Can you be corporate and creative?

14 September 2018

Growing up, I wanted to be a dancer. Like all young children, the next day I fancied a career change and it became my lifelong passion to become a scientist. The day after that I wanted to become a fashion designer, and the following day I was adamant my future career was going down the route of a power house corporate lawyer. Then, I wanted to be a music manager working at a record company, and one week later I was going to be a doctor (just kidding, I don’t like blood).

Now, I’m an Economics graduate working within financial services. Not quite as Stella McCartney, Darcy Bussell or Jessica Pearson (Suits fans that one is for you), as I originally thought. During my final year of secondary school examinations (GCSEs), my school hired careers consultants to come in and talk to us individually about where we saw ourselves and how we planned to get to that stage. I could just be missing something but what 16-year-old knows what they’re having for dinner the following evening, never mind a detailed plan of the career they want and how they’re going to get there. I’m 22 and I’m still not really sure (on both the dinner or the career)

The one thing that has stuck in my mind since this meeting (6 years ago!!) was the women telling me that based on my personality, interests and traits, it was black and white – either I go down the corporate route and work in financial services, law or politics. Or, I go down the corporate route and work in financial services, law or politics. The creative route was not even an option. So, at the age of 16, I was under the impression that you couldn't have a sustainable creative career. You could never be both corporate and creative, they were two competing forces. It’s only now, 6 years later that I realise I can be both.

Every now and then, I hear stories of individuals who have been bankers, accountants, lawyers or doctors for years but all of a sudden decide it is time for a career change, and do something completely different like interior designer, content creating or start their own B&B. All throughout my education, I was told to do the ‘safe thing’. Get a good degree, get a job at a large corporate firm, earn money, save money (still working on that one), pay tax and do good. I love the fact that there is a movement which is allowing people to see that corporates have skills outside of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, report writing and statistical modelling programmes, and that we can be creative. Introducing the age of being a 'slasher' or multi-hypen individual. You work a 9-5 (or 8-8 in some cases * insert girl raising hand emoji*) and in your spare time, you’re a blogger or business owner.

It’s fair to say, creativity isn’t for everyone and neither is the corporate side. If everyone was creative, who would do the excel sheets to make sure debts and credits were paid. If everyone was corporate, who would make the entertainment we all love to watch? or design the clothes we love to wear?

For me, the answer to the question is simple. Yes, you can be a CC (corporate and creative). And there are so many great benefits to being a CC'er…

  • Some of the most ‘business like’ ideas and plans involve creativity.  Look at the creativity that goes into pharmaceutical drug development or marketing campaigns. 
  • Being a corporate creative also has great benefits to the business (tell your boss to thank me later). Innovation and thinking outside the box are critical for business survival in this ever-evolving market. 
  • Taking a break from one mind frame (i.e. corporate) and switching to the other (i.e. creative) does wonders when helping your brain to relax and exercise different skills. 

Both corporate and creative work require different outlooks, mind frames, skills and capabilities. But that doesn’t mean to say you’re completely shut off from one or the other. At the end of the day, everyone is creative – maybe not as creative in the sense of coming up with millions of ideas - but we are all creative in our own way.

Outfit details 
Top - H&M
Skirt - Primark (Because you can never have too much leopard print - I recommend sizing down, mine is a size 4 and I am n.o.w.h.e.r.e near a size 4. Sadly, it's sold out in stores however eBay is your best bet) 
Boots – Missguided via ASOS (similar)

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