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Do you really need a creative job?

By Marty Nemko

On my radio show last Sunday, I interviewed Studs Terkel, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Working. He told of a steel worker who liked his job because every time put a dent into a piece of steel, he felt it was his dent—he both had ownership in having created that dent and pleasure from having dented it in his own slightly special way. To him, that represented creativity. After the interview, a caller to my show who had been a college professor who now is an electrician said he experiences the same feeling even when he’s just tightening a nut.

Many people want a job that offers the opportunity to be creative. That leads many of them to limit themselves to low-paying, highly competitive jobs such as actor, musician, or novelist. But I’ve found that many people’s need for creativity can be satisfied by adding even a subtle personal touch to virtually any job. If that’s the case for you, you might be able to expand your career options to more lucrative and less competitive ones. Or, could you do more to put your individual mark on your current job?

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