Sunday, February 14, 2016

Tips and Thoughts for "Creative and Unconventional People"

I have a special desire to help people who, like me, don’t fit easily into conventional doctor or lawyer or banker molds. This book was written for people who want to keep learning and growing, who want to work on exciting and challenging projects that earn them recognition and respect from true peers, who desire an opportunity for self-expression along with enough freedom that they can do things their own way instead of the way it has always been done before.
~ Carol Eikleberry, Ph.D.

Carol Eikleberry, Ph.D.
In her 2007 book, “The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People” (of which the above excerpt is from), career counselor and licensed psychologist Carol Eikleberry, Ph.D., talks about ways in which people who are led to be creative and pursue their dreams outside the norm of the workplace can do so. One tool that she uses is known as Holland’s Theory, a theory based on the research of fellow psychologist John Holland, as a way for individuals to navigate the world of work. There are six areas in this theory, including artistic (A; those who create), social (S; those who share), investigative (I; those who explore), enterprise (E; those who make something happen), realistic (R; those who do something physically and actively), and conventional (C; those who keep something going as usual).

In January of 2011, during which time I first read this book, I considered myself artistic (A), because I love to be creative; social (S), because I love talking to people about certain things; and investigative (I), because I love researching and thinking about things. Therefore, my “Holland code,” if you will, was ASI. A few other alternative codes for others include as follows:

AIR (Artistic Investigative Realistic) = somebody who is creating, exploring, doing; in other words, somebody who starts and searches
AIC (Artistic Investigative Conventional) = somebody who is creating, exploring, going
ASI (Artistic Social Investigative) = somebody who is creating, sharing, exploring; in other words, people who collaborate
ASE (Artistic Social Enterprise) = creating, sharing, making it happen
ASR (Artistic Social Realistic) = creating, sharing, doing; somebody who starts and shares and does
ASC (Artistic Social Conventional) = creating, sharing, going; somebody who starts and shares and goes
AIE (Artistic Investigative Enterprise) = creating, exploring, making it happen
AER (Artistic Enterprise Realistic) = creating, making it happen, doing
AEC (Artistic Enterprise Conventional) = creating, making it happen, going
ARC (Artistic Realistic Conventional) = creating, doing, going
SIR (Social Investigative Realistic) = sharing, exploring, doing

I recently came across an old journal entry as I was reviewing this book. Some of the things I wrote had to do with where I should live and work. Should I pursue a job that I am passionate about (writing, creative arts, performing)? Should I keep working and saving money to make a living? Should I live near and work alongside others to make an impact on their lives? What kind of work will benefit my artistic and creative endeavors? A video store? A newspaper or magazine? One of my ambitions was to share and explore ideas with others, and to be a part of a collaborative process.

One of the things I’m gaining from my current job is a sense of professional growth and upward mobility, specifically in ways I never thought possible. It may not be the job or position I would want to pursue full-time, but I do believe I am gaining skills that can and will benefit my endeavors in the future. Self-management and evaluation. Time-management. Building impulse in others. How indifference works. How to talk to people effectively and not just professionally. How to lead others in a business setting and/or set an example for them. What you can learn from others. How to manage attitude and therefore build more effective relationships with others.

Here are a few quotes from Eikleberry’s text to conclude:

“Changes often being with an ending. In other words, before you can be reborn to something new, something old must die.” (pp. 124)

“Character is hard to define, but for me it has to do with integrity, with doing what you say you will do, and with being honest in your presentation of yourself.” (pp. 119)

“People get in trouble when they interpret a single mistake as a total failure and then abandon all further effort, instead of turning the mistake into an opportunity for learning.” (pp. 110)

“Setting goals and priorities is more of a process than a final decision.” (pp. 101)

“Happiness is not the mere possession of many; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.” ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

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