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Creating Successful Leaders

I recently read an alarming statistic in Entrepreneur Magazine: 55% of employed U.S. adults would leave their traditional jobs to be self-employed if they could be sure of their financial stability. Why? What is the overwhelming reason people give for their dissatisfaction? The answer: Lack of creativity.

A full 36% of employed adults want to leave their current position in order to seek a more creative line of work.  Realistically, it would be difficult to sustain such a large creative-heavy workforce and most people realize it is very difficult to make it as an artist (or chef or photographer), while paying the bills. So, what can the creatively-stifled workforce do?  Here are some ideas:

1. Pursue Creative Hobbies (and apply them to work)

Even if your work itself is a bit of a drag, you can still foster your creative side by pursuing stimulating hobbies. Look for classes at your local community center or offers on sites like Groupon or Living Social Deals who offer discounts on things like “painting and wine night” or photography classes. If you have a creative passion, keep at it! And don’t be afraid to share it with your office mates. For instance, if you like writing, volunteer to write the quarterly newsletter or, if you enjoy cooking, make a point of making a dish for the next lunch meeting (I’m sure everyone would appreciate it!).

2. Keep a Journal (or doodle)

One great way to keep the creative juices flowing (no matter if you’re a writer or not) is to keep a journal. That way, when an out-of-the box idea strikes, you can jot it down quickly. Write down everything—don’t discriminate! Sometimes a whim can turn into a great idea. Your notes can be work-related or not—either way, it’s healthy to write things down so you don’t stew about them or become frustrated if you forget your brilliant idea. Alternatively, if you prefer doodling, go for it! Doodling can be a great creative outlet and allows some people to de-stress.  Also, for visual folks, doodling is a great way to map out ideas.

3. Take Breaks

A tired mind has trouble getting anything done. If you find your productivity slipping at work, seek a little creativity to jolt you back to life. You could knit, sketch, play with a yo-yo, read, or even photoshop a picture of your dog for a while!  Anything to get your mind back in gear to tackle the next project.

4. Join a Meetup Group

Sometimes, creativity needs encouragement. If you’re truly interested in honing a passion of yours (writing, photography, calligraphy), find a local Meetup Group. Meetup is a website dedicated to bringing people together with similar hobbies and interests. It’s free to join and the possibilities are endless! If you’re interested in dream interpretation or French or Salsa dancing, there’s a group out there for you!

Don’t stifle your creative side! Let it flow. And if these suggestions just aren’t enough, then maybe a creative career is up your alley. If you’re thinking about making a major career change, UXL would be happy to offer some guidance and support.


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