Personal Stories of America at Work

Insights, Highlights, and Confessions

The Working Chronicles gives voice to today’s American workforce. Our chroniclers interview working people of all ages, from all over the country, to reveal a kaleidoscope of opportunities and challenges in this time of economic uncertainty. The Working Chronicles captures stories of personal growth, triumphs, and regrets.

Some of the stories spotlight interesting jobs, while others highlight ways to cope with not-so-interesting ones. Some show a zigzagging path to work-life balance. All illuminate a work environment that is constantly changing, affected by the recession, technology, and evolving norms. And all tell a good story—otherwise, we wouldn’t bother posting them here!

The site is for anyone who:

  • Secretly fantasizes about starting another career and wants to know what other jobs are like;
  • Worries about becoming obsolete in today’s fast-changing workplace and wonders how others are keeping pace;
  • Is curious about unusual jobs—such as an organic farmer, theater set designer, or bridge painter—far outside the cubicle; or
  • Thinks about the meaning of work and how it does—or doesn’t—reflect their personal identity and values.

The work we do and how we feel about it says much about us as individuals—and, collectively, speaks volumes about who we are as a nation.

Researchers are tracking the statistical changes in the make-up of the American workforce—such as the rise of the Millennials, the transitions of the Baby Boomers and the increasing numbers of working women. The Working Chronicles takes a deeper look at individuals: how people are working today, the choices they’re making, why some find work they love, and why many others are actively disengaged from their jobs.

We hope these thought-provoking Chronicles will inspire a widespread discussion about the evolution of work in the U.S. We encourage you to get in on the conversation, too, through our weekly blog, our monthly email newsletter, and our communities on Facebook and Twitter.

Our Chroniclers look forward to connecting and sharing with you!


The Producers are the designers, writers and technical experts who have helped create this forum for the Chronicles.

Laura Batti, Designer

Métier Marketing Communications, Inc.

I’m co-owner of a firm that provides marcom solutions including graphic design, copy writing, technical writing, web development and online presentations. We manage and execute full-scale projects, or supplement in-house marketing efforts. The ability to perform within tight budgets under aggressive schedules makes us the right choice for small and medium size businesses. I was involved in Molly Rosen’s previous project, Knowing Pains, and had such a good experience that I wanted to be involved in The Working Chronicles, too.

Perry Garvin, Web Developer

Perry Garvin Studio

I’m the founder of Perry Garvin Studio, a firm with over 10 years experience designing and building highly useable and visually arresting websites for clients including the New Museum of Contemporary Art, The High Line, Film Forum and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. My interest in The Working Chronicles stems from a passion for oral history projects and qualitative social research.

John D. Hogan, Illustrator

JDH Design

I’m a designer/illustrator who has worked in the fields of animation, themed entertainment, and toy design. My work has been included in playgrounds for McDonalds, sets for the Epcot theme park, interiors for Disneyland Paris, toys for Hasbro, and premiums for Burger King. I am currently an instructor at the Art Institute of California-San Francisco. My wife and I live in Livermore, California, where we are part owners of Somavicci Vineyards, the smallest winery in town.

Claire Wagner, Content Writer and Social Media Strategist


Every successful marketing or fundraising effort starts with really good content. That’s my specialty. I’m an experienced, versatile copywriter and editor working with nonprofits, businesses, and agencies. I also help develop successful social media strategies. I joined The Working Chronicles because I earned an economics degree with a special focus on labor history, and I have a life-long interest in work.

The Working Chronicles

  • The Working Chronicles captures an intimate look at work in 21st century America through candid interviews with people from all walks of life and all corners of the country.

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Latest News

  • Have a story about changing careers? We want to hear from you!
    For a short time we are accepting submissions from readers and will publish the top stories on our blog and possibly include in a book.
    We'll accept an autobiographical story or interview with someone else--check out the Submission Guidelines.

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