Many of us hate our jobs. They drain our joy, sap our energy, and deplete our reserves. That’s not just an issue for our personal quality of life. It threatens the future of our institutions. In a recent article in Inside Higher Ed, John Kroger writes,

“The biggest problem facing higher education right now is not right-wing political pressure, student protests, free speech, exploitation of adjunct faculty or the inability of many campuses to balance their budgets. The biggest problem is that we, the higher education community, are not having any fun.

What do I mean? Think back, for a moment, to why we all got involved in higher education in the first place. Was it just to pay the bills, to express our own egos or to struggle for power and influence? Of course not. It was to do things that are inherently inspiring. We wanted to research new problems and advance the cause of human reason, to help young students transform themselves into awesome adults, and to assist awesome adults to find new and more rewarding paths in life. And our goal was not just to help individuals. Most of us got into this work to help create loving and supportive communities of care and concern…But right now, are we having any fun? Are you? Are you going to work with a gleam in your eye and a bounce in your step? The answer is probably no.”

Kroger posits that this is a self-inflicted problem. Read Kroger’s suggestions for having fun at work and the implications that will have for our colleges here.