Surviving and Thriving in the Work Place – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Surviving and Thriving in the Work Place

Hoping to provide a guide for surviving, thriving and finding happiness in the corporate world, Faith James ’13 recently began writing her first novel – a compilation of short stories, anecdotes and one-liners providing insight into the workplace. To support the book, James launched a Go Fund Me Page as a platform for both contributing stories to the book as well as providing funding to support the cost of publication.

“We spend most of our waking hours working, so it is something I feel we must ensure is not toxic but empowering for all people working to survive,” James says. “Through my book, I want people to learn new things that they can apply to their lives, but also learn about others who are different from themselves and hopefully break down misunderstandings and assumptions about types of work, and people from different walks of life.”

Although the book will take a humorous approach to demystifying the “privileges and barriers” in the workplace that allow and prevent people from surviving and thriving, James explains that the book will capture stories that are not only “powerful, sad or troubling,” but also those that are “surprising, funny and exciting.” The book will take a light-hearted approach to topics ranging from holiday parties to email etiquette, eco-friendly practices in the office, co-worker relationships and beyond.

“After reading this book, I hope people feel like they have gained some tools to enhance their role in their job, or feel equipped to do so in their future,” James explains. “But in general, I hope people feel connected to others and find some sort of solace in these stories.”

Always having enjoyed reading personal stories and anecdotes herself, James believes storytelling provides a certain “trust” and connection that other modes of communication can’t accomplish. Storytelling in any format, she says, “can truly affect behavior change and provide common threads of understanding.”

James, who was a public policy studies and anthropology/sociology double major at the Colleges, saysher path at HWS is a major influence in both her way of thinking about people and the workplace, and in giving her the inspiration to use her skills and knowledge to empower others.

“When I was new to the Colleges, I didn’t fully understand the meaning behind the phrase, ‘worlds of experience and lives of consequence,” she says. “Now, I can honestly say I am happily trekking along in this pursuit, with many thanks to the lovely community that is HWS.”

James is currently seeking submissions to include in the book, as well as funding to achieve her goal of raising $11,500 by August 2016. Those interested in contributing can visit her Go Fund Me Page.