Thursday, August 9, 2007

Job for thought

Let’s face it. If you are reading this blog, you must be just as desperate and agitated as I am. About what? - about finding out if a job that is both interesting (not counting money at a Bank or facing eternal doom in a big fancy conference room) and flexible (so your kids are not made to feel guilty when sick with flu by a super stressed mom) actually exists.

I am, in this sense, a very desperate housewife at the moment. You need to look no further than the living room littered with toys on the stained carpet to know that my job performance as a housewife is poor. And I know I simply cannot survive another conversation about swimming lessons and piano teachers. There must be something better out there. Everyday people are changing the world all around me, at least so it seems if you listen to NPR. These people with whom Terry Gross or Michael Krasny have great conversations day in and day out inspire me. Now THAT is living. To have a job that is worth talking about, for over half an hour, to thousands of people!

So THIS is what I will write about! (The idea just came to me and now I am EXCITED). I am going to apply for an interesting job every week and we can all talk about what is cool about this job (or not). Maybe if you have a similar job you can tell me if it is actually that interesting or meaningful. And if you don’t, maybe you can apply when (and only when) I am turned flat down.

What? You think I don’t have the foresight to know that this column could be short-lived if I should be so lucky to actually get one of these jobs? You are wrong - I am an optimist at heart! So if I do get a job, one of you (whom I will get the privilege of choosing) will continue with the column until you too find that ideal job and so on….. Sounds good? Sure! Let’s begin….

Job of the Week

Job Title: Microfinance Partnerships Coordinator

Company name:

Ratings (1-5 hotwheels)

Cool factor: 4 hotwheels

Social responsibility: 5 hotwheels

Match with my background: 4 hotwheels

I am applying for this week. Do you know about this company? They enable ordinary Joes like you and I to be micro lenders to those people who can really use the money. And by that I don’t mean my son who really could use $25 to buy a new Star war Lego set. I mean some nice woman in Guatemala who will use the money to buy more yarn to weave more shawls to sell on the market so that her three kids can go to school. I first heard about them on NPR, when one of the lenders (I think also a journalist) talked about his visit to Kabul where two merchants have benefited from his loan to start their businesses.

Since then I have frequented the site and became a small lender myself. I love the company because of these simple reasons:

1) It is a really simple site to use, elegantly designed, and the whole site gives a feel of greenie and socially responsibility

2) They have a great partnership program with local organizations so that they can reach far and wide to remote (and therefore truly needy) places

3) I love the transparency of the site – everything from the rating and default rate of their partners to the profile of lenders and borrowers. You know the faces of the people whom you lent your money to and how they are working to repay you! They are also open about fees that the local partners will need to charge in order to sustain their operations

4) Smart business partnership – they are the first site that Paypal offered to handle all their transactions for free – this saves loads of YOUR money in transactions fees

All in all, this seems to me a well-run company with great vision and strategy. I would feel honored to work for them. I would be willing to pass this column on to the next blogger in a heart beat if only….!!!!

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