what do you do for fun?
“What do you do for fun?”
That's a common interview question and icebreaker for new hires. Sometimes the answer is the only personal thing we know about our coworkers for quite a while. At first, it's helpful to know that one person likes to do yoga and another plays in a band—connections at work have to start somewhere. The “what” is a great jumping off point, but without the “why” or “how” following up, the conversation kind of stops there.
So, what's a better question that provides a little more insight into how someone may fit into the company’s existing culture, or even how they might improve it?
“What do you do for fun that makes you a stronger employee?”
Our hobbies and interests don’t just give us something to talk about besides work and the weather but actually enrich us as employees at CVW. Whether it’s a common everyday practice or a niche activity, something “productive” or a way to unwind, how we choose to spend our free time can improve our well-being and worth in and outside the office.
Ordinary tasks that most people do every day, like making dinner, can have surprising benefits. Cooking requires time management and the ability to prioritize. Maybe you prep beforehand and clean as you go or go through the process more organically. Being able to both follow instructions and improvise (and knowing when to do which) are equally valuable skills in the kitchen and at work.
“Beyond healthy eating, cooking is so valuable for the things it teaches you that you don’t realize you’re learning: how to follow detailed instructions, and how a set of small steps leads to a predicted end product and in what amount of time,” says Becky, our CAO. “You also learn fundamental skills and vocabulary every time, building up a library of knowledge that allows you to improvise once you’ve gained some confidence.”
What you cook and how often can reflect professional habits. Consistently learning and improving new techniques and recipes to keep things fresh and interesting cultivates a level of aspiration and innovation that should—and likely will—also be applied to work projects. As a production house, we are always adding a shake of cayenne here or a dash of salt there to avoid bland designs.
Even hobbies meant to help decompress can bring other positive effects that spill over into a work environment. Though video games can be relaxing, they’re also engaging.
“I especially like the ones that are more about building, simulation, and creativity. I could spend hours playing these type of games and making sure my creations are efficient and beautiful,” says Sarah, an editor / animator on our production team.
There are several gamers at CVW, and their attention to detail at work and while gaming complement each other.
Playing is also a way to connect with other video game enthusiasts, from coworkers to the larger gaming community. Streaming online game play allows players to get firsthand experience developing their own online branding and learning the ins and outs of one-on-one communication with an audience of strangers—both of which provide valuable insight when creating content for ourselves and clients.
Knowing how “that one thing a coworker does for fun” affects them as an employee can bring a more significant understanding of the people you work with.
So, tell us, what do you do for fun?