A while ago, I shared tips on how to build a staff process that people will want to follow. Because when you start getting overwhelmed with requests, a process is key to staying cool and organized.
We already 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 really want to start here.)
Now that that’s done, we need to translate those points into a living, breathing process. That’s a pretty big leap, especially when you’re not used to doing it.
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!
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’.
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.
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 in my young adult life.
The first time was during my senior year of college. By that point, I’d held an internship at a nonprofit organization 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).
Working for a nonprofit organization, you learn how to pick and choose your battles.
There are the small ones, like deciding if you should say something to your teammate about their less-than-stellar proofreading. Or sending that email about keeping the office microwave clean!
But as you get further in your career, bigger battles fall onto your lap. You might find yourself convincing your org to implement new system, proposing a shift in how your org executes its mission, or even moral conversations around diversity and ethics.