Getting Started

The documentation is heavy. This should give you a brief overview how to get started right away.
This guide should be a simple outline how to get started working at Deep Work. It is not a replacement for the knowledge base and the rest of the documentation. Please read the individual pages and ask us directly if you have any questions.
Currently, there are more contributor applications than there are projects to work on. Unless you know someone from the current team personally, you will most likely have to wait for new collaboration opportunities to emerge. Shadowing is more likely possible if the Experts on the team approve you.

1. Join the Deep Work Discord

The first step is to join the Deep Work Discord. As you join, most channels will be hidden from you and only unlocked once you sign the Collaborator Typeform below. It asks you a few basic questions and to sign a contract to make sure you don't damage client relationships. Read the #start-here channel for an overview of the most important channels.

2. Sign the Contributor Typeform

Please make sure you spell your Discord name correctly and without the # or account number. Otherwise the Typeform/Zapier won't find you and you will have to re-submit your application.
Before you can immerse yourself in client-facing Deep Work projects, you need to sign an agreement and leave a few details about yourself. This will create a portfolio document and make it easier for others to see if you are a fit on a project.
You can fill out the Collaborator Typeform here.

3. Subscribe to our community calendar

All community events are open for participation and usually facilitated by someone.
You will find all open events in the Community calendar: (Or announced 1 hour before the start in the #discussion channel)
Internal projects also appear on the same calendar.

4. Find an interesting project to join

Shadow a project unpaid

Shadowing on a project is one of the best ways to get involved in client work at Deep Work. It will help you find an Expert you trust and understand the expectations and quality standard of work.
The easiest way to learn fast is to observe a project by shadowing. It's unpaid, but gives you a glimpse into the design process and the creative decision making of a particular project.
You can find all active projects in our main Notion page.
When contacting anyone from the team (especially the project owner), please provide them with the following information:
  • What do you find interesting about the project?
  • How would you like to contribute?
  • What are examples of your previous experience in a similar area?
  • Is there a person that can verify the above or recommend your work?
Some projects are complex and have a dedicated Discord channel, you will find them in the active projects category:

Contribute with work and get compensated

You may also find an opportunity to contribute to a project with work, which can also be paid.
The general process is as follows:
  1. 1.
    You find a project you are interested in
  2. 2.
    You research what it is about and find that you can help
  3. 3.
    You contact the project owner and suggest how you can help
  4. 4.
    You work with the team for a short period and contribute as you suggested
  5. 5.
    At the end of the short period you evaluate the results with project owner
  6. 6.
    If the work was valuable, you can discuss the compensation for the next period and potentially a retroactive payment.

5. Apply for recurring paid projects

If you haven't shadowed on a project before or haven't spoken to an Expert previously, the chances of being selected for work are very slim. We highly recommend shadowing on a project first, joining our community events and talking to an Expert before signing up for work.
Some projects are recurring and require expertise and follow existing workflows. You can find the workflows of all roles in the left sidebar of this GitBook.
To apply for contributing to a recurring project, please go to our page on Deep Skills (you will have to create an account) and apply to the specific role you are interested in.
Select the tasks you are interested in (see role workflows on the right) and provide the expert with evidence that you are a good fit.
If the Expert you applied to doesn't respond or doesn't add you to the project it is possible that they prefer to work alone. You can also drop a message into the internal channel to ask if you can shadow.
Please be kind, sometimes Experts are busy.

What if nobody responds to my request? Is it ok to DM experts?

The Experts on the project decide who to work with. Please don't be discouraged if you don't get selected. Experts always check who to work with based on their previous efforts and contributions, so it can also be helpful to provide evidence for good work in the past that fits the topic of the particular project.
Keep in mind that there are many people who are reaching out to our designers, so it's likely they don't respond because they don't have the capacity. You can always DM experts but try to get to know them personally when they are not busy working on a project.

6. Create a project in the R&D department

Internal projects can emerge from a conversation you had on the community call or an idea from a workshop. These can result in defining a new role or even department within Deep Work, or simply a small project you would like to practice your skills on.
Community projects are an excellent way to practice any skill you are interested in. It will help you learn from Deep Work experts and experiment in a safe space.
Reach out to the current R&D representative at Deep Work (you will find their name under the Representatives project of the month in the Deep Skills app) or read here about how to start an internal R&D project:

7. Give and receive praise

If you see someone else do something nice and valuable, you can give them praise, which is a system developed by CommonsStack. Every month, representatives review the list of distributed praise and decide how to compensate those with praise.
In order to give praise, type /praise in any channel on Discord and mention the person and their task.
The more you give praise, the more others will see it, and the more likely you will be praised for your contributions.

8. Solve bounties

Bounties are small tasks which almost anyone can do but which will improve Deep Work as an organisation. They sometimes have to do with content management on our website, writing documentation, articles, social media, doing research and more. Bounties can be created by anyone and found in the #bounties channel. The payment depends on the difficulty and is either in cash or tokens.