Quartz at Work’s reporters have had many different kinds of work experience (one of them, for instance, has worked at a hedge fund, another has worked at a Trader Joe’s, and yet another has covered both investment banking and wellness), and they have many interesting ideas, but they don’t have all of the experience and all of the interesting ideas. That’s why Quartz at Work has a contributor section, in which we invite members of our community to share their unique knowledge and perspectives.
Since our October 2017 launch, we’ve heard from CEOs, recruiters, HR professionals, researchers, and a Buddhism expert. They’ve written about how to make work more equitable, efficient, and better for parents; shared their personal experiences with everything from harassment to parenting a child with special needs; and advised on both the big and small dilemmas in our modern workplace. To celebrate our one-year anniversary, we’ve compiled 10 of our favorite stories from our contributor section.
What April Rinne does at work doesn’t look the same every day, and the location in which she does it changes, too. In this Quartz at Work article, she describes the rise of a new type of career. A “portfolioist,” she writes, “does the hard work of figuring out what the world truly needs, maps that to a range of skills she possesses (and enjoys), and folds that into a business model.”
Everyone has to deliver bad news now and then, but as a radiation oncologist, doing so is a core function of Andrew Neuschatz’s job. In this article, he walks through the steps he follows to deliver bad news thoughtfully, in a way that is meant to make the experience less painful for everyone.
“Practical philosopher” Andrew Taggart is a Quartz at Work contributor who is deeply skeptical of, well, work. Or at least, work as we commonly view it in the 21st century. Here he examines the modern obsession with squeezing ever more productivity out of each day. “A more fundamental question than how we can ‘hack’ our productivity,” he writes, “is why we place so much importance on doing so in the first place.”
Humanyze CEO Ben Waber has an unusual policy at his company: Paternity leave is mandatory. Fathers don’t need to take 12 fully paid weeks off all at once, but they must do it within the year. Waber explains his reasoning here.
Christine Liu, a fourth-year PhD candidate in neuroscience at UC Berkeley, questions the idea that she’s experienced “imposter syndrome” at times when she’s felt as though her success might be a fluke. That’s because there can be no “imposters” in science—”It doesn’t require genius at all,” she writes. “It requires dedication, curiosity, and comfort in going against the grain of society”—and because feelings of self-doubt are normal. She wonders if “by framing feelings of inadequacy as a personal flaw that needs to be worked on, we let the toxic culture in academic research off the hook.”
When Spotify went public earlier this year, CEO Daniel Ek said his intention was to directly match public buyers with private sellers—in other words, the sale wasn’t all that necessary for the company’s needs, but rather its shareholders’ needs. This isn’t an uncommon situation. “The need for capital is far smaller than yesteryear—and there are better options than the public equity markets,” Aspen Institute vice president Judith Samuelson wrote, asking, “Then why do we still call it capitalism?”
When software developer Melissa McEwen was applying for jobs last year, she noticed that something had changed since she’d looked for her first job in tech. Companies now expected days’ worth of unpaid homework. Here she describes the trend and how it could amplify bias.
Cy Wakeman, who calls herself a “drama researcher,” has advised Quartz at Work readers on the art of avoiding drama (and time-wasting in general) at work. In her guide for avoiding stupid questions, she offers practical, step-by-step instructions for turning your stupid questions into helpful ones.
Thanks for reading Quartz At Work. If you have unique knowledge or a perspective you’d like to share, please check out our contributor guidelines. You can find us on Twitter or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.