“Do Something, Be You, and Assume the Positive”
A Changemaker Chat with Meredith Ferguson, Managing Director, DoSomething Strategic
This January, we’ve been exploring what “POWER” means to female Changemakers around the globe. Here in New York City, we sat down with the incredible Meredith Ferguson, Managing Director of DoSomething Strategic. We asked Meredith her thoughts on pursuing careers with power and purpose, and what ‘doing something’ means to her. Here’s what we learned and loved from the chat.
It’s okay to have a non-linear path
Meredith built her career following her passions, but it wasn’t a linear path. She considered being a doctor, majored in graphic design, and went to law school. And though she enjoyed studying law, she wan’t one for practicing it. So she decided to quit her law job and follow her passion for mission-driven companies.Through that process, Meredith held 10 jobs in 20 years and she says it with pride. Why? Because she enjoys change and striving for more: “complacency is where you’re doing yourself a disservice.”
Don’t be afraid to take risks and get creative while applying for jobs.
Meredith stumbled upon DoSomething.org while researching for another job. Immediately hooked, she was able to get DoSomething.org’s attention by creating a website promoting herself and tweeting at them. Now, she is drawn to candidates who are curious and passionate. She says she would prefer a short and enthusiastic email over a cover letter any day.
Be you. Unapologetically
Contrary to some beliefs, leadership can, in fact, be taught and we all have leadership qualities in us. It’s not about being the loudest person in the room, but about commanding respect. The best way to tap into leadership is to be you. Unapologetically. It’s also important to understand your strengths and own them.
There is power in community
DoSomething Strategic is a “social impact consultancy,” which Meredith simply defines as “having an impact in some positive way on the world.” This shows that the smallest actions can have an impact. Something that the organization does really well is the foster community amongst young people. Building community is essential to success; when you give a voice to community, people take action. When you see your peers getting involved you get involved too.
Fun facts about Meredith:
- She loves jury duty and would volunteer for it if she could.
- She has a life goal of baking the best chocolate chip cookie. Her secret? Pan-banging.
- Her favorite spot in NYC is Central Park.
When asked about the one thing she wears that makes her feel confident and strong, Meredith said that it’s her favorite tee-shirt, which always gets a response. It reads: “Equal rights for others does not mean less rights for you. It’s not pie”. Here’s to fashion that stands for something.