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Work has evolved.

But the way we work has not.

Explore a new philosophy of work for the 21st-century. And challenge your assumptions about achievement, productivity, and efficiency.

There is a critical mismatch in our work lives.

Outdated expectations of how we should work create obstacles to doing remarkable work in more humane ways.

If we want a more inclusive, sustainable, and life-affirming approach to work, we must rethink work from the ground up.

We must practice work in a way that empowers us to:

Respond to uncertainty, surprise, and new situations with patience

Learn to solve problems and make sense of complexity with intention

Embrace ambiguity and flexibility without sacrificing our needs

Adapt to changing information with care and compassion

Cover of What Works book by Tara McMullin

A Radical New Approach to Goal-Setting

What Works: A Comprehensive Framework to Change the Way We Approach Goal-Setting

Nuanced, rigorous exploration. What Works is a thought-provoking antidote to the overhyped productivity narratives keeping us stuck in shame and validation spirals. This book, and Tara’s oeuvre more broadly, serves as a brilliant guide for emphasizing presence and process over rigid metrics and external markers of success. A rich, hearty meal for the mind, I was only sad to put this book down when it ended.”

— Jenny Blake, podcaster & author of Free Time and Pivot

Be a part of What Works

Together, we can catalyze a more humane, accessible, and just approach to work. One that doesn’t define us by what we do or how much we achieve. Get the free newsletter that imagines a new paradigm for work.

Think Differently about Work, Culture, and the Economy

It’s easy to lose your way in the 21st-century economy. The world of work and business is changing so rapidly that you might be focusing more on how to keep up than how to live a meaningful life. What Works is a podcast for entrepreneurs, independent workers, and employees who don’t want to lose themselves to the whims of late-stage capitalism. Tara offers a distinctly interdisciplinary approach to the discourse around business, work, and personal growth.

Recent Newsletter Articles

How the Push for Efficiency Changes Us

How the Push for Efficiency Changes Us

Layoffs are in the news. 21,000 at Facebook. 27,000 at Amazon. 12,000 at Google. 600 at Spotify. LinkedIn maintains a running list of layoff announcements in its News feature area. Every person laid off is a life disrupted in some way. And the potential ramifications...

Managing Mental Health in the Achievement Society

Managing Mental Health in the Achievement Society

“I thought for a long time: is it capitalism, or is it my ambition? And I am a very ambitious person,” Mara Glatzel told me a couple of years ago. That distinction between the narratives of capitalism, individualism, and meritocracy on one side and the drive to create...

The Economics of Meeting Your Needs

The Economics of Meeting Your Needs

We all have deep human needs—for belonging, for autonomy, for creative expression, for safety and security. But modern life can make it a real challenge to get those needs met in meaningful ways. Instead, we’re offered products with flashy marketing messages. Kitchen...

How Does An Idea Turn Into An Asset?

How Does An Idea Turn Into An Asset?

What makes an idea valuable?  What turns it into a product that can be bought, sold, or rented? Ideas turn into capital assets thanks to our system of intellectual property rights. But understanding IP isn’t simply a matter of learning what a trademark or patent is,...

The Strange Logic of Value in the Attention Economy

The Strange Logic of Value in the Attention Economy

Did you know that 54% of 18-38-year-olds want to be influencers? Or that kids these days would rather be “influencers” or “YouTubers” than firefighters, astronauts, or teachers? Okay, Boomer. Calm down.  The “troubling trend” of all our kids putting themselves on...