You’re a visual thinker. You trust your intuition. You solve problems by looking at rhythms, patterns, and designs. If any of the above sounds like you, you probably consider yourself a creative type.

Whether you’re an artist hoping to open your own gallery or a graphic designer trying to land an agency or in-house job, you might not call yourself a “business person.” But believe it or not, one day you could find yourself responsible for tracking budgets, balancing financial statements, estimating sample sizes, and more.

Here are five reasons why learning business skills helps creatives become effective at work, straight from HBS Online past participants themselves.

1. Collaborate More Effectively


“So much of a designer's work has to do with collaboration. We collaborate with researchers, engineers, other artists, community members, and, of course, we collaborate within the business sector. There have been times in the past when business conversations have come up, and I would kind of take a back seat to let others who seemed more knowledgeable on the subject take the lead. I realized that I wanted to know more about the subject so that I could engage and create the change that I wanted to see!” – Former CORe participant Megan Valanidas

2. Become More Versatile in an Interconnected World


“Nowadays, businesses and industries are very interconnected with each other, making it more necessary for students, job seekers, and professionals in general to be more versatile than ever before in applying their skills and thought into their work.” – Former CORe participant Adriel Tjokrosaputro

3. Communicate Your Best Ideas to Key Stakeholders from a Business Perspective


“I had a lot of ideas—ones that I believed had promise, and should be heard—but I didn’t possess the language to discuss or defend them in the company of others.” – Former CORe participant Peter LaBerge

Access Your Free E-Book | Download Now

4. Hone Your Entrepreneurial Instincts


“As the end of my freshman year of college drew near, I realized I was at a pivotal point in my academic career: I could either continue to rely on entrepreneurial instinct (which, honestly, had served me fairly well through my founding and developing The Adroit Journal to that point), or I could commit to establishing a strong understanding of economic principle, financial accounting, and business analytics.” – Peter LaBerge

5. Develop an Understanding of How Business Forces Shape Global Trends


“Through my strong involvement in intersectional activism, I’ve learned a lot about how capitalism and mainstream economics can become oppressive forces for marginalized communities.” – Former CORe participant Tiara Shafiq

An understanding of the business world is key no matter what industry you may find yourself in one day. From architecture to entertainment, from graphic design to music, learning the basics will help you gain an edge and be successful in communicating about how your work drives business.

Do you want to take your career to the next level? Download our free Guide to Advancing Your Career with Essential Business Skills to learn how enhancing your business knowledge can help you make an impact on your organization and be competitive in the job market.