Creative is the #1 buzzword on LinkedIn. The reality as I see it, is that creativity in the workplace is rare. I wish more companies valued creativity and more individual professionals pursued their own creative selves. Most do not. But of course this makes sense, faster and cheaper is more immediately profitable than risky and untested.

I am often asked by parents of kids considering a college major in the arts if I think this is a good idea. My answer is always the same. Yes, if…one is driven by an ‘internal passion compass’ that allows one to carry on through years of little financial gain or professional recognition. Understand business fundamentals. Perfect a marketable, real-life skill set like data entry to pay the rent. Be persistent and view each day as an opportunity. Today, the lines between corporate and creative are blurring.

Retro eye glasses, tats, and the latest tech gadgets are affectations, I ignore them all. Highly creative people usually share certain traits to varying degrees and work in every type of enterprise or industry, at all levels.

These questions are based on the standards I set for myself as a creative in the tech industry.

Are you creative in the workplace?

1. Do you accept failure?  Do you really accept it, and then learn from it?

2. Do you value your own ideas enough to risk your job by asserting them?

3. Are you insatiably curious and willing to go off on tangents on your own time for no clear gain?

4. Do you listen well?

5. Can you present an idea concisely, very quickly? Can you back it up with solid reasoning?

6. Do you freely acknowledge a better idea when you hear it?

7. Do you trust yourself to believe that the answer/idea will come to you?

8. Do you respect (not simply accept) that a company/organization exists for gain?

9. Do small victories satisfy, or do you crave the grand gesture?

10. Do you accept that creativity in the workplace is measured and analyzed?

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