Your Pajama is Technically a Blazer, Actually: The Power of Humour in Professional Settings

Farah Ali – April 16, 2021


Hey you… Yes you… I bet you’re in your Pajamas right now 👀 
If you are, indeed, in your comfy PJ jacket, I’m here to tell you how formal you look! After all, your Pajama is technically a blazer, okay. According to Tom James suits, a fancy shmancy professional suit-maker that makes professional blazers for professional people, like you and I, since 1966, a blazer is defined ‘by its solid colour, most commonly blue or black, adding to its formality, and silver, gold, or bronze buttons.

“The blazer is the perfect option for formal events.” So technically yes, you’re dressed pretty professionally right now actually, and lookin’ pretty cute doing it too, you’re welcome :^)

What am I trying to show with this? I’m trying to prove to you how arbitrary the ‘rules’ of professionalism and unprofessionalism are, that if I can ‘follow the rules’ and prove your pjs to be a formal blazer fit for professional situations, how reliable are the unspoken (and the spoken ones hammered to us as well) so-called rules of being a ‘proper professional’ and how necessary are they to succeed in professional settings?

‘Professionalism’, as it is right now, is a setback more than anything, because it is too often reduced to an outdated way of speaking, way of dressing, or even hair colour – and I say that as someone with very normal ‘professional’ brown hair so I am completely unbiased *as I type this with hot pink hair ;)*

What I embody and preach always is be yourself and BE FUNNY in ‘professional’ settings, which is too often synonymous with ‘unprofessionalism’… Just as movies need to provide Comic Relief after intense scenery, you also need to provide AND receive some Comic Relief after intense, serious work.

Paul Osincup, a TEDx Leadership Speaker who looks JUST like Bruce Willis and Danny Devito’s love child, so you KNOW he’s credible – his words not mine – says “People are pining for leaders and mentors who are relatable and imperfect and God forbid a little silly sometimes, and in my experience, how seriously other people take us is inversely related to how seriously we take ourselves.”

According to the book How to Win Friends and Influence People – great title by the way – smiling makes you more hirable, so imagine the power of making the person hiring you smile, or even laugh, it’s like pulling an uno reverse card!

The main reason people don’t use humour in professional settings is: I don’t think my boss would approve, but a recent survey of more than 700 CEOs showed that 98% of CEOs prefer job candidates with a sense of humour and 84% think that funny employees do better work, and according to the World Economic Forum, researchers in Austria recently discovered that funny people have higher IQs than their less funny peers, so I’m not saying you’re smarter than all of your unfunny co-workers, but science is science 😉 shrug.

The average 4-year-old laughs 300 times a day, and do you know how many times the average 40-year-old laughs a day? 4. Don’t you want to be part of the reason that number increases? Don’t you want to be number 5? Or 6 or 7 or 32?

I started a meme account recently and I didn’t tell any of my professors about it, and all of a sudden, I find them DMing me laughing at the memes I’m posting, because at the end of the day, we crave human connection; if the only mark you’re leaving with your professor or boss is your level of work, then that’s immemorable; a robot can do that, an algorithm can do that, a computer can do that, but they hire a human because they want a human, so leave your human mark. Oftentimes “professionalism” is reduced to being non-human, and so if being unprofessional means being human and being a friend, and leaving who YOU are in everything that you do, then don’t we all want to be unprofessional on some instinctive level?

And so, I know you have a meme saved on your Instagram because you want to send it to a Professor so bad but you’re afraid because of this “professional” barrier; I want you to grab your phone and DM  that meme to that Professor, and hey, if they ghost you or get you in trouble, don’t worry I got you, tell them your cat was walking across the keyboard and she sent it, this excuse works 98% of the time, and that is NOT a bogus statistic. Wink

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