Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Non-Profit Work

I am heading into work tomorrow for d-day. I know it's coming. If not tomorrow, it will be Friday. The org chart for our dept. was leaked and I am not on it. I'm ok with it, really. I feel like I never really worked here to begin with because it was a catastrophe from the beginning. I'm just worried about my family and that the clock will start ticking... I've already been at this job hunting thing for 3 months and I'm still starting from square one with limited leads right now. Anyhow... there is one really strong lead in the works though, and I'm excited about it.

It's totally out of my box, but in a good way. It's a career change - moving into the non-profit world. Granted my hospital work is technically non-profit, but this is far different. It's a very small organization that is completely funded by private donations, and the role includes fundraising and marketing (in addition to PR). I'm in love with the thought of this job, and here's why...

These past six months have taught me a lot about what I really want to do with my career and more than anything what I do NOT want to do. I have had the privilege of working for the corporate side of PR, the agency side and the health care/non-profit world. I used to think that I just wanted to climb to the top of the ladder and make as much money as I could - that was my definition of success. I always thought that an impressive title is how you stand out/above the crowd, and being a stand-out was always my goal. Well, let me tell you this... I had a really great title, and an amazing salary, for being 29 years old, and I was completely miserable. I have learned that I really hate being the "approver" instead of the do-er. I hate working remotely via conference calls for everything. I need to interact with people. I need to write my own stuff. I need diversity in my work. I despise templates and mapped out scenarios for every day of my job.

So, after looking at millions of job postings and thinking long and hard about my career prospects, I honestly and most sincerely want to pursue a career in non-profit work if He will allow it. The money doesn't matter - as long as I can make enough to pay the bills. I want to use my talents and abilities in a way that really matters and makes a difference. That's why I loved my health care job so much - the stories I was able to tell educated people about treatments and research they might not have otherwise known about... I want to interact with people who love and appreciate the organization I work for (like patients, families, medical staff), because that is what will make me proud of my job (not my title).

And quite frankly, given the current economy, more and more people will be needing the help of non-profit organizations. And thus, non-profits need good leadership and support right now.

This place that I am hoping to end up working is not in the best neighborhood. It's a rather sad place, because it truly is where our city's poor go to die. But when I think about how blessed I am to have my family all around me and to have a roof over my head and financial comfort, I cannot possibly imagine if that were all taken away and on top of it knew that I was dying from a terminal illness. I want to let more people know about this place. I want to help raise money to support this organization. I want to help.

I have to call the chairman of the board on Friday to discuss the opportunity. I've already talked to one board member about it, but the best part is that another board member is someone here at the bank and he called the chairman and sent him my resume and everything... so, I'm hoping the contact "knowing someone" will help. I'll keep you posted.

Anyhow, this organization is Malachi House. I am praying like crazy that I'm able to land this one. It just feels right. As much as I wanted to be that corporate tough chick, it's just not me. I bring my heart to work. I'm a working mom - not the boardroom bitch :) I need to work for more than money and power.


Anonymous said...

Let your work define you. Not your title or salary. This attitude shows growth and maturity, and this place would be lucky to have you.

Very proud of you.

Mandy Todo said...

Thank you :)

Megan said...

good luck mandy... non-profit is rewarding beyond any dollar amount! i'm hoping you'll hear some good news soon - don't we all need a little good news lately?!