Thoughts on the Future

As always, I’ve been tossing around ideas about my future lately. I have my five most important values posted on my wall so that I’m reminded of them every day. One of them is making a difference. But what I haven’t really asked myself is…

What does it mean to make a difference?

I’ve always thought of making a difference in the traditional way. Take a visible leadership role and make change in your community. Participate in advocacy, educate your peers, and take an active role in changing the world. Pick up litter. Smile at a stranger. Recycle. You know, that sort of thing.

But last night I thought… what if I’m thinking too small? What if I’m being too close minded about what making a difference can mean? I’ve shared on here that I’m open to being a nonprofit consultant in the future (see my post Updating My About Me Page). But lately I think I might have shifted that thinking from being a possibility to being a strong possibility. Even stronger than becoming a CEO.

My time in the Master of Nonprofit Administration program at USF will be so useful in a consultant capacity. I’ll be able to use my skills and knowledge with a large breadth of organizations. The work will be varied and interesting. And, the responsibility will be different.

I have to admit, I have a hard time shouldering a large amount of responsibility. I get very wrapped up in doing everyone proud that I drive myself a little nuts (see my post I Am an Overachiever). Being a consultant would be a different type of responsibility. I can be a partner with a CEO to assist them with implementation, but not be the sole person creating change. I can be in the supporting role, much like I loved being an advisor to student organizations at UCSD (namely, Alternative Breaks). It’s a different type of responsibility, and one that very much attracts me.

As always, things change. But the important thing is that I’m continually thinking about what will make me happy and what works best for my future. And I think this just might be the ticket.

-N.C.

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