“One of the most profound trends in the social sector today is the emergence of a new class of entrepreneur: the creative social entrepreneur. Creative social entrepreneurs generate market demand for their goods and services while also contributing to the dynamic shift in cultural sustainability, social justice, and economic development around the world.”
– GIA Reader, Vol 26, No 2 (Summer 2015) http://www.giarts.org/reader-26-2
A creative does many things. The palpable industry is arguably one of the most flexible and dynamic ones in the world today. From basic interactions and to bridging ideas, communication and self-expression are essential things that we seek, no matter who we are and what we are doing.
Here are some ways in which a creative can benefit should he or she decide to join the social sector:
1. The Capsule Wardrobe Effect
I’d like to address this industry as the “socio-creative” landscape. The venn-diagram of the social sector and the creative industry produces a unique cross-section. For the creative, he or she has to enter into a different ball game and play by new rules. This seeming act of conformity can actually work for your good.
Similar to the idea of capsule wardrobes, where the emphasis is on streamlining your wardrobe pieces, the act of working with more “rules” can help you to refresh existing perspectives. Cutting down on pieces that are repetitive or redundant, now you have just a select few pieces to expand and stretch out into, say, 30 outfits or more. It challenges your comfort zone and ironically heightens your creativity in the process.
In the social sector, non-profit organisations often have to deal with multiple bottom lines. In many ways, this makes their strategic budgeting more challenging than the profit sector. Hence, you probably would need to amplify impact and seek engagement with the smallest funding possible. Additionally, the social sector also houses other considerations that the profit sector does not. For example, accountability and transparency towards donors, stakeholders, volunteers and so forth.
Playing by these rules, it will surely be a stimulating experience that will stretch you further in your creative pursuit.
2. Witness Purpose in Action
Needless to say, many volunteers and full-time practitioners can testify to the rewarding sense of satisfaction that this sector brings to them. When you get to be part of their project and become a gap-filler, you receive your own special portion as well. You could have helped to connect a beneficiary with the non-profit organisation that he/she really needs, you could have helped to touch hearts and encourage youths to volunteer on weekends.
All these can be done by you as you engage in the line of work that you so enjoy. Take a moment to think about it. How awesome can it get?
It has been said again and again that happiness is not just about tangible gains. And deep down perhaps we all know it to be true. Not only does contributing add value and meaning to to your work, you get to witness the social impact that you get to make. You could have ignited a movement, you could have changed stifling stereotypes that stagnated communities for ages. You have so much to offer.
3. Spider-Web Yourself In
As you take the plunge to enter a new playing field, you get to know new friends as well. One of the noteworthy byproducts is probably the networking. By exposing yourself to the social sector, you are opening up new rivers and new roads. You will never know when your paths will cross again and given the nature of work in the social sector, impact-making is definitely a good memory to recall down the road.
Who knows, maybe you will get to discover a cause or vision that speaks straight into your heart along the way. You are likely to meet and share with other like-minded individuals who care and feel for it as much as you do.