Career & Money

Corporate Baddies: These Are The Creative Skills You Need To Stand Out From The Rest

Research has found that creative thinking is “the most in-demand skill” this year, and if you’re a corporate baddie, here’s your confirmation that everything doesn’t have to be all about the tedious but necessary aspects of closing business deals or enduring the less-than-exciting parts of working in corporate. You can use your creative side to thrive and make your journey up the corporate ladder much more enjoyable.

While there have been reports of Black women chucking the deuces to corporate jobs to move on to startups, launch their own businesses, or do other things to find fulfillment, there are still a significant number in entry- and mid-level positions at corporations and large business, as well as in senior manager, director, and vice president roles. There are certainly major issues related to representation in the C-suite as well as the equal pay travesty; we can't forget the corporate baes still holding it down, showing up, and fighting to stay present to serve communities and change the world.

So, whether you have an extraordinary way of doing things, you have a passion for presentation and visuals, or you simply have the gift of gab, this is the year to lean even further into the innovative and imaginative side of yourself. Here are the in-demand creative skills that are valuable in Corporate America:

​1. Gift of Connection And Collaboration

Having a unique gift to see where someone might fit best to partner with another person, or being able to pinpoint star qualities for team building is a valuable creative skill to have when closing deals, building presentations, or keeping an organization running like clockwork.

This is a “superpower” that Melonie Parker, chief diversity officer at Google, has seen success with. “I believe I’ve had such great success because I’ve been able to bring people together to work on deeply impactful projects to go on journeys that make people’s lives better,” she told Rolling Out in a recent interview.

2. ​Unique Vision For Visual Arts And Creative Direction

Having a knack for graphic design, visual production, or anything arts-related when it comes to the imagery, content, or marketing of a concept or project is another vital skill in Corporate America. Take a nod from the journey of Rebecca “Dimplez” Ijeoma, senior vice president of marketing at Capitol Music Group. Her curiosity and knack for building websites and blogs for social media’s early stars were the perfect launch point. “I got very, very curious about everything that went into making a website pop,” she told xoNecole. “I started to dig into the minutiae around what excited people to view and visit certain sites — it was very apparent that there was a lane for me to explore.”

As vice president of Hallmark’s Mahogany brand, Alexis Kerr led the launch of the greeting card line’s website, and she was at the helm when the brand had its first branded experiential activation, Mahogany Moment, which featured workshops, a pop-up market, and headliner Tabitha Brown, and the brand’s award event Mahogany Honors, with Fantasia as the guest of honor.

​Knack For Storytelling And Communications



Great writing and speaking skills are the mark of a dynamic leader, so you can never go wrong when you have these two under your belt. The career journey of Mamie Coleman, executive vice president of creative music at Fox Entertainment Music, offers a great example of how creative skills in writing and communications can be an asset as an executive. She started her career as a Fox intern, then went on to become a writer's assistant on ’90s TV classic Martin. She’d go on to work as a production manager, among other creative roles, before leading in her current position.

4. ​Problem-Solving And Vision Savvy

If you know you’re good at thinking outside the box, pinpointing a potential problem and nipping it in the bud before it even does damage, or boldly wearing the crown of problem-solver, you’ve got a great quality for corporate leadership.

Consider Toni Townes-Whitley, CEO of multibillion-dollar tech giant SAIC. Before she started her current role, she served as president of U.S. regulated industries at Microsoft, where she was able to launch initiatives that addressed the company’s carbon footprint, ethics standards for AI, and women’s career advancement. She now continues to hold space as an innovator and embraces a visionary mindset that doesn’t shy away from responsibility and reliability.”

“As a woman of faith in a Christian family, a Bible verse from the Book of Luke has been prayed over me since I was a child: ‘To whom much is given, much is required.’ When you've been more equipped, the idea is you're not equipped, as that's not the end. You're being equipped to address issues and help people around you,” she told USA Today. “I do that by focusing on the balance of grit and grace in what I do every day. I get up, and I think you've got to push, and you've got to be willing to get your hands right into the midst of it with your company, your team, your family.”

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Featured image by The Good Brigade/Getty Images



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