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How to Get Paid for Coming Up With Ideas

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Creative people who can come up with innovative ideas are invaluable in every field, from farming and manufacturing to consulting. Companies want to employ people who can think up new and better ways of doing things. If creativity is your strength, however, you probably want to spend the majority of your time generating ideas. Sadly, it's difficult to get paid for thinking alone -- there is always some element of implementation required. But there are some jobs in which creativity is so important that you really are getting paid for coming up with ideas.

Advertising Art Director

Advertising art directors are sometimes referred to as creative directors. Their job is to come up with innovative ideas for advertising campaigns in all media, including print, TV, radio and online. They work with copywriters -- another creative job, but this time the medium is words.

If you're interested in becoming an advertising art director, you'll need a bachelor's degree in a field such as graphic design, fine art, advertising or marketing. Relevant experience is essential in getting your first creative job, so work hard on getting an internship with an advertising agency or marketing firm to build a portfolio of work.

PR Consultant

Creativity is vital in a PR agency, where there are often daily "brainstorms" to generate exciting ideas to help clients attract business. Particularly when the clients are selling products to consumers, the PR team devises stunts, campaigns, events and clever angles for news stories.

To get a job in PR, you need a bachelor's degree. Degrees in English, journalism marketing degree will put you in a strong position. Some people move into PR after gaining experience in journalism. As with advertising, internships are a good way of gaining experience and starting to build a portfolio, although competition is fierce for openings in top agencies.


If you've got really great ideas that you want to see put into practice, doing it yourself might be an option. That's what Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and everyone else on CNN Money's list of great entrepreneurs did. You might not end up running a multimillion dollar company, but if you've got a good idea that no one else seems to have, it might be worth a try.

No qualifications are needed to become an entrepreneur, but it's a good idea to get some solid business knowledge. Pursue a degree in business and maybe an MBA. Work for a while and save some money. Create a business plan, find investors and then take the plunge.


Teachers at every level have to be creative, but teaching kindergarten or elementary grade-level provides countless opportunities for unleashing new ideas. As a teacher at this level you are responsible for facilitating the learning of up to 30 children with differing abilities and personalities. You have to find ways of engaging them, explaining new concepts to them, and opening their minds. All of this means that you need a constant stream of new ideas. Most public elementary school teachers need a bachelor's degree in elementary education. You also need to undertake a teacher education program, which will include supervised teaching practice, in order to be certified.


Lalla Scotter has been writing professionally since 1988, covering topics ranging from leadership to agriculture. Her work has appeared in publications such as the "Financial Times" and "Oxford Today." Scotter holds an honors Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Bristol.

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