Just when you think you’ve mastered the corporate game and are pursuing a strategy that will see you reach the top of the ladder, along comes a new curveball.
Low Power Disadvantage, coined by professors at Cornell University, refers to the struggle mid-level professionals often have being creative at work. If you struggle to share ideas, contribute in pitch meetings or speak up during round table discussions, then it may not be a personal failing––instead it could be a symptom of the workplace.
Low Power Disadvantage happens when C-Suite executives feel more comfortable sharing creative ideas––no matter their merit––because their seniority protects them from ridicule or making a bad impression should their creative idea crash and burn.
By the same token, those looking to progress, or impress, are often slower to suggest creative solutions or ideas because they’re concerned for their professional reputation and peer-to-peer standing.
So what can you do to become more creative and productive at work?
1. Warm Up
Less star jumps and stretches––and more repetition around the task. Warming up to creative tasks and doing them more frequently means you not only hone your innovation muscles but also hardens your ego against direct feedback.
If you’re often asked in a meeting to suggest new ways of winning business and you freeze, then spend 10-15 minutes each day free-thinking about ways you can win new business. With time, your answers will get smarter, more succinct and more inline with company objectives.
2. Settle your digital debt
Do you work at full throttle 100% of the time and yet never feel like you get to the bottom of your to do list?
That’s because you’re experiencing digital debt, a phrase coined by Microsoft’s most recent Work Trends Index. Digital debt is referencing the fact that the more available you are online, then the more time you dedicate to digital communication and the less time you dedicate to key tasks and projects that require creativity and deep thinking.
Settle your digital debt by pausing all notifications for a period of time each day, tackling deep-thinking work when you know you’re at your most productive, and delegating time-heavy tasks if possible.
3. Readjust expectations
Adopt the principles of Capacity Utilization which measures the difference between productivity and production capability.
Most often used in manufacturing, the principles apply to all industries and workers: working at full throttle all the time is a great approach, until there’s a problem and you suddenly have no time to fix it.
Instead, those with an eye on productivity scale back and allocate up to 15% of their time each day in reserve for when a problem arrives. This forward-thinking approach prevents digital debt.
4. 25 minute limit
Productivity tools and scheduling assistants have certainly made remote working easier, but they have also resulted in more meetings than ever before––a 60% increase since 2020 in fact.
How can you prevent the time drain remote meetings have on your time at work? By both putting a time limit on each one, setting an agenda to keep things on track and, most importantly, taking back five or 10 minutes per meeting.
Instead of a 30-minute meeting, schedule a 25-minute meeting and use that extra time to catch up on messages or emails.
5. Embrace change
The fact remains that these strategies only work if you’re employed by a collaborative and innovative company. If you’re currently working for a company that refuses to embrace change or with a team that likes things to stay the same because “that’s the way they’ve always been done”, then there’s only so many times you can try to change things.
At some point, you’ll have to accept that your outlook has outgrown theirs and it’s time to move on. The Silicon Canals Job Board is full of roles across all levels and industries from some of Europe’s most renowned companies. Check out three great roles, highlighted below.
Junior Web Developer, Ottonova Holdings (Munich)
The Role: As Junior Web Developer with Ottonova Holdings you’ll use a development stack to work on new features and designs.
The Requirements: You will have a strong passion for UI animations with CSS or GSAP and good knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite or Figma.
Software Engineer, Checkout.com (Berlin)
The Role: As Software Engineer with Checkout.com you will work with the Alternative Payments Processing team to improve the company’s value proposition, which sets it apart from competitors through competitive pricing.
The Responsibilities: You will work with the wider team to use a rich toolbox of up-to-date technologies including hypermedia, event sourcing, functionally inspired coding style, docker and automated end to end tests and deployment are some examples.
The Requirements: You will have extensive experience in software development, design and architecture, a brilliant understanding of application of software design patterns and several years experience with .NET Core and ASP.NET Core.
Global SEO Manager, Payfit (Paris)
The Role: As Global SEO Manager with Payfit your objective will be to contribute to develop the SEO acquisition channel, and accelerate its growth.
The Responsibilities: You will be responsible for analysing content traffic, SEO metrics and the effectiveness of campaigns and messaging to explore ways of improving content marketing ROI in addition to the development of the backlinks strategy.
The Requirements: You will have a proven track record in SEO, experience in content creation and a passion for both.