Student Innovation and Creativity
Some college students can see things from a different angle or another point of view. They have the ability to see through the problems and find solutions, develop new ways of doing things and deal with the many challenges that stop others from moving forward or reaching the goal. People call them creative, original, insightful, inventive or innovative. Whatever you call them, they have a gift that should not be ignored.
Innovation and creativity are talents that will always be in demand. Progressive and forward thinking employers need employees who will take them into the future. However these talents can also be a double edged sword. Creativity and innovation result in change. Unfortunately, not every employee and not every employer will embrace change. In fact, they may fear it and resist it. Change can be painful. It takes people out of their comfort zones and makes them learn new things and behave in new and different ways. Some people (all of us at one time or another) do not adjust very well.
Funny thing! When a change is imposed on us, we often resist that change. However, when we are the ones recommending the change, we see it as good, necessary and helpful. Our own ideas usually seem better than the way things are currently being done. However, new employees must be careful not to badmouth the way things are being done. They may be insulting the person or people who designed that system or method.
Perceptions are important. You do not want to be perceived by your coworkers as an insensitive clod, smart aleck or know it all who tries to put other people down or make them look bad. Having your ideas accepted is far less difficult when the people around you like you and trust you. When you take the time to build good relationships first, any changes that you suggest will have a greater chance for acceptance.
To build trust with new employers, you should:
– Accept responsibility
– Admit and correct mistakes
– Prove that you are friendly and reliable
– Treat everyone with respect
– Look out for the best interests of others
– Help others when they need it
– Listen to the most respected people around you
– Recognize, appreciate and utilize the ideas and suggestions of others
It is important for you to understand that your idea may be creating a problem for someone else. When your good results come at the expense of others, you will hurt that relationship. Destroy enough relationships and you will find yourself out of a job.
Few jobs will allow someone to function in a vacuum. Employees are expected to cooperate and work together. Teamwork is valued. That means that individual ideas are blended together to achieve a team solution. However, other team members will recognize the value of your contributions.
“Few of us can be successful
unless the people around us make it possible.”
All of that should make it clear that innovation and creativity are important to your success both in college and after you graduate. While you are in college, you should look for opportunities to demonstrate your abilities. Employers will want to learn about the results that you achieved during the college years. When you can provide examples of the successes that were achieved because of your ability to create and innovate, they will believe that you can do the same for them.