We are constantly bombarded with messaging, brands, and well-meaning friends telling us that the answer to ALL of our work and life problems is simply to: Think Outside the Box! Like that will magically help get us unstuck?? The fact is, if we take the time to explore what’s inside the box and reframe it, we’ll start to see everyday situations, symbols, and tasks as opportunities to create fun and freedom inside some of the most rigid or mundane settings. Even if those places are, ahem, our own minds
So, today, we’ll start with an easy exercise I call: Reframe Your Little Box! (Job Title, duh.) It’s quick, invigorating and F-ing fun! And you can do it at work, hell, you can even make it a company-wide game!
Make a list of all the tasks you actually do at work: process orders, design stuff for people, maintain relationships, eat snacks when nobody is looking, build websites for schools, etc.
Take a look at your tasks and find alternative words and ideas that, basically, mean the same thing as what you do everyday, e.g. If you “design stuff for people” perhaps you are an Art Conduit and if you “eat snacks when nobody is looking” maybe you are “CEO of Devouring Mischief.”
Do it as a team building exercise. Exchange your list with a colleague’s list and come up with Job Titles for each other!
I do this all the time, it’s a great way to stretch your creative muscles and be open to creative possibilities in work, in title, and in the least likely places!
In fact, a friend of mine who’s an Architect, inspired this exercise. During a casual Saturday morning coffee together he said, “Tania, I really want a cool job title like the Imageneers at Disney!” So, I’m like, “Ooh! What about…. Erectioneer! Cuz, you know, you erect buildings and then, the eer part from Disney and, it’s funny, cuz you know, you have the capability of getting an…!”
So, remember, if you’re a Front Desk Manager who has a killer sense of humor, puts everyone at ease, answers the phone, responds to and writes emails, mails letters and packages. Maybe, in fact, you’re the Curator of Communications, Dispatching Diva or Fabulous Confabulator!
Have fun with it, dig deep and write down all the things you really do at work to come up with ways to reframe all the good stuff already inside of your box! Ok, that did sound dirty, you know what I mean.
Share your reimagined job titles @taniakatan, I'll pick the most, ahem, compelling one and give that person/team a free 30-minute Creative Coaching Session!
More tips, tricks and exercises for Creative Trespassing coming into your inbox!
Art by Mayme Kratz