This week's career girl spotlight comes from Lakindra, a program manager dedicated to career development initiatives that strengthen the workforce and empower individuals.
1. In 140 characters or less, tell us what you do?
I oversee, improve and evaluate program operations for 4 affiliates, that are a part of a larger, national civil rights and urban advocacy organization.
2. What 3 words would you use to describe your career?
Steadfast. Initiative. Buoyancy.
3. Did you always know this is what you’d be doing?
I’ve always known that I wanted to be impactful, so in that way, I’ve always known that’s what I would end up doing. I didn’t know what that “job” was called or what industry it was in, but at the core, I knew what my goal was and that’s what I searched for in any job opportunity I looked for.
4. What’s your big “why”? Why do you do what you do?
My big why is to leave this world in a better place than I found it. For me, that doesn’t mean anything huge, but if I can be part of making someone’s life better, in any capacity, then I’ve served my purpose.
5. Tell us a little bit about your career journey?
My career journey began in the most unlikely of places for me, at the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office. While they may sound directly in line with my purpose, working within the prosecutor’s office was the last thing on my agenda. However, it is there that I learned some of the most important lessons of my career. I learned the value in taking initiative while also learning the importance of being true to yourself. Next, I landed at Dress for Success where I really found my voice and the importance of knowing your strengths and your value. At Dress for Success, I really began to learn and understand my value. I found out what I was good at and what made me good at it. That’s what helped me land at the National Urban League. Knowing my value, understanding where it fit, communicating what I had to offer, and having the courage to leave my comfort zone is what landed me at my dream organization, the National Urban League.
6. What’s a typical day like for you?
A typical day in my current role involves a lot of communicating, compliance analysis and problem solving. Providing solutions for both current problems and analyzing data to anticipate future problems and providing solutions for those too.
7. What advice would you give to women who have not yet found their “purpose” or are unsure what they want to do in their career?
My advice is to try a bunch of things and don’t be afraid to get it wrong. Get to know your strengths and know them well. Once you know and understand your strengths, you will be in a better place to figure out how they can be combined to serve your purpose. And remember, when thinking about your purpose know these 4 things:
- Your purpose and your career don’t HAVE to be one in the same. If they are, then great! If not, that completely fine. Your career can be your source of income and your purpose may be what you do personally. There is nothing wrong with that and don’t let anyone tell you different!
- Your purpose can change. As life deals you different cards, you may find yourself valuing different things. That’s completely normal. Embrace it!
- Your purpose still requires you that you be good at it! Loving to do something is not enough! If it is really your purpose, do what it takes to master it. Invest in it, and you will see a return on your investment (see tip 4).
- Purpose can pay. So many times, women are told their passion doesn’t pay. I am of the mind anything you do, and do well enough, you can get paid for. Just because someone else is willing to do it for free, doesn’t mean you have to. If it can generate interest, it can generate income.