When one is discussing their career, playfulness is probably never mentioned. However to keep a team engaged, or yourself for that matter, there should be some element of fun. This helps with building a culture of collaboration by socializing with others. It also gives everyone an opportunity to learn new things that are not in a structured format like a training program. Free flow of ideas can foster creativity and innovation while making the workplace more interesting. Unfortunately some do not see the value of this.
Every generation perceives work, rewards, and learning differently. Most Traditionalists view work as “do a good job and you get a paycheck”. They also want to learn the necessary skills to do their job but nothing else. Younger generations like the Millennials and Gen Zers want to engage with others. They are also very project focused; they thrive on projects that are fast-moving and interactive.
So when one assesses their own career, do you find yourself motivated like others from your generation or do you tend to be an outlier? Either way, what drives you to want to learn new things in order to advance your career? It should be pointed out that some people, including some of my clients, tend to take courses that are similar in nature all the time thinking that the more degrees they earn the better they will be to get ahead. In some occupations that may be true but others use that type of education as a diversion to other forms of learning. They may also use it as an excuse for not having the time to do other things i.e. “I have a paper due so I can’t stay late”.
Instead try something new. If you usually take in-person college level courses, try webinars or mini-retreats. There are many webinars on a wide range of topics and many are free. In some cases, you can see the other participants so it is easier to participate. Mini-retreats can offer a convenient way to meet others that have a similar interest; some of these now are even being offered remote.
After you try a class determine if it was the right fit for you. Many people are visual learners so you may gravitate to a class that has videos, pictures on the power point slides, etc. Some like a lot of words on a power point so they can refer back to them at a later time. Others may like a gaming aspect where they can compete against other classmates. Whatever works for you is your decision but the most important thing is that you retain what you are learning and it is “playful” so that you are engaged the whole time.