Sometimes you just have to go with the flow- especially when you work in a non profit. I learned this during this past week. As a recent college graduate of a school in which students were very competitive, “stress” has been second nature to me, whether I wanted it to be or not. Fortunately, these past few years I have learned to only focus on competing with myself, striving to produce better outcomes than I did the previous day. However, even this strategy does not save me from “stress.”
So, if you recall during Week 1, I mentioned how I was assigned the duty of putting on a large-scale fundraising event for my organization. Well, at this point, I have less than 2 weeks until the event! When I noticed the calendar date during the middle of Week 3, I immediately felt overwhelmed. I had been working on the event everyday, completing licenses, making several calls, emails, and even visits to businesses, trying to get them to participate in our event. I even made the uncomfortable trip of trekking to the Columbus Police Department in the pouring rain to get something signed. Nevertheless, I am not sure where the time went. I felt as though I had been doing everything right, trying my best to tackle the most urgent priorities.
Nervously, I went to my supervisor and told her my feelings. I even came prepared with a sticky note that outlined a Plan B and Plan C in case every thing was not solidified for the event by its date. When I explained to her what I was feeling she immediately replied, “Welcome to event planning” with a laugh. To my surprise, she told me that she was okay if everything does not work out for Plan A and that it can still be a successful event. She assured me that she was not worried and her response quickly alleviated any feeling of being overwhelmed that I was carrying.
Being open and candid with my boss about my work experience helped me to freely enjoy the rest of what CCH offers outside of my day to day duties. For instance, one day after work on Week 3 I stayed after and watched our Transit Arts youth program perform dance, spoken word, and do live painting. I also attended an info session about the new playground that is about to be built for the children and even told my supervisor that I was willing to help build it! (I do not know how to build anything.)
I am grateful for having a supervisor that is so easy to talk to and knows the importance of going with the flow. There are too many opportunities of learning at CCH for me to put off because I am “stressed” about another agenda item. I put “stressed” in quotations, because sometimes I am not truly stressed. Sometimes, I just need to step back and re-evaluate my purpose. My goal is to move forward with planning this event with the same tenacity that I possessed in the beginning, but being gentle with myself when things do not turn out according to plan. Dealing with the unexpected is the best way to sharpen my event planning skills as well as add excitement to the work I do.
After my talk with my supervisor, I saw her in the parking lot after work and she asked “Still overwhelmed?” I confidently replied “No.”
(Attached, is a picture of a blueprint for the playground that one of the youth drew. Notice the bongos in the right-bottom corner!)