“workers might want to consider these top 10 skills, which employers say are rising in importance over the next five years: 1. creative thinking.” (jane thier – fortune magazine)
mm-hmm. yup. #2 is analytical thinking. i’m pretty certain that without creative thinking, analytical thinking would hit dead-ends every time. and self-destruct.
the other night, in the middle of the night, the wee hours of the night when one is supposed to be sleeping, i was – shockingly – wide awake. we had a long conversation, chatting about places we had lived way-earlier-on, jobs we had way-earlier-on. i talked about eating lots of kellogg’s cornflakes and he talked about mountains of pbj sandwiches. we have both had histories of piecemeal, making-it-work, scrappy artists weaving a tapestry of living with rough-hewn shreds of granola-cotton, jute, hemp, fabrics not fine or finished but with torn edges and maybe a little holey.
larkfield road in east northport made it possible. many of my jobs – early-on – were on this road. i worked at the music store, the camera store, the dive shop, one of the churches – all on this road – before i left long island. i bought my cornflakes at the king kullen and my gas at the corner citgo, splurgy pizzas down the road and sub sandwiches next to the post office. i drove all over teaching piano lessons and saved whatever i could at the bank that gave away plates for deposits on the corner of larkfield and clay pitts. none of it was fancypants. but it gave me a different expectation bar and it was all setting the stage for a creative life.
it’s funny to me that it takes a fortune magazine article to espouse the merits of creative thinking. the number 1 top skill rising in importance – as if it’s something new. ahhh. but, perhaps it is.
for we know, better i’d say than many, the difference in actually choosing a creative path. creativity, artistry – these lead you in a direction that is unrevealed, a direction that is vulnerable, a direction that has no guarantees.
an accountant, say, knows that any amount of time spent on a project will be remunerated. time spent = time paid for. it’s really a lovely equation. and both of us have had positions in our lives when this equation was in place.
but the instant we list back to the artist side, all equations dissipate into a fog and people – the same ones who turn to the arts in watershed moments of their lives – suggest we might consider exposure of our work our form of payment. i imagine writing to the wisconsin energies company – “i’ll give you ten exposures for this $326 bill.” more so, i imagine their response. yikes!
and so, here we are. the workworld – so to speak – is catching up a tiny bit. employers are beginning to recognize the value of creative thinking…maaaybe. the COO of fortune, dan shapero, is quoted, “the long-term trend is pretty undeniable that the demand for skills outpaces the supply of skills.”
perhaps he – representing employers everywhere – is not looking in the right places.
creative thinking is found in creative people, the ones exposing their work to the world, the ones who scrimp and bring to fruition projects that started in a thought bubble, the ones who don’t have the same organizational principle applied to their vitae and whose vitae, perhaps, would go the way of bot-trash, but who have a thru-hiked life (sometimes many, many years of life – decades even – making age yet another employment challenge) – with creativity their north star.
as people-with-active-resumes we note that our schooling is bachelors and masters degrees – framed and unframed- in bins in the basement somewhere. our work experience is a little bit of that tapestry i was talking about. it’s been garnered in educational settings, in corporate settings, in public service, in non-profits like theatres and churches, in software startups, on stages and on radio, in studios with canvas and studios with microphones. our creative output is found in albums, in paintings, in books, in blogs, in cartoons, in plays, in workshop projects.
we get creative thinking.
i passed green eyes down to her. he got his eye color from his dad. both of them are wildly creative. their lives have already been a tapestry of edges. i couldn’t be more proud.
“the most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.” (mary oliver)
happy birthday to my beloved girl.
read DAVID’S thoughts this MERELY-A-THOUGHT MONDAY