Ways We Work is a digital publication that takes readers behind the scenes of companies and individuals doing what they love. Waterloo-based Amandah Wood and Matt Quinn visit creatives and help share their stories through honest conversations and beautiful photographs. They’ve also built a thriving community of readers and interviewees, which you can join by signing up for the newsletter or following their adventures through Instagram.
Amandah founded Ways We Work as a way to learn from other professionals and also facilitate an exchange of knowledge. She began to see that even at varying positions and levels of success, people experience professional and creative challenges. The site shares those stories in an honest and candid way. She teamed up with Matt Quinn a year ago and together they uncover the stories behind people’s work using candid photography, writing and interviews.
Scout Books was excited to partner with Amandah and Matt to create a special custom notebook to celebrate Ways We Work’s two year anniversary and 100th interview. Amandah worked with designer Mel Miller on the artwork, and used them as a giveaway in tandem with the birthday celebration. We’re looking forward to future collaborations with this awesome publication, and were happy to have master interviewer Amandah answer a few of questions herself:
What’s something you’ve learned from the first two years of Ways We Work?
Doing the work you love is hard. Really hard. I’ve learned that both through the interviews and people we’ve talked to and through our own experience running the site. There’s this idea that if you’re doing the work you love it shouldn’t feel like work, and I think we all know that’s a myth. The fact that you love what you do is where you get the strength to deal with all of the challenges and failures that happen along the way. We’ve learned just how many people struggle with time management and how that actually affects their work and their lives, how common burning out is and how different people trudge through that. We’ve also learned how difficult hiring is for teams of all sizes and the various reasons that it’s a challenge. There’s been so many learnings, but I could sum it up by saying that it’s just really hard to do work you truly care about and those are the stories we want to share.
What do you hope for the future of the publication?
We’ve heard from so many incredibly talented and driven people who have been so honest and open about what it really takes to do the work they love and we want to just continue to get to the heart of that. We just want Ways We Work to be a place that people can come when they’ve been hustling non-stop, maybe they haven’t been seeing the results they want or they’re just feeling defeated or burnt out. We want it to be a place where people can come and connect with other people’s stories, say “oh yeah, me too”, and just understand there’s other people out there who have similar challenges.
On top of that, we’ve also learned about the different challenges in career development as a whole and want to find ways we can help with that. How can we help people who maybe don’t know what kind of roles would be a great fit for them? How can we help people find those? We see a natural connection there and want to work on taking that even further.
Thanks to Amandah and Matt for sharing their photos and taking the time to answer our questions.