This blog post is part two in a six-part series by Larry Doty examining how new graduates can compete and excel in a global economy.
Creativity is a skillset that’s in high demand in the job market. In his book of essays, David and Goliath, New York Times bestselling author Malcom Gladwell notes that people who deploy unconventional strategies to address weaknesses increase their chance of success by nearly 40 percent. But in order to develop creative strategies that will make you an ideal employee and job candidate, you must have a strong sense of self and situational awareness. Unconventionality isn’t enough on its own, you must be able to provide rhyme and reason for your ideas.
That’s why hiring managers will want to know how you can analyze the complexities of a situation and create a strategic and unorthodox solution to a tough problem.
In the modern workplace, technology has made it possible for every employee to juggle multiple projects effectively and efficiently. For example, messaging apps such as Slack allow teams to quickly communicate, share files and manage numerous ideas on one platform. Likewise, cloud technology gives workers the opportunity to collaborate on massive projects remotely.
These advances allow organizations to be more flexible, but also increase employee expectations. Therefore, when businesses look to hire, they want candidates who are dynamic, adaptable and collaborative. A new hire must be nimble enough to perform outside of the core expectations of the position. Creativity thus becomes necessary because it helps us approach unfamiliar situations.
Everyone has some level of creativity. By embracing this skill and challenging yourself to accomplish tasks in new ways, you’ll strengthen your employability. Being able to highlight creative and innovative wins on your resume and in an interview will make a big difference. For example, rather than listing your specific job tasks, explain how you solved a problem thereby demonstrating your creativity.
In a study conducted by Adobe, 85 percent of college-educated professionals agreed creativity was critical to problem solving in their careers. Think of many of today’s best known companies: Google, Apple and Facebook. These companies continue to succeed by being innovative and harnessing the ideas and energy of creative people. The expectation is no longer that you can simply be good at your job. Instead, you must also be able to think of new ways to make your organization better. Over time, you’ll become more comfortable with out-of-the-box thinking and thereby be able to confidently take on new problems.
Since 2008, Larry Doty has been appointed to various positions of leadership at Herzing University including Academic Dean, Director of Education and Educational Funding, and Senior System Undergraduate Dean. Larry Doty currently serves as the Associate Provost of Academic Support for Herzing University. During his time at the Minneapolis campus, Mr. Doty successfully provided oversight to multiple accreditation initiatives at the programmatic and institutional level. He quickly developed a reputation for developing high performing teams and exceeding institutional expectations in areas such as budgeting and planning, team development, and student retention.
* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2020. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.