My first jobs in high school included lifeguarding at our community pool, serving ice cream at Holy Cow, and babysitting for a number of families. All of these positions surrounded me with playfulness. There's nothing more fun than watching families playing in the water or the smiles that spread across faces as they reached out for their ice cream cones. These early experiences set a high bar for me in terms of employment because I knew that work could be playful!
Since then, I've worked in a number of different positions and they weren't always fun - poor leaders creating toxic cultures or ending up in positions that didn't foster growth. But even in those roles, I did my best to make my days more playful by focusing on interactions with colleagues or remembering that the work created positive impact for others or on some days just creating a little game for myself to make the busy work more fun. It didn't always work, but I learned the valuable lesson that the mindset we have when we approach a task plays a huge role in the experience.
What can you do to shift your mindset and make your work more playful?