant information at my corporate job and I felt a spark. I looked out the window and realized I was yearning to write. At my corporate job, we had a weekly newsletter with few contentual rules that I got to write and it really allowed me to flex my creative muscles. I absolutely loved the challenge of being creative, learning something new, and coming up with new ideas. The temporary satisfaction I found writing that newsletter led me to search for something with more permanence outside my corporate environment, and to an exciting, new position within a very inspired atmosphere. I never regretted making the leap from corporate to creative.

The biggest surprise about making the leap from corporate to creative, is how intimidating it can be to actually be creative consistently. However, after keeping an open mind and learning the ropes from my colleagues, I’ve discovered the following keys to being consistently creative.

  • Be Uniquely You: You’re more than just a bullet list of qualifications, you bring a unique personality to any team. When I first started my professional career, I was more concerned with how others thought I should act in this new setting, rather than being myself. Once I started showing my true personality, I discovered not only did my personal relationships with my colleagues improve, but also my ability to clearly communicate my ideas.
  • Take Risks and Learn From Them: As a newbie, I was constantly second guessing my work, asking my managers if I was performing every step correctly, leading to insecurity that halted my ability to make decisions. Eventually, I learned to trust myself, let my effort shine through, and take more risks. If my ideas weren’t received the way I had intended, or even fell flat, I used the feedback to refine my approach and try again. Don’t be afraid to fail; you learn more from failures than successes.
  • Speak Up and Share Ideas: More people are afraid of public speaking than dying, and I’m no different. It’s one thing to produce a well thought-out deliverable, but it’s another to verbalize thoughts in group meetings. At first I was reserved during team meetings, but as I saw how one crazy idea could snowball into an executable strategy, I vowed never to remain silent again. Raw, unfiltered ideas can be just the springboard needed to achieve success.
  • Listen: While I found it’s important to speak up in my daily job, it’s also essential to listen to the ideas of my colleagues. Vanilla Ice once said, “Stop, Collaborate, and Listen,” and I think he was onto something. In my experience, ignoring a colleague’s ideas not only slows the creative process, but completely stalls progress.
  • Ask Questions: I was no industry expert at the beginning of my current career, and I still have so much to learn. Your colleagues want you to be successful, and asking questions can often benefit the whole group. Your questions may just inspire new ideas and spur further creativity!

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