This One’s For the Children

May 11, 2010 at 9:46 am | Posted in Career Moves | 3 Comments
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Doing what you love for a living is incredibly important.  But we all have our days where the 5 o’clock whistle can’t come soon enough.  We think about our job perks, look up vacation deals, visit, whatever it is that helps us make it through the day.

I have another thing that helps me make it through the really tough days.  I have been lucky enough to work in non-profit for 99% of my career (there was a short internship with a global financial firm – don’t ask).  I know what you are thinking. Lucky? Doesn’t non-profit mean no money?  Yes, that is basically what it means at first, but like any other industry, the pay increases as you climb the ladder.  What it really means is that everything I do serves a greater purpose, actually helps somebody, and makes a difference in the world.

I have worked on countless issues in my short career– none were really overly divisive.  Who doesn’t want a better foster care system, better education, better health care, affordable access to arts and cultural activities?

My work has helped children, minorities, the elderly, the ill, and more.  Mostly in indirect ways where I will work to promote the great work others are doing.  But there are stories, like the one I’m about to tell, that had a real impact on a real person.

I had an elderly client who had founded a program that mainstreamed children with kidney disease into the general popular at this camp upstate.  My charge was to promote this camp and its unique treatment of children with this serious illness.  The children received their dialysis treatment but were also able to be involved in most camp activities.  I saw first hand how this woman’s vision positively affected many children.

I was able to get this woman interviewed on a couple radio shows and draw some nice attention to this program.  I remember speaking with her one day before an interview.  She sounded as frail as any average 90 year old woman could sound.  That kind of aging is hard to comprehend.  The things this woman has survived are incredible.  It is so easy to ignore that when you hear a weak woman on the other line.

About a year after the project I received an email from my contact at the camp.  She informed me that this woman had passed on.  She said the work my team and I had done was so incredibly important and meant so much to her and to the cause.  I helped to give this woman a voice.  It is stories like this one that remind that what I do everyday really makes a difference.


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  1. That’s great to hear. I always knew that liking your job went along with not only being good at it but also that in the end, your actions are resulting in a greater good.

    BTW: I got a job with Arts West! I’ll be taking up your old reigns for the time being. I’m looking forward to it! Any tips? Haha. 😉


    • that’s hysterical! I was wondering how they were going to reshape that dept. Is that the part-time gig that used to be my full-time gig? Well, you’ll see lots of familiar faces, but lots of new ones. My advice is to not be afraid to put systems in place, or to share your ideas. You can really shape your own future there! If it’s a part time gig, email me your resume. I might know of some other openings. Hope you are well darling!

      • It was PT when I first applied, but on the second interview, they told me they were turning it into a FT position – thank god. It seems to entail the usual editorial stuff, as well as website and social media maintenance. Seems like a good combo of stuff I know how to do, as well as stuff I want to learn more about. Hopefully I can do a decent job while still going to school at night. Guess we’ll see! Thanks for the advice! xx

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