Billed as one of Britain’s’ biggest and best celebrations of the arts, Vault Festival 2020 is now in full flow. In its eighth year and running until March 22, the annual London event features theatre, cabaret, immersive experiences, late-night parties, pop-up events and more. 

For many festivalgoers, however, the biggest attraction of the broad and diverse programme in Waterloo and South Bank venues is the rich humour that’s a central theme to so many shows.  

There are also opportunities to get up close and personal with the stars of stand-up, from the ‘charming and moderately obscene’ Lily Phillips to Ed Night and his celebrated ‘Work in Progress’. 

While fans look forward to sketches and skits that tear open the envelope of contemporary comedy, the jesters themselves wryly admit comedy is no laughing matter: it’s a serious job.  

Thankfully, you don’t have to be a giggle guru to make a living through laughter: many careers value a sense of humour.  

Unless you’re aiming to be a surgeon, it’s hard to imagine that working in healthcare could be side-splitting . . . and yet the healing power of laughter is well known among professionals. 

As any nurse, GP or consultant can confirm, humour removes any embarrassment from delicate situations. It’s difficult to be diffident about your personals when the doc’s joking about her marigolds coming out early this year. 

Humour also lets loose those wild endorphins from the brain – feelgood chemicals that lower stress levels while boosting our immune systems. In fact, laughter really is the best medicine: prescription-free, it can reduce emotional negativity and physical discomfort. 

Similarly, social care is a sector where looking at the lighter side of life can often help patients and professionals tackle serious issues together. Laughter breaks down barriers that might prevent a patient from opening up and beginning their healing process. By playing an important and pivotal role in communication, it encourages sharing and inspires trust. 

Humour really is a powerful force for good in many workplace situations. This is true even in the classroom or college, where for a teacher, classroom assistant or senior lecturer to be human and even remotely funny can make everyone feel instantly more at ease and aid learning.  

To share knowledge and offer advice, teachers must engage with students emotionally on a level that’s both understood and welcomed. Therefore, more experienced educators welcome laughter in their classrooms and even factor it into lessons.  

They know that not only does this foster an environment of informality where students feel empowered to ask questions and engage, it can also be an effective tool in keeping discipline. Persuading troublemakers back into line is easier and more effective in the long term if done with a lighter touch. Disciplining with humour also lessens the risk of alienating individuals. 

It’s important to note that, while teasing is commonplace in comedy shows where the front row has sealed their fate to be fair game, it’s cruel and counter-productive in a classroom setting. Judicious use of humour, on the other hand, is a great way to encourage open, friendly and mutually supportive learning groups. 

Humour is just as powerful a tool in PR, marketing and advertising, especially when finely tuned to the funny bones of a specific audience. More and more brands are using comedy to build their rapport with the public. 

For copywriters, content creators and brand managers, comedy acts as a bonding mechanism, lowering the defences of the most jaded potential customer. When we’re laughing it’s more difficult to be sceptical about a company or product and more likely we’ll be open to hearing the marketing message. 

Comedy is also gold in the worlds of retail and customer service. Understanding how it works here is easier when we look at the basic physiology. Working our facial muscles into a grin, even when we really don’t feel like it, automatically make us feel good. This is because when we smile, we immediately rewire our brains for happiness.  

When shop managers, sales assistants and customer service agents introduce light and inoffensive humour into a fraught situation, grins nearly always win the day. 

There’s nothing quite like a quick-quipped pun to help you take charge of the emotional temperature. There may be lots in the company guidebook to help set the thermostat for customers, but it all starts with a jest. 

So next time you find yourself facing an irate customer complaining their new sweater generates enough static to light up Blackpool Tower, defuse the situation with banter. Perhaps mention the replacement will be free of charge? 

If you’re already looking for a comedic role with x1jobs, when it comes to writing a successful CV or acing your interview, show your fun personality and sense of humour. You may not land a top gig at Vault or next month’s Bath Comedy Festival, but you could find yourself centre-stage in an exciting new job. 

Did you hear the one about x1jobs, the best place to find new careers? Well, the punchline is all yours.