This is The Nonlinear Project, a newsletter featuring hand-curated remote roles, interviews with hiring managers, career tips, and thoughts on the future of work. Many roles in the round up aren’t featured on other job boards. If you enjoy the content, please give it a like and share it with friends. If you are interested in being a part of our community, I’d love to have you join the membership.
This newsletter is brought to you by me, Chris DeLuca.
I’m in need of a haircut and wondering if it’s wise to travel, even if by car, to a small family gathering for Christmas. I’m tired of Covid and I can’t be bothered to properly capitalize its name or include the hyphenated numerical suffix.
I briefly thought about letting my Spotify membership lapse but then they released Spotify Wrapped, a personalized end of year list with your most played music, and I was lured to stay and learn things about my myself, things I, admittedly, already knew.
If you’re looking to glean something new about the person that puts together these emails, you can listen to my most played song of 2020 while you read on or skim through.
The great wealth transfer
If you’re like me, and you’ve found gratification—bordering on addiction—in an endless stream of TikTok videos, you’ve probably come across a range of socialist/anti-capitalist memes.
For a while, I’m not exactly sure how long, I’ve realized, probably like you, that there’s greater appetite amongst Millennials, compared to previous generations, for wholesale systemic change. This is not a comment on the merit of that appetite, only that it exists. That AOC is on the cover of Vanity Fair. That there’s something in the zeitgeist.
I’ve also known for a while, probably like you, that baby boomers (hi mom & dad!), have been able to amass vast amounts of wealth. “Adjusted for inflation, the median American household 55 and over has gotten richer since the end of the 1980s, […] while typical households in younger age groups have gotten poorer in the last three decades,” according this Bloomberg piece.
What I hadn't fully considered is how these two things might play off of and inform each other.
Anyways, this piece from the NYTimes makes mention of a pretty significant event that's going to happen over the next decade: by 2030, we're expected to see the largest wealth transfer in history, from The Silent Generation and Baby Boomers to their Millennial heirs, totalling $30tr. A three, followed by 13 zeros.
That seems like a pretty big event that's going to reshape how an entire generation thinks about work and their place in the world.
Will Millennials who inherit large sums be motivated to drop out of the workforce and make things on their own? Will the newfound financial security, for many, provide a level of confidence and zen when dealing with office politics?
At the same time, not all Millennials will have families with wealth to transfer. How will witnessing peers, colleagues, and friends inherit large sums affect their approach to work? How will this event affect a growing movement toward universal basic income (UBI)?
What I think is interesting is that we won't have to wait until 2030; it won't happen all at once on January 1st, 2030. It'll happen slowly, over the next decade. Attitudes will start to change. And, a potential generational rift, in how we think about work, and our place in the world, could emerge.
This past Friday, December 4th, I spoke with Gabe Grayum in the #community Slack channel about his career and working remotely. Gabe is a Product Designer with EverTrue. Gabe talked about how he sees the difference between the UI/UX Designer role and the Product Designer role.
UX Strategy is a very senior role some companies use. For me the distinction is maybe that Product design is more aware of product thinking, KPI's, etc, and UX is more about the customer journey. Many companies just use product designer as a replacement for UI designer today, which I'm not happy about.
He also mentioned a common theme that he saw in roles when he was looking for a new one: the lack of strategic thinking involved.
A lot of the jobs I encountered in my search were just looking for someone to make an interface look pretty.
Gabe also touched on how the term “remote-friendly” can mean many different things, which I think is really interesting because the term is used so frequently and there’s no common definition of what’s meant, other than the company isn’t “remote-first.”
'Remote friendly' can mean a lot of different things, but if the company isn't dedicated to remote (as opposed to tolerant of it), it's probably going to be a struggle.
Gabe is a member of the community and landed his current role after connecting with another member, who also works at EverTrue.
I think these Q&As can help connect people together, reveal common pain points in the remote career journey, and, obviously, help everyone build connections at companies that hire remotely.
EverTrue currently has roles open for a Senior Back End Engineer, a VP of Engineering, and in Dev Ops. They'll also probably have Front End and Back End Engineering roles open in Q1, according to Gabe.
Next up, Brian John, Full Stack Engineer at BetterUp, on Friday, December 11th at 3pm EST.
I’ll look to schedule one more Q&A, for Friday, December 18th, before taking a break for a couple weeks for the holidays.
Some questions for you, dear reader:
To what extent does your role involve strategic thinking? If you’re in a role where you’re thinking strategically, how’d you get there? Have you made the jump into a role that requires strategic thinking while working remote?
How would you define your company’s culture? If your company talks publicly about its culture, to what extent is their alignment with your lived experience? Do you think culture matters?
Our email career crash course is off and running. It started as a group session and we’ve since broken off and I’m scheduling 1-on-1 sessions with a handful of people. Goal is to land interviews, grow your network, and, maybe, land you a new role. Louis Valenzuela, a UK-based Content Strategist turned Product Designer with experience at companies like BBC Worldwide, Bloomberg Media, SoundCloud, and Tesco, is going to be joining our cold email career crash course (that’s a mouthful) to specifically help designers. If you’re a member and you’re looking for design roles, Louis is here to help. Welcome, Louis!
Knowledge base. I’ve been gathering resources that I’ve been sharing and centralizing on this knowledge base. This is very incomplete. But if you’re looking for something this will be the best place for you to find it. I’ll continue to add resources weekly and update you when there’s new things that are added. At the moment, this is available for members.
Book section: the knowledge base contains a book section. There is a canon of books that are widely read amongst founders and people in tech. When I was working on PD Reporter, I would often ask founders for their top book recommendations, and the same ones would come up, again and again. Being at least familiar with the broad themes of these texts could help you differentiate yourself in the job interview. You can currently go through the notes that I put together for Zero to One, a widely referenced book for pre-product/market fit startups. More to come.
Links: Remote work might have visible, long-term effects on our mental and physical wellbeing—one projection of what the average remote worker might look like in 25 years. An a16z podcast on Food as Medicine; key takeaway: “eating healthier makes you healthier, even if you start out sick.” Landing 4 product manager job offers after one month of cold emailing; the email career crash course is driven by this idea: “The online application is a hopeless blackhole that you will likely NOT hear back from.” Gumroad announced that it’s paying its staff the same, no matter where they live. Reddit made a similar announcement recently, with comp tied to the salary ranges of high-cost areas like SF or NYC. This seems to be a growing trend—one that I’m likely to write about in the future—and I’d expect more companies to follow; plan accordingly. Finally, the Job board*.
*note: I put a lot of time into hand-curating a selection of remote openings from companies that have recently raised capital; the majority of openings are from companies that have raised capital in the past week. You’ll get that list when you sign up to receive the free email newsletter. For this recent round up (December 8th, 2020), you’ll receive it in the welcome email.
In health & increasing amounts of daylight,
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