How to stay creative in a corporate world

As a copywriter, content marketer (I could be referred to as either depending on who you ask – but that’s a different story) and general wordsmith, I’d most certainly fall into the ‘creative’ bucket of candidates.

And although being a ‘creative’ sounds cool and fashionable it can actually be pretty tough; particularly in a corporate world.

You often feel like you’re butting heads with HiPPO’s – and that hurts.

Most corporates don’t help creatives create

It’s our job as creatives to generate ideas and innovate, but innovation demands time and space – something we often don’t have the luxury of when based in an office surrounded by unwelcome interruptions and “could you just’s…” from colleagues close by.

Google is light-years ahead of everyone else because they get this. They understand that creativity is not deliberate or forced…it’s spontaneous. And spontaneity arises when you break away from conditioning and norms, and choose to make your life less predictable.

Although some ‘corps’ are hard to crack, it helps to be aware of the possible limitations facing your creative role so that you can own it.

What’s actually expected of you?

In absolute terms, it’s hard to define a ‘creative’ role. If creativity is subjective, how do we ensure that we’re giving our bosses what they want?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a definitive answer to this question. Proving your creative worth takes time.

As long as you use data and reputable insights to inform your next move, and ensure everything you’re doing is aligned to the objectives of your employer, keep at it.

And better still, use a measurement tool like Moz or Hubspot to track and improve your content marketing efforts. The big boss wants to see revenue-generating numbers, after all.

Is your environment stimulating?

Without an environment conducive to creativity, how can we expect to see ideas arise from creative team members?

Work the way you work best. We’re all different.

I work best with variety, so a combination of office buzz, coffee shop calm and work from home solitude equals a happy and creative ‘me’. This is how I make my daily routine less predictable.

Many corporates still haven’t cottoned on to the negative side effects of oppressive office based routines for their creative counterparts.

Try speaking with your line manager to negotiate a workplace balance that suits both parties. Some ‘corps’ will give you freedom if you prove that you can deliver, and don’t spend your working-from-home days in the pub.

Are your ideas taken seriously?

If your creative juices are wasted because your employer rejects new ideas on the basis of ‘fear of the unknown’, why bother?

Risk-taking should be encouraged and if your organisation is not receptive to new ideas, it doesn’t support creativity.

Creatives; don’t be put off by your boss’ refusal to try your ideas. Seek other opinions and ask for genuine, justifiable reasons for rejection.

“It won’t work” simply won’t do and it’s a dangerous attitude to have in today’s fast-paced and innovative world.

If an open exchange of ideas among employees at all levels isn’t encouraged, it may be time to take your creative butt elsewhere.

Whatever you think…it’s probably not you

If you’ve not been feeling particularly creative of late and are worried that ‘you’ve lost it’, fear not. If you’ve had it before, you’ll have it again.

Having fun and feeling relaxed at work is how we feel inspired. A stressful or depressing work environment doesn’t encourage us to think outside of the box, and we’re unlikely to come up with any ground-breaking ideas if the environment doesn’t quite suit.

Whatever you do stay positive or make positive changes, because your future creativity depends on it.


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