Tag Archives: Gen Y

Creating a Staff Process, Part 2: Your Intake System Matters

Intake Process

Have you ever spent unnecessary time on a request, all because you & your colleagues weren’t on the same page? *raises hand*

It’s not a great feeling! But that’s what happens when you don’t organize those requests early on. If you write content for your org, create reports, build lists, or do anything that requires even the slightest bit of niche expertise….let’s chat.

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Creating a Staff Process, Part 1: How to Build A Framework

Staff Request Process – Featured Image

A while ago, I shared tips on how to build a staff process that people can actually follow. Because when you start getting overwhelmed with requests, a process is key to staying cool and organized.

We did the first step of clarifying how these requests play out in our orgs today. We’ve got notes on everything that matters: the types of requests we get, the needs of our requestors and our own team’s capacity. (If you haven’t read that first post, you’ll want to start here.)

Now that that’s done, we need to translate those points into a living, breathing process. That’s a big leap, especially when you’re not used to doing it!

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7 PTO Tips For Those Who Struggle with Vacation Time, Too

PTO Tips

It’s time for me to come clean, gang. For the longest time, I was not good about paid-time off (PTO).

It’s not like I don’t take my time. In fact, I’ve never let a single day expire. I’ve just been so disorganized about this in the past, that it was stressful even figuring out what to do with the time when I finally did take it.

If I haven’t said this yet, I believe all of us should use every last hour of our vacation time. For one, us workaholics need that time away to relax and reset. But more importantly, that’s time we’ve earned. This is part of our compensation, ‘money’ we’d be throwing down the toilet if we didn’t use that time!

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The Unconference Model is Problematic. Here’s Why & What to Do About It

conference chairs

Gang, let’s talk about unconferences. Because I’ve got a lot of mixed feelings.

First, if you’ve never heard of an unconference, let’s start there. An unconference is a “participant-led” learning experience. It rebels against the typical conference structure, in that there’s no preset agenda.

Yep, you read me correctly.

There is no agenda for this conference, until you show up to make it. The idea is that the audience –the people who this whole thing is designed to benefit–  put forth the topics they want to discuss. Hence, the ‘un’.

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8 Tips for a Better & More Effective Job Search


Let’s get right to it. Job hunting is the worst.

I’m reminded of this every time I sit with my boyfriend to talk job prospects. He’s smart, talented and dedicated, yet sometimes he’ll forget! The job search is that good at eating away at your confidence & optimism.  

It also exacerbates real life stressors, stuff we all go through at some point – like financial stress, low self-esteem, imposter syndrome, and other fun things.

No one can make that stuff disappear. But there is a way to make this easier, and that’s by organizing your search activities.

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My Nonprofit Story: Part 1 of Who Knows How Many

castle from toronto

The nonprofit sector has been holding me against my will for the past 14 years.

You know how they say every joke has some kernel of truth? Well that’s true here! I’ve tried getting out of the nonprofit sector two times already. I can’t shake it, you guys.

The first time was during my senior year of college. By that point, I’d held 5 internships with 5 nonprofit organizations for over 5 summers. I also had a nonprofit work-study job, a 4 year stint with a local org doing client advocacy  work (by teaching people how to ask the right questions).

It was a great gig, and I grew a ton in that time. But my resume – and upcoming student debt – seemed to scream one crystal-clear message: I should try going making tons of money.

And the nonprofit gods had their fun with that one, because what inevitably happened was two-fold. For one, I didn’t get many interviews with the fancy schmancy consulting firms. Apparently years of nonprofit work didn’t impress (or maybe I was doing it wrong. I’ve learned a lot about job hunting since then.)

But more importantly, the majority of jobs i was looking at didn’t interest me at all. Unbeknownst to me, I had cultivated this requirement to work for a place with a higher purpose…but I had no idea it was going to drive me back to those nonprofit job boards.

That was the first time I tried leaving. The second time is more significant.

A few days before graduation, I landed a great role with a national organization. I was on their fundraising operations team, with a lovable crew of funny, sarcastic, charismatic fundraisers. I got to pull my introvert hat all the way down by getting lost in the world of spreadsheets, data and Salesforce.

But over the course of 2 years, watching these professionals do their thing sparked my own curiosity! I was intrigued by the limelight that fundraisers seemed to attract, and while I loved ops, I needed to know if relationship management was something I’d enjoy doing just as much.

So when it came time to leave my org, I decided to aim for B2B sales roles. (I know. Writing that felt gross for me, too.)

I went through rounds of applications and interviews with different tech companies. (BTW, job hunting is hard. But if you can get clear on what you want out of your next job, you’ll be amazed at the confidence and resilience you feel doing that tough work).

I ultimately got an offer for a startup that sounded like a great fit, doing work I found interesting, with a likeable team. But it was a giant paycut, to do work that I knew would be grueling, in the most expensive city in the world. And it wasn’t even with a nonprofit! After lots of agonizing, I declined and hoped I was worth more than that.

My last week at my old job, I got wind of a role that sounded too good to be true – a relationship manager role that had me working directly with nonprofits instead of businesses. AND oh cruel irony…it was at a nonprofit organization.

Fast forward 3 weeks and I had the job I didn’t even know I was looking for.

The story doesn’t end there. It’s still very much going. But I’ll leave it here, because the amount of growth that’s happened in these recent years is something I’d need a whole blog to cover.

What’s your story? Share it in the comments!