Learning to Master the Art of Your Career

It doesn’t matter what you do for a living — whether you work in medicine or retail, law or construction, software engineering or writing — there’s an art and science to every career. Each profession has its scientific aspects, those more mechanical facets, rules, and methods you must know to succeed. Yet no matter how dry, straightforward, or technical, these professions also have creative qualities that foster critical thinking.

It doesn’t matter what you do for a living — whether you work in medicine or retail, law or construction, software engineering or writing — there’s an art and science to every career. Each profession has its scientific aspects, those more mechanical facets, rules, and methods you must know to succeed. Yet no matter how dry, straightforward, or technical, these professions also have creative qualities that foster critical thinking.

This dichotomy is the reason no two professionals within the same industry are identical. These people may work within their careers for the same amount of time, possibly went to similar schools, or perhaps have the same position at the same company. However, they differentiate themselves in the ways they apply creativity and critical thinking to their jobs.

This idea impacts our personal lives as well. Consider medical professionals with the same specialty. If all dentists were the same by virtue of having identical skill sets and nothing more, you would have no preference for whom you go to for a root canal. But this isn’t the case; you prefer your dentist over one you have never been to due to their individual touch.

A real-world example occurred with one of my brothers, as some years back he struggled with pain in his legs. He visited three different orthopedic surgeons, all with identical skill sets and backgrounds. The doctors examined my brother. One suggested invasive surgery and the second proposed a more exploratory surgery. Both of these were unfavorable options. It wasn’t until we saw the third orthopedic surgeon that creative critical thinking took place. The doctor took one look at him and asked if he always wore his leather belt around his hips in the same place. When my brother answered in the affirmative, the doctor recommended he switch belts, replacing his leather one with a softer, more elastic material. With this change, his ailments were cured within a week.

All three doctors had the same impressive credentials and experience in the science behind their specialties; however, the third doctor utilized creative critical thinking to problem-solve.

Whether you’re training or in any level of schooling for a career, the “science” of that field is where the education lies. You’re receiving a hard, factual, standardized education, based on data and a proven methodology. Likewise, whether it’s accounting or food service, you’re also being schooled in the best practices of your industry.

Even in the creative fields, you still learn both the science and the art of your craft in order to find professional success in it. Writers must learn grammatical and syntactical convention, but they also have to learn how to write something everyone must read. Musicians need to learn scales, notation, and instrumental technique, but they also need to learn how to touch the hearts and souls of listeners to achieve musical greatness.

So where does the “art” come into these fields?

Artistic aspects of a career are picked up by professionals through years of experience and another, more flexible, less standardized type of “education,” one of induction. The first method of becoming more creative within your career through personal and professional experience is somewhat obvious — the longer you do something, you’ll become better at problem solving and thinking “outside the box.”

The second method, the nonstandard educational method of developing intuitive insights coupled with creativity, involves gleaning the best-kept secrets and most well-honed, time-honored methods, the knowledge and wisdom of your profession from other professionals. These should be people who’ve already distinguished themselves through their own creativity. You might seek these people out, like a musician choosing to take lessons from one of his favorite players, or an entrepreneur asking the advice of someone who’s already established herself as a success in business. You might also stumble into these people during the course of your life, like having a captivating, inspirational professor or being trained by a capable manager who knows the secrets to making your job fun and interesting.

You can learn the science of your job from books, manuals, and classroom lessons and know that you will be good at what you do — but you need to learn the art from the artists of your field to become exceptional. This knowledge and wisdom transfer is key not only to success, but to a rewarding career as well. Not only does it provide professionals an essential balance of skills, it’s what keeps industries thriving and innovative. It’s what pushes us to compete with others by bettering ourselves and, in doing so, to push our very professions forward.

Pick up a copy of my latest best selling book The Anticipatory Organization to help shape your future and accelerate your success.

Pop Quiz, Monday with Renata Castro, Esq.

Be willing to take risks and build your path. When I opened my firm right out of law school, many cases I took were shunned by other more seasoned attorneys, and I won them.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Renata Castro, Esq.

Renata Castro, Esq.
Photo credit: Renata Castro, Esq.

What is your job role?
I am an immigration attorney and founder of the Castro Legal Group in Florida.

Tell us about your company?
We are an international immigration firm which leveraged Social Media interactions to build a six-figure and growing practice globally by connecting the dots between foreigners and the realization of their American dream of coming to the USA legally.

What do you love most about your job?
Being able to apply my knowledge to help people’s dreams come true – be it for athletes, investors, inventors, business people, or the everyday Joe or Jane who has a pathway to a lawful residence or an American visa.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
The transformational power of our work in people’s lives.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
My staff is amazing. They believe in the cause, and that is motivation enough to keep going.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We are an all women staff, so there’s a lot of chatter about makeup! All jokes aside, we have a great time together, and I usually treat them to lunches, concerts and the like. It’s all about having a good time while delivering outstanding service!

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Dealing with the unrealistic expectations and anxieties of clients can take the best of us. We must always realize that there’s a lot at stake for our clients and that we need NOT to take it personally.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Be willing to take risks and build your path. When I opened my firm right out of law school, many cases I took were shunned by other more seasoned attorneys, and I won them. Also, I used social media aggressively by taking stands related to politics (which many attorneys don’t do) and that paid off substantially. I was on the front-line and took a lot of heat for it, but I am glad I took the risks I did.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Be willing to write your own path. Work harder than your competition, be compassionate and trust your gut (and your legal research). It is crucial to learn marketing, being a good lawyer is not good enough.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:
www.castrolegalgroup.com
youtube.com/conexaoimigracaousa
IG: immigratetotheUSA