It all started when my 8 year old daughter asked a simple question: “what do people mean when they say they are going to work? Not where are they going, but what do they do when they are there?” Sydney wasn’t satisfied with answers like “I work on a computer”. She wanted to know what people do on that computer! It seemed like such a simple and uninteresting question. The Facebook answers that followed proved otherwise.
Click here to see the thread that got it all started!
From movie set decorators to paper archivists, from airline baggage handlers to dental assistants, we read through these responses and found something surprising happening; we did not know people -or the jobs they did- nearly as well as we thought.
At the same time this thread was going on I was personally dealing with a severe, extended and significant bout of anxiety. Not knowing how to pull my self out I decided to try walking and listening myself out of it. Though I had never before listened to a podcast I knew I needed somebody’s voice besides my own in my head each day. I sought out female hosted podcasts and the interviews that were conducted with women.
“Employee of the Month” and “Design Matters” were my first go-tos and they rocked my world. I walked for an hour or two each night listening to all the different kinds of work women do. One night in the middle of my walk my sister called. I answered by saying “I will pause the voice of one smart woman to talk to another!”. It felt like a profound observation but I forgot about it.
After a couple of months of walking and listening my way our of my anxiety bout I found myself saying to people “I wish I’d known at 8 how many different kinds of work women do!” I guess it was at this point the Facebook thread and my walk and listens started to come together.
At first I swatted this creeping idea away like an annoying gnat each time it appeared. It would not go though. Fortunately, I had read Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Big Magic” and finally understood this idea had chosen me. I knew if I did not accept it it would find it’s way to somebody else. I knew this was my vision to bring to life.
So here we are. I cannot tell you how excited I am to be doing this. I love hearing people’s stories. I love talking with women. I love having a vehicle for others to hear women’s stories. At a time when women are coming to rely on each other in new ways this is a way we can glimpse into the lives of each other and connect in unexpected ways.
Whether or not you know the woman sharing her story is irrelevant. Every time we get to know one of us better we know everyone better.
I hope you enjoy Real Women Working! If you do, I have a favor to ask you. Could you please subscribe to the Podcast? It helps others find the show. Be sure to join our Facebook group where guests will share behind the scenes photos of them at work! Sign up for our newsletter too– so that you don’t miss anything and get to hear other stories about women working!