Get creative to get ahead (Plus 55 ideas to get you going)

get creative to get ahead

How often do you set out to develop your creative skills? 

Technical skills are important.

You don’t have to look further than a job description to see the long laundry list of technical skills required to carry out a particular role or set of tasks.

But what about creative skills? How important are they?

They're just as important because you need both in equal measures if you want to stay fresh, focused and relevant. 

Creativity promotes: 

  • The ability to look at and do things differently and think more laterally
  • A deep sense of exploration and discovery 
  • Increased self awareness and authenticity 
  • The ability to express yourself with greater ease
  • Improved problem solving and decision making skills
  • Increased productivity
  • Broadened networks and new relationships 
  • Inspired collaborations 
  • Getting unstuck and out of a rut 
  • Improved stress management 
  • Improved self management and self direction skills
  • A get-up-and-go and can-do attitude
  • A renewed perspective
  • Greater motivation and energy levels
  • A healthy sense of self and overall wellbeing  

Your ability to think critically and creatively makes you incredibly attractive to employers.

No matter your position, employers want to know that you can think outside the box, and on your feet.

They want to be assured you can lead yourself (so that you may lead others), convey vision (so that you may lead the way), have an eye for detail (so that you may take accountability in everything you do), are flexible (so that you may adapt when changes arise) and conquer challenges (so that you may practise making solid decisions).

They want to know that you are willing to learn and grow. Because no one knows it all. And no one likes a know-it-all. 

Get into the habit of adding two creative skills to your range each year (one to help you perform better, the other for fun) and you will always have a wealth and breadth of skills at your disposal. Need some inspiration? Here are ... 

55 creative skill ideas:

  1. Start a mixed-media journal
  2. Learn a new language
  3. Learn to beatbox
  4. Build a website
  5. Take a beginner’s drawing class
  6. Get familiar with a pottery wheel
  7. Learn to roast your own coffee beans
  8. Take up portrait photography
  9. Taking acting classes
  10. Learn Photoshop
  11. Learn to create your own stencil art
  12. Learn a new dance style
  13. Learn to decorate cakes like a pro
  14. Make your own silver jewellery
  15. Create your own resin bowls
  16. Make your own beauty products
  17. Learn to paint with watercolours 
  18. Learn to knit
  19. Learn fashion illustration
  20. Learn a new instrument
  21. Grow a bonsai from seed
  22. Create your own terrarium
  23. Create your own kokedama garden
  24. Creare your own edible garden
  25. Take up gourmet cooking
  26. Make pasta from scratch
  27. Start a herb garden
  28. Green up your landscape
  29. Make a movie using your smartphone
  30. Upholster an old piece of furniture
  31. Learn to sew
  32. Learn to bind your own journals
  33. Learn to crochet 
  34. Learn a cool card or magic trick
  35. Learn basket weaving
  36. Create your own stationery line
  37. Write a work of fiction
  38. Write a work of nonfiction
  39. Write a thank you note to someone everyday
  40. Create a mosaics centerpiece for the garden
  41. Create your own lampshades 
  42. Make your own floral arrangements 
  43. Create a 3D anything
  44. Learn about styling and overhaul your wardrobe
  45. Design your own shoe or handbag line
  46. Take a stained glass workshop
  47. Take a stone carving workshop
  48. Take up woodcarving
  49. Write a screenplay
  50. Start your own YouTube channel
  51. Create an online magazine
  52. Create a zine
  53. Compose a song
  54. Invent something
  55. Build something … anything using your bare hands.

Its your turn to take action:

Identify WHAT two creative pursuits you will tackle this year and WHY. One should help you do your job better, or be a stepping stone to a new career or promotion, and the other should be something you've always wanted to try for fun or out of curiosity.

Once you've picked your creative pursuit, work out WHO will help you, and HOW you will acquire this new skill. Do you know someone who can teach you? Do you need a qualified teacher/instructor/mentor?

WHERE will you learn and practice this skill? Is it online? At work? In a weekend workshop? At a local community college? Or Meetup group? Explore all the obvious and not-so-obvious resources available to you.

And finally, WHEN will you start and WHAT NEXT? Set a non-negotiable date, make the booking, pay the fees, organise babysitting and any other logistics so you will be ready and raring to go, and have something new to look forward to. 

As for me, I'm going to learn to make videos (for work) and try my hand at ceramics (for fun).

What creative pursuit will you commit to? Please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you!