Stephanie, a CT-based marketing and brand strategist, is an alumna of IC's Re-Inspiration Program and Consulting fellowship.

Stephanie, a CT-based marketing and brand strategist, is an alumna of IC's Re-Inspiration Program and Consulting fellowship.

When Stephanie's family relocated to the NY metro area, the first challenge she faced was trying to tap into a network that could offer her the chance to connect with organizations whose needs were a mutual fit for her skill set. The second challenge was finding the flexibility she required to develop relationships with multiple organizations before committing to a full time position. Stephanie came to Inspiring Capital's Re-Inspiration Program in search of a network and a job seeking platform, and after completing the training sessions, she took on a consulting project with one of IC's nonprofit clients, leveraging her previous work experience toward a 6-week market assessment for them. 

Without a connector like Inspiring Capital to see me in action and represent me to clients, I felt like I had to prove myself and ask for flexibility, which could have been path to excluding my candidacy altogether.

We sat down with Stephanie at the conclusion of her project to hear more about how her exploration of the impact sector has developed. 

How did completing the Re-Inspiration program help you overcome the challenges you were experiencing to finding fulfilling, flexible work?

The program gave me a pause from my daily routine and added new information to help me push my thinking to a new place.  Since I had no fallback work, I could more easily reset my thinking and put my passion together with my business skills. That is something I had thought about quite a bit before ... I had already been making a patchwork of volunteer and business work meet - but not optimally. For me, the project gave me a jumpstart to get myself back in the mix. I found credibility quickly by demonstrating my business skills and I found more inspiration personally because the project tapped into some of my passions.

What has completing the training program and consulting project taught you about what you want to do next?

It has given me a way to see that I could be inspired by my work more fully than I thought previously. I feel like there are possibilities to love what I do, not just do work for the sake of a paycheck. I have a newfound sense that I can “check all the boxes”.

What advice would you give to other professionals who are facing similar challenges?

Be open-minded in all ways.  Giving yourself permission to throw off old identities of what you think you should be doing or what people in your life might expect of you is so limiting.  There is a new standard for smart people that can be self-created if you’re willing to let go and dive in to your own strengths and interests.  The best part about it is that through the program, I found myself to be among a group of amazing women with similar challenges. Being on that team together helped me to see possibilities that I didn’t expect - just by opening up to others. 

Our next Re-Inspiration cohort launches this fall in NYC. Get more information by filling out our interest form -- cohorts fill quickly!