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Why Humor Is Necessary To Advance Your Career & Life

baby boomer bald man sits on couch with two beagle dogsDOGS NAMED STEVE & MIKE

I have a dog named Steve, and we just got a friend for him that we are going to name “Mike.”

We are naming our new dog “Mike” b/c I think it is hilarious to give dogs people names, particularly middle-aged boomer names.

I can’t wait to be at the nearby park where most of the middle-aged men are named either Steve or Mike.

When I yell: “Here Steve, here Mike…” I expect to see two dogs come running along with at least a half dozen middle-aged boomers with beer-bellies and gray facial hair (I will have to bring boomer treats along with my dog treats).

The problem is that I am usually the only one who thinks this is hilarious – BUT according to two Stanford professors, that is OK.

I in fact tell dad jokes all day long at the office only to get blank stares, looks of confusion and/or this: “you’re not funny.” 😊


In this recent Prof G Show podcast (hosted by NYU Professor Scott Galloway), two authors and Stanford professors shared their research in regard to humor and how it can be employed to advance our careers.

The authors make several points: (1) Humor augments mental health & happiness tremendously; (2) Humor advances careers; and (3) Humor is a learned skill that even the unfunniest among us can master.

They also mentioned that on people’s deathbeds one of the most often heard comments is that they wished they had laughed more.

In addition, bosses and leaders who employ humor in their day-to-day management duties are “27% more likely to be admired.”

And, if salespeople employ humor in their negotiation tactics, their clients are “18% more likely to buy.”

And finally, when humor is part of our messaging, our content or points are far more likely to be retained.

To cultivate the humor skill, we need to identify our “humor style,” including: (1) Stand up – entertainers who are not afraid to offend; (2) Sweetheart – uplifting for others and self-deprecating; (3) Sniper – interrupters who use humor to make points; and (4) Magnet – self-deprecators who are very generous with their own laughter.

Prospective comedians should of course remember to avoid being too offensive and to always “punch up” (don’t make fun of anyone less powerful). Humor also doesn’t always require being “overtly funny” at all times; it can also entail many subtleties and simply appreciating the humor of others.

Anyway – if you want to be more successful and happier, you should employ humor – even if your entire millennial office thinks you’re not funny (like in my case 😊).

Apparently, even an onslaught of unfunny dad jokes can help your career (and thank god for that).


(as a certified boomer, I am allowed to make fun of boomers particularly when my joke is based on reality at JVM).

Answer: Four.

One to tell you how much harder they worked back in the day…

One to tell you how much smarter they were back in the day…

One to tell you how much better the music was back in the day…


One to ask his assistant to hire TaskRabbit to screw in the bulb b/c all the boomers have bad backs, and no way in hell are any of them going to figure out TaskRabbit…

Jay Voorhees
Founder/Broker | JVM Lending
(855) 855-4491 | DRE# 1197176, NMLS# 310167