There are some jobs in this world that I have a hard time imagining have “fun” anywhere in the job description. Luckily for me and I suspect for most of us, we are able to either find some fun enjoyable aspects to our work, or perhaps we have the luxury of creating some fun with our co-workers, Supervisors and customers/clients.
Does anyone else find it interesting that many employers will stress co-operation, teamwork and providing exceptional customer service, but yet there isn’t a line anywhere about just plain fun? Oh sure there are training opportunities which sometimes include ice-breakers and stress relievers, and yes there are some potlucks to celebrate someone’s retirement or departure, but I wonder why that word, “FUN” isn’t spoke of very much.
Imagine you’re reading a resume and on it the person wrote, “Great team player who excels at creating fun in the workplace.” I wonder how far that would get in many HR departments. Ironically, that individual might just be a tremendous asset to an organization if in fact employees viewed their workplace as fun places to be and the ‘work’ was indeed a fun experience. Do the two need to be opposites?
Now sure there is the extreme where there’s an office clown who is always good for a laugh but hardly gets any actual work accomplished. I’m not referring to that person. What about the inclusion of someone who is positive, upbeat, enjoys the work they do, who attracts people to work with them because of their enthusiasm and actually does get a great deal of work accomplished? Now that’s a guy or woman I want to work with. Then again, why can’t I be that guy?
I suppose for some, you have to consider a question first. Do you believe that you have the ability to decide on an image you want to create, and then act that way until it becomes second nature, or do you think that you are who you are and you’ll always be who you are and anything else is disingenuous? If you really think that you don’t have the ability or power to alter your behaviour, and through doing this, change others perceptions of you, and crafting a change of image is not possible, I invite you to ponder at least the possibility.
Finding fun in your work is a wonderful thing if only because so much of our waking life is going to be spent working. I know personally I have always wanted to surround myself with others who are positive people, energizers who I can trust to receive my energy and feed it back to me as well. Like most things, finding moderation is the key. Being serious about getting results but achieving them by introducing fun ways to learn an experience works for me personally.
For example if I’m conducting a workshop, I’ll facilitate it in a fun way. When I’m scheduled to speak with a group about interviewing skills, I know I’m going to speak at some point about making a good first impression, and I’m never going to get a second chance to actually make a first impression on the group once I’ve met them for the first time. Often I’ll walk in and use a British or Scottish accent for the first 10 minutes, and ask the class to write down 3 things they know for certain about me and 3 things they think they know about me. When we are taking it up, and they are sharing their responses, I slide out of the accent and back to my normal speech. What an impact! They laugh, they are surprised and the energy goes up. “What are we in for with this guy” they wonder, and I’ve got their attention anticipating what might come next.
I’m willing to bet that with all the professionals out there, there are all kinds of creative examples where fun is introduced and happens in the workplace. If you’re not finding your workplace all that fun, ask yourself why. If you want to introduce it, do so in such a way that fun is not at someone’s expense unless it’s your own. Good-hearted fun, smiles, laughs, and stress-reducers are all very valuable tools in the toolbox.
So, is there any fun in your work?