Can you still be creative and survive a corporate job?

An easy way to think about your career is to imagine that there are two forces competing for your attention. They are playing tug-of-war and you are the prize in the middle.

One of the forces is the traditional urge to advance to earn money and power within a corporation. This is a seductive force. Once you get promoted once or twice and you start to make a little money it can be very tough to break away.

Human beings are masters of rationalisation.

We come up with all kinds of good reason why we have to do exactly what we’re doing and why it’s actually wise and prudent for us to continue in our rut, even if we hate getting up and going to work every day.

The other force competing for your attention is the urge to bring something forth — something completely yours that springs from who you are. Most working people struggle to find an equilibrium between the two forces competing for their time and energy. The illustrious work/life/creative balance is one that many seldom achieve (at least, not all the time).

We try to infuse our jobs with our personal spark and flavour. We might push against the physical and metaphorical walls that hem us in at work. We look for ways to make our work more fun and less boring, even though we’re bombarded with messages that tell us to forget about our flame and our creative side; sticking to the tried and tested methods.

I am very lucky because the industry that I work in, while inherently corporate in nature, gives decent parameter to be creative. People who break with the traditional view that your job rules your life can feel very isolated. They can feel like traitors to the corporate cause.

Can a creative person survive corporate life?

He or she can, but it requires a new outlook. If you want to thrive in a corporate or institutional job although the format and shape of the job don’t suit your creative temperament, you have to take a few steps.

After all, everyone is creative. When we tap into our own power source, our creativity flows out. All we need to do is to find that vein. You can do it by blogging or speaking about what you care about, even if your blog posts are private for now. You can do it by meditating, painting, drawing; there are many creative outlets that maybe we are yet to explore due to constraints of time.

Here are the five steps to finding equilibrium between your constraining corporate or institutional job and your creativity

  1. Decide what you want.
  2. Make a plan to get what you decided you want.
  3. Look at the ways your current situation can help you get what you want.
  4.  Practice self-awareness.
  5.  Speak your truth.
  6. The first step is the hardest!Most people don’t know what they want from their lives or their careers.They get into a rut and stay there. Every day people tell us “Well, I work in finance — I fell into it.”

As far as we know, we only get one chance at our lives.

You get to make all the choices. You get to decide what you want, even if the thing or situation you want doesn’t feel practical or easily attainable right now. So what? You don’t have to tell anyone about your vision for yourself.

I don’t think that I have found the balance yet, but I know the importance of my creativity, both at my job and through my blogging, creative writing, poetry, music and other creative things I seem to spend all my free time on.


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