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Over the past few weeks, I’ve taken advantage of the opportunity to interview several of the employees here at Girls on the Run of the Triangle. Talking about career paths and hearing advice from nonprofit professionals was eye-opening and affirming, while also rounding out my understanding of the organization. This short and sweet blog post is dedicated to sharing my favorite pieces of advice from conversations with five of my co-workers.

“Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses.” – Mia Xavier, Development Manager

Mia made it clear that no person can be perfect. People can, however, seek to balance their weaknesses with the strengths of others. Mia told me how whenever she starts a new job or project, she reevaluates the needs of that project in the context of her own strengths. Then, she seeks out others who have the skills and personal characteristics to supplement her weaknesses.

“Recognize that it’s part of the process, not a failure.” – Ronnie Bower, Special Projects Manager

It’s all a journey, right? Ronnie and I talked quite a bit about learning, both personally and organizationally. It’s important to take everything with a grain of salt. Always remember that making mistakes and overcoming hurdles can be the most powerful learning experiences of them all.

“It’s all about relationship building.” – Hannah Robinson, Program Coordinator

Hannah is a young professional, just like myself. While we were talking, she mentioned that so much of her day-to-day life revolves around relationship building. Whether it’s with co-workers or volunteers, Hannah noted that these relationships help you to complete work projects in a more effective and efficient manner. Perhaps more importantly, you never know where these relationships can take you in the future!

“Stick with it.” – Kathy Therber, Office and Volunteer Coordinator

If you love something, don’t give up at the first sign of hardship. Kathy explained that some of her friends have been working at the same company or in the same field for virtually their entire careers – and now they are the movers and shakers in their respective areas of expertise.

“Be open to the many possibilities and opportunities out there.” – Juliellen Simpson-Vos, Executive Director

To balance out Kathy’s advice, Juliellen commented that there are so many opportunities to take advantage of. While you should know yourself and where your strengths and interests lie, you should also be willing to be nimble and make career choices that suit your needs at that moment. You never know where those choices may take you!

I hope their nuggets of advice resonate with you, as they did with me. Based on my conversations, it seems fitting for this week’s GOTR value to be “embrace our differences and find strength in our connectedness.” Each of the amazing women working here at Girls on the Run took a different career path – with many of my co-workers having substantial experience in both the nonprofit and for-profit worlds. In some cases, an introduction to nonprofits came in the form of continual volunteerism. For others, though, it was a surprise to stumble across this completely distinct sector. The only similarity between their stories seemed to be that those paths were unique, winding, and continuously evolving. A career truly is a journey, not a destination.

The opinions expressed here are solely my opinions. Content published here is not read or approved by Girls on the Run® International and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Girls on the Run® International.

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