In the past few months I’ve spent a lot of time dwelling on the purpose behind my career. I want to excel as a marketing communicator and serve a company to the best of my ability, but I have realized I also want to do more than that.
Yesterday morning I noticed the sun shining in the windows of our home. I soon realized the reason it seemed so beautiful was because it has been a long time since we’ve had a day filled with sunshine in Kansas City. That simple sunlight beaming in my window brought a smile to my face and joy to my heart – I feel like this is an illustration of what I want to do in my career.
As a teenage girl, I was looking to define who I was as an individual. Each month I received a magazine called Brio, published by Focus on the Family. As I read this magazine, I began to discover value in who I was. The authors of Brio encouraged me to look beyond the surface, something very different than what other sources told me as a teenage girl. Soon I understood my identity was found in so much more than clothes, grades and others’ judgments of me. I am so thankful for those who committed their time to publishing Brio. It was apparent that these authors possessed a genuine care about the lives of others.
As I was selecting a major in college, Brio continually came to mind. I had a desire to use my skills in communication and my creativity to make a positive impact in the lives of others, just as those Brio writers had done for me.
Two summers ago I traveled with a group to Tegucigalpa, Honduras. For two weeks we mixed and poured cement, delivered bags of corn to impoverished families, visited villages, hosted clothing distributions and much more. Sharing my life with the Hondurans was not only a chance for my light to brighten their world, but they were a beam of light in mine as well. This experience changed my perspective and opened my eyes to life beyond my own little world.
These experiences have given me inspiration to use my talents, work experience, college degree and personality to do the very best I can at whatever job I am given and while doing so, to be “sunshine” in the lives of others.
Right now I’m uncertain if that job will be the corporate or non-profit realm, but what I know I am excited to find a job where I can use my marketing, communication, interpersonal and organizational skills to successfully serve a company. Through my work habits and the work I produce, I look forward to caring about others and bringing a smile to their face and joy to their heart. This, I have discovered, is the deeper purpose behind my career I’ve spent the last few months trying to define.
Rebecca Blackburn graduated in December from Kansas State University with a degree in public relations, marketing concentration. She recently moved to Kansas City with her husband so he could launch his career as a writer at Hallmark Cards. As she searches for a meaningful job in marketing communications, she is chronicling her journey in a blog you should check out.
Duane’s postscript: My blog represents a potpourri of ideas on marketing, nonprofit management, careers and life in general. Ultimately, I hope to strengthen the professional status of nonprofit marketing and communications. One way I do this is by providing space for individuals launching their careers in marketing. I encourage them to find a voice and to speak in a way that differentiates them from everyone else. Articulating one’s career objectives and life values in a public way can be intimidating or daunting, but I applaud people like Rebecca who are willing to boldly proclaim to the marketplace that they have something of value to offer potential employers. If you are in a position to help Rebecca launch her career in Kansas City, I encourage you to do so. If not, I encourage you to help someone near you to discover his or her career potential. The world will be a better place.