Creators' Corner #8 - the Future of Work, better stressors and becoming your own boss

Creators' Corner #8 - the Future of Work, better stressors and becoming your own boss
Picture of the week. A snap from last weekend's skiing in Mayrhofen, Austria. 

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Line-up this week:

  1. My latest essay: the Future of Work
  2. Thought of the week
  3. Creator spotlight: Vicky Zhao
  4. Small Wins

1. Essay: The Future of Work

I am excited to share my latest essay with you. What started as frustration at how my team was handling remote work and an attempt to solve it, the piece has evolved into something more. In this essay, I try show what employees want from work and how companies can adapt to get the best results from their employees.

From the intro:

The way we work is changing. The daily commute is out the window, my suits are gathering dust in the cupboard and Zoom meetings are the order of the day.

The Covid pandemic and subsequent work-from-home spells set off a chain of dominoes. Employees have grown used to the freedoms associated with remote work and companies have relaxed their old, school-like rules requiring facetime and working the traditional 9-5.

The Black Death, which raged from 1347-1351, provides an interesting parallel...


The essay explores the three main trends I'm seeing:

  1. Location independence
  2. Schedule independence
  3. Income independence

Hit the link to

The Future of Work
In the future, some people will be able to work from anywhere, at any time and potentially for anyone. In many ways, the future is already here. The Covid pandemic and subsequent work-from-home spells have changed attitudes towards work. Workers are challenging traditional corporate views on being i…

2. Thought of the week

I saw this tweet last week and I haven't stopped thinking about it.

The whole thread is brilliant and well worth a read for the Elon Musk jokes.

Nick goes on to explain that we find murder mysteries, video games and social media relaxing only because they are more stressful (and can be solved more easily) than whatever stress we had before.

These activities provide two layers of stress relief:

  1. Distraction from our original stressor with a better stressor, and
  2. When the new stressor is solved it triggers relaxation. Both from the new better stressor, and the original, real life thing that was bothering us before.

The body can’t tell where the relax signal came from. Nor does it care.

This might explain why I enjoy a good episode of Fargo or Peaky Blinders after a long day at work. And why I like skiing down steep slopes covered in snow.

3. Creator spotlight: Vicky Zhao

Vicky Zhao (@beeamp_vicky), one of my course mates from Write of Passage, makes brilliant visuals and video content. Here's one of my favourites:

Last year she quit her job as a management consultant to pursue her own career as a creator and entrepreneur. Naturally, this went against conventional advice from her family and friends.

I am fascinated by people like Vicky who are successful in corporate, but have the courage to pursue their own dreams and passions under their own name. In this video she describes her thought process behind the decision.

Two highlights (both unique perspectives) that stood out to me:

  • Exit strategy: There are many exciting exit options for management consulting. She always saw management consulting as a stepping stone to becoming an entrepreneur.
  • Speed of learning: She left when she realized she wasn't learning fast enough. In consulting, it took too long to learn the skills she was looking to develop as an entrepreneur.

4. Small Wins

Celebrating three small wins over the last month:

  • A first. At the conference I attended last month, I bumped into someone I had never met before in real life, but he knew me from subscribing to my newsletter. Crazy!
  • Opportunity. I received my first job referral this week from someone noticing my consistent writing and publishing habit.
  • Social. My article on Life as an Expat in Germany resonated with a lot of people on LinkedIn. With over 330 reactions and 40 new connections and follow requests, I am starting to warm up to the idea of publishing on a platform I didn't regard so highly before. LinkedIn can be a vehicle for making connections if you filter through all the icky self-promoting posts.

Hopefully this will encourage others to also share their work! You can create your own serendipity engine.

That's a wrap. Happy creating.

-- John


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