How I decided what I was going to do after working for Obama for 9 1/2 years
It was 2012. I had quit two advertising jobs six years earlier to advance LGBT rights -- what I saw as the social justice issue of my time after I'd come across a brochure from the Human Rights Campaign that listed the 1,132 rights, benefits, and protections that were denied to same-sex couples because they couldn't marry.
I'd worked in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Cleveland, Raleigh, Helena, Denver, and Chicago for Obama; then on the transition team, in his White House, and for his Environmental Protection Agency.
Obama had just won reelection, and I had moved to Chicago to join the Great Lakes region of the EPA. I asked myself, what do I want to do after this is all over, and what am I most passionate about?
...in no particular order
So I asked Quora if there was a way for me to volunteer on an archaeological dig, and found the USDA Forest Service's Passport in Time program. I went on a trip to southern Illinois in the spring of 2013 and had a fantastic experience doing an archaeological inventory of Resthaven in Shawnee National Forest.
However, after speaking with the archaeologists there, I felt that school would be too expensive considering the prospective income level. I committed to this being a hobby - and I can't wait to be able to take my next "dig trip!"
So that left three more passions.
And I decided to ball them up into one: I'd study religious apostasy and its effects on political identity from a psychological perspective. I tested if I could go back to school by getting a post-baccalaureate certificate in the psychology of religion from Northwestern in 2014. I took the hour-long train up to Evanston from Chicago a few times a week after work, taking social and clinical psychology, as well as fascinating classes on the psychology of evil and the psychology of Buddhism! I was hooked.
In 2016, I completed the Summer Institute in Political Psychology at Stanford University, where I was able to narrow done which branch of psychology - social - from which I wanted to study this phenomenon of an increasing number of Americans identifying with no religion.
But then life happened. The end of the Administration came, and all the political appointees had to resign. I ended up going on Remote Year in 2017, leaving the US on the day Trump was inaugurated. I met Mike in June, and we moved to Spain in 2018, where I was fortunate enough to be able to work remotely until I decided that I wanted to take the leap and get my master's degree in social psychology.
I went to the University of Exeter, met an inspiring group of people, worked fast and furiously for three terms, and we all graduated together in December!
I've dived into a few different career paths, which is, of course, increasingly becoming the norm for Millenials; reinventing my life each time. From advertising in Texas to a fellowship with HRC in Ohio, to Obama in nine states and the Administration, to world traveler and remote worker, and back to studying, I've picked up a lot of experiences and countless skills, working in a plethora of fields.
Which brings me back to 2020. I've landed in the beautiful southwest of England. And now it's time to dive back into the world of work!
I'm actively searching for my next role, and I hope you can be a source of inspiration and ideas on amazing organizations doing progressive and mission-driven work.
Got any suggestions?
Please check out my resume and share it with a hiring manager.
I look forward to any ideas or suggestions you might have! Thank you for reading and for being a part of my amazing network of friends and colleagues.