Rising Pro

Three Thoughts from Claire Callahan

Claire HeadshotThis week, I exchanged a few e-mails with Claire Callahan, a program coordinator at The Philanthropy Workshop, a nonprofit that educates philanthropists on how to give more strategically to create purpose-driven, sustainable change. Her main responsibilities include member engagement, such as communications, marketing and programming, logistical coordination and program support.

As an aspiring lawyer turned nonprofit maven, Claire had some interesting insights to share for the ‘Three Thoughts’ series.

1. What is one big goal you hope to achieve within the next three years?

I’d say my biggest goal is to get into grad school after working two years at my current job. Right now my top picks are Georgetown, Berkeley, Stanford and (gulp!) Harvard for the programs I’m interested in most.

2. What is one thing you wish you knew when you first started out in your career?

If I have to pick just one, I’d say to not be too narrowly focused. Having a specialization is great and valued in the job market, but having tunnel vision is not. I was hellbent on becoming a lawyer through the standard, accepted path – pre-law degree, law firm experience, law school, then DOJ job. But I wasn’t happy or excited about the work I was doing. I sacrificed a work-life-balance to prove I could handle the rigor that a career in law demands, and to show myself that I was committed to seeing my inner eight year old’s plans through.

I couldn’t be happier I decided to broaden my focus and switch to a job working for a nonprofit. It has given me so much more inspiration and happiness than I’ve ever had before in a job. And I’ve been able to use the best skills I got from my legal experience to succeed in my new job.

3. What is your favorite way to relieve work-related stress?

A strong and sweaty Vinyasa yoga class!

Interested in learning more about Claire? Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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