Creation is a common but valuable gift.
Almost any professional in history – be they in sales, software development, graphic design, engineering, medical specialization, or in any of millions of other fields – is at some point in their workflow, a creator. The examples are truly endless.
Yet amidst the challenging times of this pandemic, the thought of creating feels like an ever-present challenge to most of us, and not a precious but common gift. It’s hard to imagine and create in a world that so often feels immediately dark and gloomy and gray.
I’m no doctor of “real-life”, but as an emerging young professional, beginning a trek down the topsy-turvy world of “adulting”, diagnosing this condition seems so clear. We lead busy, purposeful lives, filled with competing and relatable obligations. The things in our lives we value are those we explicitly assign value to, whether the currency be quality time, action or words. When it comes to priorities, we groupthink; it’s difficult and uncomfortable to admit, but we feel safety in numbers. Competent creators, however, are daredevils – their work poses tough questions, demands resources, and can even go against norms of thinking and believing. In a time when so many of us crave security and safety, it’s easy to see why the creative spirit feels like it has to end up on the back burner.
“There’s isn’t enough time!”
“It’s too expensive!”
“Who will ever see this?”
“I really suck at singing!”
I hear you. I feel you. And it doesn’t have to be this way.
One of the most exciting things about creating is the ability to make something new, an un-tarnished, irretrievable little piece of personal legacy. I had that pleasure a few years ago in a big way, when I wrote a piece for the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. Once that music was put to paper, it could never be unwritten.
But creating is much, much more than just the process of completing a project – creators are better teammates, more communicative leaders and deeply passionate innovators. Their contrarian opinions and growth mindset disturb industries and and drive success. These are talents that I value deeply, and in every sector I’ve ever worked in, they’ve contributed to make personal and professional gains.
Learning to create is taxing. If you want to get into the mindset of a creator, but aren’t sure where to start, I’ve compiled some of my favourite ways to create:
- Find the creator in you – going back to the beginning of the article, you’re probably already creating! A presentation for C-suite executives, marketing materials as part of a social committee, mathematical proofs and Wattpad poetry – they’re all creations! It’s easy to take that passion into every part of your life if you can find it inside one part of you.
- Value creating – the hardest but most important step is to assign it value, like time with family or winding down after work. It can be setting time aside one weeknight after work, or committing to completing one project a month. It’s not just quality time or action: words matter too.
- Create different things – no one likes every single method of creating. For example, I’m passionate in front of programs like Excel and Finale (music composing/song writing). On the other hand, if Simon Cowell was an ATS…let’s just say my singing wouldn’t make the first cut.
- Just start – your first blog, home page, budget, speech or song is likely going to be terrible with many holes…and that’s ok! Learning the tools, tactics and timelines of good creation come with practice; I definitely don’t profess to know them all!
There’s one last point I wanted to make about being creative. It’s fine to want to be creative for your own sake, but I find creations are so much more exciting when they’re shared with others. That’s why I write blogs like these, to share my creations – the ideas, thoughts, passions and values of a recent graduate emerging into the scary world of a pandemic-battered economy.
We’re a community of aspiring or current career professionals, but I’d love to call on all of us – from students and entry-level graduates to CEOs/owners – to view ourselves as a community of creators too!