There are many reasons that you entered community-based programming as your career path and there are many reasons for leaving your current organization or the sector all together. In this 2 Tips, we supply you with two ways to assess and take wise action when deciding whether or not to exit your current organization and/or enter a new organization.

This 2 Tips is inspired by the many conversations that we have been a part of over the years. Many in community programming work long hours and under high degrees of stress and vicarious trauma. Navigating systemic challenges within your organization could feel overwhelming. This 2 Tips is for everyone we’ve known facing such circumstances and those who may feel stuck in self-reflection around making a decision to exit and/or start in a new organization. 

Tip 1

Be honest about your job setting and determine the types of systemic difficulties in your organization as well as how many of those difficulties that are you willing to accept?

Tip 2

Asses the culture and climate of a new organization without actually using these terms; few people will be fully honest with you when you use terms like “culture” and “climate.”

9 Questions for Reflection & Decision-making

Ask the following questions to take inventory of the state of your work life or the prospect of entering a new organization:
1 |  What are the most important leadership qualities that exist within your organization and how do these support your organizational mission?
2 |  What are the healthiest and least healthiest aspects of your organization? How long have these existed?  
3 |  How do all departments/programs in your organization use data to advance their work? 
4 |  Can you describe your organization’s data collection and management technologies and practices? 
5 |  Diverse team members are shown to increase an organization’s innovations and outputs. How does your organization handle the discomfort that often comes with diversity in bodies, thoughts, practices, and so forth? 
6 |  In the next six months, what are the top things that you would want to see from me in terms of performance?
7 |  Can you share your latest report or document that shows the quality of your organization’s data driven decision-making? 
8 |  What is your organization’s working definition of “collaboration” and how do people know when and how to “stay in their lane?” 
9 |  What is the rate of turn-over in your organization and what are the underlying factors for this rate?