When I first started at Pass the Torch for Women six months ago, I knew I would be contributing to meaningful work, but I didn’t know just how many inspiring and motivating people I would meet and the unique opportunities I would be a part of. Most of all, I was unaware of just how much me being on the team would shape who I am right now – both personally and professionally. Reaching my six month “workaversary” with the Foundation, I want to share a little bit about what I’ve learned so far. I compiled a list of six things I’ve learned – one for each month spent at the Foundation – and I’m excited to share them with you all.
No day looks the same. When I was first interviewed by our VP of Programming and Development, Samantha Burke, I asked her, “What does a typical day working for the Foundation look like?” She responded by saying, “there is no day that looks the same”, and I have found Samantha’s answer to hold true. Now more than ever, I have experienced just how important it is to be flexible, adaptable, and how handy it is to have a planner (they are lifesavers!). Knowing each day holds something new is exciting and it reminds that I am moving and growing along with the Foundation.
The importance of being both an independent worker and team player. Being a team player opens the door to new ideas and different ways to problem solve. It creates lots of support and increases overall morale. While being on the team, not only have I been able to complete tasks and projects independently, but I’ve also been able to learn more about my fellow team-members and witness their creativity, motivation, and drive for the Foundation through our collaboration. I cannot stress enough the value in having a supportive team where all members feel the safety needed for them to bring their best, most confident selves to work, so that they can fully contribute to the team’s goals and the organization’s success. Every day I know I am in an environment where I can share my ideas and learn from others – something I don’t take for granted.
Get to know the people you work with and work for. One of my most favorite parts about being on this team is learning and knowing more about the people behind the passion of the organization. Connecting with those individuals has made the Foundation’s mission even more clear to me. It is truly a community that fosters support and empowerment. It is a community where all are members are cheering each other on throughout their individual career path journeys. When I first started at the Foundation, I felt connected to its mission and those it serves and pours into. After six months, I feel just as connected to those who pour themselves into the Foundation.
Mentors MATTER! Being able to participate in projects where I hear the impact stories firsthand from women we serve has made one thing very clear to me – mentors change lives. Simply put, they matter. Whether you are at the highest point in your career, or the lowest point, a mentor will always be a source for you to turn to. They meet you where you are to offer support, guidance, and assurance that you can accomplish your goals. At the Foundation, we provide those mentors to women and it is life changing for the women we serve.
You ARE capable of accomplishing whatever you set your mind to. It sounds cheesy, but it is so true. My time at the Foundation has highlighted that every challenge I face is an opportunity for growth and (with a little bit of coffee) I am capable of making impactful change through my work. Few things feel better than knowing the work you have done is making a positive impact in the life of another.
Through the Foundation, some of my favorite professional memories have been made. From directing a video series to global event campaigns to directly serving a community of women, the list goes on and on! My skillset has grown and the best part is that I have enjoyed every minute. I’ve learned that a team is the backbone of an organization and I am so thankful to be part of such an amazing team. Much of what I know, I know because other people were willing to not only teach me, but guide and support me along the way. Imagine a world where all women had a mentor. Someone who believed in them and taught them what they know. I believe that we have a duty to others to pass on what we know, so that they, too, can blaze a trail for others to follow and succeed from.
As Viola Davis says, “When women support women, amazing things can happen” and I’m here to say amazing things happen at Pass the Torch for Women Foundation.