Day Job sets out on “an exploration of working life”– how, where and with whom you fill your 9 to 5 day, from a calligrapher in Beirut to a ladder maker in New York. Debut issue. 192 pages. (
When does an occupation become a vocation? Day Job is a curious-minded and creative take on the 9 to 5 existence – and beyond. Forget the tedium of that job you shouldn’t quit before pursuing a real interest (i.e.: you day job). This is a thoughtful meditation on work in all forms.
The debut issue covers the theme of “Manufacture” – a look behind the making of making – from a slaughterhouse in the Midwest to a textile studio in Istanbul. Other features include an essay on why we should have outdoor office furniture, a Q&A with some of New York’s busiest street food vendors and a conversation with the legendary graphic designer Milton Glaser. “The truth is most of us have to do something,” writes creative director Elliott Walker in his intro letter. “And I believe that we’d all like that something to actually matter – to have some value and meaning and utility for us and for others around us. Even if it’s nothing more than a steady pay check.”
Year launched 2012
Home base New York City
Number of issues to date One
Number of issues per year the goal is to publish annually or at best biannually. We always intended for the magazine to be somewhat intermittent. We want to pack as much as we can in to each issue and make sure we really get the subject right. To do that, we knew we couldn't be beholden to a strict publishing schedule.
Why did you start Day Job?
I’m fascinated by the subject of work. It has deep cultural, social, political, ethical and, of course, economic implications. But more than that, work is a deeply human topic. We all have to work, in some capacity, to subsist in the world, and I believe that most of us would like that work to have meaning and value and utility for us and for others around us. Stories about what other people do for a living, provide us with the opportunity to learn about an entirely different way of being and subsisting in the world, those are the stories I want to hear and tell.
Who are your readers?
I've been impressed with how broad and diverse our readership has been so far. We have a lot of support in the U.K. and Europe, Japan, Australia, as well as here in the U.S. We are striving to find as many different stories and perspectives on the subject as possible, so the global response to our first issue has been very exciting.
Hardest story to get off the ground?
The cover story with architect and friar Björn Engdahl presented some challenges. He lives outside of Malmö, Sweden, in a monastery. I had heard about him through a friend of a friend, but didn't have any real contacts in the country. I just had to cold call to get people on board for the piece. Photographer Johanna Wallin and writer David J. Michael were amazing and the piece turned out beautifully. I really appreciate the trust they had in the project.
What is a story you have yet to tell but would like to?
There are so many interesting jobs and stories out there and we haven't even begun to scratch the surface. The subject is endless. We are definitely interested in moving towards more jobs that are done out of necessity and survival. It's a real luxury to pursue work that you love and we want to showcase the uncelebrated, difficult ways that individuals get by in the world.
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