Careers with a Cause: Employee Development at Save the Children
Kirsten, Director, Global Workforce Learning and Development at Save the Children
Working at Save the Children is not just about having a job. It’s about a mission to make children’s lives better.
As a volunteer at the Westport, Connecticut office, I got to see how Save the Children actually goes about the “business” of helping kids. So when a job opened up, I knew I had to become a part of that business and leave the corporate world behind.
Limited resources and tighter budgets are a given in nonprofit careers, but the results are the real difference. The bottom line is based on the health and happiness of children in need in the U.S. and around the world. And when you realize that every dollar spent here in the office means one less dollar for the children, doing more with less becomes much easier!
In other ways, it’s very much the same as any well run business. Hard work, professionalism, innovation and creativity abound. The staff at Save the Children are among the brightest and the best.
Even at the home office, I feel like everything I do can impact the children and families we serve in the field. In my role heading up employee learning and development, the employees I reach with our training programs grow and become more effective on the front lines. They gain communication, leadership and conflict resolution skills which help them influence families, communities and governments.
One of the benefits of working at Save the Children is the tremendous feeling of camaraderie and energy. Every week here in the Connecticut office, I learn about recent natural disasters, politics, health and education programs.
Our teams in the field update us about what’s going on, show photos and explain what they do. We see the nuts and bolts of how children’s lives are saved. It’s fascinating and I’m always proud to be a part of it, even in a supporting role.
These days we all want to ‘give back’ and do more for our planet than recycle, watch our water usage and drive efficient cars. Working here is not just a job, it’s a lifestyle. It’s about a mission. It’s my mission.