Director of Development for Vegan Outreach
Do you have convictions that give you direction, guidance, and an understanding of how to prioritize your life? You may be someone with a strong sense of belief. Those with a strong sense of core values may follow their talents into a career. If you ever felt like you would like to get paid for your convictions, a non-profit opportunity may be just the job for you.
This week’s dream job interviewee, Lisa Rimmert, is smart, funny, and passionate about animals. Lisa gives us a peak into a life where working with your belief system is the goal. She also gives incredibly adept insight on achieving your dream job. If you’re feeling stuck in life, scroll down to the last question and hear what Lisa has to say about that.
Without further ado, check out Lisa’s responses below.
What’s your title? What do you do? How long have you done this?
I am the Director of Development for Vegan Outreach, a non-profit that encourages and helps people to make positive changes for animals – like eating fewer of them, going vegetarian or vegan, and getting involved in activism. Our ten staff Outreach Coordinators and huuundreds of incredible volunteers go to colleges and other venues and hand out booklets promoting plant-based eating to millions of people each year – in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand. I lead the fundraising and donor relations activities, which I’ve been doing for almost a year.
What jobs or past experiences have led you to the current thing that pays you money (your job)?
I’ve worked for ten years in marketing and fundraising, and though every job I’ve had was a good one (okay, one was awful – you know who you are), none of them focused on my true passion. To do what I love, I volunteered for several animal advocacy organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States and Farm Sanctuary, and I started a snarky blog called “Weird! Why Aren’t You Vegan?” It was the blog and a volunteer project that led to me doing what I love for a living.
What occupation did you imagine having when you were 5? What about at 25?
When I was five, I wanted to be an actress. I was what you might call a “ham.” Good thing I got that out of my system, eh? … Anyway, when I was 25, I had no idea what I should do with my life. I knew I liked writing, speaking to people, and saving animals, but I never thought those interests could lead to a job. Luckily, I was wrong.
The Best: Tell us, what’s the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is that it focuses on my passion for helping animals. I’m very mission driven, so this has made all the difference. Runners-up for best part of my job include: the concrete results I see from my efforts (dollars raised, people making positive changes because of our booklets); my brilliant, passionate, and selfless coworkers; our equally brilliant, passionate, and selfless donors; and my boss who shows me a lot of respect and compassion, jokes with me, and is probably reading this and thinking, “What, I’m not brilliant, passionate, and selfless too?!”
The Stink: Tell us, what’s part of the job that you really wish were different?
I wouldn’t refuse an assistant. There’s always so much to do!
Outside of your job, how do you spend your time?
There’s a lot of grey area between “work” and “not work” for me. Sometimes I go to dinner with Vegan Outreach supporters who are also my favorite friends. The things I’m pretty sure are outside the scope of my job are: hiking with my hubs and dog, watching The West Wing over and over, performing improv and stand-up comedy (all too rare these days), and traveling.
There’s a lot of grey area between “work” and “not work” for me.
Who is someone you look up to for career inspiration?
Alex Bury, my reluctant mentor, who brings in big bucks for The Humane Society of the United States. And anyone who thinks about doing something they love, and then does it. So, you are one, Annie!
What is your advice to people who would like a position like yours?
Do it for free first. Seriously, volunteering or doing something as a hobby is a great way to start. It lets you prove you can do it and that you’re serious about it, and enables you to meet the people who could hire you to do it. Also, tell people what kind of job you want. Tell them explicitly. You’d be surprised how far that can take you.
Tell people what kind of job you want. Tell them explicitly.
If you could read these questions about someone else, who would you want to see answer them? (can give a job title or name a specific person).
Brad Finkeldei, Jason Flamm, Kevin McKernan, Dan Peterson. Shoot, those are all dudes. Katie Cook!! Melissa Darch, Amber Klear, Katy Paul.
Any other passing words of advice or anything neat you have going on that you would like to share with us?
I used to feel stuck, not knowing what I wanted to do “when I grow up.” It was an exciting thing to realize that the journey, not just the destination, could be part of the goal. Oh, and this probably sounds like Annie told me to say it but she didn’t: Have someone else write – or at least edit – your resume and cover letter. It’s hard for people, especially women, to brag about themselves, so let someone else help you.
Thanks again to Lisa for stopping by! Let us know in the comments why you choose to eat meat!
Wait, just kidding – we’re still talking dreams job over here.