Alumna Lynn Berger '84, '90TC, of the Columbia Career Coaches Network, weighs in on how to have more creativity in the workplace through visualization strategies, and how it can help with your career and personal growth.
Having more creativity in your work is a perfect, almost sure way to enjoy feelings of growth. And most of us have more creative powers than we give ourselves credit for.
Imagine yourself five or ten years from now, and your career has evolved to a place that is satisfactory for you.
Can you see yourself? What are you doing? How do you feel? Look around and take in your physical surroundings. What does it look like? Is it busy or relaxed? Are you alone or working with people? Are you the boss or do you have a boss? Are you supervising anyone? How are you dressed? Are you comfortable? Are you in a small company or a large company? How will you be spending your lunch hour? What are you doing?
Visualization is one of the most creative things you can do. It is different than daydreaming since you are playing with different ideas that—hopefully—become your reality.
You might want to write down your responses. What did you find intriguing about your responses? Chances are you came across information that surprised you and some that confirmed what you already know.
How did it feel to create that picture in your head? Visualization can be very powerful since it forces you to pause and consider what is most important to you, and it can motivate you to pursue your goals.
It is empowering to start visualizing what you would like to happen. Strength builds on strength and can lead you to your next endeavor. Small steps can help you gain more creativity in your career.
The first step is to do something you enjoy and show others what you have done. Begin by looking at whatever activities or interests you find attractive. If you need to build skills and learning, perhaps it is time to take a class or join a club in your area of interest. Both can fulfill your desire to grow and introduce you to new ideas and other people that share your interest.
Look around your immediate environment and find creative avenues to explore now. Is there a company newsletter or blog you would like to contribute to?
For example, I recently wanted to start doing more writing and realized these meditations are a way for me to express myself in small, manageable ways and share my knowledge and observations. This project has become very satisfying and fun.
Creative pursuits do take time. You will need to free up and devote some time in your schedule to experiment with your new desire and project.
One of the things you will experience is that less satisfying activities will be easier to skip. When you are taking a class, reading a book, or doing a creative project that inspires, you will gain motivation and a sense of purpose.
Your inspirations and your hunches are your creative vital signs. Learn to trust them and listen to them. Creative activities are a great way of getting to know yourself better. To reach your potential, stretch in the direction of your natural gifts and dreams.
Lynn Berger '84, '90TC is a Career Counselor and Coach specializing in helping people make the most of their lives and feel fulfilled. In her position,she counsels people how to effectively transition to jobs and/or careers, balance their roles and responsibilities and understand the choices before them.
Berger received her Master of Arts in Organizational Psychology and her Master of Education in Counseling Psychology from Columbia University. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, National Certified Counselor, Master Career Counselor, and Professional Certified Coach. Berger has appeared as a guest expert on radio and television shows across the country and has been featured in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Newsday, Huffington Post, Businessweek.com, and Monster.com. She authored the book, "The Savvy Part-Time Professional - How To Land, Create Or Negotiate The Part-Time Job Of Your Dreams." Learn more about Lynn.