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The importance of creative thinking for career success

Career success and creative thinking. This is the topic of our chat with Uno de Waal, founder and owner of Between 10and5. We tackle issues of lifelong learning, side hustles and how thinking differently opens up career and other opportunities.

Uno has worked in the digital space for more than 10 years. He now runs South Africa’s largest online creative showcase. This was the result of hard work, a great team and creative thinking.

We ask him questions like, what is the importance of creativity in this digital age we live in? How have creative thinking skills helped your career success? Can you connect the dots between what you studied and where you are now? Do you think education is doing enough to teach people about innovation?

 

 

He talks about the pressure that creatives are facing when it comes to problem solving in a world that is increasingly being automated. Creativity and art being applied to different fields is an emphasis. He goes into how it opens up new perspectives that you can use to work towards career success. Between 10and5 wouldn’t be there without it.

Uno reinforces our own belief in lifelong learning, in saying that lifelong learning is a way of thinking rather than having to go out of your way to learn. 

If you’re interested in learning more about creative thinking, we’ve got a 5 week Creative Thinking Course that you might find interesting.

Video transcript below:

Hello. My name is Uno De Waal of all I’m the founder and publisher of between 10 & 5. One of the largest showcases for creativity in South Africa and beyond.

WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF CREATIVITY IN THIS DIGITAL AGE WE LIVE IN?

So creativity is incredibly important in the modern age. I believe it’s especially important now where we see so much automation happening where skilled laborers are being outsourced so much and we see a massive pressure on uhm kind of thinking and problem solving I think really its in creativity that we can do great. Problem solving and find solutions to interesting problems and especially where we bring one discipline and another discipline together and learn from the two and see what’s possible and where we can kind of find interesting innovative creative solutions. I think creativity  has helped me quite a bit personally in my career just be by kind of being in different places seeing how things are done in one area and applying that to a different a different sector.

We might find interesting solutions or interesting things happening in art and we can then apply that in filmmaking or design practice or even inventing. It’s incredibly interesting to see how that kind of works and how we can take ideas from one area to another to another one and kind of add a little bit more flavor a little bit more creativity to it and see what comes from, from that.

WOULD YOU HAVE JOINED THE DOTS BETWEEN WHAT YOU STUDIED, AND WHERE YOU ARE NOW?

Yeah I think it’s interesting to understand like what you study and what you apply and what you learn and what you do. There’s there’s definitely some things I think thinking that one learns when you are studying and things that you learn processes perhaps that you learn while you while you’re studying but really like the modern age you learn on the job you learn new things the whole time. You have to kind of have a way of thinking and apply that to your career or to your daily work life. So it’s interesting that there are some things that I’m applying some things that I’m applying to my career now that I have that I have studied.

But it’s such a vastly different world at the moment. It’s hard to say yes that thing we’re applying that now.

DO YOU THINK EDUCATION IS DOING ENOUGH ABOUT TEACHING INNOVATION AND CREATIVE THINKING?

I think educational institutions are doing really interesting things now with continuous learning, institutions like  doing these lectures and bringing into external influence and external things into the organization is one of the most interesting things, I think I know how to apply kind of continuous learning.

So in our hiring process one of the first things I look for is extra mural activities of a student. The things that the person has done outside of their main thing. Did they have a side hobby side project that they launch a business perhaps even if it failed it doesn’t matter. Having an external influence over and above their studying path or career path is such a valuable insight for me. It shows that the person wants to do something else and probably applied their learnings in that environment. It’s definitely one of the first things that I look for when I have young people come to me with CVs and  job applications.

With 10 & 5 we get a lot of things that come to us. A lot of people send their work in to us. We get to meet a lot of people that are doing great creative work and   we often get asked how do you sift through everything. How do you know what’s good what’s creative. There is I suppose this special 10 & 5 filter that we apply to everything that we look for. We’ve got this five step criteria that we go through but you kind of know when you see something you just immediately know in the way that it’s polished.

If it’s referencing something else have they work with someone else somewhere that you can see that they’re kind of in the right circles and in the right place. But then again you see people coming from these tiny tiny towns doing this amazing creative work that you know that they have no influence external influence on them at all. So it’s really I think an aesthetic thing for us first but then just like there’s a slight difference in the way of thinking that comes through somehow. And it’s hard to package that and hard to explain that but I think ten years in the industry looking for things and kind of getting a sense of what’s what’s good and what’s not.

WHO DO YOU THINK IS A SHINING EXAMPLE OF CREATIVITY?  

No not Donald Trump he’s not he’s not part of that. They’re are a number of people right now in South Africa doing amazing work for the South African creative industry. Michelle constant with Bossa , Ravi Naidu the Guild Group Trevor and Julien doing amazing work. And then there’s a lot of other younger organizations and people just kind of helping uplift the creative industry in giving us a step up that are doing great stuff. I don’t want to kind of single out anyone specifically because that would be an injustice to everyone else but I think we’re kind of going through this rising tide that’s lifting everyone at the moment giving everyone the opportunity to do to do great work and I hope that we can build more connections between each other and do more things together.

WHATS’ YOUR FAVORITE PODCAST?

So I am a big fan of podcasts. I do listen to them quite a bit a lot more recently since I started driving a car and  spending less time on my motorbike unfortunately but the benefit is that I get to listen to more podcasts. I do listen to a lot of business podcasts I listen to Digiday quite a bit. Digiday  on specifically it’s a podcast our media and marketing and in the publishing industry generally recode media are pretty good and yeah those are the two big ones on my on my list at the moment.

They interview amazing publishers amazing advertising execs the TV industry they are quite big on. Yes it definitely two good podcasts to listen to. Hope you enjoyed some of my insights and ideas around the creative industry and thank you so much for watching and tuning in for the next guest.

 

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