Useful. is a project centered on 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.