Cool Jobs: How to Find Fulfillment—and Make a Living—Doing Good

Jerryanne Heath talks transition from entrepreneur to employee and success in career

Jerryanne-Heath-Chiume

Jerryanne Heath Chiume (Image: Heath Chiume)

We have good news for you. You can have a cool career and make a good living. No need to choose between loving your job and paying your mortgage. The following profile, part of the BlackEnterprise.com Cool Jobs series, offers a peek into the nuts and bolts, perks and salaries behind enjoyable careers.

Meet Jerryanne Heath Chiume (@JerryanneH), development director for New York-based nonprofit goods for good (GFG) which economically empowers communities, to care for orphans and children in need. GFG specifically works with the people of Malawi, a small country in southern Africa, where it builds small businesses in the communities to provide a ongoing sustainable source of revenue in each community. Heath Chiume has effectively transitioned into her role as a professional at the nonprofite after being an entrepreneur, and is using the skills gained to ensure the resources are available to impact thousands of peoples lives.

BlackEnterprise.com talked with Heath Chiume about transitioning from entrepreneur to employee, the coolest aspects of a job in nonprofits and how job candidates can best prep for a career in the industry.

BlackEnterprise.com: How has your experiences as an entrepreneur helped you have a greater impact with goods for good as an employee?

Jerryanne Heath Chiume: First and foremost it’s about understanding how a business is run—from reading a profit-and-loss statement to speaking the language—and understand the challenges of running a small business. More directly related to the work that I do, entrepreneurship taught me how to be very scrappy. I am able to work with limited resources and multiply what goods for good has available to have the greatest impact.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Having a vision and seeing it come to fruition with the support of an incredible team is amazing. One of the major highlights was planning our fifth annual Gala for Good, which gathered over 450 attendees, and raised over $650,000 on May 19th. Knowing that the months of hard work really paid off and the money raised will benefit children in need is the ultimate reward.

What is the coolest part of your job?

It is extremely cool when I travel to Malawi and see the impact that we have on the ground. To actually see the communities that we partner with growing their businesses that will provide a sustainable source of revenue to care for local children. Being in the field is really the coolest part of my job, and when I come back it makes me more and more excited to do the work that I do.

Three key pieces of advice you have for young women interested in a similar career?

1. Get your hands dirty early on. Test the non-profit sector out to see if this type of organization and work is a good fit for you.

2. Anticipate the skills you’ll need to succeed. Strong writing, analytical and interpersonal skills set the foundation for a career in development.

3. Gain private sector or business experience. Whether it is in school, through an internship or with your first one or two jobs. Doing good is great, but having strong business acumen will go a long way with whatever you want to do in the non-profit sector.

Daron Pressley (@daronpressley) is an entrepreneur and former Fortune 500 sales and marketing executive who has been featured on outlets including Fox45 News, Black Enterprise magazine, and The Washington Post. Knowledgeable in marketing and branding, Pressley works with professional athletes, organizations, and individuals to develop strategies to create, build, and grow brands. As a speaker Daron has reached over 20,000 students, and provides dynamic insights on leadership and branding via his Website, DaronPressley.com.

ACROSS THE WEB