Published: 7 June 2019

Career inspiration comes in all forms… the CharityComms team share theirs

During our lives we will all spend A LOT of time at work. I mean let’s be honest here it takes up at least a third of each of our weekdays on average, for the majority of our adult lives. So given we spend so much time working what is it that keeps us inspired and forging forward to further our careers?

As we look to our getting ahead in comms careers conference later this month, the CharityComms office have been thinking about what it is that has inspired us in our careers so far. Whether it was a person, training or specific moments in our lives we can all agree on one thing – each of us has something that has inspired us and keeps doing so. Something that keeps pushing us on, makes us passionate and keeps us striving to be better in our careers.

Inspiration from others

Many years ago I did a public speaking course, during which we were asked to prepare a five-minute presentation. The most anxious trainee looked appalled and I wondered if we’d see him again. But he overcame his fear and told us the story of the dandelion growing at his door. The friendly yellow flower whose name originates from the French “dent de lion” the lion’s tooth, a pattern reflected in their serrated leaves. I’ve never forgotten the pictures he conjured and the emotion he shared. It’s inspired me to keep learning and to push myself beyond my comfort zone.

Adeela Warley, CEO

I’ve been so grateful to work with some of our sector’s most incredible female leaders and they’ve taught me a lifetime of lessons. What they all had in common was the ability to inspire a team with a clear vision and audience-centred strategy. Listening to our community, understanding their challenges and ambitions has been key to the most successful projects I’ve worked on and is a continual source of inspiration.

Emma Wickenden, senior events producer

Recently, I’ve been inspired by Stonewall’s CEO Ruth Hunt, who has been at the front of leading the organisation through significant, contested but wholly essential change. She reflects on it with so much diplomacy and compassion, while remaining resolute and convincing. I think there’s a specific kind of bravery in remaining considered but steadfast in the way she has and I really admire it.

Molly Clarke, digital content officer

Work wives are the inspiration everyone needs. Seriously, a continuous stream of well-informed advice and tea, what more can you ask for? Whether they’re sending resources they know you’ll nerd out about or just checking in, the work marriage can keep you engaged and supported. Endlessly beneficial, 10/10 would recommend.

Stacey Kelly-Maher, digital projects officer


Inspiring training

Last year I took a day away from the grind to attend a leadership course. I learnt a huge amount about myself and the way I work, and it also gave me some clarity on what and where I want to be in the future. It was genuinely the most useful and insightful course I’ve ever done. In case you’re interested, it was our Hack Yourself training and there’s one coming up in September (non-intentional plug, just pure enthusiasm!)

Harriet Smith, events manager

During a year abroad at Agnes Scott College, a liberal arts college in Atlanta, I took part in a community engagement programme and undertook various internships which massively opened my mind to the possibilities of life after art college. While interning at the Chastain Arts Center, it was threatened with closure and the subsequent successful campaign left me with the desire to champion charities and the arts and ultimately led to me applying for a Masters in Cultural Management.

Sarah Clarke, membership manager

Moments of inspiration

Watching how the refugee crisis played out in the media, and how organisations like the IRC, Help Refugees and MSF worked tirelessly to try and counteract negative narratives inspired me to change career. It made me want to become a better communicator and to use those skills in the charity sector. It inspired me to learn more, become better informed and to try to be more like the amazing charity communicators that inspired me.

Christine Fleming, senior digital officer


Rewind back to opening the envelope to my AS results. Heartbreak. I had flunked my exams and therefore put a massive spanner in the works of my childhood dream to be a scientist. Whilst devastated, it gave me the opportunity to take a step back and open my eyes to all the other possibilities out there. Not just changing my future, this failure inspired me to always try my best, succeed, but also reinforced that failure isn’t as catastrophic as it initially seems. 

Sarah Cutress, events officer

We’d love to here the moments that have inspired your career too so tweet us your stories using #CommsCareer and if you are looking for more careers inspiration check out our upcoming careers conference here.

Photo: Designecologist on Pexels