News and Events
“A vocational and sociological travelogue that readers will find to be time well spent,” says Kirkus
Great news: MY JOB: Real People at Work Around the World just received a glowing review from Kirkus, the gold standard for book reviews. Known for being “cantankerous” and “thorough, unbiased, and a tough critic,” Kirkus warns authors that you may not wish to share what they have to say about your book.
However, I’m thrilled to share every word:
A collection of intimate interviews with people regarding the personal, familial, cultural, and geographic factors in their working lives.
Inspired by Studs Terkel’s Working (1974), which profiled ordinary American workers, editor Skees (God Among the Shakers, 1998) takes the concept global. Six of her 16 subjects live in the United States, including a slack-key guitarist in Honolulu, an architect in Cincinnati, and a recruiter/headhunter in Tampa, Florida. The rest are on other continents, including a coffee farmer in Nicaragua, a Masai warrior in Tanzania, a married couple running an eco-friendly factory in India, a rickshaw puller in Bangladesh, and a private equity manager in Hong Kong. Skees organizes the material into five sections (“Entrepreneurship,” “Industry and Transportation,” “Farming, Food, and Animals,” “Finance and Technology,” and “Music & Arts”), but each first-person account stands on its own, and they can be read in any order. A map, photograph, and editor’s note introduce each, and footnotes supplement the text. Skees nimbly maintains a consistent narrative flow, with none of the readability problems that are common in transcriptions. Whereas Terkel packed a great many workers into his book, Skees gives her subjects more space to muse, digress, and occasionally contradict themselves. The results are highly personal, often poignant, sometimes gritty, and routinely granular—perhaps more than some readers may expect, or even desire. The editor sets out to demonstrate that “our job = our self.” But such detailed portraits also reveal that formula’s commutative property—how personal preferences, chance, circumstances, and location shape each person’s job choice and performance. Skees is a nonprofit international development specialist, and doing work that contributes to the greater good emerges as a strong theme. As a result, this is a small, and perhaps skewed, sample of the world’s workforce (although a second volume is forthcoming), but it will inspire readers by showcasing workers across diverse industries, income levels, countries, and cultures expressing how they find meaning in their work beyond earning money.
A vocational and sociological travelogue that readers will find to be time well spent.
Read the original review here.
MY JOB owes all credit to the sixteen bold, unique narrators of Book 1 who not only shared their insiders’ stories of what it takes to do what they do on the job, but revealed their most intimate human experiences–i.e., heroic stories of lives told through the lens of work. Get to know them here.
Stay tuned for Book 2 in the series–publication announcement with more good news, coming soon!
And thanks for being part of the MY JOB community.
Recent News and Events
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The reviews are in and the good news is piling up fast!
It’s always a pleasure hearing real, honest feedback from those who have read My Job. Listening to stories of readers who have experienced new perspectives, gained new appreciations and rejoiced in “aha!” moments after reading My Job is truly a great joy. It reminds me of the primary reason I wrote the book in the first place; to bring people together from all over the world, share experiences and learn from one another.read more
My first experience with the planet’s largest book trade show, Book Expo America (BEA), held in Chicago in May, left me dazed and dazzled.read more
At the Northern California Grantmakers and Exponent Philanthropy workshop, Author Suzanne Skees taught an interactive workshop on how to identify core stories for nonprofits and funders, and how to build elements of engaging stories to connect your audience with your cause. She used several Skees Foundation “Seeds of Hope” stories and the MY JOB book to dissect what she terms “connective tissue” yoking narrator to reader in empathy that creates community and inspires empathic action.read more
A high-impact group of global philanthropists from The Philanthropy Workshop gathered for a series on using the arts to promote social justice; the weekend included music and dancing as well as talks by bestselling novelist Dave Eggers on his publishing company Voice of Witness as well as MY JOB author Suzanne Skeesread more
“Active listening that leads to action: There is no greater act of care than listening to someone’s story,” Skees told the audience of about fifty people gathered in the Embarcadero Center. “I believe the greatest form of intimacy is sharing our stories. It’s when we tell each other the stories of who we are that we reveal the layers below our surface and truly become close.“read more