The terrifying question...
I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a Tuesday in October and we had just come back in from recess. Ms. Simoney, my third grade teacher, called us all over to the reading carpet in the back of the room. We were about to start reading a new book when Ms. Simoney decided to start us off with a question. Normally the questions were easy like “What did you do over summer break?” or “What is a tradition your family does over the holidays?” But this was different. Ms. Simoney asked the hardest question I’ve ever had to answer in my life. She asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
That was the first time I remember experiencing anxiety. Sheer panic set in when it was my turn to answer. All I could think of was, “I don’t know lady! I might want to be a dog walker, or an astronaut, or maybe a bagger at the grocery store they seem pretty cool.” As other kids were saying things like doctor or NBA player or firefighter, I choked and said, “I want to be Elmo.” You can imagine it went over really well.
btw, this is me in 1994 and 2015
Ok, ok, ok. I’m not actually sure if any of this is true, except for Ms. Simoney. She was definitely my third grade teacher. Or was it fourth grade? Thats besides the point. The point is I’ve always dreaded the question “What do you want to be?” because quite honestly I’ve never felt this strong calling to “be” anything. Especially if the role of the red fuzzy monster with a strange voice was already filled.
By the time I got to college most of my friends knew they wanted to be teachers, or in the medical field, or in marketing. Meanwhile I’m over here changing my major five times. I think a part of my indecisiveness was because I didn’t really know what my strengths were. Nor did I want to feel locked into any one area.
In my first job out of college I got to discover those strengths and I realized I love helping people, and talking with people, and wearing a lot of hats (not literal hats, although I do have a great Blossom hat), and being a part of something starting at the ground floor. So I guess it's only natural I fell in love with start-ups.
A little background….
A fresh 3 days out of college, I started as an intern for a cool company called CrowdRise. CrowdRise is a fundraising platform for charities based in Detroit. There I was given the space to discover my strengths in things like relationship and team building (I also discovered some weaknesses along the way, but that's another story).
As I was discovering my strengths as an individual, I also realized that the day-to-day of what I was doing in my role was important to me, but equally important was the team I was working with. Working at a start-up is chaotic.You need a team that is solution oriented, positive and supportive of each other. I knew this CrowdRise community was awesome and helping me really thrive, but I didn’t know how hard it can be to find.
After 3 beautiful years, I left CrowdRise and went on a cross country road trip for 6 weeks; by myself. Someone super cool would probably call it a wanderlust or a walkabout. Regardless of what it’s called, it was great, and meaningful, and my way of seeing real live whales in the ocean.
When I returned from my trip, I worked at a couple different start-ups bringing my skills of communication and relationship building. It was exciting. I was enjoying learning the new industries and learning from new people.
I realized and learned the importance of community.
So why re:purpose…
When Ryan told me all about re:purpose and what he was trying to accomplish, I wanted in. Ryan and I have a very similar work attitude: upbeat, let’s have fun and crush it all at the same time. And if Ryan is good at one thing, it is creating a supportive work community.
I love the idea of creating this one big start-up community and helping people figure out what their strengths are. It’s important and I’ve been there so I like sharing that with people who are on the journey. But the really exciting part is helping people pinpoint the kind of environment they’ll flourish in and then locating a job that fits.
Community and culture are a huge piece to the puzzle in finding a job you love. I know it, I’ve lived it, and now that I’m at re:purpose, I can help find the best fit for you.