Last week was absolutely nuts - working late hours and just not having the energy to blog all week. I have a new-found respect for people holding full-time jobs and never missing a blog post! Anyway, instead of moaning and groaning about work, I decided that I'm going to be grateful for the fact that I even have a job in this failing economy and share with you a few things that I have going on this week that I'm actually looking forward to:
Friend joining the fold: In any line of business, but especially international development, knowing someone in a business is a great way (or only) way into that organization. That magic process of passing on someone's C.V. was how I landed my job in Sudan and sent my life beating down this current path, so I'm always glad to recommend good people. This has currently happened and tomorrow, a good friend that I worked with in Sudan joins my department. In addition to being glad to work with her again, I'm just glad that we are in the same town. One of my missions is to reel in all my friends living far away to move a little closer to me! One down..a few more to go!
Newsletter: Even though we have a public relations department, each department is responsible for any internal newsletter and this month, it's my turn (it was also my turn last November when the last one was made). While it may seem like a tedious task to others, I actually like doing it because it gets my mind off the daily tasks I have to do and gets me thinking about the bigger picture (i'm definitely a 'big picture' kinda woman) about my department and the multiple programs we support. This time, I'm trying out a new template as the audience has expanded a great deal since the last newsletter was published so it's fun to think about how to make the layout and various story pieces work together and be interesting for all those who are going to read it.
Proposal: One of the reasons last week was so hectic was that I was preparing for a meeting with a donor regarding extending funding for a project. While the lead-up was very stressful, the meeting itself went very well and now means I have a lot more work to do on the full proposal. The current project has been really successful to date and everyone is enthused about supporting it for another 2 years so I have a lot of good support coming in for the proposal. I also like the collaborative manner in which i get to work with the field team as well as one of the consultants from the donor to make sure we are meeting everyone's need. Even though it's a bit frustrating that little day-to-day managerial stuff gets in the way of my focusing my time on just this, I think I just need to re-organize my time a bit so I can work on this and still get out of the office before 7pm!
Co-authoring article: Another writing assignment on my plate this week is working on an article about my program for publication at one of the major institutes in D.C. Even though it's one 5 pages, we still have a lot of material to squeeze into a very short piece and this is just a draft! My boss is taking a first stab at it this weekend and then I get to work on it this week.
Brief for Congress: One of the major reasons I was interested in moving back to D.C. was because I wanted to see more of the bigger picture of international development. I always wanted to be able to tell some senator or congresswoman that X,Y,Z project worth $Xmillion tax-payer dollars is completely stupid because the target country lacks roads or water or whatever service is actually needed to implement said project. Well, this is NOT that opportunity, but I'm still working on a short brief and collaborating with several other NGOs in Washington to start lobbying Congress and Obama's to continue funding some projects in Iraq. While I'm definitely still an 'outsider' in this political town and still very much undecided about how much of an 'insider' I want to be, I'm definitely interested in learning more about this aspect of my field.