Monday, June 06, 2005

The Creative Class

There is this great book called The Rise of the Creative Class. I recommend it to anyone interested in the American economy and creativity or creative people. I have to say, as a person who worked in service jobs for many years, it gave me hope.

I graduated from high school in the top third of my class from a school that, at the time, was ranked as being among one of the 150 best public high schools in the country. I went off to college on a full tuition scholarship and graduated four years later with a B+ average. I didn't get more than that because I was raised to believe that it was more important to learn than to get straight As. No, the two don't automatically go together. I had a college room mate who got straight A's by memorizing things and promptly disposing of the information after it was no longer needed. But that is a whole different topic to explore another time.

Richard Florida
talks about me in his book The Rise of the Creative Class. Or rather, he talks about people like me. I am a Creative. I'm part of a generation more interested in having jobs we enjoy, find stimulating and interesting, and that pay the bills than a job which makes lots of money. We also don't like to be stuck doing things the way our parents and grandparents did them. We tend to change jobs regularly rather than staying at the same place for years at a time. I used to joke that I couldn't get a job with my resume because I had done so many jobs that seem unrelated. The immediate assumption was that I couldn't stick to a job and couldn't make up my mind what I wanted to do. That all changed when I got my first "real" job in November of 2004. Guess what. I use everything I learned from all those "unrelated" jobs where I now work. I finally found a boss who understands the value of a diverse resume.

I hate neighborhood covenants because they encourage conformity and discourage creativity. I'd rather live in a run down neighborhood than a covenanted and perfect looking neighborhood. I think it's okay if my neighbor digs up all of her lawn and plants flowers instead. Oh, by the way, she did. And she's inspired me to do some non-conformist things with my lawn. I even painted my door orange. It looks great and I didn't have to get permission from a home owner's association to do it. Yes, Richard Florida talks about that, too.

Okay, this is more about attitude than creativity, but really…if you have the same attitude I do, go get a copy of The Rise of the Creative Class by Richard Florida and read it. By the way, he just came out with a book called The Flight of the Creative Class and I plan on getting a copy this week.

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