Thinking Outside the Cubicle: Benefits of Creative Thinking in the Workplace

Gone are the days when you can go into work, sit down at your desk, and make an impact by doing everything the way it’s been done every day before. Employers, now more than ever, are looking for ways to develop stronger business practices at every level. One way to accomplish this is by building teams full of employees that want to accomplish more than is outlined in their job description.

Now, what if you sit back and you think to yourself: “I don’t have any creative experience – I’m not an arts major, and I don’t use that skill set in my day-to-day.” A common misconception about creativity at work is that you have to be in an artistically-driven position. This is completely false! Your ability to think creatively, and effectively devise solutions others may not think of, will serve you well in workplace environments across industries.

The need for creative thinking may present itself in the development of an engaging display or design for a promotional effort in your office, discovering inventive ways to minimize expenses and budget appropriately, or it could be conducting new tests to increase efficiency in manufacturing and other processes. Another challenge we’ve seen in recent months is the need to transition into a remote work environment that is continuously stimulating and offers services that are equally as valuable as those offered in-person – these plans and solutions do not come from solely operating on precedent, but from adapting to new situations and problem-solving.

Keeping all of this in mind, it is crucial to know the value of your creative skill set and what sets you apart as a candidate. When writing your resume, use strong action verbs in your bullet points that detail both your tasks and the skills and strengths utilized. For example, action verbs that will communicate to an employer the use of problem-solving skills include “implemented,” “established,” and “improvised.” Similarly, if you want to showcase your critical thinking skills, starting your bullets with “analyzed,” evaluated,” “investigated,” or “researched” will do just that. If you’d like to further explore additional language to include in your bullet point statements, refer to our Resume and Cover Letter Guide. Provide specific instances of your creativity and your impact on the organizations you were involved with, both on your document and in interviews and conversations with employers. These instances you describe can be pulled from work experience, extracurricular involvement, volunteer service, and even relevant coursework.

Whenever possible, try to think outside of the box – whether in the classroom, at an extracurricular meeting, or in conversations with colleagues. Analyze the systems and processes in place around you at all levels and search for areas of improvement. Learning to approach new situations with open-mindedness and a critical eye will benefit you greatly as you progress throughout your career!

By Clarice Pennock
Clarice Pennock Career Intern Clarice Pennock