Management January 28, 2010 Last updated February 6th, 2010 3,492 Reads share

Avoiding humour in Business or Job Hunting. Then the joke’s on you ….

Image Credit:

I believe humour has no place in business, careers or job hunting. It is important to be upright, professional and not lower yourself with attempts to win new friends, career or business opportunities through humour. After all it is common knowledge that you cannot be successful if you are laughing too much. It is important that you all (business owners, professionals or jobseekers) act in a serious manner and stop fooling around.

Ok enough of that as I am starting to sound like a grown up. For me the complete opposite is true. Throughout my early career I followed the above advice and kept work and humour apart. As time passed I realised that I had been ignoring a very powerful tool to help me successfully navigate the serious world of business and job hunting. “Good humour is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment” – Greenville Kleisser.

4 reasons why you should embrace humour

Become a better communicator – I don’t know about you but I love listening to someone who can integrate humour into their message.
It grabs my attention and holds it. I guess this is kind of important when you are trying to get your point across. Humour can deliver active listening which is important when networking, presenting, meeting or job interviewing. Many people miss the fact that humour is a great way to get your message across even if it is a serious message.

Win more friends – I love engaging with my funny and positive friends and always accept their calls or requests to meet. I apologise to any friends I haven’t spoken to or met with for some time – the truth is out 🙂 “Good humour is one of the best articles of dress one can wear in society” – William Makepeace Thackeray. They say networking is the key to job hunting and business success in these tough times. Next time you step out into the world of networking (real world or online) don’t be afraid to let your humour run wild. Humour will help you grow your network and win new friends (Guess what it works – you already have one new friend – me!!)

Win more opportunities – Personally I don’t want to work with misery guts or work for misery guts. “For me, compatibility is a sense of humour, being able to laugh together; that is very important” – Felicity Kendal. I agree!! Should you use humour at job interviews – it never held me back. Should you use humour at business meetings/presentations – never held me back. If anything humour has opened many more doors than it has closed. Did I lose out on opportunities? Perhaps BUT then again did I really lose out?

Reduce stress and fear – Taking ourselves too seriously can have a negative impact on achieving our goals.  Humour and laughter lowers anxiety, releases tension and pressure but also helps diminish fear. “You can turn painful situations around through laughter. If you can find humour in anything, even poverty, you can survive it” – Bill Crosby. Perhaps we make growing a business or job hunting more pressurised, stressful and fearful by taking away an important release valve in humour/laughter.

If you agree with the above views then post a comment or share a funny business/job hunting story that will make me laugh. If you disagree with the above views then please post your full name so I can do everything in my power to ensure that we never meet 🙂

Paul Mullan

Paul Mullan

Paul Mullan is an experienced career and outplacement professional with 14 years experience working within careers, outplacement and recruitment in the UK & Ireland. He is a former owner of Eden Recruitment and founder of career firm Measurability in 2006. Paul has delivered outplacement programmes for many leading organisations and ran graduate career workshops for leading third level institutions. He has worked with many individuals helping them define and achieve career goals through creative approaches to personal marketing and job hunting. Paul integrates traditional strategies with new Web 2.0 strategies to deliver optimum results. He is known for his up to date, creative and friendly approach to delivering career solutions. Paul is a recognised career professional regularly commenting on career related topics in the national media. He has acted as Career Doctor with Irish Independent and he is currently an online career expert with RecruitIreland.

Read Full Bio