My first event at my new job was hard. I had a 5:30 a.m. arrival at a school over an hour away from my house. The outdoor “Fun Run,” the final-day celebration of Boosterthon’s fundraising effort at an elementary school, would begin at 8 a.m. Each grade had its own run, so we had six events with hundreds of students, teachers, and parents. Before the sun had fully risen, we had set up hundreds of cones, multiple tents, flags, and inflatable tunnels to make the experience one the school would never forget. At the end of it all, my program leader asked what I thought. I told him, “I loved it!”
Five years later, I’m still at Booster and realize that day was good foreshadowing of how much fun hard work could be.
When my team works in a school, we get to be the life of the party. We get to take an ordinary school day and “amp it up” by interacting with students, teachers, and administration. We meet with different grades each day to highlight character-building themes and build excitement in the school. We have dance parties, read to classes, bring coffee to school staff, and so much more.
Throughout my career, I’ve learned that fun and the fulfillment gained from working hard for our clients is simply part of Booster’s culture. Here are five reasons why:
1. We do serious work without taking ourselves too seriously.
The business of funding elementary schools in America is serious. Especially now, schools’ needs are greater than ever. The funds we help raise support whatever strategic need the school has – from books to technology to playground equipment. We do this important work with a whole lot of levity. We laugh; we dance; we run around; we use tape to “stick” teachers (and our team members) to walls! All so we can help a school and its students thrive.
2. The people I work with are fun.
Booster values success as well as celebration. In fact, “celebration” is one of our six company Virtues. Confetti canons, literally, are a regular occurrence in my workweek. Every birthday, professional achievement, personal milestone, and team meeting is marked with confetti. We once had to explain to a fire marshal why we had confetti stuck in our ceiling. Why so much fun? Because a people-centered business can make a difference – for the team members, the company, and the clients. I have benefitted from a company that puts people at the center of everything.
3. A positive environment is a great place to grow.
In this “fun” job, I never expected to grow as a person and as a business leader. I never knew I would enjoy learning to think through a business lens and using that knowledge to benefit my clients. I didn’t expect to appreciate honest and insightful feedback that helps me learn my strengths as well as how to improve. I never expected that the people I work with and for would make me a better person both on and off the job.
4. Schools need the joy we bring.
I think we can all agree that the past year and a half has been challenging for both students and teachers. Elementary school calendars, usually overflowing with events, have been sparse on activities. Teachers have worked extra hard to find creative ways adapt, engage, and help students continue to thrive. As the Booster team, we get to bring smiles, dancing, events, excitement, and joy to the students and teachers who need it. Every early morning drive, email, meeting, and even pie in the face is made worthwhile when we see the joy on students’ faces.
5. We get to see the change we make.
Changing the world is not easy, but at Booster, we get to see the fruits of our labor before we leave the building at the end of the week! In a short amount of time, we help schools raise much needed funds, and celebrate with an incredible event. We also get to see students inspired and communities thriving day in and day out and know our hard work is truly making a difference before our eyes.
One of the best kinds of tired is the exhaustion that comes after a successful event with your amazing teammates at a wonderful school that reached its goal. That is an unmatched feeling of hard work and well-earned celebration. And you know, it sure is FUN!