Finding a career path to suit your personal goals can be challenging, and sometimes our career path meets us in ways we wouldn’t have imagined. In these Track Two Podcast episodes, however, cohosts Sarah Gerber and Joanne Gouaux’s guests describe their professional journeys as they’ve sought to balance passion and work. Job offerings and career choices are continuously changing as industries upgrade and modernize, which can make it difficult to align particular plans with a tangible future. Nonetheless, these guests have found ways to do the work they love right now.
‘Philanthropy Through Radio’ With Ken Ikeda
Ken Ikeda is a serial entrepreneur and CEO of Association of Independents in Radio (AIR). He became interested in AIR due to the power of storytelling through spoken word. As Ikeda says, “The power of stories is never diminished…I was drawn to audio because the best stories win. The person who tells the best stories runs the room, right? Movements are compelled by stories.” Ever since his high school days, when he was asked to record interviews for a philanthropic cause, Ikeda has appreciated the power of audio. Now as an adult, he uses this appreciation to further philanthropic causes and ultimately his career.
‘It Starts With the Youth’ With Nick Haley
In this episode, Gerber and Gouaux chat with Nick Haley, director of operations at the Boys and Girls Club in St. Helena, Calif. The Boys and Girls Club is a national organization that provides after school programs for youth in the communities they serve. At the clubs, children can receive academic support, gain access to balanced and complete meals, play sports and gain a support system.
Haley has been working with youth for the past 20 years and was enrolled in a Boys and Girls Club as a child as well. Through the club, he is able to support families of all financial and social backgrounds in his local community and help children fulfill their potential and overcome the barriers that have been forced upon them. Running the club has been more of a lifestyle than a job for Haley, and his dedication is reflected on the hundreds of smiling faces he sees everyday.
‘The Invisible (Gig) Worker’ With Robbie Warin
Gerber and Gouaux talk to Robbie Warin in this bonus episode for their Civil Society and Entrepreneurship season. This discussion was guided by the current conversations about the future of jobs–specifically as automation and software platforms take over. Warin’s work as a podcast producer and research assistant with the Fairwork Foundation at the Oxford Institute focuses on these people and their jobs, which are at risk of disappearing; he uses his research to spread awareness of this potential fate. Workers dependent on a technological platform (gig workers) have risen in number over the past decades. Warin focuses on gig workers and the gig economy, attempting to give people the financial security and independence they’re often lacking. Warin is also the founder and editor of The Invisible Worker, a zine focused on bringing light to the many unheard jobs that keep our society afloat. Gig workers, for example, tend to work with little job security and complete dependency on their platform and company, deal with poorly regulated conditions and are often victims of legal loopholes. Warin’s creative methods for supporting gig workers, from research to the creation of his own zine to the work he is doing at Fairwork Foundation, provide examples of the many ways that are available to support oneself and others.
‘We Are in an “Everyone Leads” World’ With Henry De Sio, Jr.
A thought leader and entrepreneur, Henry De Sio, Jr. is the CEO of Walk Free, author of the Changemaker Playbook and previously served as deputy assistant under President Obama. Growing up, De Sio noticed the extreme inequality between him and his school peers and neighbors, and since then, he’s been determined to do something about it. Walk Free, his current company, is a global human rights initiative devoted to ending all forms of modern slavery.
De Sio also speaks about his experience on the Obama campaign and administration. He joined Obama as the campaign was only beginning to pick up speed. He describes the chaos of unpacking computers, creating servers and having to field calls, while simultaneously not knowing anyone’s name. The experience of building a movement from the ground up is stressful, but the community De Sio was surrounded by and the values they shared were an invaluable experience. Finding people who want to do good and having the privilege of working with them and learning through each other, has become a rare opportunity. Communities like these have the ability to promote imagination and expedite the process of realizing it.
‘A New System for Success’ With Justine Evirs
In this episode, Gerber and Gouaux talk to Justine Evirs, president and founder of The Paradigm Switch (TPS). The Paradigm Switch is a nonprofit digital ecosystem that centers around helping military spouses cultivate careers that work within their unique lifestyles. As a Navy veteran and spouse herself, Evirs has experienced firsthand the difficulties and differences in employment and earnings between military spouses and their counterparts. Evirs focuses on higher education, social entrepreneurship, innovative program design, educational programs, leadership development and more. Her work has centered around forcing a culture change, impacting and reimagining the roles military spouses are given. Despite the eagerness of the military community, breaking traditional roles is a complex and lengthy process. However, Evirs’ unique method allows for flexibility.