Do You Prefer Having Fun at Work or Working at Work? Part II


This is Part II of a blog based on New York Times’ Op-Ed Contributor Oliver Burkeman’s article, “Who Goes to Work to Have Fun?” 12-11-2013. How Enneagram types fit into fun at work – or not—are my own additions. Burkeman wrote, “Psychologists have shown that positive-thinking affirmations make people with low self-esteem feel worse; that patients with panic disorders can become more anxious when they try to relax; and that an ability to experience negative emotions, rather than struggling to exclude them, is crucial for mental health.”

            One reader commented: “Last year, in a conversation with the young adult son of a friend, I asked him if he would like it if his generation just stopped with the ‘awesome!’ for a little while and was             able to express real feelings. He looked at me like he wanted to cry and nodded his head yes. As I see that generation with its forced cheerfulness I wonder if they know how inauthentic they’re             

            being with themselves.” – Lute, Broooklyn

The Burkeman article continues, “And these are just the hazards of trying to enforce happiness on oneself: Matters are surely more fraught when the person doing the enforcing is a manager with possible ulterior motives, such as discouraging too much focus on low wages or inherently unfulfilling work.”

These companies force you to go to happy hours and then use your “friendship” against you when “asking” you for things later on. When I was an employee, I knew very well what made me happy. Doing a good job, producing a quality product, receiving a fair day’s wages for a fair day’s work, going home each night believing I’d done something of value during the day and that both the customers for my efforts and my peers and supervisors recognized the value I added; earning my living and the respect of people whose own work I valued. What did not make me happy included pizza parties,      Employee of the Month and similar contests… – ACW New Jersey

The Eneagram types most likely to be managers are the 3-Achiever and the 8-Asserter. Of course, these types may or may not be ethical.

“Instead of striving to make work fun,” Burkeman said, managers should concentrate on creating the conditions in which a variety of personality types, from the excitable to the naturally downbeat, can flourish. That means giving employees as much autonomy as possible, and ensuring that people are treated evenhandedly.” The Enneagram 4-Romantic, a sensitive type, would especially appreciate this. “According to a recent Danish study, lack of fairness at work is a strong predictor of depression, and even heavy workloads don’t bring people down, provided their bosses are fair. 

       

            Another comment from a reader: “If a fungineer shows up at the water cooler at my job it will be very difficult to treat them with respect… If corporate thinks they can ramrod happiness down our             gullets with trite mantras they ignore at their peril our basic intelligence in favor of another device aimed at boosting quarterly productivity. A poorly dressed Trojan horse indeed; invading our emotional privacy under the guise of caring about employees feelings.” – Morgan S, Atlanta, GA

            And: “I suspect a lot of this “Fungineering” movement is aimed at Millennials who are extending adolescence to hitherto unrealized horizons. Work should be engaging, rewarding, fulfilling and             pay the rent. If it’s not that, a foosball tournament with microbrews won’t keep employees.” – NYC

Article: “Not that you’d necessarily want an office full of optimists” (3-Achievers, 7-Adventurers, and 9-Peace Seekers), “even if that were achievable. People who are oriented toward ‘defensive pessimism’ play a valuable role, preparing organizations for worst-case scenarios.” These would mainly be 6-Questioners in the Enneagram, who look out for safety.

“And if your business card describes you as Head of Fungineering, or Chief Cheerfulness Ninja, or Vice President of Wow, please skip the next company paintballing weekend, and use the time to ask yourself a few tough questions instead.”

Visit http://wagele.com to check out my books, CD, cartoons, essays, music, and Famous Enneagram Types.

See “The Career Within You – How to Find the Perfect Job for Your Personality” using the Enneagram.

 Visit the “Enneagram Made Easy” page on Face Book.

WorkorFun01

 

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Do You Prefer Having Fun at Work or Working at Work? Part I


WorkorFun01“Despite the sobering economic shocks of recent years,” Oliver Burkeman wrote, ”the Fun at Work movement seems irrepressible. Major companies boast of employing Chief Fun Officers or Happiness Engineers; corporations call upon a burgeoning industry of happiness consultants, who’ll construct a Gross Happiness Index for your workplace, then advise you on ways to boost it… Self-help bloggers offer tips for generating cheer among the cubicles (‘Buy donuts for everyone’; ‘Hang movie posters on your walls, with employees’ faces replacing those of the real movie stars’)… Enjoyable jobs are surely preferable to boring or unpleasant ones; moreover, studies suggest that happy employees are more productive ones. But it doesn’t follow that the path to this desirable state of affairs is through deliberate efforts, on the part of managers, to try to generate fun. Indeed, there’s evidence that this approach—which has been labeled, suitably appallingly, ‘fungineering’—might have precisely the opposite effect, making people miserable and thus reaffirming one of the oldest observations about happiness: When you try too hard to obtain it, you’re almost guaranteed to fail.”

