Can doodling at work help your career?

I’ve always had a special relationship with my dry erase whiteboard at work. There’s something about an expanse of untouched snow that makes me want to leave my mark on it. ALL OVER IT.

Sure, I’ve used my whiteboard properly for reminders and schedules, but the extra space left was just begging for artistic expression in the form of incessant doodling. Or so I thought.

It turned out that my co-workers had the same idea. It got so I’d never know what I’d come in to:

Animals (and musical notes) are shown here living in harmony.

Mathematical equations and references also appeared from time to time.

And hermit crabs.

We sometimes even had a bit of Shakespeare to add culture. (You may have noticed by now that my guinea pig is nearly a constant. Guinea pigs ALWAYS add class.)

Click for a bonus pic!

Here’s your career tip take-away:

Get a whiteboard. They’re cheap at drugstores if your company doesn’t provide one. Prop it up on your desk and invite your co-workers to leave a doodle with the marker color of their choice. I’ve had people whip something out in two minutes. I’ve seen others go away pondering what to draw and come back later in the day. Just the mere act of someone standing with marker poised can turn your cube into a mini water-cooler session. Before you know it, you’re getting to know more about the people you work with. How valuable is that?

The point is, this simple activity is a no-brainer. Doodling is a great ice-breaker if you’re new, a fun mid-year lift if you’ve all been slogging through a project, and an easy way to keep the camaraderie going throughout the year.

Just keep the markers out and be prepared for anything!

What simple things do you do for ice-breakers? How have you gotten to know your co-workers better? Share your experiences and tips in the comments!


Today I saw the Cubiclism collection of whiteboard graffiti that explodes doodling into dimensions I’ve yet to dare. Below is one example. Do go check out the rest.

2 thoughts on “Can doodling at work help your career?

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