I won’t even lie! When I saw that Arianna Huffington was going to be a keynote speaker at Inbound 2013 I decided I had to go to Boston. It isn’t very often that you get a chance to be in the presence of such an amazing, fierce and funny lady. Her words were full of wisdom with just a dash of sass, but it was this line that has been stuck in my head: “Your career is not a ladder, it is a jungle gym.”
I am sure that Arianna was using this analogy to highlight the importance of adaptability and making lateral moves to create a well rounded employee, but I got even more than that. I have always been a thrill seeker. I mean, I am still grieving the loss of those giant spinning metal death traps that could be found on the playground when I was a wee one. And now looking at my “career” I can see I am still a thrill seeker. My career path IS a jungle gym. I often find myself swinging too high, falling off the monkey bars, and running so fast I can’t catch my breath. There is no obvious rhyme or reason to my various jobs or professional interests, but this has made me an energetic, creative and slightly ballsy employee.
I guess what I am trying to say is, we only get to live one life, so why not make it more playful? We spend so much of our lives being too serious, too driven, too demanding. Why not bring more fun, more silly, more play, more thrills and more creativity into our working worlds? Wouldn’t we be more innovative, passionate, and effective people/organizations if we spent 9 to 5 on a metaphorical jungle gym? I know I am. With that I have just one last question.… Wanna play?!