Gone are the days where to really make an impact in your career, you had to prove yourself to be the best worker out there. While having a strong work ethic and the determination to accomplish any task that you’re given are always important regardless of the business you’re talking about, these principles have been superseded in recent years by something more important: innovation.
According to a study conducted by Fast Company.com, employers are increasingly looking not at the surface-level work histories of applicants when hiring new employees, but at their history of innovation. Employers want critical thinkers because critical thinkers don’t just get the job done – they flip the job on its head and do it in a way better than anyone ever has before.
If you really want to use this idea to your advantage and lay the foundation for positive growth in terms of your career, it isn’t good enough to just think outside the box. You have to “live outside the box”.
Innovation and Your Career
Life is full of unpredictability. Emphasizing innovation throughout all aspects of your life doesn’t just make you more adept at dealing with change – it allows you to embrace change. It allows you to go beneath the surface of a situation and take anything you find, good or bad, and turn it into something that can help propel you forward.
If you’ve developed a reputation as an innovator, you instantly make yourself more valuable in most businesses because “innovation” and “saving money” are synonyms. Being an innovator means that you can use limited resources combined with your passion, your drive, and the sheer force of your creativity to not just solve a problem, but to accomplish something.
Innovation: Bringing it All Back Together Again
Innovators bring true value to a situation or environment. They’re not followers. They’re leaders. If you can truly train yourself to think with an eye towards innovation in everything you do, you’re creating the type of situation in your career where the definition of “success” doesn’t matter, as it will always be well within arm’s reach.
These are just a few of the reasons why making a constant effort to live “outside the box” is so important. In the short-term, it makes you a much more valuable employee who is able to solve challenges, and allows you to come up with creative solutions that allow a business to stand apart from the competition and more. In the long-term, it makes YOU a much more valuable commodity. By creating a situation where innovation is built into your very instincts, it teaches you how to naturally use ANYTHING that life may throw at you to your advantage.