Story Time: How the Org Database Became My Career

A personal reflection on how taking on my org’s database – as a side project – turned into a full-blown career.

Gang! If you’ve been following me for a while, then you know a bit about my story. Like that before becoming a data princess (real nickname), I was an external-facing relationship manager. 

But I wanted to share more about my journey, because I know many of us are reflecting on our careers during the pandemic. Myself included.

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My team doesn’t know what I do.

A story about that time I sort of got in trouble at work…and the thing I realized I wasn’t doing in my role.

I sort of got in trouble at work recently.

Don’t worry – nothing actually offensive took place on my part. My job isn’t in jeopardy, I’m not on probation, or anything like that! But I had an exchange with one of my directors, and as far as I’m concerned, I’ve definitely made a mistake in my role. Let’s dive in.

Anyone who manages a database knows that the job has it’s less-than-glamorous moments. Not that anyone would call this work glamorous…which is precisely why I love it.

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How to Pick Your Battles at Work

Check out these tips before you walk into that meeting, principles blazing.

Working for a nonprofit organization, you learn how to pick and choose your battles.

There’s the small stuff – like deciding if you should tell your peer about their less-than-stellar proofreading. Or sending a mass email about the office microwave.

But as you progress in your career, bigger battles fall onto your lap. You might find yourself convincing your org to work in a new way – be it around technology, your mission, or ethics.

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How to Say No At Work Without Jeopardizing Your Job

Tips for tactfully exercising your “No”.

Boundaries are important as we grow in our careers. The more we’re able to do, the more people want our time.

That’s why one piece of advice seems to stick: saying no at work.

Which makes total sense. There’s only so much you can do in one day. Learning to say no is a matter of necessity, because it’s impossible to yes all the things.

There’s just one problem. Just saying no isn’t always an option. Depending on the environment, it can put your reputation and employment at risk. Even unicorns get fired.

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