When I was younger, I used to think creativity was relegated to arts expression. Being someone who drew and painted from a young age and celebrated literature, music, and other artistic expressions, that was my experience and association with it. It wasn't until I was older that creativity took on more than good lyrics, prose, or design.
I believe we are all creative beings, whether we are creative in business, gardening or in information technology. I believe it's an inherent thing, we all have the power to create. It can be imaginative or original or exercising our ability to create. So, what does this have to do with your career or life?
If we can think of our careers and life as a creative act then perhaps that would lessen the pressure and possibly the performance of both. Seeing things this way, we could potentially be more open to new experiences and ideas, including roles, and feel more authentic and fulfilled.
I can fairly say I created my ideal career by coaching. It wasn't easy. For many years I did things that didn't really speak to me, hoping for something that did, but I followed whatever I thought was the best decision at the time and actively created what I now love today. I say actively because every decision was intentional. If I was feeling dissatisfied in some way, I took note and eventually made a change.
For the past 7 years, helping others make changes and create their ideal career and lives has been my raison d'être. One client went from feeling discontent with his position to creating a role and schedule he looked forward to. To do this, he asked himself 1) What he and he alone can do, 2) What he enjoyed doing and 3) What he could delegate or negotiate with others to do. Fast forward and he has moved through different positions and now leads senior engineers at a successful ecommerce company.
Innovation is also born out of creativity. After a coaching call where a client wasn’t feeling right about her position, she was reminded that she could initiate projects or tasks she was interested in and reclaim her time. She liked the company she worked for, and even envisioned the space and place of it while working together earlier, so she was glad she could make these adjustments without looking for something else.
This said, I understand it's harder for some to create in their roles than others and that there are systemic realities that can make it more difficult. All you can do is try and investigate other opportunities if one seems a dead-end.
Speaking of opportunities and dead-ends, creativity, including adaptability, will be required when careers and businesses change due to evolving technology, circumstances, and demand. Take our current pandemic, there were many who reassessed their working situation and found or did something more fulfilling. I read so many articles on the 'great resignation' of employees, how it's a candidate's market and the varied passion businesses created in the course of just over two years.
One client falls into the last category. She decided to go "all in" on her own interior design company, after her contract ended, and started to work on projects soon after. It's even better when your creation is affirmed, in this case by receiving business, and provides value to others.
To this point of constant evolvement, one reason why it took me longer to find coaching as a profession is because it really didn't exist at the time I was thinking about careers or was rare. I never saw coaching under any personality or career test suggestions when I was younger. This could be the same for you, you might not have come across the thing you truly enjoy because it hasn't been created yet (by you or someone else) or more exploration is required.
With all this, do you feel you are creating your life or the passive recipient of it? If the latter, could you benefit from a perspective change and actively create? I believe you can.