Being Creative Outside of Your 9 to 5 Job

Creativity is the greatest expression of liberty.
~Bryant H. McGill 
Often times employees will contact me to discuss their job.  They want to explore some kind of change in their career.  Usually, they want to find a job in the organization that gives them fulfillment, an outlet for their creativity, independence, autonomy….etc.  And the want it soon or their going to lose their wits. 

My response will usually be something in the likes of going through a career needs assessments with them to help them figure out what career or position they are best suited for...

...But the truth is, creative fulfillment doesn’t necessarily always have to come from your job.  That's great if you're fortunate enough to express all your creative mojo at your job but creative satisfaction can come from activities outside of work, too.  

In today’s labor market, it would be foolish to risk quitting a good, stable job that you like (at least most of the time) if all that really needs fulfilling is your creative outlet. 

Mind you, if you can turn your creative venture into something that generates income, more power to you!  But in the meantime, if you still need to put food on the table for yourself and perhaps your family too, then consider some of these ideas to satiate your creative desires…

Since not all of us are Martha Stewart proteges, choose a creative craft that you enjoyed as a child.  Weave bracelets, make felt purses or paper flowers if that is what you enjoy.  

My daughter wanted to take sewing lessons.   As a child I loved sewing but haven’t sewn for ages.  Since I was bringing my daughter to the class, I figured, why not work on a project while I’m waiting for her.  After a few lessons I completed a tunic that I actually wear!  

By opening up that creative outlet I picked up other creative hobbies again that I love, like crocheting.  I used to crochet a lot as a kid an even more when I was pregnant with my kids.  I forgot how fun it is to create my own patterns and get totally absorbed in creating something.

Arrange a play date with a friend.  Sometimes what we need is social interaction where we aren’t always talking shop.  But we get so busy with all the scheduling and activities, the only time we have to connect with dear friends is when our children are running around playing with each other.  Arrange a play date with a girlfriend where you can share a cup of coffee and chat a little bit while the little ones are getting their exercise.

Play a musical instrument or listen to music.   

My husband gave me a beautiful ukulele for Christmas.  Never in my life would I have dreamed that I could play a stringed instrument!  But unbelievably, I can already play a number of songs from beginning to end and sing along to my own playing.  It is so easy to play!  I basically learned to play this thing completely by watching Youtube videos.  

With all the practising that will go on, your children will naturally pick it up tooNow my 7 year old daughter can play it.  I had no idea that playing a musical instrument could be so relaxing.  I could pick it up and play for hours.  It is true that playing an instrument does something to your brain because it truly releases some kind of positive, pleasure endorphin.

Learn how to draw, knit or scrapbook...and start small.
  Don’t approach your creative hobbies like you are already planning to start a business. Sit and enjoy the process of creating.  

Appreciate the moment that you are making your project and work as slow as you want.  Take your time, make mistakes, start over, add to it, take a picture of it.   The beauty of it is, it doesn’t matter.  There  is no timeline, no deadline, no perfect goal, just enjoy it.

Do you sing, dance, cook?  What do you do express your creativity? 


  1. Made me smile. I am a receptionist for a law firm and have a 2 hr commute each way. I need my creative outlet to relax, and for fun etc. I am a carmaker and love that it gives me a way to express myself in ways my job cannot. Besides, with card making I get a way to share what I love to do with others.

  2. Great suggestions! I love scrapbooking and doing DIY crafts with my son. I suffer from depression and doing these things has definitely been helping my mood go up.


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