Earlier today I interviewed an awesome nonprofit communications director about how she transformed the culture of communications at her organization. I’ll share her name and story soon, but one experience she mentioned can’t wait, because I know someone reading this blog needs to hear this message today.
If you are crying in your car at the end of the day because the culture and coworkers at your office are so inhospitable to you as a communications professional, as I see it, you have two choices.
Option 1: Hold Firm and Power Through
Change is hard, especially when you are the one leading it and you are getting a lot of resistance. When you try to direct the communications at your organization (as you should as a communications director), that will often be met with hostility from those staff who like their freedom to do it their way whenever they want, even if that produces lackluster results.
If you hold firm and stick it out, as the person I spoke with today did, odds are good that you WILL make progress and see change. The pain is worth the gain.
But that doesn’t mean there won’t be really hard days when you feel like the least favorite person in your organization and break down as soon you leave work. Take care of yourself, and stick with it.
If you are in this kind of situation, I recommend a book I am reading called Rebels at Work: A Handbook for Leading Change from Within. It has some great process advice on how to work through the changes you need to make.
Option 2: Find a Better Job
I say this at conferences all the time, and I’ll say it again here: I see great job openings every single day. If you are feeling hopeless about your current situation and don’t believe that change is coming, work on getting out. Nonprofit communications as a profession is growing, and there are plenty of places that value comms staff.
“Is anyone going to get fired for not responding right away? I heard a yes. You should quit. Too many people are hiring for anyone to stay at a place with shitty culture.” – @kivilm #18NTC #18NTCcommdirector pic.twitter.com/b9z4PKpg92
— Charrosé (@CharroseCK) April 12, 2018
I suppose that is just sucking it up, with no hope for change. But who wants to live like that? You are working in the nonprofit sector to change the world, not to let it destroy you.