A comment on the Burkeman article: “The management at our facility a few years back established a ‘No Frown Zone’ for our data entry department. I guess they thought we were too serious trying to type and retain our jobs by not falling into the bottom 20 percent of performers and subject to removal. So smiley faced posters went up. Casual dress days are viewed as a perk too. But not sure if that helps make up for the atmosphere of 400 people in cubicles on the floor overseen by an unblinking computer measuring everything.” – Pragmatic, USA.

 

This blog is based on New York Times’ Op-Ed Contributor Oliver Burkeman’s article, “Who Goes to Work to Have Fun?” 12-11-2013. How Enneagram personality types fit into fun at work – or not—are my own additions. 7-Adventurers are typically the most fun-loving of the 9 personality types. Bosses who are 7s, 2-Helpers, who want everyone to get along, or 9-Peace Seekers might be most attracted to adding fun activities. 

The Times article continues: “A study by management experts at Penn State and other universities, published last month, found that while ‘fun’ activities imposed by bosses might slow employee turnover, they can damage overall productivity. Another concluded that the fashionable tactic of “gamification”—turning work tasks into games, with scores and prizes—reduced the productivity and job satisfaction of those workers who didn’t approve the notion.” As a 5-Observer, I’d be one of these employees. I like to get into my work. Party atmospheres make me feel uncomfortable. 1-Perfectionists could also be annoyed when their work is interrupted by fun and games.

 

“Worse still, the pressure to maintain a cheery facade in such workplaces can be stressful and exhausting in itself, a form of what the sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild called ‘emotional labor.’ In a 2011 study of workers at an Australian call center, where bosses championed the focus, fun and fulfillment, researchers found many experienced the party atmosphere as a burden, not a boon…” I would for sure.

 

 To be continued 12-31-13.

Visit http://wagele.com to check out my books, CD, cartoons, essays, music, and Famous Enneagram Types.

See “The Career Within You – How to Find the Perfect Job for Your Personality” using the Enneagram. 

How to Prepare for a Job Interview


Cartoon by EWagele from "The Career Within You"

Cartoon by EWagele from “The Career Within You”

Are you looking for a job? Make sure the job you’re applying for fits your personality type.

Unemployment nationally is 7.6%. The national economy added 195,000 new jobs in June, Unemployment in May was down in California to 8.6% from 9% in April. The biggest gains were in the leisure and hospitality sector, which added 9,000 jobs, and in the government sector, which added 8,400 jobs. Even though the economy is improving, you may have a better chance of finding a job if you change careers.

My friend Ron is going to be looking for a job soon. He’s been working for the same company that sells electronic parts for 30 years and it’s going out of business. He knows he wants to do something radically different but doesn’t know what.The Career Within You  (by E.Wagele and I. Stabb—HarperCollins publishers) is a practical book on how to choose and manage your career based on the Enneagram personality types. Its Wagele-Stabb Career Finder will help Ron match his particular strengths with the best career for him, perhaps something connected to reading or the arts in his case. After he determines his personality type and chooses the best way to manage his career, The Career Within You will give him detailed steps to take on writing a résumé and landing a new job.

Cartoon by EWagele from "The Career Within You"

Cartoon by EWagele from “The Career Within You”

Chapter 11 is a Job-Hunting Guide. “You can never be too prepared for an interview, whether it is informational or for a specific job opening. Do your homework in advance by looking up the company online, reading articles about its constituents or competitors, and perusing biographical information about the person who will be interviewing you. Interviewers might ask you what you think of their products and services, so gather your thoughts about what you read and observe. Be prepared to make suggestions from your fresh set of eyes and to ask insightful questions. If you know people who have worked for this organization, call them in advance and ask for context and tips.

Review the job description again for clarity about the requirements of the organization. Review your elevator speech and résumé again, matching your experience against those requirements. Skilled interviewers will use a technique called behavioral interviewing, where they will inquire about specific examples of your experience…

Cartoon by EWagele from "The Career Within You"

Cartoon by EWagele from “The Career Within You”

Ideally, all interviews are two-way streets where the employer gets to ask questions to see if you’re the person needed for the job and you get to ask questions to see if the group is the one you want to work for. Unfortunately, the conversation tends to be one-way at first, but you still need to interview the organization and get to the bottom of the ten items in your list of prioritized needs… “

This Dear Abby advice is from the San Francisco Chronicle, 6-22-13:

“Dear Abby: I am the human resources director for a nonprofit organization. Ninety-five percent of all the candidates I interview know little to nothing about the organization for which they are interviewing.

