“I decided to become a designer, but I had no design skills… So I taught myself—everyday I would do my day job in record time and rush home to learn design. Super talented people go to RISD for 4 years and learn design properly. I hacked together my piecemeal design education in 6 months—there was no way I was ready to become a designer. But I was so ready to leave Microsoft. So I started the job search and got rejected a few times. Then I got the job at Exec.”
Cheng’s after-hours side hustle is evidence of one of the principles of building an antifragile career: When you have a secure but unsatisfying day job, you can take an unbridled bent to your next calling by night.
Ben Roberts’ Amazon Unpackedisa haunting series of photographs that exposes the inner workings of Amazon’s massive fulfillment center in the English Midlands.
Locals hoped that the center would boost the local economy, which was devastated by the closure of a coal mine, the area’s main employer. Instead, Roberts explains, Amazon workers are turned into ‘human robots’ and guaranteed little-to-no job security.
"An Amazon fulfillment associate might have to walk as far as 15 miles in a single shift, endlessly looping back and forth between shelves in a warehouse the size of nine soccer fields. They do this in complete silence, except for the sound of their feet. The atmosphere is so quiet that workers can be fired for even talking to one another."
For Roberts, this isn’t about how something you order off of Amazon comes to your door. It’s about how fulfillment centers like Rugeley represent the invisible cost buried in every low Amazon price.