Where You can Always Find Fun on the Job

have fun at work

Fun is defined as “enjoyment, amusement, and lighthearted pleasure”.  Seems like a good thing, right?

But imagine sticking “enjoyment, amusement, and lighthearted pleasure” in the middle of your work day.  Awkward!

It feels awkward because there’s a culture in most offices of not “mixing business and pleasure”.  Somewhere down the line we’ve been taught that’s the way its supposed to be.

Maybe you accept that, but if you’re willing to challenge that notion a bit to find fun in your work day then read on…

Why Fun on the Job is Crucial for Success

I used to think fun on the job was a distraction and even a “fireable offense” if it got out of hand.  I even got a twinge of guilt when I was having it.  The consequence was an internal tug-of-war. It seemed like I naturally wanted to have fun on the job, but the voice in my head was saying I shouldn’t.  Work wasn’t supposed to be fun.

Most people don’t seem to associate fun and work.  In fact, when you see someone having fun on the job they can seem a little crazy.  They laugh with excitement when a problem arises, and they are overly alert at off peak times…like first thing in the morning and after 5 pm.   Some might even assume that they’ve obviously landed a job somewhere else and that’s why they’re behaving so irrationally.

In truth, having fun at work doesn’t make you crazy, and it means you’re pretty savvy.  A big part of creating the job you love (without quitting) involves having fun and having it frequently.

Consider these benefits:

  • Greater engagement in your workday
  • Increased alertness and creativity
  • Less burnout, even when you’re working longer and harder hours
  • Deeper connection with your coworkers
  • Learning and improving at a much faster rate

A Better Strategy for Having Fun at Work

Most employees seem to wait for the fun to happen “to “them.  For example, they wait on leadership to organize a picnic or a holiday event. They wait on another coworker to  coordinate happy hour. They wait to be recommended for a training course or assigned to attend a conference.

While these can be fun, you’re not in control of when or even if they happen; thus they can’t be reliably counted on as a fun factor.  So instead of waiting around for the fun to happen, take charge and find the fun on your own.

Two Places to Always Find Fun on the Job

You can always find fun on the job in these two places:

#1 Sharing the Work You’re Good At – There is a lot of fun in sharing your knowledge with others especially when you’re the expert.  Do this by:

  • Offering to mentor someone in a work in an area you know really well. This really helped me enjoy my work day more, and I even got an award at the end of the year for taking the initiative.
  • Organizing a lunch-and-learn with your coworkers.  My former client, Evelyn, is passionate about cooking and decided to lead a lunch-and-learn so she could share quick and easy recipes for a group of working Moms.
  • Offer your skills on a voluntary basis – Another client discovered she’s passionate about financial planning and offered to casually share her knowledge about 401k’s with her fellow coworkers. She loves being in service in this new capacity. Also check out what my friend, Rachel Hutchisson is doing over at Business Doing Good. She’s developed a resource for helping small-to-mid-sized businesses build give back programs into their organizations…a great way to have fun sharing what you’re good at.

#2 Exploring Work you’re Interested In – There is also fun in exploring the work that your passionately interested in.

  • Offer to facilitate a meeting in an interest area of yours. My client did this and felt incredibly alive afterwards. She got amazing results for herself and her organization.  She couldn’t wait to do it again.
  • Job shadow with someone in a different department for a day at the office.  Most people think job shadowing is just for high school kids but it can be a lot of fun for adults in another interest area.
  • Select an inspiring book or course and organize a discussion group to meet over coffee. I’ve had people take my 14-day Conquer Your Burnout eCourse and organize a discussion group at the office. They had fun discussing the topic to create a more inspired work day. I’ve even called into a few to answer questions.

So what is your story of finding fun on the job?  Please share in the comments below.

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