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This job is a joke

(page 1 of 2)

The ability to make others laugh in the office may not be something you put on a resume, but it may be an increasingly vital skill.

According to a new Accountemps survey of over 2,200 CFOs in more than 20 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas, 78% of CFO respondents said having a sense of humor is at least somewhat important to fitting in with the company’s corporate culture. That’s pretty strong data that reinforces the idea that there’s no need to be all business all the time.

Within an organization, having a sense of humor can make an employee at any level seem friendlier and easier to relate to, notes Jim Jeffers, metro market manager of staffing firm Robert Half in Madison.

“Humor can help professionals build rapport with their coworkers and alleviate stress in the office,” Jeffers explains. “A good sense of humor can even make you a better manager. Supervisors with a healthy sense of humor are seen as more approachable by their employees. Levity by those at the top can also make the office more fun, which can boost morale and productivity and raise retention rates.”

According to Jeffers, a sense of humor can show colleagues that you’ve got personality, as well as the ability to diffuse tensions appropriately. A funny comment can boost moods and improve connections among colleagues, creating a friendly work environment.

“However, if you’re not funny, all hope is not lost,” says Jeffers. “Having a sense of humor isn’t just about cracking jokes — it’s also about being receptive to others’ attempts at humor. Without a sense of humor, employees risk not being able to relate to each other or approach each other on more relaxed terms.”

Comedian for hire?

While Jeffers doesn’t recommend job candidates attempt a comedy routine before they’ve got the job, he does suggest job hopefuls should make an effort to let their personality shine through during the interview process.

“Weaving in some wit to build chemistry with the hiring manager shows that you’re approachable and is a trait of a good leader. It can also help alleviate nervous interview jitters.”

Not to mention, showing off a little bit of your personality up front can make for a better fit if you get the job. Managers will know whom they’re getting and the new hire won’t have to pretend to be someone he or she is not.

(Continued)

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