After a truly wonderful career in public relations, I am about to embark on a completely new path. I can now employ all the skills and knowledge I have honed from over two decades in one field and start anew. As daunting as this is, it also feels like a transition that makes perfect sense. It has been the moments of synchronicity that have punctuated the very best parts of my career journey. Originally coined by psychologist Carl Jung, synchronicity refers to “the meaningful coincidences that occur in your life.”
I have accepted a position as a Major Grants Officer (MGO) at Bethesda, a national non-profit organization that elevates the lives of the IDD (Intellectually and Developmentally Disabled) community with innovative programming, services, and an authentic corporate culture focused on service. While it may sound like an incongruous transition – Public Relations to Fund Development, viewed from the lens of synchronicity, it has all the hallmarks of meaningful intention.
My decision to transition to a career in fund development is something I explored in a recent blog post, “Show Me The Money.” After many successful years helping companies sell (mostly) wonderful products and services, I found myself feeling ready to create impact in a more personal and meaningful way. The rush of big wins marked by market share gains no longer felt as satisfying. Once I made the decision, I immersed myself in the hands-on work of fund development. As synchronicity would have it, as a board member at the YWCA Greater Austin for the last two years, I had numerous opportunities to gain valuable insights into the tremendous value of strategic and sustainable fundraising.
Another “meaningful coincidence” not as direct but just as potent: this year marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) signed into law in July of 1990. A recent series of stories in the New York Times, “Beyond the Law’s Promise” presents a comprehensive overview of the myriad ways in which this piece of landmark legislation has changed the landscape for Americans with disabilities.
When it was introduced, the ADA was called “the most sweeping anti-discrimination measure since the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” The majority of my non-profit volunteerism and engagement for the last decade has focused on giving voice to the disenfranchised and marginalized as exemplified by the mission of the YWCA mission to empower women and girls and anti-racism work within the mantel of social justice.
Today, with this new opportunity to become a Major Grants Officer, I get to continue working in the social justice space – still as an advocate – but my bottom line will be to successfully bring big vision and major funding together in a mutually beneficial relationship. Matching the aspirations of major donors to the promise and the vision of Bethesda’s mission and work will become my new measurement of success. Being a part of a team of seriously smart, dedicated, mission driven people working together to fight for the dignity and quality of life for a marginalized group of individuals? Synchronicity has struck once again and for that I am deeply grateful.
To learn about Bethesda and their vision for the future, check out this video: https://youtu.be/wf4yb0TcYgs.