Have you ever felt that you needed to make a big change in your life but you didn’t dare to step out of your comfort zone?
That’s how I felt when I thought about taking the leap to becoming a development consultant after 30 years of working in relatively secure non-profit salaried positions. But there finally came a moment when I just had to do it.
Don’t get me wrong, since the moment I started this journey, at the tender age of 22, I’ve loved all of my jobs! I’ve had the privilege of working and volunteering for development organisations and NGOs all over the world. I’ve had my fair share of terrifying moments and exhilarating experiences. Every single one of them contributed in one way or another to building the expertise and the confidence that allowed me to think about taking this leap into the unknown.
The only person holding me back was myself.
I had to convince myself that I could work to change the world for the better without the security that a salaried position and all its structure gave me. That if I could use the best of my expertise and focus on those who needed exactly what I had to share - I could actually amplify my impact.
My early years in development gave me a strong belief in the power of capacity building for community leaders and organisations, particularly when it came to development and training. On the way I learned how to manage small community initiatives as well as complex large scale logistical projects (which, by the way, often take the same amount of work).
Fundraising? Oh no.
And then I got dragged, kicking and screaming, out of program work and into fundraising. My first reaction when I got offered a position as a fundraiser was – oh no – I don’t think I have the right experience to do this! Somebody had to explain to me that the job was all about people, their stories, and enabling them to make a difference. And of course as soon as I started to do it, I got it. How I fell in love with planned giving and donor relations, is a story for another time.
Mind the Gap
In the last few years it became more evident to me that there was a gap between the actual work on the ground, the impact of the money I was raising, and the day to day work I did raising it. And I could feel the wind blowing through that gap. I felt disconnected. I wanted to get my hands dirty again.
So I took a deep breath and jumped.
This is my first blog post on this website, and in my new life as a development consultant. I hope to be able to go back to my roots and help organisations build their capacity. I want to translate some of my skills into designing processes and plans which will lead to their long term sustainability. I want to work with my fellow development professionals and help them to grow in their leadership roles. I want to share my experience and passion with teams and volunteers. It’s what I love doing best.
I don’t think for a minute that it’s going to be easy but I know that I want to use the short time I have on earth to make the most impact.
I’m planning to change the world for the better.
I’m guessing that might be your mission too. I offer a free 60 minute consultation to find out what your needs might be, please take me up on it! I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org or 514-575-4927.
Let’s do this together.