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Work in Progress

Work in Progress is a podcast about the meaning and identity we find in work.

Behind every working human, there’s a story. Each week, you will hear these stories — of personal ambition and debilitating insecurities, great successes and abject failures, the plans we make and the luck that happens. Hosted by Dan Misener and brought to you by Slack.

Follow along @slackstories.

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 21. Grey Matter 

We meet a woman teaching doctors good bedside manners by acting sick when she’s feeling perfectly fine; and a neuroscientist at odds with her own brain after she’s diagnosed with schizophrenia.

 20. Tough Love

An outspoken corporate downsizer learns a harsh lesson after being surprised with her own exit package, and a loyal cop that has to choose between fighting the war on drugs and his criminal brother. Sometimes practicing tough love at work and at home isn’t always the best policy.

19. Down the Rabbit Hole 

A journalist discovers a scarf with her byline imprinted in its design and embarks on an investigative journey to track down its makers; a former futures trader stumbles into her calling as an internet hoax buster with a specialty for empathizing with the perpetrators.

18. Heart to Heart

Meet a woman who’s made a career out of professional cuddling; and an engineer, lawyer and open-source advocate who grappled with her own values in order to save her life.

17. Guiding Lights

A Kung-Fu master honors his father’s legacy; a frustrated musician’s chance meeting with a mentor leads to a powerful lesson in self-acceptance. Sometimes, the best thing to happen to your career is finding your guiding light.

16. For Love of Country 

A woman starts a dating site for single farm workers, and an exiled army colonel launches a revolution from the aisles of a hardware store. What happens when your life’s work is deeply connected to where you’re from?

15. Startup Sacrifices

An entrepreneur learns the cost of putting his work ahead of his relationship; a young developer flees her war-torn homeland for a chance to pursue her dream career. What happens when your professional ambitions put your personal life at stake?

14. Sensory Overload

A woman discovers her cranium-tingling voice is the stuff of YouTube stardom; a visually impaired man happens upon his special sightseeing abilities at night. What happens when your senses become your super-powers at work?

13. Switching Gears

A Wall Street trader’s climb to the top proves too gut-wrenching to continue; a classical pianist grapples with a career-ending injury. What happens when you’re suddenly physically incapable of doing your job?

12. The 180

A prison superintendent ordered to oversee two executions struggles with his beliefs that the punishment doesn’t fit the crime and a former Vegas drug dealer finally finds his place in the high life–sober. Sometimes the only way to find your true calling is to pull a complete 180.

11. Coming Out

To gain credibility in a case, a police officer reveals his identity as a practicing pagan. After 30 years of performing as a man, a veteran comic takes the stage for the first time…as a woman.

10. In Disguise

Sometimes, the way to find out who we really are is to become someone else. Like the struggling author who’s already sold millions of books and the Vietnam war vet who carries out a do-or-die promise by becoming Santa Claus.

9. Amazing Grace

A nun chooses solitude over social work and a Wall Street recruiter quits the corporate life to work with former felons.

8. In the Driver’s Seat

A historian recounts the tale of an escaped slave who launched Toronto’s first taxi service and a loyal London Black Cab driver takes to the radio to unite his industry in revolt.

7. Silence is a Virtue

Sometimes the most profound things we say and do at work happen when we don’t say anything at all. This week: A librarian’s shushing earns her superhero status and a young hospital chaplain learns that sitting in silence brings great comfort to ailing patients.

6. Untethered

Every job has its freedoms and limitations, but sometimes all you need to endure the ups and downs is a noble purpose. This week: A man who saves airline passengers from errant wildlife and another who’s made it his life’s work to build a country for the nationless.

5. Following in the Footsteps 

Parents have high hopes for their children, many wish their progeny will follow in their footsteps. This week: A son trades in building new towns for building software and a college graduate contemplates her fateful career slinging smoked fish with her legendary family.

 4. Breaking New Ground

A 17-year-old female baseball player faces off against Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. An architect takes on the daunting task of rebuilding Sandy Hook Elementary after one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history.

3. Career Pivots

From working in finance to servicing HVAC units, prosecuting despots for war crimes to pursuing life as a bootstrapping standup comedian…our careers can take some sharp left turns.

2. Dream Jobs

When it comes to envisioning what we want to do with our lives, we set our sights high. In episode 2 of Work in Progress, we hear two very different stories of a dream (job) coming true, whether by a random stroke of luck or through decades of perseverance.


1. Going With the Flow

Some people know exactly what they want to do when they grow up, while the rest of us take a different approach—flying by the seat of our pants, dipping in and out of jobs not giving too much thought to any master plan because frankly, it doesn’t exist. Going with the flow can change your life forever and take you to some pretty unexpected places—whether backstage with David Bowie or onto the set of one of TV’s biggest sci-fi thrillers.

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