Creative Thinking

What is creative thinking?

Creative thinking is the act of looking at a situation or issue in a new and different way. It could mean coming up with a unique solution to a common problem, creating a new system for carrying out a task or finding a different approach to overcoming a challenge.

Different view point - ability to consider something in a new way - analysis, problem solving, open minded, change orientated, oracy skills (listening and questioning), new approach/result, conflict resolution, new procedure, alternative design, organisational skills

Why is creative thinking important?

Problem Solving

Consider ways in which you can resolve a problem - Looking for and presenting solutions


Thinking of new ideas to solve problems, increase productivity

Critical Thinking

Using creative thinking to help make a judgement, and look for new ways to think about situations 


Using creativity to think of new ways to express new ideas or emotions

Conflict Resolution

Thinking of more creative ways to try and  think of ways to resolve issues effectively 

Creative thinking is important as it allows you to:

How can I improve my creative thinking skills?

Although some people are born with natural creative ability, creative thinking is just like many other skills that can be developed over time.

Which jobs require creative thinking?

Creative thinking is important for many jobs, here are some examples:

Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Care

For example, a gardener is responsible for using creative thinking to develop garden plans and ideas. In many cases, they must make these themselves and construct the garden too, requiring creative thinking.

Another example in this industry is a florist. They need to use creative thinking to make ideas for things like flower arrangements, showing creative thinking is a vital skill for this industry. 

Art, Media and Publishing

A game designer is responsible for developing and designing video games and typically specialises in design, art or programming, writing code or managing projects.  In many cases, they are responsible for creating the storylines for video games, making a strong background in creative writing a valuable skill for this position.

Graphic designers create visual design such as web pages, advertisements, brochures, magazines, logos, reports and other marketing material to present information in an informative, accessible and memorable way.  Graphic designers work in a variety of industries, including advertising, publishing or in-house within companies that require frequent design work.

Business, Administration and Law

Solicitors are responsible for giving legal advice and explaining the law to their clients.  Paralegals carry out research whilst preparing legal documents and communicating with clients.  Both use creative thinking skills as they interpret the law and legal precedents and applies them to their client's unique case.

Construction and Planning

An architect may be tasked to design a new building in an unusual location or somewhere that is limited in space or a location that is affected by difficult external factors such as extreme weather or geological anomalies i.e. earthquakes.

Education and Training

Teachers/trainers use creative thinking to help them do things like planning lessons. This means teachers and trainers will use creative thinking  to plan the content they will teach in in future sessions. 

Health, Public Services and Care

Nurses and doctors often come across unexpected situations and need to use their creative thinking skills to make decisions that will benefit their patients. This requires thinking creatively on the spot, and coming up with last minute situations.

Information Technology

A software architect develops and designs software and application.  They may create products for consumers, such as applications or games, or they may create software for specific clients.  This role uses creative thinking skills during the process of designing new software, developing new and unique solutions to solve a specific need or meet the goal of the end-user through technology.

Manufacturing and Production

Creative thinking is needed to manufacture things in the most effective way possible. Roles in this sector tend to use a large amount of creative thinking about what should be produced or how it should be produced. 

Sales, Hospitality and Services

Roles in this sector tend to use creative thinking in order to decide what to sell, and to decide on what is the most effective way to sell it. This requires creative thinking to think of the most effective solution to selling a product. 

Science, Engineering and Mathematics

Though they may be employed in many professional fields, such as biology, chemistry, medicine and environmental science, research scientists perform experiments, make observations and report their findings in detailed papers.  The role relies heavily on creative thinking skills as the scientist brainstorms new and even unorthodox ideas for their research. (relate this to real life examples broaden scientific understanding or develop new processes or applications such as medicines)

Transportation and Warehousing

Roles in this sector need to use creative thinking in order to develop the quickest and most efficient way to transport people or supplies. Creative thinking is also required in warehousing in order to think of the best way to store/warehouse something. 

Further information

If you would like to find out more about your career options and growth sectors in Aberdeen and Scotland, click here:

Use the links below to find out more about which careers might be right for you:

North East Scotland College (NESCol)

University of Aberdeen (UOA)

Robert Gordon University (RGU)

Scotland's Rural College (SRUC)

Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS)