Back at Nonprofit Marketing: Rejuvenated & Recalibrating

recalibrateI know your fall is booting up big time—on right-now to-dos, end-of-year campaigns and thinking/talking on what to do differently and better next year. Same here, and for our client orgs.

But—thanks to pulling myself away from work for a much-needed sabbatical—I’m seeing what’s ahead for me and Getting far more clearly than ever before.

Now, two months later, I’m back to work and focused on bringing my new professional vision to life. That’s:

    1. Finding a way to keep doing what I love (that stays put—guiding nonprofits like yours to build & strengthen relationships with donors, volunteers and more, via marketing & communications);
    2. While making enough money to co-support our family (no change there); BUT…drum roll here
    3. Shifting my decision-making framework to center on family, friends and the issues that mean the most to me.

Call it crazy. Call it integration. Call it whatever you like but it’s the way I have to pursue my calling at this point.

Can reality meet desire in my case? I think so. But I know this change will be hard, even as I have faith that my professional life will (eventually) flourish in a way even more satisfying than before (in time).

The greatest challenge I anticipate is vetting professional opportunities through the family/friends/issues lens (a.k.a. all-around personal satisfaction) vs. the career-building/brand development/income lens I’ve used as a primary filter for so long.  I’m already up against it as project, coaching and speaking opportunities flow in now that I’m back to work.

I’ll be sharing my progress (or not) in morphing my professional and personal satisfaction. And I’m eager to hear your related experiences and recommendations. How are you bringing together your personal and professional goals, wants and needs?  Please share them here.

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Nancy Schwartz on September 17, 2014 in Professional Development | 12 comments
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  • Heather

    I appreciate your brave determination. It’s so easy to be driven by professional opportunities and the lure of success. I have been on a similar journey and decided to work at 75% FTE so I could bring more balance into my life and pursue some personal goals. I am trying to be more available to family/friends/personal goals. It’s totally worth it. I can love my job and life more :) No-one on their death bed laments that they didn’t spend enough time at the office!

  • Brave indeed, Nancy! I look forward to tracking your progress–and success!

  • Thanks so much, Sue! Me too.

  • Amy, thanks so much for sharing your experience. My challenge will be, very frankly, earning the income I need to co-support our family while making the right decisions for myself and my family.


  • I know that, and have known that for a long, long time, in theory, Heather. But not until I was able to step away from work did I really get how true it is, and be able to move towards this goal.

    To moving forward, for all of us!

  • Nancy, I feel the same way. When something has worked for us in the past, it’s difficult to let it go — even though it may no longer be working for us in the same way. I’m beginning to realize we only have so much time on this earth. If more time with family and friends is important, then the time to make that happen is now. Which may mean a bit less fame and fortune. And more saying “no” to opportunities that once would have been a “yes” without giving it a thought. And that’s tough for those of us who’ve identified ourselves in these ways. What I’ve been trying to do is send opportunities to other younger, hungrier folks when my plate is as full as I’d like it to be. It helps them, and it helps me. Don’t get me wrong, I still like being offered opportunities! And I still say “yes.” But what I say yes to has changed a bit. Good luck!

  • Nancy Schwartz

    You’ve put it so precisely, Claire, and so succinctly. Thank you!

    And good luck back to you.

  • Nancy Schwartz

    Thanks for your support, Sue. I do believe the switch will lead to greater satisfaction AND success in the long term.

    Any tweaks in your approach to work lately?

  • Nancy Schwartz

    Heather, thanks for sharing your calming, and motivating, success story. Change is hard, especially when patterns are long-term and well-established. Hearing it CAN be done is a great help!

  • Thanks for the inspiration Nancy. This has been on my calendar for a while and it will become a reality in 2015. Glad to see that someone has done it successfully and come back re-energized. Gives me hope. I am ready.

  • Nancy Schwartz

    Glad to hear it, Chris. Keep me posted, please!

  • Loreto P. Ansaldo

    Thank you for putting yourself out there for all of us to see :D people don’t tend to talk about the very real work-life balance while being honest about income

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