I love being productive. I’m seriously at my best when I contribute and when I know that my contribution is impacting someone, somewhere.
When I was in grad school, all I wanted to do was find a garden that needed a fence built around it. After hours in a basement library, I could imagine no greater pleasure than to dig deep holes in order to build a foundation for this fence. I would imagine leaving work at the end of the day, hands bruised and back aching, but with a measurable sense of accomplishment.
Sometimes I didn’t always have the skills to know what was supposed to happen next when you built a fence: should I use bricks and mortar for the pathway? If I build a wooden fence, how will I know which pieces to nail together? But in my reverie, my dad or my brother would stop by, show me how it should work and then leave me to my task. In my day dream I could never be satisfied until the work was done and approved, and until I returned to help plant the garden.
A few years pass and I realize much of my work ethic is revealed in this “dream job.” I like to work independently, I don’t mind the extra hours as long as I understand the mission and goals. Give me parameters of what success is, and I’ll get you there. I don’t kid around with the word expert–instead, let me collaborate with people who do good work and I’ll show you what’s possible.
For the past five years, I’ve worked for non-profits because I believe in their mission. I like waking up in the morning and thinking about the thousands of tiny ripples created through the work I do. Still, lately I feel a sense of urgency to do something that involves a greater splash.
I live in an incredible city, surrounded by powerful and prodigious women from organizations literally changing the world. I think it’s time to reset, it’s time to do big things.