Innovative in a workplace

Chalkboard reading: Think outside of the box

 Innovative in a Workplace 

When you think of innovation, what comes up? According to How to Jump-Start Your Innovation: 8 Ways to Be More Innovative article, it states that each of us can be more innovative. Contrary to popular opinion, it can be learned, encouraged and even incented. A recent University of California, San Diego study demonstrated monetary incentives helped overcome psychological barriers to innovation and led to a more diverse group of people to offer innovative ideas. To read more on this article click here.

 Being innovative can increase your creative thinking skills and allow you to resolve problems strategically. Although it is a leadership quality to create an innovative environment, there are still ways you can develop your innovative skills. Here are some advice from the Career Services Team on how to be innovative in your workplace based on their experience.

Be Curious

To be innovative, you need to expand your horizons. You do that by asking questions, trying new things, and learning from your mistakes. You want to familiarize yourself with certain skill sets and learn about as many as you can. This goes beyond your workplace too. As students, here are some good innovative questions to help you think about what you think: Are there any other similar answers you can think of with alternative routes? Why does that answer make sense to you? Why do you think this works? Does it always? Why? How does this relate to current events? To find more helpful innovation questions check out this article: 50 Questions To Help Students Think About What They Think.

Be Around Inspiring People and Environment

As a Career and Academic Advisor, I aim to surround myself with inspiring people or areas that allows me to explore my creative thinking. I am influenced to be innovative by listening to several conversations from colleagues on how they go about engaging with students. As for my environment, I make sure to amp myself up to ensure my creative outlook for the day. I do this by starting off my morning listening to my favorite songs or motivational podcasts. Doing this unlocks positive and creative thinking before entering my workplace. My suggestion is to find that specific motivator that will stimulate your innovative mind before work.

Do Not Stop Learning 

When you are learning you are growing. When you are learning you are developing your brain to think more innovatively. You can do this by attending webinars and trainings, or joining like-minded organizations. There are many free student memberships! Take advantage of free certificates and options available within the community (i.e. St. Pete’s Works, Workforce Institute, CareerSource, any many more). If you still need assistance in finding your passion or career to become innovative check out our Career Coach assessment tool.

Collaborate with a Diverse Group

Collaborating with a diverse group produces amazing results. As a Career Outreach Specialist within the Career Services team, transitioning to the virtual world was a team effort. It was easier to work as a group, developing many innovative techniques that still engaged and educated our students. We focused on our current situation and how we could improve it. We updated current workshops to make them more creative and interactive for the students. In addition, within a diverse group, you may find a colleague that you feel comfortable sharing ideas with or encouraging to try new things.

Innovation varies. It comes in different structures, sizes, and appearance. Being innovative should always be a part of your professional approach. In order to be innovative, you need to give yourself the opportunity to start building! Put your thoughts into words, your words into action, and your action into patterns and good habits.