Utne Blogs > Literature

Make Yourself Useful

by Jake Mohan 


Tags: books and publishers, work culture, happiness, generations, The Kid in the Corner Office, How to Be Useful, Megan Hustad,

How to Be UsefulMegan Hustad has written a book called How to Be Useful, a self-described “beginner’s guide to not hating work.” Rather than bombard us with, say, seven habits of highly successful people, or try to tell us what color our parachute is, Hustad explores some fundamental ways in which people can be happier at their jobs by making themselves more useful, even if they’re not at their Dream Job, or are stuck working for The Man.

Hustad's career counseling comes at a fortuitous time for the under-30 set entering the workforce and struggling to find their niche, while their older colleagues wonder, sometimes bitterly, how to best manage coworkers in this generation. It's a clash we documented in “The Kid in the Corner Office” in our January/February 2008 issue.

Over at the Millions, Hustad is responding to various contributors’ descriptions of their first jobs out of college, positions at which—surprise surprise—they didn’t feel terribly useful. Readers can even submit their own first-job anecdotes, because misery sure loves company. In today’s troubled job market, we could all use a morale boost, and maybe become more useful in the process.