Invisible Professionals and Anonymous Work

Monday, July 07, 2014

Many important professionals work behind the scenes. Many important professionals work behind the scenes. (Christian Mueller/Shutterstock)

Fact-checkers, anesthesiologists, U.N. interpreters, structural engineers, and other professionals, are masters of their crafts but rarely get attention for their work behind the scenes. David Zweig takes us into the worlds of “invisibles”—top experts who do the quiet work behind the scenes of public successes. Zweig uncovers how these hidden professionals hide from the spotlight by mastering their craft in his book Invisibles: The Power of Anonymous Work in an Age of Relentless Self-Promotion.



David Zweig

Comments [6]

Amy from Manhattan

When I worked as a copyeditor at a medical journal, I talked to a doctor at a party. When I told him where I worked, he said, "Oh, you have a lot of really good writers!" I said, "No, we don't...& thank you!" (We had a few really good writers, but most needed a lot of editing.)

Jul. 07 2014 01:57 PM
Amy from Manhattan

In an overview course on "International Language," the professor had 1 student read a passage aloud & another repeat it by ear (both in English) to show us how hard it was to do even *without* translating it to another language.

Jul. 07 2014 01:54 PM
JFreely from NYC

Aspiring and struggling actors often work as proofreaders, ironic, no? Proofreading is similar to fact-checking invisibility. Love to hear guest's thoughts...

Jul. 07 2014 01:48 PM
Jean from NYC

If you talk about the UN and its employees, anyone who cares about labor rights should know that right now there is an internal war on UN employee rights being waged by senior management at one of the largest UN bodies (UNDP). If they get away with these practices, they will quickly spread through the rest of the UN. These managers have torn up the staff rules and regulations and have instituted a whole series of processes with no transparency or accountability in order to get rid of middle-aged employees and those who are powerless and voiceless because they depend on their jobs to keep their US visas (a lot of staff are on G4 visas, and if they lose their jobs they have 30 days to leave the country). These staff contribute a lot to the local tri-state economy. Single mothers are being threatened with having to uproot their children from schools and return to countries (many which are war-torn, and where these families have not lived for many years and no longer have ties). This from a humanitarian organization that lectures other countries on how to treat their people. You can see more here:

and read more here:

Jul. 07 2014 01:45 PM
Amy from Manhattan

The main problem I see w/"wayfinding" is that it's set up by people who already know their way around & forget that at least some of the people using it have never been there before & don't know some of the basic aspects of getting around/where things are that people who are familiar w/the location take for granted.

Jul. 07 2014 01:41 PM
Tom Crisp from UWS

The Tony Awards have for some time shuttled the "craft" awards - lighting, costume and set design - to some period before the broadcast, showing just a 5 second clip of the acceptance spech of winners, and not even naming the nominees. This year even composer and choreographer were treated to this sidelining. Is it part of the celebrity worship of our day that the most collaborative of arts won't fully honor its greatest collaborators? I think so. Let a star like Sting or Cindi Lauper show up on the scene, and the less glamorous (supposedly) members of the family are shuttled out of the dining room to the kitchen table.

Jul. 07 2014 01:33 PM

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