Tag Archives: Personal

My team doesn’t know what I do.

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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My Nonprofit Story: Part 1 of Who Knows How Many

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!

An Introvert’s Nonprofit Career Story: 5 Lessons from My Switch to External Facing Work

Work trip turned mini vacation

INFP. The Myers Briggs test didn’t tell me anything I didn’t know. But it gave me a way to fit my skills, professional experience and personal interests into a neat little framework. Nearly 10 years later, I don’t think much has changed.

On this blog, you know me as Dee. In the real world, I’m a business systems manager for a nonprofit organization. It’s a catch-all title, meaning I manage our Salesforce database…but also, any other systems we might adopt. Because #multiplehats.

Getting here —in my career and this blog— hasn’t been a total accident! So I thought I’d share a bit about what that path has looked like for me.

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The Case for Being Employed for Good

Hi, I’m Dee. I’m a huge data nerd and I work for a nonprofit organization in New York City.

Like many of you nonprofit peeps, I too love this sector. There was a period in my life where I wanted to go corporate – twice, actually – but nearly 14 years later since my first nonprofit internship, and I’m still here!

And with the exception of potentially joining the government one day, I’m pretty sure this is where I’m meant to be.

I’m fortunate to have worked with great organizations, and am currently in a job that really fits who I am and what I care about right now. But even if you’re working your dream nonprofit job, you know that doesn’t mean every day is easy. Some days are hard, leave you feeling uncertain or questioning your abilities, and can be downright frustrating!

That’s because being a nonprofit career professional isn’t just a work-related decision. It’s more of a lifestyle.

Employed for Good, then, is technically a lifestyle blog – but one focused on all that it takes to work and thrive as a nonprofit professional. In my experience, that means three areas:

  • Technical knowledge, so that we can get the nitty gritty of our jobs DOWN. With my focus, you can expect posts that touch on nonprofit data, systems & engagement processes.
  • Work Stuff in general, because things like boundary-setting are equally important in our roles.
  • Life Stuff, since we’re not just our jobs. We’re people, and the things going on in our human lives inevitably spill over into our work lives.

I’ll share tips and advice on a weekly basis, but by no means is this a solo endeavor. I want you & your nonprofit friends to be part of this too.

From one nonprofit professional to another, let’s reframe and reflect on this path. By deciding to do well at work and in life, we’ll position ourselves to do some real good in this sector.

So, let’s do good together! I invite you to subscribe so that you’re caught up each week, and to engage in this passion project of mine.

Yours in service,

Dee