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Ikea’s newest job is nearly impossible to get

Adults need not apply.

Ikea’s newest job is nearly impossible to get
[Photo: Ikea]
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Your kid doesn’t need to go to the North Pole to test out toys. If they love playtime, they could be qualified for a top job at Ikea.

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The Swedish furniture retailer’s UK & Ireland division is hiring a chief play officer to test out its latest toys. The only catch: they must be between the ages of 4 and 12.

The core qualifications? A love for play and adventure, and an active imagination that transforms ordinary, everyday objects like sheets and chairs into extraordinary playthings, like forts and castles. Just another day in the life of a kid, really.

This comes at a time when kids are playing less. According to research the company commissioned in the U.K., children are spending an average of 254 hours less on play than their parents did at the same age. Additionally, more than half of the children surveyed are playing less now than they did before the coronavirus pandemic, with three quarters of parents noticing a change in their child’s mood.

[Photos: Ikea]
Ikea is introducing the role for the first time to celebrate play as a fundamental right, the company says. It’s also worth noting that this isn’t a job per se, but a contest, according to an Ikea spokesperson. It’s not a salaried role, but your kid does get to keep all the toys they test out. The winning candidate will serve as CPO for one year, beginning in 2021.

The role is part time and at home. And the chief responsibility is to act as a fun decider: test new toys whenever there’s a new launch. (This year, Ikea released 35 new toys.) While this may also sound like the perfect role for the young at heart, this role is unfortunately restricted to actual children, so adults need not apply.

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Interested children (and their parents) can apply via email (there are more details here) by January 4, 2021. Applicants are encouraged to get creative and have fun with their application.

Opening gifts during the holiday season is one thing, but new toys year round? That’s the gift that keeps on giving.

About the author

Lilly Smith is an associate editor of Co.Design. She was previously the editor of Design Observer, and a contributing writer to AIGA Eye on Design.

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