Whenever I hear people say “think outside the box” I cringe. I understand what the expression tries to convey, but I think it’s an overworked term that draws to mind several clichés, but not many good ideas. Don’t get me wrong, I use as many clichés as anyone, but there are a few that I will simply not trot out. “Think outside the box” is one of these expressions. Indeed, it is so inside the box! I just did a Google search for the exact phrase and found 6,920,000 hits.
The importance of looking at things in a new way is, after all, one of the defining features of a creative act and a creative person. But increasingly, I hear the expression used as if it were the only defining feature of creativity, which it is not.
When developing ideas for my application I positively focused on thinking inside the box. In this case the box was made up of four well-thought-out sides; ability, ambition, perseverance and enthusiasm. And it was within that remit that I focused my attention.
My first idea was to build a replica of the Red Bull Racing website and amend the content to feature parts of my CV. I quickly rejected this idea as having been ‘done before’ and not offering me the opportunity to really showcase my creativity. Several other ideas went the same way; infographic CV – old hat, video CV – old news, Facebook CV – old fashioned, and as for my idea of using Google maps to highlight places I’ve been and things I’ve done – thoroughly Old Kent Road.
Back to the drawing board I went. Several hours (days/weeks) later, I emerged from my Red Bull absorbed hideaway with an entirely new concept – I wanted to ‘Race Red Bull’. I intended to utilise Pinterest as the instrument for this race, with my challenge being to gain more followers than Red Bull Racing over the course of my internship application. This idea lasted significantly longer than any of its predecessors; I even went as far as registering the domain ‘RacingRedBull.co.uk’. But like all my other ideas I felt it lacked depth, originality and the opportunity to demonstrate my creative side. That being said, I am still updating my Pinterest account (http://pinterest.com/f1fan/) and I am catching up with Red Bull Racing, so I might need to bring this challenge back to the table!
Having spent a little over two weeks thinking of and then rejecting several different ideas, I was understandably frustrated. What I wanted was a quirky application idea that I could be creative with, use to highlight my skill set and clarify why I should get the chance to work with Red Bull Racing this summer. On top of all that I also wanted to be able to leverage social media to back up my application – which this website is helping me to accomplish.
Finally, two weeks after passing the application test, I thought of an original idea. I waited to see whether I would eventually reject it again, but this one stood the test of time. Whether it proves good enough to capture the imagination of the guys over at Red Bull Racing remains to be seen, but it’s providing me with an enjoyable pastime and that makes it worthwhile regardless.