Review: Business Book Club: Humour Seriously - Why Humour is a Superpower at Work and in Life

Written by Libby Gordon.

Author: Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas
Reviewed by: Libby Gordon 

Kicking off NZBWN International Women’s Day on a cold winter February morning a group of Kiwi women gathered on Zoom, coffees in hand, lockdown weariness on faces, to discuss… humour! Humour Seriously

The conversation as always, wove around a bit as reflections and takeaways were shared from the pages read. Easy to consume, either reading or listening the people enjoyed the relationship between the two authors, they enjoyed the collaboration, friendship and story that was woven throughout. 

The two main takeaways from the conversations were around being yourself and the importance of humour, especially in the workplace. 

The first point was nicely summed up by this statement ‘I don’t see self as very funny, this book may not be for me… but it is not about telling jokes it is more about being yourself’

There was a recognition that you don’t have to be a comic to bring levity into your work persona; it’s about your personality and what works for you but not being afraid to use what you have. Often surprise humour is the funniest, it does not need to be a big joke, just something to show personality so that other parties know they are not talking to a brick wall. Being natural can help you to be better at your job; one group member reflected how it made their sales calls better, just being themselves. 

Our Stories: Daniella Walters

Written by Amelia Murray.

In her mid 20’s, Daniella did what so many of us curious Kiwis do - she packed up her life to move across the world. Armed with a two-year working visa, she headed off to London, with the desire to travel Europe and live in “one of the most exciting cities in the world”. Fast forward 11 years and Daniella is still proud to call London her “home away from home”.daniella

Growing up, Daniella said she didn’t have a dream career. “I decided very last minute what University I wanted to attend and what to study,” she said. She was living in one of London’s Kiwi hotspots, Fulham, surrounded by a great network of friends and working for a magic circle law firm, when she decided to make a change. She stepped away from her job as a foreign qualified lawyer, for a new career path to work in digital marketing. It was these skills in law and marketing that Daniella eventually carried through into her very own business - Pēpi Collection.

A dose of kiwi inspiration: International Women’s Day #ChooseToChallenge

Written by Rachael Frear.

Hosted by New Zealand Business Women’s Network & Kea New Zealand.
Review by Rachael Frear

What an amazing night hearing from three of New Zealand’s greatest female success stories - chef Monica Galetti, London Bridge Hospital CEO Janene Madden and fashion designer Emilia Wickstead during this year’s International Women’s Day event to discuss the theme: Choose To Challenge.

IWD

My top highlights:
1. Kiwis have a phenomenal reputation in the UK for our “roll up your sleeves, get on with it attitude”
When I made the move from NZ to the UK, I had heard about the reputation of our Kiwi predecessors, speaking to our can-do attitude, work ethic and resilience. All these values shined throughout when hearing Monica, Janene and Emilia speak about their upbringing, careers and lives.

The panelists came from very different professions; however, all discussed this similar kiwi nature when facing challenges too, with Emilia explaining “we have that roll up your sleeves, get on with it attitude and I think that was something that was instilled in me from a very young age from my mum”. Throughout the event, you could feel the love and admiration Emilia has for her mum as one of her biggest inspirations and supporters.

Our Stories: Jodi Zervos

Written by Nicola Cockroft.

Struggling to make herself understood at the mobile phone shop and stifled by the humidity on the walk there, Jodi Zervos found herself wondering if she’d made the right decision moving to Hong Kong a few years ago. “It was hard at the beginning. It takes time to get to know a place.” But her kiwi determination kicked in, she gave it time and eventually settled in.Jodi Zervos

Jodi has always had a sense of adventure. She moved to Cairns from Auckland when she was 18, where she discovered her passion for diving around the Great Barrier Reef. There, she also started her career in hospitality. It wasn’t what she’d planned, but she’s philosophical about the paths we end up on. “Everything in life is an opportunity put in front of us,” she says. “I always ask myself: Am I learning? Am I growing? And if it feels right, I follow it.”

So when bitten by the travel bug, she started a new adventure in the UK, travelling and exploring for a number of years. She also worked managing catering contracts for the British Museum and the Barbican.

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