James Clear 3 weeks ago
Anywhere · Full Time
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Remote: Podcast Writer/Researcher/Producer
Exciting news! After years of consideration and many requests from my audience, I am starting a podcast.
As a result, I am looking to hire someone exceptional to work with me as a podcast writer and producer on this new, exciting project. This is a full-time job with competitive pay and tons of flexibility.
I’ll share full details below, but the primary responsibilities for this role include:
- Research. I considered naming this role “researcher of biographies” because you will spend a lot of time reading books, listening to interviews, watching videos, and otherwise researching the life and work of the famous thinkers, scientists, and leaders who will be on this show.
- Writing. You will take the information you discover in your research, identify the need-to-know points and distill the practical takeaways, and then craft a narrative and write a compelling podcast script for each episode.
- Production. Finally, you will oversee the production of the show, which includes not only small details like booking recording time in the studio, but also big, important things like perfecting the storytelling, sound engineering, and overall design of the show until we have a finished product.
If you love reading (particularly nonfiction, biographies, and/or history), have an ear for fascinating narrative audio, and nerd out on self-improvement, then this might be your dream job.
Benefits of This Role
First, let’s discuss why this is a great job.
You will work with great people. I expect exceptional work. You will be joining a small team of A+ players and you will be expected to perform as an A+ player yourself. We are good at what we do and we like succeeding. To fit in, you will have to hustle and work hard. If you’re up for that, then there are a lot of benefits.
You will play a huge role in crafting an exciting project. We’re a small team, so every person has the opportunity to make a big impact and leave their fingerprints on products and projects that are enjoyed by millions of people. This website and blog, jamesclear.com, gets over 10 million visitors per year. My first book, Atomic Habits, has sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide. The expectation is that this new podcast will also be consumed by millions of people. You will help shape the new show from the ground up and play a very important role in creating a completely new, interesting arm of the business.
You will make a difference. Our objective is not to simply reach a lot of people. We want to help a lot of people. We get messages every day from readers who have used our articles, books, and projects to lose weight, quit smoking, make more money, build better relationships, start companies, and otherwise make positive changes in their lives. This podcast will also deliver practical takeaways that help listeners attain what they desire in life.
You will enjoy flexible workdays. This job is results-oriented. You will be responsible for creating one podcast episode every two weeks. When and where you choose to work is completely up to you. If you want to watch a movie at 2pm or pick up groceries at 10am, I don’t need to know about it. Additionally, our team typically operates on a 4-day workweek (we take Fridays off). In practice, this means that we don’t schedule meetings, take calls, or send emails on Fridays. We have flexible vacation policies. In short, provided that you produce work that is exceptional and delivered on time, you can work whenever you want.
You will be well paid. I believe in sharing financial success with the people who help me achieve it. Your base compensation will be competitive and, if you desire, you will have the opportunity to join a profit-sharing plan where you can make more money based on performance.
You will work remotely. This is a (mostly) remote position. A few times per year, we host in-person retreats with the entire team in Columbus, OH. You will need to attend those events, but otherwise, you can live anywhere in the world, so long as you have a good internet connection and are available for weekly calls. Generally, it is easier to schedule and coordinate with people who live in (or are willing to relocate to) Eastern or Central time zones, but exceptional candidates from all areas will be considered.
About the Show
This new podcast will be hosted by me (James Clear). Episodes will be about 45 minutes in length. The show will focus on sharing useful wisdom for daily life. You will need to create shows that are filled with ideas that are immediately actionable and valuable to listeners while also covering fascinating stories from the lives of the various people on the show.
We want to produce a show that can hold its own with top-tier podcasts like Radiolab, Serial, Fresh Air, Revisionist History, and This American Life. Those shows are different than what we have planned, but they represent the type of quality we are hoping to achieve.
We have a variety of interesting wrinkles and exciting elements planned for the show, which we will discuss in later rounds of the interview process. (At the risk of sounding overly self-congratulatory, we have one particular idea that we believe qualifies as a “never-been-done-before” concept in the world of podcasting.)
