Caleigh Farrell. Projects Manager. Public Inc.
As a millennial, finding your first job out of university is hard. Finding the perfect job is even harder. After a series of unfulfilling internships and experiences, Caleigh took her mom’s advice to ‘follow her bliss’ and went back to school to add a Masters to her BA in Anthropology. Caleigh shares her story of how she found meaningful work at Public Inc. and advice for young professionals beginning their careers; practical tips you wish your career service departments would have told you.
Can you describe your job and what a typical day looks like?
My day to day varies quite a bit – largely dependent on where we are at on a particular client engagement. We could be spending a lot of time working and brainstorming as a team or working individually on research, developing campaign materials, and general project management. Usually it’s a bit of a mash up of both of these as our projects do not all start and finish at the same time.
What was your “aha” moment when you realized you wanted to pursue more meaningful work?
After receiving my undergraduate degree, I worked a series of unfulfilling jobs – finding it really difficult to connect deeply with the work I was doing no matter how great the opportunity. My mum, noticing how unhappy I was, told me to ‘follow my bliss’ (I know, she’s corny as all get out). I took her advice and went back to school to get my MA in Anthropology in pursuit of finding a more fulfilling and meaningful career.
How did you get your current job?
Once I had finished writing my thesis, I volunteered to do some research for the Jane Goodall Institute whom at the time were involved with Public Inc. Upon learning about the company and doing my homework on them, I reached out to the COO – and the rest, as they say, is history.
What’s one thing most people wouldn’t expect to hear about working in a meaningful job?
The more diverse the team the better! Unique personalities and differing career/academic backgrounds give projects a great deal of depth and presents a ton of awesome learning opportunities. One of the things I love so much about my job is the people I get to work with and learn from everyday.
What accomplishment at work are you most proud of?
Having helped bring to life exciting awareness/fundraising campaigns for some really great organizations!
What advice would you give someone looking to get a meaningful job?
Don’t be afraid to reach out to members of the management team at a company you’re interested in, even if they’re not hiring. Ask if they’d be willing to chat with you over a beer or a coffee – it’s great to cultivate a relationship so that you’re top of mind if opportunities arise in the future. They may also be able to put you in touch with other interesting people and/or businesses.
What skills and qualities are important to have for a meaningful job?
An ability to roll with the punches. Working for, or with, cause has a unique set of challenges. For one thing, you are probably already convinced of the importance of an issue that you’re working on – you’ve drunk the Kool-Aid – but a large percentage of the population remain unconvinced. This is can be pretty disheartening at times but also a really excellent motivator.
If you could have one super hero power that would help you do your job better what would it be?
Teleportation. Less time in transit = more time doing cool sh*t at work.
Want to know more about working at Public Inc? Check out our interview with the CEO here.
Like what Caleigh has to say? Follow her on twitter @caleighashton
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