Good Profiles feature members of our Good Generation who are either out there in the field doing interesting work or still in the trenches of schools and institutions waiting to make their mark on the world. Have your own story to tell? Know someone who would be great to be profiled? Please sign-up or leave a note here!
What do you do for a living nowadays?
Currently, I am the co-founder of Give To Get Jobs. Give To Get Jobs is a for-profit social enterprise job board for jobs that use a sustainable business model to address a social and/or environmental mission, mainly social enterprise and CSR. As a social enterprise ourselves, we donate a portion of the proceeds to fund job creation programs.
As one of the co-founders, I manage a lot of the day-to-day operations and get involved with developing long-term strategy. You can find me updating social media channels, managing the blog, building partnerships, reaching out to social enterprises, publishing job posts, you name it!
Is “doing good” a key reason why you chose this job?
Yes. The reason why I launched a social enterprise is because of the opportunity to do good. I view “doing good” as having a positive impact on the world. It is actively pursuing something benefiting instead of harming society.
What I love most is the fact that I created something that helps people find their dream job and create the life that they want. It is an incredibly rewarding job. The best experiences have been meeting people who really understand what you are trying to do and the importance of your work. And of course getting social enterprises the help they need and getting job seekers a job is another great experience.
What would you wish were different about your job?
I wish overnight successes were actually overnight. Launching a startup is a long process. It takes years to become successful. And it would certainly make life easier if it happened sooner rather than later.
What were some of the most important experiences that you’ve had that led you to where you are today?
I think there were many past experiences, both personal and professional, that have led me to where I am today. Some of them occurred when I was very young.
I went to Montessori school from the ages of 3 to 5. Montessori school really taught me to be independent and in control of my own learning. It taught me early on that you get out of things what you put into them. You can spend your time finger painting or you can learn to read, count, etc. Then, in 4th and 5th grade I was part of an award-winning Future Problem Solvers of America troupe. This really helped me develop my problem solving skills at an early age. These two experiences laid the foundation for my leadership roles later on.
Also, the first house I lived in was on the one traditional African American street in my 95%+ Caucasian small New England town. All of my neighbors were African American. When I stood in line for the bus, I was the minority. That wasn’t weird to me. Then, we moved to a ritzy new development. I noticed that the demographic was very different. And something wasn’t right about that. This sparked my interest in human rights. I went on to start the Amnesty International chapter at my high school and later created a makeshift human rights major in college.
College, of course, also had a big impact on my life. I majored in Religious Studies, with a focus on South Asian religions, with a double minor in International Development & Policy and International Studies. I was fortunate enough to receive a Richter Scholarship for Independent Study. I used the scholarship to research women empowerment and access to economic rights in a small village in the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal. Living in a Dalit village, the lowest caste in the Hindu caste system, was an unbelievable experience. On my last day, I got a tattoo “lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu” which means, “may all beings everywhere attain happiness and freedom. I never wanted to forget what I was fighting for.
Moving to Los Angeles also had a big impact on my career path. I had originally intended to go into international development. But Los Angeles does not have an international development sector. Because of this, I underwent an exploratory phase. That’s when I discovered that social enterprise is really the sector for me.
How did you get this job?
I got this job by creating it. Launching a startup definitely had some trade-offs. The biggest is monetarily. It’s a big risk and required a sizable investment. And my husband is currently working towards his PhD and only gets a graduate student stipend. We are definitely bootstrapping our lives. We don’t get to eat out, go out to bars, go shopping, go away for weekends, etc. But we think it is a small price to pay and hopefully it will pay off in the long run.
If you had to make trade-offs, do you think they were justified or should it be different for others in the same situation going forward?
I think launching a startup is always going to have trade-offs. There is never going to be an ideal time to do it. So you just have to go for it.
If you had to do it all over again, knowing what you know today, what past choices would you have made differently with regards to your career?
I don’t think I would have done anything differently. Every single thing I have done, as unpleasant as some of those things were at the time, has ultimately brought me to where I am today.
If you did not have this job and time/money were not a constraint, what would you ideally like to do?
I do want to go back to school at some point to get my PhD. I would also like to spend time traveling the world.
Finally, what advice would you have for others in the Good Generation who are interested in your job or career path?
In this economy, it’s tough to get a job. But you shouldn’t wait around for someone to give you one. If someone isn’t giving you the opportunity you want or need, then create it. There is nothing that is stopping you. Creating your own opportunity will at least give you the opportunity to learn the skills you want for your dream job. It also looks good on your resume, you’re a go getter. And you don’t have to launch a whole company with a product. You can start a blog. You can start a small consulting firm. You can start positioning yourself as an expert in the field you want to be in. No one has to grant you permission first.
[Editor's note: for anyone interested to follow Stacy's personal thoughts, check out her blog, "Musing on the World" here]