Hello! With the conclusion of week 8 here at RMHC, I am still working full force toward finishing up my projects, but as the fellowship comes closer to an end, I am also starting to take some time to reflect. One area that I have enjoyed reflecting on lately is the aspects that I have enjoyed most about working for a non-profit.
One of my favorite things by far is that I love being in an environment where people are so like-minded and passionate, and where their common goal is to serve others before themselves. I have met so many amazing and inspiring people-both through RMHC and the Columbus Foundation- that are so dedicated to their work because this kind of work is something they truly care about. Non-profit organizations certainly have their issues, but the focus is so unique compared to the majority of workplaces. It’s not about feeling constant competition and tension among your co-workers because everyone wants to stand out, or making as much money as possible. It’s about looking for the needs that exist in the community and working together to come up with solutions that will continue to serve our communities better, and I think that is something incredible to be a part of.
Another aspect that I have really enjoyed is that creativity is welcome. There is no “by the book” way to run a non-profit organization. What works tremendously one year might be disastrous the next, needs and demographics in the community might change, budgets might be cut, employees may have to take on several different kinds of roles, and no two days are alike. It’s chaotic at times, but it’s fun chaos. There is ALWAYS a need for innovative and creative ideas, and often times, non-profits are willing to try just about anything. I really enjoy both the ‘anything but monotonous’ atmosphere of being able to take on a variety of tasks and constantly try new things, as well as the ability to use my creativity productively at work. It means so much when I realize that brainstorming ideas for programs, events, fundraisers, communications, etc.-which is already fun for me-truly makes a difference and helps others around me.
I can’t pretend that I have the whole career thing figured out yet. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” is a big question. BUT I do know that I am really passionate about serving others through community development, and that I love being surrounded by like-minded people, having the freedom to put my creativity to work, and switching things up from the normal routine. I am enjoying this experience and having a workplace where all of those things are true, and I’m very excited to continue to pursue more experiences that positively impact communities through non-profit organizations and extension education as I move back into the school year at OSU.