Writing + Community + Speaking = Job Bliss
April 9, 2014 9:53 PM   Subscribe

What are some jobs/careers/gigs that involve writing, some kind of direct interaction in a community space (such as a public library, media lab, shelter, etc.), and teaching/public speaking? Substituting counseling for teaching/public speaking is okay, but something verbal and interpersonal for #3

I'm going to keep it vague to see what comes up, but these are the things that I both very much enjoy and think I do a good job at. Despite ending the last sentence with a conjunction. I am especially interested at combinations that may fall outside of a "social work" framework. What I've thought of so far: public librarian, media instructor, college/career counselor. (and FWIW, I'm an INFP/ENFP)
posted by elephantsvanish to Work & Money (7 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
I work for a charity managing a volunteer programme and those are pretty much the main tasks of my job.
posted by Helga-woo at 11:24 PM on April 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have a friend who got a grant and started Health By Design, which promotes safe routes to schools/bike trails/useable sidewalks in my home city of Indianapolis. She writes (grant proposals), speaks (before local government zoning boards), and attends tons of community events to get the word out.
posted by BusyBusyBusy at 3:24 AM on April 10, 2014

I have a friend who has carved out a really fascinating niche as a grant writer/non-profit consultant. Most of her direct interpersonal reactions are not so much public speaking to groups in community spaces, but meeting with the people who organize and provide services to those communities. But still, it keeps her very engaged in a wide variety of different community-building and -serving organizations, and she's now at a point in her career where she is also presenting to larger groups at conferences, teaching a college class on social enterprise grant writing, etc.
posted by drlith at 3:39 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think almost any nonprofit, particularly one that's locally focused, could scratch all those itches. I've only worked for national nonprofits, but I've had the opportunity to do oodles of #1 and #3 with many different groups of people. I think a local focus would help you get #2.

You may want to look into "train the trainer" style positions - I have a friend who works with a nonprofit and spends her time visiting other communities to do outreach and train their local affiliates so that they can do their own local outreach and work. Consulting is also good for this. Also, if you know what kinds of groups/places you want to work with, think about the companies that provide them with services - for instance, trainers/education managers for some software programs or systems get to go visit their company's clients and teach them how to use whatever it is they provide.

But yes, nonprofit work will give you the chance to write and talk to people until you run out of words, and depending on the substance of the work, may give you the chance to do so in a community setting. And you'd likely be able to avoid expensive additional formal education, such as MLIS studies.
posted by bowtiesarecool at 5:30 AM on April 10, 2014

There are all sorts of staff positions in colleges/universities that require these skills -- career counseling, as you mention, but also academic advising (in schools big enough where this isn't just the faculty's job), student support services, study abroad offices, admissions counselors...quite a range, some of which require specific advanced degrees, others not so much.
posted by dr. boludo at 9:16 AM on April 10, 2014

Response by poster: Great suggestions so far. Grantwriting, training, college support services, and local nonprofit work are all super interesting leads.

For subsequent answers: I'm interested in jobs I can start without needing a masters degree first (assume I have three years of experience that involve elements of teaching, writing, project management, social services, research, and grantwriting in different combinations). Also I tend to feel scattered when working on too many overlapping projects, especially if the projects feels very "political," and so I am not inclined towards "project manager" roles. But some degree of projects is good!
posted by elephantsvanish at 9:44 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Have you thought of coordinating education/non-profit programs? Volunteer management and recruitment sound like good fits for you.
posted by myntu at 3:44 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

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