It’s my job to make “professional development education” an entertaining thing to think about. Most people thought it was impossible, but then they also told me it would be impossible to squeeze my 13-year-old self into my locker in 7th grade. I proved them wrong there (which also proved that I was an idiot and could be coerced into locking myself into my own locker), and I intend to keep doing so today. Getting better at your job doesn’t have to be boring and it IS possible to have fun at work.
In fact, there are a lot of parts of your job that are already more fun than you might realize. Will every part of your day be fun? Of course not. My job involves travel, and I have yet to experience to airport security line (for more air travel tips, check out this post) when I said, “Can I just go through the millimeter scanner one more time please? Pleeeeeease????” But there are still plenty of ways you can have fun at work.
In fact, here are six.
Level 1 Work Fun
These are the obviously fun things, the parts of your day that make you laugh out loud. Your colleagues sharing a joke or funny story, or playing a practical joke on somebody (which you should do more often than you do).
Level 2 Work Fun
These are the small moments you savor during the day. Your morning coffee, or driving in the HOV lane and passing all those suckers who don’t have any friends to carpool with.
Level 3 Work Fun
These are the moments where you feel a rush of adrenaline because you know in that instant that you’re powerful and important. Nailing a presentation, meeting an important deadline, getting a compliment from your boss, or otherwise realizing, “I’ve got this.”
Level 4 Work Fun
Something went so horribly wrong that it ended up being hilarious. You tried changing the watercooler and it exploded all over you, or perhaps you almost bit it going down the stairs but managed to catch yourself in a super-awkward pseudo-fall in front of everyone. You could interpret these as embarrassing if you really wanted to, but you’ll like the world a lot better if you put this in the ‘fun’ category instead.
Level 5 Work Fun
You didn’t expect something to work out as well as it ultimately did. A client you thought was rude on the phone turned out to be perfectly delightful in person, or a failed project ended up leading you toward a new way of thinking you would never have reached without that failure.
Level 6 Work Fun
My favorite, which is when someone does something so absurdly ridiculous that it’s impossible not to enjoy the moment. This is a lot like Level 4 fun, except that it’s happening to other people instead of to you, which naturally makes it a lot more fun.
See? Things are a lot more enjoyable than they might sometimes appear. So get back to work, OK? And have some fun with it!