Millennial's aren't needy, they're in need

"Oftentimes, my generation, the 'Millennials,' is characterized by entitlement and selfishness, neediness and laziness. Our environment’s disapproval is clear and concise, plastered on magazine covers and online think pieces. “Millennials Are Selfish and Entitled,” TIME Magazine. “The Entitled Generation” - New York Times. But when we look at the most recent US Census data, we find that young adults today are operating in the worst working environment in recent history. More of us have college degrees, but fewer of us are employed. Those of us that are employed are making a lower median wage. We’re more likely to live with our parents and never get married. More of us are living under the poverty line. Seems to me that we’re not needy, we’re literally in need."

- from "Introduction" pg. 3

Our most influential structures have failed us

"'Human error is usually a result of poor design.' This concept can have relatively modest impact when we push a door instead of pull, experiencing a momentary feeling of “doh” and moving on with our lives. It can be tragic when our error is ignoring something that we could be passionate about because our system is designed to guide us away from it. And it can have enormous impact when our error is convincing ourselves that we’re broken in some ways, that we aren’t talented, that we can’t be successful.

'The vicious cycle starts: if you fail at something, you think it is your fault. Therefore you think you can’t do that task. As a result, next time you have to do the task, you believe you can’t, so you don’t even try. The result is that you can’t, just as you thought. You’re trapped in a self-fulfilling prophecy.'"

- from "The Design of Everyday Lives" pg. 38

We need to rely on ourselves to get out of this mess

As we stop relying on archaic institutions for purpose, we take ownership of the arc of our careers, and in doing so, take ownership of the arc of our lives. When we work with meaning, we live with meaning. We make decisions that align with our purpose and ethics. We challenge companies and organizations to answer Why. In turn, companies realize employees create the most value for them when employer purpose aligns with employee purpose. Those that cannot find an employer to align with have more tools than ever to create value for themselves and the world on their own terms.

- from "Working Jobs for Everyone" pg. 183

Over a dozen interviews with people who took a leap to pursue their passion, found a way to become world class, and created a career for themselves on their own terms


Tim Wu (Elephante)

Producer and DJ

Tim Wu, better known by his progressive house alter-ego Elephante, is one of the most interesting personalities in electronic music. In the span of fewer than two years, Tim has gone from unknown to millions of plays, a deal with the Creative Artist’s Agency, and shows all over the country.

"I actually think talent is very overrated and just like anything else, anything creative takes so much time and so much work. Maybe they had a seed of talent that helped them put in that work, but so much of my growth as an artist has just been sitting there doing things over and over and over again. The number of hours spent just sitting there doing the most menial sounding things to people is just staggering at this point.

I appreciate when people call me talented at this point but so much of it has just been putting in so much time to do things, to learn how things work, to be like this doesn’t sound good how can I make this better."


More to be added soon!

Act 1 explains where we're at today. We're higher educated yet more unemployed. We're unsatisfied with our work and getting paid less.

Act 1
Hello, reader
How to Use This Book
Man's Search for Meaning
Delayed Gratification
Walking in Circles
Exercise: 24 Hours to Live
Exercise: Writing Our Obituary
Great Expectations
Asking Why
How We Approach the Future
The Design of Everyday Lives
Young Adults Then and Now

Act 2 investigates how we got here. We dissect the American Dream, assess our education system, and scrutinize our attitudes about work. Then, we study the stories of people who have found a way to work on their own terms and look inside ourselves to find our path

Act 2
Breaking Free
Cubicles and Clerks
Big Lies
Compulsary Education
Climbing the Ladder
New Skin
Introducing the Exercises
Channeling Your Younger Self
Flow State
List of People
Inflection Points
Societal Success
Observe Yourself
The Elephant in the Room
Talent and Debunking the 10,000 Hour Rule
Is "Follow Your Passion" Bad Advice?
Channel the Skeptics
Loss Aversion

Act 3 takes everything we've learned about ourselves and our environment, explores how technology is changing our work environment, and helps us make a plan to do what we love for a living

Act 3
Power Structures
The Illusion of a Plan
New Rules
Risk and Fragility
Levering Your Strengths
Creativity and Competition
Falling Forward, Now
Fixed versus Growth Mindset
Where to Begin
How to Dabble
Education Then and Now
How to Dabble
Outside of Working Hours
Learning Plan
So Good They Can't Ignore You
Turning Semi-Pro
The Resistance
Showing Work
Getting Paid
New Work
The Irony

Tony Sheng

I quit my job to write this book. And what started as what some have called an experiment in “finding myself” uncovered more than just a better understanding of what got me personally excited. I found a lot of things that made me really angry, things that had prevented me from finding meaning in my work, things that prevented my friends and family from finding meaning in their work--things that I believe hold us, as a human race, as citizens of the world, back.

Previously, I led a marketing team at ZEFR. Prior to that I analyzed business at McKinsey & Co.

When I'm not writing Working Jobs I'm hosting a podcast called Worked Up, advising startups, and building businesses.