Posted on: November 17th, 2010 by admin No Comments

I’ve been talking to people who like what they do for a living. People who’ve found something extraordinary for themselves in their work and who’ve been able to thrive in a down economy. Is there a better definition for career success?

Work life is more fluid than ever, for better or for worse, and the experience of re-inventing yourself for the work world is not exclusive to recent grads. As I collect the material for this project — which I’m calling Amplified Conversations — in my blog I will ask the question: What do they all have in common, these people who like what they do, and who do it as well or better than anyone else? What can we learn from them?

From the outset, this project helps to broaden the scope of my own work. During the the last couple of years I’ve been putting together a writing portfolio, and most of that focus has fallen on outdoor sports. It is the athletes I’ve talked to — for stories in Canoe & Kayak, Berkshire Living, Paddler, and other magazines — who really got me thinking about this project. So often, these athletes were excited to talk about the challenges that lay ahead, and those conversations lead me — I hope, in a permanent way — to seek the same enthusiasm in myself.

Now that I’m looking for it in others, in the world of work, I will follow this project into office buildings, toll booths, airplanes, garbage trucks, cubicles — or anywhere I can find people who believe they are doing the best kind of work for them. I will explore the subject in my blog, and I want to explore it in magazine articles and perhaps in a book. And along the way I will acknowledge a thousand times my debt to Studs Terkel and his groundbreaking classic, Working: People Talk about What They Do All Day and How They Feel about It (1974).