Follow These 5 Steps to Become a More Creative Problem Solver

By Chelsea Babin

IT employers everywhere are looking not just at your technical skills and experience but also at your ability to problem solve. If you’re a good problem solver you can approach technical issues with a creative mindset and find an innovative solution. Need some help becoming a more creative problem solver? Try following these 5 steps!

1. Gather New Information: The first thing you should do when approaching the problem is take some time to learn any information specifically related to the task at hand. And, when you aren’t tackling one specific problem but simply waiting for the next one to arise, you should surround yourself with a wide range of new concepts and information to keep your brain sharp and always learning.

2. Different Angles and Recipes: When you’re thoroughly working over relevant information in your head to try to solve a problem at hand you should look at it from different angles and experiment with different recipes, or fitting different ideas together to see if they’ll stick. Looking at problems in these different ways will help you see something that others can miss and it may be the key to solving the problem.

3. Step Away: Once you’ve spent some time thoroughly going over the problem and trying to look at it in innovative ways you should walk away from it and do something else. Preferably you should spend your time doing something active, something that excites you, or something that energizes you.

4. Come Back to It: After you’ve spent some time thinking about anything else and doing fun, energizing things it’s time to come back to the problem! Often this simple step will help you have a flash of insight or a spark of inspiration that will ignite your problem solving process and help it burn through to its effective conclusion.

5. Share & Adapt: Once you have an idea formed you should subject it to criticism! Whether you share it with a trusted colleague, your boss, or someone within your professional network you should be prepared to share and adapt your idea based on the relevant feedback you get. This will help ensure that the problem is solved in the best way possible because two heads are better than one!

Being a good problem solver is essential in the IT industry and, whether you’re looking for a new job or simply trying to improve your performance at your current position, these steps can help you infuse some much needed creativity into your problem solving process. Try this method out and you’ll be amazed at how effective it can be!