What I’ve learned about social good as ROI’s content lead

After serving as ROI Operations’ content lead for nearly a year, I’ve had the benefit of learning about the social good or “third sector” from our CEO and founder, Christos Pishias. Now, as I moved on to other opportunities in Canada, I’m reflecting on the time I spent with ROI and what I’ve learned. 

I first met Christos on a Zoom call after we connected on LinkedIn. I had just relocated from Toronto to London, and I was frantically applying for new positions in a new country where everything was unfamiliar. Still living in a temporary Airbnb, I took video interviews sitting on my tiny bed with my laptop on my knees, hoping no one would notice I wasn’t in a real office space. 

Finding new opportunities in a foreign country, an ocean apart from my old life, proved to be difficult. But Christos took a chance on me when no one else would. He had read my writing samples, and was impressed by the breadth of my portfolio. Because he was willing to trust in my abilities, I was fortunate enough to remain in London for a year and experience everything the beautiful city had to offer. I also gained valuable work (and life) experience in another country, and exposure to the inner workings of a social good consultancy. For that, I’m eternally grateful. 

Here are a few of the main lessons I’ve learned from this experience, and the wisdom I’ll be taking forward into my next chapter:

1. You never know how much your kindness will mean to someone else. If it weren’t for Christos willing to bet on an unknown Canadian, I wouldn’t have been able to stay in London as long as I did. When you’re struggling to find your footing in unfamiliar territory, something as simple as someone reaching out to say “I see you” can make all the difference.

2. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Known as the golden rule, this adage is so often repeated for a reason. Karma is real, and what goes around, always comes back around. Christos always gave me and others the benefit of the doubt, and treated me like I mattered when I felt like a small fish in the big pond of London. In the business world, it can be common for people to only be kind to those who can help them in some way, and discard those who can’t. But being kind to those who can’t offer you anything behind closed doors is true integrity, and it’s one of the most important values you can possess.

3. Everyone can be involved in the social good industry. No matter your role, title, sector, or stage of life, we can all do something to make a difference. It doesn’t need to be a ground-breaking effort to make an impact—every action has a reaction, and every small deed creates a ripple effect in the universe that could end up being monumental. Remember the butterfly effect? You never know when your small action will make a big change or inspire someone else to act.

4. Stick to it. Where there’s a will there’s a way—even when it feels like you’re not making a difference or nothing will ever change, we always have the power to keep going, or to make another choice if that’s what feels right. This lesson applies to almost every area of life, and it demonstrates the importance of self-trust, perseverance, and optimism. In the wise words of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the only thing to fear is fear itself. Sometimes, we need to feel the fear and do the thing anyway, because pushing against our fears is how we grow.

Thank you to Christos and the team at ROI for making me feel so welcome and believing in me. If you’d like to stay in touch, send me a note at: mackenziej.patterson@gmail.com
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