Reaching the crucial point of change.

Posted on June 1, 2009. Filed under: Making Change, Planning for the Future |

Over the past couple months I have been through a lot of transition.  I got married, bought a house, and my job description is in flux.  I tried to prepare as much as possible for these changes.  I planned, set up a series of blog posts for my absence, thought through new work structures, and packed up our apartment.  Even with all my planning, I found it is almost impossible to stay entirely ahead of huge life changes.

I was able to get used to the idea that I was going to be married.  I’ve moved at least 10 times in five years, so that was pretty easy, but I was unaware of how some of the changes would change my career outlook.  Throughout these transitions I have been trying to focus on how my life will morph in the future.  With a new husband to think of and house to pay for I have taken a strong look at my priorities and how they have changed since college and how I may still keep my home.

When I left college after my bachelor’s degree three years ago I wanted to make a big change.  I was naive then and thought it would easy.  I had dreams of helping millions of people with their rights and keeping them healthy.  Since college I have worked in two places that aren’t making direct change the way I wished I could in college. My first position was the closest to change, but fund raising wasn’t for me.  Now with my current position we are helping to shape the nonprofit sector, but I am feeling the void of making direct change for individuals.  I have been making up for this by volunteering a lot, but I am not sure that is satisfying either.

I remember now back to my senior year of college.  I attended our state nonprofit association’s superconference.  During the conference I was discussing my ambitions of becoming a lawyer and making policy changes at the federal level.  The women I was speaking with had actually worked in the federal government and warned me against the drain of not making change at that level.  Now I know what she meant.  I’m not exactly working at the federal level making policy, but I am multiple steps away from making the direct change I had hoped to in college through my job. (my dreams of going to law school have also slightly diminished)

With all the shifts I have been experiencing, I have decided it was a crucial time for me to change my career outlook.  I am starting on a plan to making these changes happen for myself.  I know it might not be the best time to make a shift, but if all the cards fall right as the plan I have established (they never do) everything should work out.

The first step in my plan is to restate my values and goals for my career and life.  These establishments will help me make the tough decisions when it comes to my career.

Values: community, family, innovation, accomplishment, diversity, knowledge, leadership, timeliness, faith, collaboration, continuous improvement, and commitment


To work in a career where I am able to directly change the issues that are affecting my community.

To keep focused on and help support our family, along side my husband.

Whatever I do, always keep my work or volunteering about social change, women’s rights, an d community impact.  Community impact could mean through affecting local food, buying locally, and participating in community events.

Further develop my skills and knowledge about organizational and program development, social media, personal leadership and generational dynamics.

Work on my own personal leadership skills and develop strong partnerships/networks with in the community.

Continue blogging with a stronger focus on leadership development and organizational change.

As my career develops, my goals will become more focused.   The ones I have stated here are very broad.   I am keeping them that way, so that I have room to develop a career that fits my needs as I grow.

Do you have thoughts on goal setting?  How do you hold yourself accountable for keeping your goals?


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4 Responses to “Reaching the crucial point of change.”

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Tera – great post. Thank you for being so open about your goals. I look forward to hearing more on Wednesday!

Great post – I often feel the same way when I’m working on social issues or working on one of my organizations related to human rights/microfinance – if you’re not directly volunteering or doing something that has a direct impact you start feeling as if you are too removed from the end product. That makes it difficult, I agree.

Tera! I don’t know if I told you, but congrats! I saw some of your wedding pics & you made a beautiful bride.

Also, congrats for making the decision to change your career outlook. I’m excited that you started your process by identifying your values!

I’ve found that posting my goals publicly on my blog and even on Twitter & FB has helped to keep me accountable. Your friends, readers, followers will check in with you to see how you’re progressing.

Thanks ladies! I am excited to see where my goals take me.

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