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The Graduate: A day in the life

Olivia Graduation HeadshotBeing a graduate is scary. This year’s cohort of freshly graduated newbies to the workplace are the second year group to leave university lumbered with higher debt than ever, with more pressure than ever to perform and succeed.

I am one such graduate.

Having spent four years at the University of Edinburgh toiling for a degree in French and History. What a fantastic experience: having lived abroad; engaged in a broad spectrum of extra-curricular activities; worked voluntarily with charities; gained an internship with one of the biggest designer fashion brands in the country; and set up my own business. I left university ready to take on the world.

But the world of business is not the same as university. University teaches us to be well-rounded individuals with good work ethics, and to question and think in a certain way. It also gives us the time and space to do this. At university, to some extent, we can wait for inspiration and creativity to come to us.

In business, time is a luxury.

We have to actively find our feet and develop a mind-set of creativity and inspiration, where our ideas flow and where we are ‘free to be brilliant’. With our new-found freedom from education the trick is how to feel ‘relaxed about being brilliant’, especially when most of us are worrying about life as part of generation X and starting our new job!

I have worked in creative offices since I was 15. I’m a ‘creative person’. Pfft. “No. Such. Thing.” Says my trainer on the first day on de Bono’s Lateral Thinking workshop. It’s then that I understand that whilst I can draw or design, when it comes to thinking creatively, I had no clue how to be constructive. My usual sit-and-think-until-something-pops-up method was revealed to be pretty hopeless after a quick exercise where we were asked to come up with ideas for a restaurant. I came up with a load of ideas that were already out there. By the end of the two-day workshop, with the tools taught by the trainer, I had over 65 original ideas.

For every 60 ideas, there will be one brilliant one.

In three days of training, my creative brain had a complete overhaul. I’m a rebooted graduate! I realised the importance and effectiveness of thinking laterally and I feel armed with tools that can push me to come up with more ideas, to be better, more original, and most importantly, more creative. For me, as a graduate in the workplace, I am using the tools as day-to-day personal practices to help me present my best ideas confidently.

They say once you know the answer it seems obvious. Creativity does not need to be something that ‘comes to you’, with the right tools, you can optimise it, enact it, and make it work for you. That my friends, is the Indigo way.

Olivia attended our workshops:

Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats® – the internationally renowned decision-making, idea evaluation and meeting-maximising workshop. More…
Edward de Bono’s Lateral Thinking – techniques to challenge current thinking, problem-solve and generate ideas. More…