Shannan Monson is the founder of NuuWork, serial entrepreneur and a community growth strategist. She is passionate about creating platforms and conversations dedicated to helping people create more autonomy in their lives. She sat down with Jessica Abo to discuss why she believes the nine-to-five workweek is dead and how you can join the new economy.
Shannan, you’re known to many entrepreneurs as a good rebel. How has being a good rebel influenced your journey?
Monson: Every time I’ve really questioned the norm and pushed back, it’s absolutely paid off for me. So whether that was starting a business or leaving a strict religion or setting up non-traditional roles for my family, the more I ask, just because this is the way it is, doesn’t mean it’s the way it has to be, the more my life has expanded and grown.
Now you say the current work system is broken. Can you tell us more about that?
Monson: Yeah. The nine-to-five work week was actually created in the 1920s. So this was a time when factory workers were the norm and people were punching a clock and working nine to five. To put that into perspective, that was the same year silent films came out. And when you think about how much technology has changed, it is wild that the way we work hasn’t changed in over a hundred years. We have more tech than we’ve ever had before, more opportunities, and yet people are the most burnt out and exhausted that they’ve ever been. And we see this with the Great Resignation. People are tired of being a cog in the wheel, and you deserve to be seen and heard and valued. And the reality is we don’t have to keep working this way just because it’s what we’ve always done.
While many people feel this way, you’ve actually gone out and done something to solve this problem.
Monson: The idea for NuuWork came out of this desire to have autonomy. Why can’t I personalize my job in the same way that I can personalize my life? And that’s where the idea of NuuWork was born. I’ve been building these really flexible companies with 100% remote work and looking for needles in a haystack, really specific people who have niche skills that you couldn’t have learned in college or put on a resume because technology is changing so fast. People are learning these jobs on YouTube and really creating a new economy.
And we thought, every single company had to adapt to this shift. They need to be adjusting to new ecommerce demands and the new way of marketing, social media marketing is just marketing. And yet there’s not a good way to find those people. If you go to LinkedIn, they’re not on LinkedIn, they’re at home on their phones, learning new technology skills. And there’s nowhere to put that on your resume. Technology and software are changing so quickly; we wanted to create a platform on the cutting edge of these new tech and trends where you can find flexible work. And not just flexible work, but fulfilling work.
How will your platform help people find work on their own terms and get paid?
Monson: Our vision is like a Bumble for work, a place where you can put in your values, the things you care about, the softwares that you know how to use, the tech skills that you have, and get matched to projects that are a perfect fit for you, both from a skillset alignment, but also a job that you’re going to be excited to wake up and do every day. We’re also seeing an increase in people who aren’t following traditional career paths; they’re starting over and reinventing themselves. And we wanted to create a platform that actually rewards you for having a lot of different types of jobs instead of a platform that rewards you based on tenure, who you know, and how long you’ve worked at the exact same company. So that’s what’s really exciting to us about NuuWork.
What would you say are some of the projects that need talent?
Monson: One of the really interesting things we’re seeing right now is a huge demand for ecommerce talent. Every single company has had to adapt since the pandemic and either ramp up or start an ecommerce arm of their business. And so if you have very specific skills like editing reels for social media or copywriting, or setting up workflows and automations, and these new technology skills, then there’s going to be a place for you here.
Finally, what do you want to say to the person who is working a nine-to-five job and feels frustrated and burned out?
Monson: Yeah. If you’re feeling burnt out right now, first, I just want you to know you’re not alone and this is such a normal feeling and the way we work is broken. So if you’re burnt out and tired of it, you’re right. And I want you to know there’s this shift happening right now, and it’s rumblings under the surface right now, but there is something very exciting on the horizon. And there’s an opportunity to do projects that are fulfilling to you, get paid what you’re worth and also continue to learn new skills and grow as not just an employee, but a human.
And that’s really exciting. So if you’re in this place, know that something is coming. Start creating social-first videos that showcase your talent. If you are, for example, a social media manager, create videos that show how you do your work behind the scenes. If you are a Shopify expert or you do lead generation for a company, create these short-form videos, showcasing your talent, your personality, your values, and there’ll be a place to share those on the NuuWork app, to be able to match with projects that are just perfectly aligned for you. There is a place for you. The skills and talents that you have, have value. You deserve to be paid what you’re worth, and we want to help you find your place.