I often think if I was able to pay a visit to my younger self and explain my life as it is now that I would have a very hard time believing what I would be told. I imagine it going something like Bruce Willis staring down Joseph Gorden-Levitt in the movie, Looper

…but it would likely be nothing like that…at all. Now that I am through day dreaming, I think Steve Jobs eloquently put this concept into perspective during his 2005 Stanford Commencement Address,

Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.

I bring this up because 3 years ago I set out on a path that would eventually lead me to Cardinal (the path that led me to that point in my life extends much further – if you want to know more then you will have to ask me in person). It has been quite a challenging couple of years and at times I often questioned and doubted the direction in which I was heading. However, I knew at the time that I was very unsatisfied with my work life and that I wanted to do something I could believe in. The belief that guided me was to help people communicate in a meaningful and relevant way so that they could further their own goals because words matter.

Shortly before arriving at Cardinal, I began a relationship with HandsOn Tech, which is a skill-based volunteer initiative powered by springBoard. Over the past year, I have worked with them to provide pro bono WordPress consulting services for nonprofit organizations. The consulting services we do include website auditing, website construction and WordPress training — all skills that I have further developed while at Cardinal to better serve these clients’ needs.

The part that I enjoy most about this work is that I have gotten to, as cliché as it sounds, teach these nonprofits “how to fish.” It would be one thing to just make a site and then move on, but the real goal is to empower those involved with managing the website to use it to its full potential. Also, I have been able to build ongoing relationships with those that I have helped, so if there were ever a need in the future I could offer my assistance.

I may not have understood the dots in my life as they were plotted out, but I know looking back that I am extremely fortunate to be working in the same space with some of the most talented people in this industry.