Almost 4 years ago, as a fresh Graphic Design graduate, I was hired to work for Missing Link Technologies Ltd. MLT, is a company that works with Service Providers in regards to network management, engineering, and IT facilities infrastructure all while elevating their services with expertise such as Application Architecture, Data Management and Energy.
Now at this point, if you are paying attention, you may be wondering “What on earth is a graphic designer doing at this kind of company?”. Well guess what… after a few months, I was asking myself the same question. What am I doing here? How am I contributing? Do I belong here? What value am I bringing to the table? This was a planet far away from the chic marketing agencies I believed I would work for. My head was spinning with all the acronyms flying around; ISP, MSO, POD, RemotePHY… WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN!!!
Once the dust settled and the learning curve was tamed, I had an epiphany. The company did not hire me because I was an expert in IT facilities management (duh!), they hired me because I had the skillsets they were looking for and I brought something new to the table that they needed. The game changed when I realized that being a creative individual in a technical environment was a strength, not a weakness. Instead of worrying about my shortcomings in regards to technical knowledge, I focused on the value of my skills. Ultimately, by understanding my value, I was able to create new opportunity for myself.
As an homage to this journey I would like to share with you a few important reasons Creatives are some of the best additions you can make to your team:
They Bring a New Perspective
Creatives can be so far outside of the technical box that it may seem daunting for them at first. However, because of this, it can make their point of view highly valuable. To quote author Dan Brown “Sometimes a change of perspective is all it takes to see the light”. If team members are too close to the granular day to day activities when looking for solutions, it may take creative minds to shake things up.
“Sometimes a change of perspective is all it takes to see the light” - Dan Brown
They will Create Opportunity for Themselves
Artists need to create. If they are not creating, contributing or stimulated they will lose their minds. The need to create pushes them to find new ways to express their creativity and share their ideas. Who doesn’t want a self-motivated team member…seems like a no brainer.
They Will Motivate Your Team
When you have team members who are unafraid to throw new Ideas around it can be the catalyst for a new team dynamic or innovative idea. That being said, if you are looking for this on your team, colleagues in leadership roles have a duty encourage this behaviour. Let team members fail fast and give them a safe environment to do so. This echoes some of the points made in my previous article.
To any creative person navigating the workforce, I implore you to leverage your creativity. There is nothing more powerful than understanding the value in what makes you unique. You may end up working somewhere different then you imagined but that may also be where you hold the most value. Finally, to any company looking for new talent, I challenge you to hire outside the box.
If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. - Dr.Wayne Dyer