When Switching Gears is Scary but Worth It
Last December, I became a statistic. I was one of over 38 million people in the US to leave their jobs in 2021, a trend that became known as the Great Resignation. While many of those left their jobs due to family care responsibilities or health issues, I was fortunate to work at a company with a supportive and flexible work environment, which even afforded me personal growth opportunities and had competitive benefits. So why did I leave? Call it cliché, or perhaps a mid-life crisis, but I had an increasing drive to “do more”; to leave the world a better place for my children.
I’m now incredibly proud and still a bit shocked to share that I have joined Browning the Green Space as a Deputy Director. BGS is a regional nonprofit taking a system-based approach to diversifying the clean energy sector. I’m focused on small business support, startup acceleration, fundraising, and internal infrastructure. Most importantly, I am more closely aligning my professional interests with my personal values around sustainability and energy equity. I’ve admired the mission and leadership of BGS since its launch in 2020, and when an opportunity arose to join the organization as one of its first full-time hires, I was rewarded for the time I had invested over the past year on personal branding and career exploration.
Not only is this a pivot from a for-profit company to the world of nonprofit, but my new role is also a career pivot. I started at Cimetrics as an HVAC/Energy Analyst and climbed the ranks to my final position as Managing Director of Analytics. While many of the management and leadership skills from Cimetrics are transferable, my involvement with CWEEL played a valuable role in finding my path. Through my participation on the CWEEL Fundraising and Membership Committees and my experience standing up the CWEEL New England group, I had the opportunity to play in a sandbox I wasn’t exposed to at work and gain insight into the mission-based organization structure.
When I announced to one of my colleagues that I was leaving Cimetrics, he lamented, “That’s too bad, you’re really good at your job.” It likely wasn’t his intention, but that comment, more than any other experience over the past year of soul-searching, validated my decision to move on. It was time for me to hand over the position to someone else and move into a more challenging role.
I’m only a month into my new job, but so far, it’s truly everything I hoped it would be. It’s gratifying work; I learn something new every day and am exposed to a much larger circle of connections with diverse backgrounds and experiences (one of our committee members is an ethical AI expert and previously lived in Paris as a professional photographer!). Henry David Thoreau wrote, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams!” I’m grateful for this opportunity to follow my calling in the clean energy transition.