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Civic Impact

Ways We Work grows from passion project to professional profiles

Amandah Wood launched Ways We Work looking for professional advice; now she shares it with the world.

Ways We Work started because Amandah Wood was looking for a mentor. “I was working in my first job out of university two or three years ago. I was feeling really overwhelmed. How do people decide what tools to use? How do they break up their week to make sure they’re productive?” She came up with a list of ten questions and began sending them to people she found inspirational. “That turned into a blog,” she says.

Wood is the Founder and Editor of Ways We Work, an online publication devoted to showcasing some of the best and brightest minds in the creative, digital, and design fields. “We focus on people who are really passionate about the work they do. Often, they’ve chosen the work they do over something else. We talk to them about the challenges of the work, the challenges of how they go there, and how they work.” In two years, the blog has grown from a simple Wordpress site to a thriving collection of profiles, features, and photography. Leaders from Mozilla, Pinterest and Buzzfeed, as well as freelance writers, editors, photographers, and filmmakers, offer insights into their career paths.

“I had this selfish motivation that I was going to send these questions to people and then I would have all the answers,” laughs Wood. “But everyone is figuring it out. No matter what point I talk to someone in their career, they still have challenges.” Wood sees the blog as a way to share the expertise that people are offering her. She cites the Vice President of Design at Buzzfeed, who said that no place is free of challenges. “But are the problems and challenges that I’m facing ones that I find valuable to solve? And do I feel empowered to solve them? And maybe his team would have gotten that advice, but now all our readers get that too.”

This summer, Ways We Work will expand to include a job board focusing on the Toronto, San Francisco, and New York regions. “We’re hoping to encourage people to write job postings in a Q&A style: what is this role, why is it interesting. We’re hoping for cultural fit rather than always a skills checklist.”
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