Talents and skills: how they differ and what does creativity have to do with it

Is creativity a talent or a skill? Why, if an applicant wants to take a worthy place in the labor market, he needs to be creative? Yarina Gerechka has an answer to this question.


The current era is the era of non-standard solutions. Everyone wants to see something new, unusual, different. In the list of requirements for candidates for most vacancies, one can increasingly find such an item as “creativity”, and in company advertising, the words “creative approach”, “creative team” and others are often found.

There is an explanation for this, and it is quite obvious. If we look at the modern labor market, we will see many companies that offer a bunch of the same services. Which one will the client go to? To those who will interest him, and do this, you need to be creative.

What should applicants do?

If you are now looking for a job and are looking at new requirements and sighing heavily, I assure you, you shouldn’t. Let’s take a look at what talents and skills are, how they differ, and what does creativity mean here.

We all have things that we do not know how to do and dismiss: “Well, it is not given to me.” If you are leafing through books on management, law, accounting, foreign languages, programming, or nuclear physics and you think: “I will not learn this in my life,” you are right. But not because these subjects are so complex. It’s just that you yourself are convinced that this is beyond your power.

Most people divide different skills (intelligence, creativity, the ability to communicate with people or persuade them) into talents and skills. That is, they are firmly convinced that the level of these qualities is set from birth (talent), or it can be developed over time (skill).

Let’s say you think that the ability for creativity, unconventional thinking, creativity is innate, they either exist or not. Then, faced with difficulties on your way, you will not even try to overcome them. If you think creativity is a skill, then the situation changes. You will perceive difficulties as something that can be overcome with effort. And what’s interesting is that you will succeed.

Psychologists and neurophysiologists agree that most human traits are skills.

Our brains are very flexible and able to learn throughout life by making new neural connections. Therefore, the more you do something, the more neural connections in your brain, the easier it is for you.

Of course, it would be naive to believe that you can become David Ogilvy if you have no interest in advertising. It is also difficult to become an Olympic champion without certain data, the same applies to many other areas.

However, we are not talking about the level of world-renowned professionals or prize-winners of international competitions. If we are talking about ordinary practical skills, you can learn anything you want just by putting in more effort.

Malcolm Gladwell analyzes the lives of successful people in his book Geniuses and Outsiders. They all spent at least 10,000 hours working on their subject or training. If you follow their method, you will achieve what you want. Although, undoubtedly, doing 10,000 hours of what is interesting is much easier.

What to do? Reassuring yourself over and over that it’s a matter of action, not an ability. Yes, you can learn to speak in public, come up with non-standard solutions, generate ideas, surprise, and the like. All you need is time, action, and faith in your own success.

That is, creativity is not a talent, but a skill that can be developed, like any other.

What it means to be creative

Being creative is not as difficult as we think. You can often hear someone say, “I am such / such a creative person.” And it is true. When a person is born, he already has the ability to be creative. As a child, we are all creative, we love to sing, dance, paint and build sandcastles. The trouble is that with age, society suppresses this craving for creativity, but no one can completely deprive us of this. We are all creative from birth and should be aware of this.

It is from creative thinking that creativity takes its roots. In simple words, creativity is when they find a non-standard solution for a banal situation, a solution that will be more profitable than the usual one.

When we see people with such non-standard thinking, we think that it was given to them from birth, but it is not. Creativity can be trained like any other skill. It comes from our imagination, the ability to fantasize, visualize, come up with some ideas. Everyone is creative, the only question is at what level.

How to develop your creativity

To come up with interesting new solutions, you need to change your way of thinking. Yes, it is difficult, because the feeling will be that you are turning off a well-trodden road somewhere in the reeds and wading through them, but there are no other options.

Some various ways and techniques help to open a creative streak in yourself, for this you only need your time and work. Creativity is something that you can cultivate in yourself if you work and go forward every day.

The theater is one of the best assistants in the work on creativity.

The mindset of an actor will never be the same as the mind of the average person. This is because the theater does not tolerate standard solutions and here it is imperative to be creative.

Creativity is not the ability to come up with some ingenious concepts with which you can then go to the Nobel Prize. Replace this word with “the ability to come up with interesting ideas” and it will be easier to perceive. Everyone has interesting thoughts, that’s for sure, you just need to learn how to control the process of their occurrence. Well, now the scary word “creativity” in the requirements for candidates is no longer so scary, right?

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