How to Get More Creative Freedom in Your Corporate Design Job

September 23, 2021

Most people assume that once they land that first job in the career they want, they’re going to be on their way–That once you’re in it, you naturally get taken down a career path.

But a career of purpose and intention requires purpose and intention.

How to Get More Creative Freedom in Your Corporate Design Job / Career Coaching Advice Blog Post by Grace Kim Portland of the Creative Career Collective

I’m guessing you’ve probably done something scary more than once.

Which means it’s almost always worth it, right?

Courage is when you do the thing anyway despite any fears you might have.

When you act out of courage, despite the result, you usually don’t regret it. Because you realize it wasn’t what was on the other side but more so the action of taking the step that grew you a little more.

It stretched you, it strengthened you, and best of all, it gave you more courage to do it again.

And courage, my friend, is your secret weapon to more growth and creative freedom at work.

Like any kind of growth, growing in your career also requires you to stretch yourself. And that can be scary. But here’s the thing. The stretch doesn’t have to span the universe. All you need to do is take ONE step outside your comfort zone-That’s it. That counts as stretching yourself. 

So what does this look like? How does this lead to more creative freedom at work?

You were initially hired into a creative position with the prospect that you would be contributing creatively. But somewhere during the long hours, never-ending workloads, and difficult communication, that creativity got pushed to the side.

First, I want you to know this is natural and that you’re not alone. This is where we as creatives find ourselves getting stuck in our careers when working in a corporate system. 

The key isn’t to do MORE of the work in order to grow, it’s to still find ways to contribute creatively in ANY way while completing your tasks with excellence. 

It’s your unspoken and unwritten task to include creativity in your day to day. No one is going to tell you to do it. And no one else is doing it. Which is where courage comes in. Followed by that career growth and creative freedom. 

The courage isn’t needed to be creative — that comes naturally to you. The courage is in adding creative input into your work when no one asks you to and no one else is doing it. It’s one of the steps to career growth.

What’s great about this is that courage is like a muscle you can train.

The more you exercise it the easier it becomes to be courageous, and to do it again.

So this week, I want to challenge you to exercise your courage muscle at work. It doesn’t have to all be related to creativity. Just practice taking ONE step out of your comfort zone.

Here are a few steps you could take to incorporate intentional creativity in a strategic way. 

  1. First, start by clearly and specifically visualizing a short-term goal for your career.
  2. Ask yourself what 3 things you need to do to get there.
  3. Focus on the one (just one) next step. In order to avoid overwhelm, at this point let this 1st step becomes your new goal. Focus only on this next step and work towards that.

As you work towards the goal (or even if you can’t yet think of a goal you want to work towards) here are a couple tangible ways to exercise your courage muscle this week:

  1. Ask for help when you don’t feel like it. If you’re afraid it makes you look weak or like you don’t know what you’re doing–great. This is where exercising that courage muscle comes in.
  2. Say “no.” This is powerful. So although it’s something you want to practice, you don’t want to use this all the time and definitely not in an uncooperative way. Be intentional and sparing about when you say “no” and make sure you show them why you saying “no” is better than you saying “yes.”

Wishing you courage & creativity this week.

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I'm Grace Kim,

a fashion designer-turned-career strategist, [mis]adventurer and your biggest believer.

I'm a girl who dropped out of college, was told I would fail in fashion, then went on to create my 6-figure design career before the age of 30.

Now, with my 11+ years of experience in the corporate world, I'm here to guide, support, and connect other designers so they can build a flourishing career despite all odds set against their success, and experience more freedom in & outside of work while getting paid what they deserve.

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