Most organizations are less likely to hire an applicant who has done no research on the company. – Shaking My Head in San Diego

Dear Shaking Your Head: That’s good advice.”

I’ll have to recommend to Ron that he read Dear Abby too.

Visit http://wagele.com for Famous Enneagram Types and to check out my books, CD, cartoons, and essays.

Please read my blog on Death Cafes in Psychology Today.

Cartoon by EWagele from "The Career Within You"

Cartoon by EWagele from “The Career Within You”

Death 9 Ways for Memorial Day


NineKindsReapersIn honor of Memorial Day later this month, here is a drawing of reapers of 9 personalities from my book, The Enneagram of Death – Helpful Insights on Grief, Fear, and Dying by the 9 Types of People. This book is for people who are mourning, afraid of their own death or the death of a loved one, or interested in ’s accounts of interesting and meaningful experiences with death and dying.

If the words are hard to read, here is what the reapers say:

1-Perfectionist – “I’m sorry. No exceptions.”

2-Helper – “Come, my darling. I NEED you!”

3-Achiever – “Perhaps you’d like to make me an offer?”

4-Romantic – “I promise you eternal tragedy and beauty.”

5-Observer – “Aren’t you curious about what’s beyond?”

6-Questioner – “Wanna argue about it? Go ahead.”

7-Adventurer – “It’s the ultimate adventure!”

8-Asserter – “I take no prisoners.”

9-Peace keeper – “Take my hand, Sweetie.”

         The following excerpts from The Career Within You by E. Wagele and Ingrid Stabb expresses some attitudes toward death from some 4-Romantics’ perspectives:

• Betty was able to drink in the aesthetic expressions of her Romantic friend and intuit his feelings when he faced death from AIDS. He wanted to live as he was dying, and he wanted her to meet him on an emotional level. When he was near death he needed nursing, hugging, and honesty—and she could do that, too. She could talk with him about death, which most of his other friends were unable to do.

• When Kate worked in a cemetery, she helped people understand the choices they were making. Should they put Grandpa in the ground? Would it be okay to put him in a triple grave or a double grave? She would interpret the symbolism of their choices, explain the difference between having a memorial or a bronze plaque, and help them understand what they’d be giving and receiving.

Since Tiffany is drawn to drama, life and death, joy and grief, and the macabre, unusual, and offbeat. She has no problem working in crime-scene clean up or in a mortuary. Tiffany doesn’t want to keep the realities of life hidden.

• Romantics don’t plod through life or shy away from intensity. Some face danger or even death working in a country going through a revolution if it means making the world a better place. Allan faced dangers when he performed acts of compassion around the world: “I worked in countries where people were being killed and I had to think fast or I might be killed myself.”

4-Reaper

See http://ewagele.com to buy and to read reviews.

Cartoon: the 4-Romantic reaper from The Enneagram of Death

Saturday May 25, 2013 at 7:30 Elizabeth will give a book talk on THE ENNEAGRAM OF DEATH in Mountain View CA. http://www.eastwest.com  650-988-9800

The Romantic Personality


From "The Career Within You" by Stabb and Wagele

From “The Career Within You” by Stabb and Wagele

The Romantic type in the Enneagram is known for its gifts of compassion, admiring and often being able to produce great beauty, and being sensitive to nuances of moods. “Healthy 4-Romantics are capable of a depth of feeling most of us have no access to… {They can] express something universally valid. William Shakespeare and T. S. Eliot are examples of poets in whom the great emotions have been so purified and shaped by discipline that they remain valid for all time. Redeemed Romantics are better than most others at understanding and guiding people in psychic distress. They are not intimidated by the difficult, complicated, or dark feelings of others since they themselves have lived through it all.” (From The Enneagram – A Christian Perspective by Richard Rohr and Andreas Ebert.)

Romantics are also known for noticing who has more than they have—whether talent, style, attention, class, good taste, or wonderful belongings. If you ever writhed while you watched a fellow worker get attention he/she didn’t deserve and hoped their reward would be taken away, you were probably feeling envy. From The Career Within You: “Romantics are familiar with the all-consuming experience of feeling resentful from wanting what another has. Haythorp is tall, handsome and a brilliant, top-notch speaker on science. The ladies all puff themselves up when he comes in the room. He has what Evan wishes he had and Evan envies him for it.

