One aspect of any job that I think is often overlooked is the opportunity to be creative. I personally spent a portion of my working life in positions that appeared from the outside to have limited opportunities for creativity. When we think of creativity we tend to think of it in terms of artistic endeavors, whether that be painting, sculpting, music, etc. One of the jobs that I enjoyed was being a programmer, and the reason why I enjoyed programming was because I found that it allowed for a creative outlet in coming up with new ways to solve a problem. Making the computer do a certain task is, in its own way, a creative endeavor.
I remember a conversation I had years ago with a fellow programmer whose hobby was painting. She remarked about how many people were surprised that a programmer would be interested in painting. That got me thinking, I’ve always had a preference for drawing, painting, sculpting— anything with a creative outlet. The more I talked to fellow programmers, the more I learned how many were involved in creative activities, whether that be playing a musical instrument, developing games, singing in a chorus, acting in a community theater, woodworking, jewelry design, painting, or drawing. All these activities demonstrate that even though programming is a detailed oriented process, the people who are most adept and proficient at it also are people who have a strong creative streak. This concept is not relegated to careers in programming; it abounds across almost all disciplines whether or not they view themselves as an artist. There’s a natural human desire for creativity, the ability to put your own stamp on something. This could be creating new recipes, it could be design elements in anything from a toaster to a jet airplane, it could be new, creative ways to engage with customers and make them feel happy. You get the picture.
As you explore various career options, consider the role of creativity and the opportunities to express yourself in a creative manner. It may simply be a matter of rephrasing how you look at opportunities for creative outlets.
Have you ever had a creative job? Or do you find creativity in unexpected places? Describe a day in the life of your type of job on and inspire others to find creativity in their daily lives.
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