Firing an employee

This December was the first time I had to fire someone. I’d previously informed volunteers that their services were no longer needed, and that was hard enough in itself because the individuals were so passionate about the organization’s mission. With respect to both jobs and volunteer roles, though, if the position simply isn’t the right fit, it’s better for colleagues and the organization as a whole for a parting of the ways to commence.

It was more difficult to fire someone from a job. It was a very part-time hourly position, so I was and still am unaware of how much my employee depended on the paycheck. Personally, we both got along and she was an incredibly kind and caring individual. Unfortunately, she simply did not have the skillset necessary to fulfill the role, and it was becoming increasingly clear that the situation was not going to change. Her presence was beginning to create more work for other employees when we had to help with her job, and the small nonprofit organization overall did not have enough funding to spend it on someone not doing the necessary work.

I can now imagine how heartbreaking it must be to let someone go when they (and potentially their family) are relying on the paycheck. I can only hope I’ll never have to do that, but given many of my career goals it’s a realistic probability. It’s something I need to remember – that while trying new things are generally not easy, and often not fun, they are always opportunities for growth.

She Geeks Out

When I moved down to Florida without knowing anyone, I spent a few weeks enjoying my alone time and getting settled into work and my new apartment. I soon began to get a little stir crazy, though, and realized I needed to know at least SOME people to talk to and get me out of the house.

I ovaried up (as my man Dan Savage would say) and began attending some of the Naples Young Professionals networking events. It was definitely an out-of-the-comfort-zone activity for me, as making mind-numbing small talk and introducing myself to strangers who seem to already know each other is not necessarily my recipe for the best time ever, but I did it. And whaddaya know, it wasn’t so bad. I made some friends. I must admit I do feel like it may be a little easier to do this in Naples, the land of the Midwestern and Northeastern transplants, than in other cities. It did seem to impress my family and friends back home, though, so I’ll pretend like it was hard and quite an accomplishment.


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Embarking on the Job Search

This spring I embarked on the dreaded job search process. I had done so once before, the year after I moved back from Spain.

I like to think I did everything right at that point – I set up informational meetings with a number of family friends; I attended a variety of resume and job search seminars; I told everyone I knew about my search; I took on temp work through a local agency; and, perhaps most importantly, I applied applied applied. I had a number of phone interviews that didn’t lead to more, one in-person interview that was also fruitless, and a temp-to-permanent offer through the temp agency that, after much hand-wringing, I decided wasn’t right for me at that time. One of the challenges in this search was that I had no applicable real-world work experience and I was unsure exactly what I wanted to do. Ultimately, I ended up in the uniquely millennial position of creating two part-time roles for myself in two different start-up nonprofit organizations.

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