A mathematician acquaintance set out to prove the most difficult problem Helga had ever seen. She had thought she could prove this theorem after just a little more preparation, but this guy seemed to have so much more innate talent than she, no training would ever compensate. Most of their friends were content to be in awe of his abilities, but she found herself seething with negative emotion.

Loki envies a former good friend who sometimes out-shined him performing music. Unfortunately, their friendship suffered when they marked their progress off of each other. Loki wished they could get past their egos and help each other by collaborating. He said, ‘It’s a shameful indulgence, but my confidence was based on my sense of being better than those around me, so that I would stand out for being good at what I do.’”

Of course, all the Enneagram types can suffer from envy and all the Enneagram types can be compassionate, but they will not usually expresses these traits with the depth of feeling of the Romantic.

How Young Were You When You Chose Your Career?


Jack London, Adventure Enneagram type

Were you forced to take over the family business? Did you know you wanted to do anything but what your parents did? Did you want to join a circus when you grew up? What did you learn by good or reverse example from your family career-wise?

This may sound strange to some of you and logical to others: my psyche picked out my passion in life, which turned into my first career, by the time I was four years old. It informed me, without my knowing it, by means of a dream. I tell the dream in my upcoming book on death and dying so I won’t tell it here. Suffice it to say that the dream drove me into my inner world in waking life and to actively pursue my love for music. My second career of writing came much later. I’m an Observer in the Enneagram.

My Helper type mother was interested in art but didn’t have a career other than homemaker. One of her brothers, possibly a Perfectionist, worked for Lockheed Airplane Company. He knew he wanted to be an electrical engineer from the age of six. The other brother, a Peace Seeker, sold iron or steel. Their father started out as a clerk in a bank in Cripple Creek, CO. He was most enthusiastic about selling real estate, but wasn’t very successful.

My father, an Observer with a Questioner wing, was a metallurgist, figuring out how to extract minerals from ores by means of chemistry and physics. He worked for the Bureau of Mines. Then the University of California hired him as a professor and he consulted on the side for the Union Pacific Railroad. He knew from an early age that he wanted to be a scientist.

His brother-in-law, an Asserter, ran a successful business that manufactured flowerpots. He was protective of and kind to his employees. His wife, my father’s sister, was an Adventurer. She didn’t have a job. She did something naughty. She told us she played bridge a lot, but she was really going to casinos to gamble. My father’s other sister, a Questioner, was one of the first women to be an executive in a large clothing company, Lerner’s. This was in the 1930’s and 40’s and later. In fact, she’s my only aunt or grandmother who had a career. My father’s brother, a Peace Seeker, was an attorney for the Pentagon. He negotiated contracts with outside companies.

My father’s father, an immigrant from Odessa, Russia, started out selling junk in Omaha Nebraska. He moved his family to Salt Lake City around 1909, opened a bar with gambling in the back, and invested in mines. He made a lot of money and lost most of it in the crash of 1930.

When he was a little boy, my husband, Gus, didn’t want to work when he grew up as a reaction to his parents’ pressuring him to be successful. He ended up working hard, however. An Observer, he majored in art at Cal and loved to paint. He became a high school teacher of Educationally Handicapped students, preferring that to history, which he had started out teaching.

His father, a Perfectionist, started out as a teller during the Depression. Someone advised him to go to college, which he did, and he eventually rose to bank vice president. One of Gus’ grandfathers sold pianos. The other, a German immigrant, was a self-taught baker. When he had a bakery in Oakland, young Jack London delivered bread for him.

For more famous types, see my list on wagele.com, my Psychology Today blog, and my WordPress blog.

Also, check out my videos on You Tube: The Happy Introvert and The Creative Enneagram

See All Nine Posts on Elements Types Look for in Jobs


The series on elements the 9 Enneagram types look for in jobs is finished. There’s no new blog today.

This SERIES is based on the book, The Career Within You by Wagele and Stabb. You can read them all on my two blogs below.

See my Psychology Today blog of 5/17/11 for Perfectionistshttp://www.psychologytoday.com/

my WordPress blog of 6-14-11 for Helpers, https://ewagele.wordpress.com/

my Psychology Today blog of 6-21-11 for Achievers,

my WordPress blog of 6-28-11 for Romantics,

my Psychology Today blog of 7-5-11 for Observers,

my WordPress blog of 7-12-11 for Questioners,

my Psychology Today blog of 7/19/11 for Adventurers,

my Psychology Today blog of 8/2/11 for Asserters, and

my Psychology Today blog of 8/16/11 for Peace Seekers.

To buy: The Career Within You

To buy: The Career Within You e-book

Elizabeth Wagele