The best way to find interesting projects to join is by exploring what matches your values and desired working conditions.
Before getting actively involved, you can almost always shadow a project first, without disturbing the flow.
Browse through existing projects in Deep Teams to get a sense of their purpose and content.
If you click on "Projects" on the top menu and select "Applications Open" in the filter, you will see active projects looking for help.
Information about ongoing and upcoming projects can also be found through additional means:
- Town Hall meetings: During these meetings, the representative offers space to discuss and improve the department. You can find them on the community calendar.
- Bi-weekly Representative Reviews, Finance Council, and Community Updates: These meetings are reserved for representatives to update each other and the community on recent events and discuss potential adjustments on an organization-wide level. You can find them on the community calendar.
- The Deep Teams app: All projects are managed in the Deep Teams app, read through the mission statements of each department to find what resonates with you the most. You can also reach out to the department representative.
- Relevant Discord channels: The Deep Work Discord has department-specific channels. This is where most communication about ongoing projects happens. Once you have found a project you are interested in, look at the Deep Teams app to find the relevant stakeholder or project lead to contact.
- The Deep Work newsletter: Ongoing projects, their progress, and opportunities to get involved are included in the newsletter. Usually, newsletters also include who to contact if you are interested in getting involved with an ongoing or upcoming project.
- Shadow on the project without contributing: Ask a project owner if you're allowed to join in, listen and learn about the work involved in completing work. This will give you a first-hand experience and set expectations on the requirements.
- Take ownership of existing functions: "Functions" are recurring and well-documented roles at Deep Work. Their purpose, constraints, compensation and workflows have already been specified. You can find existing functions in the "Teams/Departments" section of this documentation or in Deep Teams. Existing functions usually also receive DEEP.
- New projects or undocumented functions: New projects with responsibilities that have not yet existed, which may or may not become recurring and documented functions. The conditions and compensation of the work are uncertain, flexible, and negotiable. The uncertain nature of undocumented functions usually means that they don't receive DEEP.
Without a clearly documented workflow, there is no guarantee for compensation.
Make sure you document your workflow step-by-step and specify the exact goals of your function. That way everyone can agree on fair compensation.
It will also give you an opportunity to ask for improvement and make it more efficient.
Before joining a project, you need to establish a relationship with the person who is responsible for including you in the project and decide on your preferred style of participation:
Shadow (unpaid) or collaborate with (split payment) someone who holds Deep Work Expert status for the relevant function.
Once you have found the first project you would like to work on, the first step is to contact the relevant expert. They can tell you how you can participate: shadowing (unpaid) or collaborating (paid).
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 may also find an opportunity to contribute to a project with work, which can also be paid.
The general process is as follows:
- 1.Find a project you are interested in.
- 2.Research what it is about and find that you can help.
- 3.Contact the project owner and suggest how you can help.
- 4.Make sure you discuss compensation. If there was no agreement on payment (it will be visible in Deep Teams), there will be no payment.
- 5.Work with the team for a short period and contribute as you suggested.
- 6.At the end of the short period you evaluate the results with the project owner.
- 7.In some cases, the project will bring more work. If you and the Expert plan to continue working together on the project, make sure to discuss compensation for the next period.
If you already have expertise in a given function, you can ask an expert to supervise you on the project, as you provide the services of a function on your own (full payment). As a consequence, you will receive the function on your Deep Teams profile and will be reached out to for the work in the future.
Finding a relevant expert depends on how you found the project.
- Finding a project through a call:
- Ask in the chat and someone can guide you to the correct point of contact.
- Reach out to them on Discord.
- Finding a project Discord or newsletter:
- Check the Deep Teams app to see if the project is listed. If it is, it will have a Project Owner and Stakeholder listed. Either party can help you determine how you can get involved.
- Reach out to them on Discord. (Do not apply through Deep Teams. This feature is still being developed and the relevant parties won't have a way to reach you.)
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.
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 tangible examples or deliverables from your previous work in a similar area?
- Is there a person that can verify the above or recommend your work?
If you cannot provide information to all of the above, please familiarise yourself with a project and provide specific suggestions for how you would like to contribute.
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.
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.
It can be helpful to have a context with relevant Experts before applying to a project. We try to facilitate ways to build rapport with Deep Work Experts when they are not busy.
Some options for connecting are:
- Through the Deep Co-Work voice channel in Discord
- Participating in calls and expressing your interests and expertise
- Participating in Deep Experiences
In some cases you can see projects with a team you like, but where your skills might be complementary. Discuss with the project owner or representative how you might be able to help and how you should be compensated. Show evidence for your skills by providing examples of your past work and discuss how something similar can contribute to a higher-quality result.
Remember that compensation can only happen once you have clearly documented your approach to creating a deliverable or contribution. Here's a simple process for creating your own function:
Once it's documented, you can negotiate compensation for the work.
Anyone of any skill level has the ability to build a reputation and track record within the organization. When individuals first join the organization, as well as any time an Expert wants to try taking responsibility for a new function.
Once you have completed the project, you will receive an attestation in the Deep Teams or Deep Skills app which will get you closer to a Deep Work Expert status.
As a Deep Work Expert in a given function or workflow, you will receive DEEP tokens and can contribute to internal decision-making and governance processes.
It also increases the chances of you being selected for the role or function in the future and opens up the ability to take on recurring tasks based on your skills.
If you have an idea for a project, an expertise you would like to prove or would like to skill up in a function that does not yet exist in Deep Work, you can propose the creation of a new function or project (paid or unpaid) to a department representative ("Team Lead" in Deep Teams).
They can implement the project for you and determine if there might be a budget for it. If the organization agrees on the quality and value of the project, you will be provided an attestation for the skills involved.
For more guidance on how to experiment and create new projects, follow this guide:
Remember to always discuss payments before a project starts!
If there was no discussion on payments before the project starts, there is no guarantee for payment. Talk to a representative if you're in doubt.
If you are requesting a budget for the project or would like to negotiate compensation, follow the steps found here:
If you believe you know of an individual or organization that would benefit from the help of our Experts (whether an existing Function or an R&D project), follow the Referring Clients protocol below:
If you already have a strong portfolio of verified work, you can list your expertise in our database with this application form.
A representative will review your application it and if approved, you will be able to work on any project that deals with your specific skillset.
Here is the database with other experts. We recommend reviewing their records first before submitting yours, it will give you an idea of the level of detail you should provide.
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 is always decided on an inter-personal basis and the completion of bounties does not create a reputation record on your profile.