I was certain that I would end up working for a not-for-profit. But instead, my passion for that sector led me to PR. I volunteered at the World Animal Protection and got to know the people and their different roles. After spending time with their communications person, I decided public relations was the right fit for me.
At PR school, my instructors would always tell the class, “you’ll be surprised where you end up because public relations can take you anywhere”. They were right. I’ve been at Media Profile for 10 years. As I reflect on the accounts I’ve worked on, I see that agency life (and specifically this agency) gave me the opportunity to achieve my goal in ways I did not imagine.
Media Profile doesn’t work in silos, meaning that early in our careers we don’t have to focus on one specific area of the business. We’re also employee-owned, so having an entrepreneurial spirit is celebrated. This gives us the opportunity to shape our own careers. We’re urged to ask to work on the clients that pique our interest. For some that means working with big brands, for others it means working with consumer-based products. For me, it means feeling that I am working on something that makes the world a better place.
In the years since starting my career, I’ve learned that for me this feeling isn’t just achieved by working with not-for-profits, it can also be achieved through working with government clients, those with a focus on corporate social responsibility, and those that have a positive impact on the communities they serve. Making the world a better place is the work of many types of businesses.
Over the years, I’ve worked with a wide range of non-profits. It’s fascinating to learn how each of them help the communities they serve, whether the focus is on youth homelessness, hunger, animals, environment, healthcare, or social justice. Getting a glimpse of the inner workings is eye-opening and inspiring.
Let’s face it, working on a specific cause that you are passionate about day-in-and-day-out can feel like an up-hill battle where every day is urgent and it’s hard to step away. I see many of my friends in the non-profit world experience burn-out, and working on causes so close to their hearts can lead to serious mental health implications and exhaustion. I envy, appreciate and worry about them.
The opportunity to work with a variety of non-profits has helped me feel fulfilled at work, and I’m able to focus on the issue I’m most passionate about through volunteering. I have fostered 10 dogs with one on the way this week, traveled to an Orangutan Sanctuary in Malaysia to basically shovel poop (and had fun!), and I advise a friend who founded We Animals, an organization that exposes cruelty towards animals around the Globe.
Media Profile also believes in the power of volunteering. It gives employees two days a year to volunteer anywhere they are passionate about through iMPact Days, which are pure gold to someone like me.
Fulfillment at work can come in unexpected ways. When I was a student, I never imagined it would come through agency life. So if you are starting something new, be open to the unexpected opportunities that could come your way.