News - From left to right
by Life Positive
As someone who wanted to be a lawyer since he was a child, Gordon Chin was happily working for a large law firm when the company ran into the economic iceberg. He opted to leave in February 2009 as layoffs loomed. Now he's juggling clients as an interior designer. “I always had a passion for
decorating but just did it for friends,” Chin says. “This was a daunting leap of faith. But where I was a happy cog in a large firm, now I get to use my creativity
with immediate, gratifying results.” Chin auditioned for a reality show that seeks the next great designer. He didn’t
qualify, but those who saw his video on Facebook got in touch. “It really blends my organisational strengths with my
creative side,” says Chin.
In fact, fusing left-brain skills with right-brain insights is considered the killer application in a new economy that will put a premium on creative breakthroughs, says Laszlo Bock, vice president of people operations at Google. “We're convinced true innovation comes at the intersection of different fields,” he says. When Bock and his team look to hire new talent, they assess a candidate's ‘Googliness’ – the ability to solve problems in unique ways, lead co-workers and thrive in a loose organisational structure. “If you have those skills, you can learn any job we give you,” he says.
Balancing your brain In Cambridge, Joel Katz has spent the past six years proving that doctors will be better at their left-brain craft if they’re well-versed in art. First and second year Harvard Medical students now vie to get into Katz's 10-week course that uses Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts to teach future physicians how to critically analyse famous paintings. Those who take the art course typically show “a 50 per cent improvement” in assessing a patient's symptoms, says Katz, himself an internist.
A health-food focused vacation to Brazil is what planted a right-brain seed in equity analyst Allison Jagtiani’s head. She qu it her Wall Street job after a pay-cut and started baking cookies laced with antioxidant-rich goji berries. “This is the most exciting, challenging thing I’ve ever done,” she says of her nascent venture, Goji Gourmet. “It’d be hard to go back to a cubicle and crunch numbers.”
That sentiment resonates with Chris Halloran of Phoenix. In his heyday as an investment banker, he pulled a seven- figure salary. But since giving that up last year to start his photo studio, Halloran says the first $85 he made for being creative, shooting a friend's website photo, thrilled him more than any money he made poring through spreadsheets.
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