I parted ways yesterday with a corporation that has helped to provide me economic freedom, extensive customer interaction and an opportunity to evaluate my values. I had serious reservations about working for this company. In fact, I almost didn’t apply for the job initially, knowing that my passion for sustainability in the built environment would have to be greatly compromised.
In return, however, the promise of working in design, coupled with the challenge of working with customers, sometimes for eight or more hours in a row, was actually appealing. I knew that if I could successfully juggle the balls required of me, then at worst, I would grow in my position and prove to myself I could succeed under less than desirable circumstances.
Yet, I must question my ability to remain in a compromising position for so long. Where was my youthful and spirited idealism and value system? Did I leave it back in Chicago among the progressives and green rooftops? Had I forfeited my belief that I must seek the truth and strive to do meaningful work for a company whose culture and mission fits my own?
Throughout the journey, I have learned a great deal about myself. I know that I must do work that adds value to the community, hopefully within an entity that values the triple bottom line; profit, social equity, and the environment, more than simply crunching numbers to determine success.
In that spirit, I can now begin to focus on doing great work. In doing so, I am also looking to take this space – this blog – in a new direction. Over the years, my interest in design and architecture has bloomed, becoming married to my never ending commitment to the environment. Hence, I will be focusing on mostly these topics from now on. Let us call it “Project Green Spot,” shall we? You may now kiss the bride!
P.S. Today is also my beloved father’s birthday. He called me yesterday to congratulate me on being free now to pursue more meaningful work. My mom did, too. And you wonder where this comes from. Happy Birthday, Dad. Thank you for all of the compromises you have made for me over the years. I am eternally grateful. Love, xoxo
I can verify that at least one person at that company will miss you, even though he didn’t stop by your office nearly as often as he would have liked.
I wish that the drive to visit wasn’t 45 minutes though. Maybe we’ll get lucky and soon someone will pave over all those pesky marshes and wetlands that separate our fair cities.
Good on ya girl. There is nothing harder or more brave then leaving a job to follow your dream. I am so proud of you!!!! I also can’t wait to follow your sustainable design direction. This is going to be fun!
Every achievement, large or small, makes any/all compromises worthwhile! XXOOXX
We have a lot of great green design going on in Seattle. The welcome mat is out on Bainbridge Island too and we have Natalia Ilyin in our midst. Bravo for following your heart strings.
I love the person you have become over the last 10 years. Funny how in all this time apart, we love the enviornment so much. Being at peace with the world as much as you can, makes you sleep easier at night.
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