Nicole Cairns, Online Deputy Director, Power Shift, Washington, DC
I honestly had no idea what I was getting myself into when I decided to come on board with Power Shift staff four weeks ago. I joined the team well into the planning and preparation processes so the entire staff was already moving full-force ahead.
I'm a 'veteran' when it comes to environmental communications, but this is the first real campaign or organizing work I've done. I'm used to working under deadlines, but in the organizing world, your deadlines are always "two days ago" and your to-do list never shrinks.
Sometimes it's easy to lose focus and forget what the mission is. It's easy to get discouraged and tired from the long hours and stressful work.
The other day was the first day I really felt that. After writing all day, I hit writer's block and simply couldn't write another word. After struggling with the same sentence for 20 minutes, I forced myself to get up and go outside to clear my head.
I walked back into the Power Shift office and noticed a sign I hadn't seen before; it said "You're Changing the World." I thought about it as I walked back to my desk and just let it ruminate. And it just clicked:
We are changing the world. We're using our voices, our energy, and our collective power to build a better future for ourselves, our families, and our communities. I really don't think there's anything better than that.
Now, every time I walk into the office, I smile when I see that sign. It's a good little reminder that the work we're doing now, no matter what hour or day, is important.
Right now, it's a Saturday at 2:38pm and the entire Power Shift staff is working. Some of us are sitting in the office plugging away and chugging coffee. Others are in the field prepping last-minute things before 10,000 people arrive at the doorstep of the Convention Center next week. Most people our age are out having brunch with their friends, going out to see a movie, or possibly even sleeping, and we're hard at work.
But we're not complaining. We've seen the signs and we're excited about where they're taking us.