Introducing the third and final volume in the limited series art journal, Milk! Cover art by Fatema Abizar.
I’ve just launched a new online platform, Useful. The idea behind the project is the relationship between people and work. We’ve all seen the trends of industries falling apart due to obsolescence, unemployment due to automation and AI, underemployment due to a chasm appearing between skilled and unskilled labor, and the trend towards all jobs requiring computer and technology skills. It’s a lot happening at once, and one thing that’s for sure is that nobody–as individuals or as organizations–knows exactly how to prepare ourselves for the future.
Thriving in the new world of work
I’m interested in how we as individuals will adapt. One thing that I’ve noticed in my own experience of looking for work is the overwhelming feeling of uselessness that comes with being out of work. It’s amazing how stark the experience is: With work, you can feel productive, valued, respected, and purposeful in your day, and if you find yourself out of work for whatever reason… you can fall into a downward spiral of feeling directionless and useless. It’s not true at all that we are useless, but we feel useless. The truth is, we are experienced, full of wisdom and capabilities, but our brains tend to play nasty tricks on us when they’ve got nothing else to do.
I created Useful. as a platform to address this gap: it’s a collection of activity sheets to get you thinking about your purpose and value outside of traditional ideas of work. It’s meant to be light and fun; each one is just a single piece of paper that you can print and play with. And best of all, it’s free. I want to make sure that everyone has access, regardless of their financial situation.
Support Useful or get involved
But wait, there’s more! If you like the idea, here’s how you can join the party:
Do you know anyone who’s unemployed, underemployed or sademployed?
Send them a link, spread the word. I want this to be genuinely helpful to people.
Do you have any stories, tips, or ideas for work in the new world?
Tell me. I’m very interested in hearing other people’s thoughts on: new ways to make a living, how to separate jobs from income, how to find purpose outside of work, how you keep your chin up when your chips are down, what motivates you when you’ve got nothing to do and nowhere to be… and anything in this line of thinking.
Do you know any life coaches, career counselors, (un-)employment officers, or HR specialists?
Again, spread the word. In particular, I would love to collaborate with people who are already working in this field to bring their professional practices into more accessible terms, so they can be seen more widely. Professionals are welcome to use my activity sheets in their practice (because they’re released under a Creative Commons license) and I would be happy to help create some custom activity sheets based on the work they’re already doing.