In short, this will be a fun, exciting, and meaningful podcast to work on.
That said, there is still a lot about the show that is being decided. You will have a chance to influence and help shape the style of the show, the arc of each season, the topics in each episode, production details, and more. Additional information about the show will be discussed with candidates in later rounds of the interview process, and I look forward to answering any questions you may have.
What You Will Do
Let’s discuss your responsibilities in detail.
You will be responsible for each episode from end-to-end.
First, you will be researching the work of remarkable thinkers, scientists, and leaders. During this stage, you will be identifying the need-to-know points and distilling their ideas into practical takeaways that make a meaningful difference in the life of the listener. The ideal candidate will be masterful at identifying what matters most in a given piece of material.
Along the way, you will also be building out a narrative of their life and crafting a story for listeners to follow throughout the episode. Each episode should unpack potentially life-changing ideas and be a delight for listeners.
As mentioned previously, we are currently planning for episodes to be about 45 minutes in length, which means you will need to produce an outline and transcript for each episode that is approximately 7,500 words. This will need to be a full transcript, not just talking points. Consider it like writing an article.
If audio engineering is part of your skillset, then I am open to you not only crafting the show but also editing it and producing the final product. If audio engineering is not part of your skillset, then you will work closely with the audio engineer to help the final product come together.
Ultimately, the target is for you to produce one fantastic episode every two weeks (that is, two episodes per month or 24 episodes per year). That is how you will be judged as successful or unsuccessful.
No doubt, there will be many other tasks that come up in this position. You’ll be coordinating with various parties, sending emails, scheduling recording time in the studio, uploading episodes, and more. But the primary focus of the job is writing and producing a remarkable show.
This is important: it is likely that you will be asked to perform a variety of duties that fall outside this job description. That is life in a small company, and it is why we hire people who are ambitious and exceptional. The ideal candidate will prevent problems whenever possible, solve problems quickly once they arise, and be willing (perhaps even eager) to step outside their stated role and get things done.
Finally, I want to make it clear that I will be the host of the show. Currently, there are no plans for your voice to be on air (although I am open to changing that if we have a good reason for doing so for a particular segment).
The Ideal Candidate
I’m very open to hiring candidates with different backgrounds, experiences, and skills. If you’re talented and ambitious, then you might be a great fit regardless of experience. However, there are a few non-negotiable traits that any successful candidate will possess.
The ideal candidate will:
- Love reading non-fiction. You will be reading a lot about different thinkers, scientists, and leaders as well as watching interviews with them. To the right person, this sounds like you’re getting paid to do something you want to do in your free time.
- Be excellent at identifying the main idea and most useful insights in a given book, interview, or speech. What topics are most important? What passage or idea would be most useful to the reader’s daily life? What are the must-hear moments?
- Have excellent writing abilities. Your communication needs to be crisp and clear.
- Be reliable. You’ll be producing 24 episodes per year. You must hit deadlines.
- Be self-sufficient. This is a remote position and my management style is very hands-off. Most days, you will be managing yourself.
- Be proactive. Something unexpected always happens. You must be capable of looking ahead and preventing problems before they happen, and solving issues on the fly without continual input from me.
- And finally, the ideal candidate must be capable of doing an exceptional job.
About Your Co-worker
You’ll be working closely with me (James Clear) in this role. Given that, you might find it useful to learn a bit more about me as you prepare to submit your application.
I am an author and a writer. I’ve been writing at jamesclear.com since 2012. I’m the author of the New York Times bestseller, Atomic Habits, which launched in October 2018 and has sold more than 1.5 million copies worldwide. I’m also known for my popular 3-2-1 newsletter, which is sent out each week.
I’ve been a full-time entrepreneur for 10 years and I’m proud to have built a successful and profitable company, but I still have a lot to learn. I’m not perfect, but I’ll promise to be the best teammate I can be. If you want to know more about my philosophy and approach, please read the About page and browse my Annual Reviews.
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