You’re the expert

Over the last few weeks I’ve realised which side I’m on in the battle to survive work and it turns out to be both mine and yours. In the process of setting up the Surviving Work Library I have become acutely aware that my own expertise is at times questionable. 3am Monday morning of the launch of the Surviving Work Library and I delete a mailing list that has taken 15 years to compile. Not exactly hypocrisy but a close call.


Simply to get out of the house I went to an LSE event talking about two massively popular projects: the Guardian’s Reading-the-riots and the BBC’s Class Calculator. Both of which were actually done by academics. These people are top of their game, in some sense dusty ol’ geeks shamefully shedding their cardigans to go on day time telly, but actually ahead of the game. They tweet n blog n roll with the new impact agenda and manage to produce actual facts to understand the very bruised and damaged world we live in.

But there’s a more profound shift happening here and it’s about where we look for expertise. The deliciousness of overhearing other people’s conversations is that we are learning from the real experts about life. Trouble is that as soon as you roll out your interview schedule the magic moment has passed. This is why the real expertise around mental health and surviving work is often lost and that’s why we set up the Surviving Work Library. It exists for us to blow our own trumpets.

Over the next year we want to build a free and anonymous source of help by the real experts, us. We do not seek advice from positions of relative security or leaflets telling us to eat fruit. We want to know right now, deep n lite, how to actually survive work.

This means that we need you to become our published authors by sending in your top tips, your stories and ideas to the website. And if you wanted us to come over for tea and a chat and do some recordings with you or the people that you work with then just give us a buzz on [email protected]. Seriously, human contact, it’s really nice. And just for the record this is literally the worst business idea we’ve ever had because there is no money whatsoever in it for us.

Please tell people about the Surviving Work Library Send the link to your friends, tell the people you work with about it, put it on your websites and tweet like crazies. Help us find the future Professors of Bashing Bullies and the Senior Lecturers in managing to surf the workplace wave of laughter and loathing.

Start here by listening to someone who knows something about standing up for themselves, and you.

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