How People Become Things

How People Become Things explores the relationship between people and the work they do. In each episode,, we meet someone — or sometimes some two — who share the story of how they came to do the work they do and what they think about that choice now. We discuss the ways in which the work they do works for them, how they knew that they’d made the right choice, and what kind of person they think would be a good fit for the job they have.
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May 16, 2016
What CAN You Do With an Edutainer, Dan n' Jaye?




You wake up one morning and think to yourself: "know what? I'm gonna buy a boat and live on it and sail it around to some cool places and meet some awesome people."

And so you go to the boat store and buy a boat and move onto it.

Later, when you decide you want to add some doubloons to the ol' treasure chest, you find work on --wait for it -- another boat.

Sound familiar? No?

Well, it would if you were like Dan and Jaye, who live aboard S/V Cinderella and work on El Galeon. 


So, ready for some adventure? Then look lively, we're about to shove off!


Read Dan N Jaye's blog, Life Afloat, here.

May 9, 2016
Episode 3: Wayfinding and Bridge Crossing  with Lisa Noel Seiwert

My guest this week provides further confirmation of my hunch that in the best of circumstances we do what we do and we arrange a way to get paid for it. This could prove useful to those of us who have several jobs under our career belts. This could be reliable career advice. Connect the dots, find the theme or themes in the jobs you've had. Given any latitude at all, what parts of it do you tack toward? What parts do you put off?

Lisa's job is interesting: equal parts people and statistics oriented. She's very candid about the parts she likes best; they're the things she's done over and over in every position she's held. While interacting with people in vastly different periods -- and sometimes moments -- of their lives, she serves a very consistent function. And, if you listen very closely, you'll probably be able to discern why what she does is a profound reflection of who she is at her core. 

...or maybe she just tells us flat out. 

Lisa works at Chicago Theological Seminary

May 2, 2016
Episode 2: Judy Bridges is Reading, Writing and Screaming

I've been pondering the nature/nurture debate this week. How much of who we become is pre-destined by our DNA and how much of it is determined by the paths we take, the choices we make, the thirsts we slake, the cakes we bake, the leaves we rake, the earths we quake...oops, sorry, got carried away there. 

It's a funny question because we don't apply it to every profession. We don't wonder if zookeepers, bartenders, or middle managers are "born" or "made", but artists, yes. On the other hand, we don't marvel at the genius of zookeepers, bartenders, and middle managers. (Well, maybe bartenders...)

Was Judy "born" or "made"? Hard to say, but she's got a lifetime of stories -- hers and 6000 other people's and she's convinced more than a few to "Shut Up and Write" them down. More's the better for the rest of us. 

Learn more about Judy's Redbird Studio here:

Information about the spinoff project, Red Oak Writing can be found here:

Judy's book, "Shut Up and Write" is available from her website or from


Apr 25, 2016
Episode 1: Mike and Mary and Their Honky Tonk Dream

Here in this "modren" age, it's all about "going for it." Find your bliss and never look back! Don't let anyone tell you you can't have it all! Someone once said something very wise to me; you CAN have it all...just not all at once. 

That describes my first guests Mike and Mary Day aptly, I think. They've been moseying toward self-employment for the better part of their lifetimes, in one way and another (one way for him; another for her), picking up component skills sets that enable them to be very successful entrepreneurs. Hey, I'm not knocking anyone who makes a beeline toward career fulfillment. I'm just saying there's more than one way to...uh, own a business.

Find out more about them and what they do at

Since this is the first episode, I do spend a little time explaining the point of the podcast series, but only a little time; what I think this show is about and what you think this show is about and what this show ultimately ends up being about may be more than three different things. 

Apr 1, 2016

How People Become Things is a podcast that explores the relationship between people and the work they do. In it, people tell the stories of their careers. We reach into their pasts, to their first recollections of what "working" was, what their own early career aspirations were, and if they changed their minds, or became the very first thing they ever considered. 

We discuss what they do for a living now and the ways in which their personalities are reflected in their jobs, how their occupational goals and desires have changed over time, and how they've grown--maybe in unexpected ways--through their work. 

We look at the parts of their jobs they like the most and the least. And we ask who else is the job they do right for: what kind of person would enjoy the field they are in and who would be successful at it. 

Out of all the major decisions we'll make in our lifetimes, working is, for most of us, not optional. We have to work, so we have to choose what to work at. This podcast is about the journeys of people who work.