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Trick or Treat?

When did the inner child inside of us decide to leave? Where did he or she go?

I often ask this question around this time of year because it’s Halloween. One of my favorite holidays. A holiday celebrated in the US and is always held on Oct. 31st., the eve of All Saints Day.  It is observed especially by children in costumes who solicit treats.

In the administrative profession, I have noticed, it seems as though the inner child in us has receded further and further into the dark recesses of our hearts and minds.  Why?

Administrative professionals are often working 24/7, barely eking out a personal life while managing huge amounts of stress on a daily basis. No wonder that many have buried their inner child and grown a thick adult skin in order to face each and every day.

In working with many administrative professionals around the country, helping them improve their skills, assisting them in finding their right career path or showing them how to build strong partnerships with their executives it has become evident.

Many have lost their inner child to the demands of their jobs.

Remember knocking on doors and yelling “Trick or treat!”? I had my bed sheet with two eye-holes cut out covering my head.  My pillow case open to accept the candy being tossed in to it and yes…it was a pillow case back then.

Well I had to grow up – dang it! But…. because it has always been my favorite time of year, having Halloween fall on a work day was a real ‘treat’ for me as an Executive Assistant and my inner child loved it!

This was the day when I could come in to the office in a costume.  When I became “Barbie doll” one year, John Chambers, my executive, actually formerly introduced himself to me as I stood in the breakroom.  He obviously didn’t recognize me. Hilarious!

I have also been a vampire. Let me tell you, it was pretty tough to answer the phones professionally wearing those fangs!

The funniest costume I think I ever pulled off on Halloween in the office was being a pink pig.  My cube area was my personal ‘pig pen’ as coke cans, empty food cartons and various bits of paper began to pile up.  John couldn’t keep from laughing every time he came to my desk to ask for something. Sometimes he would just completely forget what he wanted and walk back in to his office shaking his head. He was laughing a lot that day and I was having a blast!

Sometimes we take our jobs and the roles we play in the office way too seriously.  We are concerned that we will be judged or scoffed at for having a little fun, even if it is for one day.  I feel it can be healthy to periodically become a kid again – revel in the moment, laugh out loud, play a game and just be silly for the sake of it.

In fact, I have always thought that part of our roles as administrative professionals is to be that temperature gauge that keeps those around us just a little less stressed, cool and calm and most importantly, having a bit more fun.

Let’s lower the blood pressure!

I held quarterly Friday “Winer” parties where we ‘whined’ about the challenges we enduring throughout the month over good cheese and wine.

I put together a “My-Tie” contest where the ugliest tie could win a prize judged by our very serious CFO.  I saw the inner child come out in him that day!

I even hosted a “Hat-o-ween” party where the emphasis was on wearing the craziest, scariest or coolest hat. There was a lot of creativity that came out of the woodwork and there were lots of inner children that had come out to play!

When we go to our jobs each and every day – are we ‘dressing’ up and getting in to character for the fun and yes, the challenges the day will bring us or are we just grabbing our coffee, putting on our adult costume, grumbling about the pile of projects we will have to tackle as we manage the commute traffic.

My Challenge to you – give that inner child in you the permission to come out, especially this week!  You might just enjoy the moment!


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