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Can the professional world sometimes hinder or obstruct efficiency, or creativity ? Can it be changed to be more conducive of these values ?

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David’s Answer

Every industry and workplace needs creative people to succeed and grow. Whether you’re working in construction, writing stories for an online news agency or crunching numbers as an accountant, being creative leads to new ideas and ways of doing things. Many of our greatest inventions came from creative people who dared to do more and think outside the box. And let’s face it, work that is creative is a lot more fun.

It’s easy for the professional world to challenge and stifle creativity– forcing you into the same routine every day without any time or opportunity to be imaginative.

But there is a way you can thrive in whatever career path you choose. Remember to stay curious and learn everything you can. Make time to meet new people. Ask how things work. Use the excitement and passion you have to look at the big picture and share your ideas with those around you – a manager, a colleague or even a friend.

You’ll be surprised at how people will come to appreciate your creative thoughts and enthusiasm. Your energy can help drive new ideas and change corporate cultures. Think about the people who suggested creating the Amazon Alexa or the first mobile phone. Each used their creativity to generate a new idea – and now nearly everyone uses these products. Being creative truly can change the world. 

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Mariana’s Answer

Yes, your work setup can sometimes hinder or obstruct efficiency or creativity , but it's on you to identify any redundancy or unnecessary barriers and advocate for the change. Some inefficiencies and road blocks are there by design and serve a specific purpose - there is a reason why we have speed limits on our streets. However, many others exist simply because no one has thought of a better way to do things. If you are the kind of a person who can untangle and simplify complex issues, you'll be appreciated wherever you end up working.

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Stacey’s Answer

From my experience, large corporations can hinder individual creativity due to rules and boundaries set and in place. The most creative environment I ever worded in was at an advertising agency. If you are an art director or copywriter you take what a client is looking for and run with it. It may have to go through a number of iterations via the creative department but your idea could be the one used in a print ad, commercial etc.

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Eva’s Answer

It depends on where you work and what type of work that you do. This is one of the main reasons I went into Marketing. My field allows me to express my creativity, even if sometimes just in small ways. The more corporate you go, the larger the company, the more restrictions you will have. There are more people that need to approve decisions, more stakeholders to talk to, and more hoops to jump through. It can be frustrating at times, but you learn how to navigate that environment. It is all about what you put in and your state of mind. If you see these potential obstacles as challenges to overcome or accept them for what they are, then you will more freely be able to function and still maintain your efficiency and creativity. You will have to adapt to the new circumstances.

Also, whenever you feel that you are not being as creative as you like, try a side project, join a club, or do more creative things outside of work to maintain a balance. :) whether you are happy or not is up to you. I create opportunities to express my creativity since that is critical to my overall happiness and satisfaction. If that is important to you too, then you will make that a priority.

I would not avoid a corporate career because of a concern that you will be limited in efficiency or creativity.

Eva recommends the following next steps:

Determine what is important to you and your happiness
Determine careers and companies that fit your goals and interests
Don't be afraid to try something because you are not 100% sure it will be as creative as you want it to be
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Jennifer’s Answer

Efficiencies and Creativity are important in most workplaces.  Efficiencies make for better work flows for employees that make them more efficient and happy employees.  Creativity sparks new initiatives and business getting ideas.  Both of these promote a more profitable company so employers are more open to these ideas as they see value in them.  

Workplaces cultures will differ on how they execute this based on their priorities.  There can be a reluctance to change and upset the status quo at times and there are limitations on how far a company can change due to existing infrastructure and budgets which can be frustrating. Sometimes these restrictions cause you to come up with even more creative solutions though.

Companies are also being more creative in how they are engaging with their employees from years past. Look for different learning opportunities to join a focus or volunteer group.  Often these other opportunities get you out of your silo and interact with others across your organization.  It is also an opportunity to flex some of your other skills that you may not use with your everyday work.

You should not wait for your employer to be the one who initiates creative opportunities - you have the ability to change this even in small ways. I have challenged myself to bring my group together this year with some fun activities - from a Pot Luck, Hot Sauce label design competition and a video game tournament - this has allowed me to channel some of my creative needs.

I would look at the mission statement of a company you are interested in – that can often tell you how open they are to efficiency and creativity and if their work culture is somewhere you will match with.

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