A Guide to Creative Pathways in Business
by Britney Gu
When you consider creativity and business, they seem like two ideas that don’t necessarily co-exist within the same space. Creativity typically lends itself to careers in the arts; ranging from music, fine art, performance, etc; funnels for individuality and expression. On the other hand, business is a world that revolves around continual drive and growth. Based on these descriptions, the realm of business seems daunting for those creatively-inclined, but that is not actually the case at all! At the crux of it, business is founded upon innovation, and innovation requires a creative mind. There are many different career pathways available within business that foster creativity, but this article focuses on two main categories; creative thinking, and technical roles.
Careers in Creative Thinking
Consider creative thinking to be more theoretical - it lies in abstract ideas and thinking outside of the box to make your organisation stand out. This is present within any business role you’ll find, but more so in the following career pathways:
As a discipline, consulting can be simplified down to be extremely targeted and elaborate problem solving. Businesses use consultants in order to improve their services and to become leaders in their respective industries by finding some way to grow and innovate. While the career is highly analytical and competitive, creative minds can approach the biggest problems from a different lens, opening up a new world of possible solutions.
User Experience (UX) Design:
As you might encounter if you study Information Systems, UX design is a quickly emerging career path in this digital age. UX stands for user experience, and UX design is focused around creating a product or service that is easy and intuitive to navigate by consumers. UX design seeks to understand why consumers act the way they do, and how to appropriately design their service to match this. Similar to consulting, creativity lies in problem solving and innovation is focused around improving the service and user experience.
This career path seems like a no-brainer for creatives - many would state that marketing is one of the most creatively-inclined disciplines within business as a whole. Marketing focuses around the consumer needs, and what the organisation can do to meet those needs. An example of such a marketing career would be in product design and management, where innovation and creativity is required to design the most effective product for your business and target audience.
If marketing focuses around matching your target market’s consumer needs with a solution, advertising is the sub-focus around promoting your solution to that market. Creativity in advertising is a must, perhaps even more than the aforementioned careers. In such a saturated market, creative campaigns are necessary to make your business stand out amongst thousands of others. Pathways involve working with advertising agencies with multiple clients or working in advertising for one organisation.
Technically Creative Careers
On the other hand, creativity can be found within the technical skill set. You might have years and years of fine art training behind you, a passion for writing, or complete mastery over the Adobe Suite. These are some paths that would allow your valuable skills to be used:
In this era of social media and technology, having an effective social media manager is essential to the growth and success of your business. The role of a social media manager is diverse and they can come from a range of different qualifications and backgrounds. The role might involve planning out the high-level strategy for each social media channel for your organisation, but it also includes skills essential to customer service such as replying to comments on social media channels, as well as technical skills such as content creation.
Another part of content marketing, copywriting is the process of creating written content for advertising or marketing purposes. Copywriters can be hired as freelance workers or write on behalf of a copywriting agency. Other organisations require in-house copywriters. This career is closely integrated with the marketing and Public Relations (PR) departments. Copywriters often come from a range of different degree qualifications, including literature and English degrees to business or communications degrees.
Similarly to copywriting, graphic design is a fundamental part of advertising and the marketing process. Typical design careers in business include freelancing, working for a creative agency with different clients, or working within a single organisation. Graphic designers can hold many different responsibilities, whether it be to design the branding of the organisation, create content for social media, or create impactful slides or infographics for presentations.
User Interface (UI) Design:
Often grouped together with UX design, UI design stands for user interface design. If UX is focused around the functionality and intentions of the product, UI design is its visual representation. UI designers will be focused around creating interface mockups (e.g. app and web design). You might find UI and UX design to be grouped together as the same role, as ultimately they rely upon each other. An effective user interface needs to be functional and intuitive to use, while an effective user experience needs to be visually appealing and comprehensible to want to be used.
Creative pathways in business are not limited. This article outlines some of the careers available to pursue, and it is in no way encompassing other potential pathways. Both creativity and business skills will be applicable to any career you choose to pursue, even if it is not within a creative or business industry. Creativity is a key trait that makes individuals unique, so we encourage you to make the most of it no matter where you end up!