Come to the Dark Side

by Emily Jasper on July 29, 2009

Many of you who know me picture me as a sorority girl who loves Nine West pumps, pearls, and a pink martini now and then. If you really know me, though, you also know I love a good Mexican standoff, villains from comic books, and heavy metal music (to the point where I used a Slipknot lyric for my senior quote).

While I don’t really keep this side of me hidden, attempting to understand that my foil is myself is pretty difficult for most. The image of me in a mosh pit wearing Ann Taylor doesn’t work.

And yet having this dark side makes me better at my job. How you ask? Because I bring another level of diversity and complexity to the table (just what Gen-Yers love to do).

Most recently, I realized this when an internal video of mine sparked a pretty interesting reaction. One of our regional leaders saw the video, wanted to pick my brain, and figure out what was in there and how could he get in on the fun.

Now, this video wasn’t anything completely out of the ordinary. But when I thought about it, I realized that my own love of spy movies mixed with metal gave birth to the video concept. No one else had mentally gone there when we were brainstorming this.

While your job may not always request you push the outer limits, and in fact, you might need to stay well within some predetermined boundaries, the creative process can break free. Ever watch a Tim Burton movie and wonder what he’s on? Imagine if you had just a taste of his creative process in your next marketing campaign design meeting…don’t you think you’d come out with something better? Because even if his style isn’t your style, challenges presented by thinking outside the box makes the group’s brainstorming better.

If you look at some of the most creative (and eccentric) people out there, they have developed some very clear traits in their “brand.” Going back to Tim Burton, he is constantly playing with images of hills and curves. Quentin Tarantino pretty trademarked the trunk shot. And Marilyn Manson caters to the contemporary/jazz dance crowd, just look back to So You Think You Can Dance.

Everyone has a little bit of a dark side to them. This side might actually be where your creative genius lives…you never know. So geek out and think of how Magneto might concur a policy problem, put on your combat boots and use Slipknot to pump you up, and pull out that fan, channel Darth Vader and figure out how you’re going to expand into new galaxies.

Come to the dark side.

The views expressed in my blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.