“What are you going to do with that degree? You’re going to need a plan B. And a plan C. You’re wasting your money.”
Ever been told that? Good. This one is for you.
Listen up – your creative streak is worth (much) more than you think. The world may not know how to value it, but if you know how to use it, you can show “them” just how valuable it can be.
Let me read you a quote from Ernest Wilkins on how to mix math and magic together,
In the same way we study numbers, we should study creativity itself. Instead, the tech community is using AI learning to decide what makes a good screenplay, or marketing copy, or game premise.
We have to get in control of the one thing our industries have that no others do:
The ability to connect on an emotional level.
Now, with THAT in mind, let’s look at some stats about the broader “creative economy.”
A united narrative allows for a better contextual understanding of the worlds we work in. That in turn helps the suits and investors understand how to properly evaluate the work that we do. Which then might allow us to get paid what our work is actually worth. Arm yourself with numbers, and let’s get that bag.
Again: it’s all about math + magic. Spreadsheet + soul. Excel + escaping from hell. The rest of his post is full of motivational numbers we can use, and if this applies to you, you really need to read it (“10 Stats About The Cultural Industry You Need To See“). I’ll pull out just one stat to comment on:
In case that doesn’t load, it says,
Leading employers see creativity as a critical skill for the future workforce. 50% of opportunities in the job market cite creativity as a necessary skill, and 74% of educators say that the risk of job automation is lower in professions that require creative problem-solving skills.
Creative brains do creative problem-solving. They’re not afraid to take a risk or a leap or draw on a non-standard/seemingly unrelated influence for an answer. “Man, I know our team is struggling to get a win, but what’s that Ted Lasso quote about being a goldfish?”
With lower professions becoming increasingly automated, higher professions are becoming increasingly valued by the individual’s ability to outthink the computer, and as Wilkins says at the top (I’m un-paraphrasing this because clearly, I wasn’t an English major), it’s a superpower to connect all of this automatable work we are all doing at an emotional level with the people who actually use our products and services.
The world needs more creatives. Now. The challenge for creatives was and is to figure out how to use and define their value so they can start to realize their share of their contribution. With posts like Wilkins’, we can see ways to express both the magic we provide alongside the math supporting our contribution.
Keep thinking creatively about it. There’s a way to make that creative streak worth much, much more than you think.
ps. want help doing this? struggling to figure out how your creative streak or liberal arts degree connects to your corporate or even freelance job? Let’s connect.
pss. want more on this topic? Here is a takeaway from two books and an HBR piece that are still as relevant as ever, “Four Types Of Customization For Any Business (There’s More Room For Creativity At Work Than You Think)”