Familiar Faces and Spaces

In last week’s post, I talked about how, after getting a boost of encouragement from my pastor-friend, I changed up my routine and attended a meetup, where I happened to see a few familiar faces.

I love when that happens because it reminds me that God shows up when I take steps of faith, no matter how small they may seem.

This week, I have an even better story to share!

So, it’s no secret that I did a lot of networking when I was in the Northern Virginia area. I became very familiar with the terrain and different organizations that I got plugged into. Fortunately, some of those organizations have chapters/branches across the country because they’re a nationwide brand. That makes it easy for me to plug into them no matter what city I’m in.

One such organization is Junior Achievement, which equips youth with financial literacy/entrepreneurial skills and exposes them to different types of careers. I had the chance to lead a workshop with some students back in the summer of 2016 for an entrepreneurship summit when I was at my previous job.

Anyway, I knew that the local branch headquarters was very close to my hometown, so I happened to look on their website to see if they had any upcoming events I could plug into.

It’s also no surprise that I love female empowerment. So, when I came across the event “JA Leading Ladies,” I knew I wanted to be a part of it, some way, somehow. It was a morning event where over 200 high school students had a chance to talk to professional women at top companies and learn from them in a mentorship-roundtable set up. I sent an email to the event organizer, introducing myself, my background and my connection to the organization and asked if there was any way I could get involved. She was thrilled at my excitement to volunteer and welcomed me on the team for the day of the event.

I didn’t let the fact that I wasn’t an employee of one of the sponsor organizations to stop me. I showed up and helped where I could. What I didn’t know was that the purpose of the event was to serve me more than I was to serve it.

JA leading ladies

Now, even though this event was geared towards high schoolers, I found myself soaking up the wisdom of the more seasoned professionals. I took in the wisdom of the keynote speakers and listened as they shared their journeys and tips for success.

I learned about the work large companies are doing in the city and ways that they give back to the community. I learned a few new ideas for fundraising that I can add to my wheelhouse. I learned more about Junior Achievement, including the fact that this is their 100th anniversary!

Most importantly, I was reminded about the grit it takes to pursue your dreams and to keep going no matter what obstacles come in your way. This is something I’ve been learning from experience, but it helped for it to be reiterated by older women who had challenges of their own.

I was reminded that everything inside of me is enough to get me to where I need to go. And most often, it’s not even about where I’m going, but about who I’m impacting along the way.

I was serendipitously seated next to two women who worked at the same company and we spent the whole morning getting to know each other at a personal level, thanks to the fun icebreaker activities that were infused into the program, between the different speakers. When one of the women found out that I was taking time away from work but that my background was in coaching, she informed me about a job opening at her company!

Now, this job opp may not be “the one,” but it does give me so much hope about how easy these types of opportunities can present themselves when I take those small steps of faith! Or maybe it is and it was an incredibly cool way to meet new colleagues/ my potential boss in an environment that was fun, energizing, motivational and impactful! Who knows?

I’ll keep you posted!

I hope this was inspiring in some way!

Until Next Time,

Jess

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