Are Creativity & The Arts Overlooked In the Business World?

Over 300,000 people graduate from UK Universities each year, and the number of people going into higher education in England is at an all-time high. One reason for this is more and more people recognise that a degree is the best investments an individual can make into their future and a rewarding career. However, this inevitably means that competition is fierce, and standing out from other graduates when searching for gainful employment is more important than ever. Yet often in the corporate world, creative capabilities are misunderstood, under valued and even discouraged in the recruitment process. So why is this?

We all use intentionally employer-friendly language in our CV, such as: hard working, team player, great communication skills etc. However, as these core skills are a prerequisite for most roles, you must go further than this to stand out – you need a USP.

One unique selling point for a musician, is the “creative mind”.

Studies have shown musicians are able to apply a more creative and innovative approach to problem-solving. This is thought to be due to musicians being able to use both sides of their brain more frequently. One would think this might be viewed as a positive trait – particularly in the dynamic and changing business world we live in. Arguably businesses need to be more creative and innovative than ever if they are to evolve and succeed in the 21st century. After all, innovation is creativity applied to business.

This is not to say that businesses don’t want innovative problem solvers. Innovation is another one of those key employer-friendly words we were talking about earlier. However, arguably the word creative is often confused with the “fluffy” side of business. Processes such as graphic design for example, and although this is part of creativity, it’s often overlooked that creativity leads to innovation.

Individuals with an arts background have a proven track record in creativity that candidates from a business-based degree don’t. However, due to the “fluffy” image problem of arts graduates, employers can often overlook key transferable skills to the world of business.  Skills such as:

  • Divergent thinking
  • Evaluation and critique skills
  • Ability to be forward thinking
  • Ability to be unique and think outside the box
  • High standards with a feeling of ownership over their work

Furthermore, let’s not forget we’re talking about graduates here, all of which (results permitting of course) have demonstrated the work ethic and dedication required to see a project through from start to finish.

But the real point here is this – A great business needs a dynamic range of people working for them. Diversity brings collective strength through the wide range of skills that each person brings, and creativity is arguably an important part of that. The most productive and forward-thinking companies don’t employ clones – they build teams.