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Breaking Up is Hard to Do

December 14, 2010

There are the kinds of breakups where you pack up your things in the nearest box as quickly as you can and hope you haven’t left anything behind in the back of a drawer.  The ones where you think you should have seen this kind of thing coming and done a better job with the timing of goodbye.

There are the kinds of breakups that are awkward but expected. The ones where you’ve both known it was over for quite some time but neither of you could get yourself ready to let each other go.

There are the kinds of breakups where you know you’ll never be able to go back.  The ones that are so final in fact, that, in retrospect, the whole thing seems like a mirage, yet it’s one you don’t shake for years to come.

This was not any of those kinds of breakups.  This time I got flowers.

Yesterday was my first day at a new job, and last Monday, on the day I was supposed to start, the amazing people I used to work with sent me a bouquet to congratulate me and wish me well.   I can only smile at the unyielding generosity they displayed even as I said farewell.

Share the (add)venture. Enjoy the journey.
This is my favorite of the guiding principles that emblazoned the walls around me and embedded themselves into who I am. I believe these principles and the team, client partners and projects at (add)ventures helped transform me – from a good writer with a knack for media relations and an interest in the web, into a communications strategist capable of utilizing any medium to advance a brand or further a cause.   They also prepared me for the next step of my career journey, which just closed on its second day.

Simplify complexity for humanity.
My new role on the Citi Community Development team combines everything I love to do. It allows me to use my talents and the skills I honed at (add)ventures to directly impact non-profits working on some of the most important issues facing our nation. Citi is investing in organizations that help Americans build assets, start businesses, avoid foreclosure, find jobs, afford higher education for their children and so much more. As part of the Communications team, I am helping Citi create and foster a new space for dialogue and best practice sharing for those engaged in this essential work.

The Citi Communications Capacity Project helps Citi’s partners better engage those they serve, more effectively advocate for federal policies that will aid our recovery, and more efficiently connect with other funders who can help ensure that their essential programs and services thrive.  As its project manager, I get to serve as a liaison between some of the most innovative non-profits and some of the  country’s top firms, including (add)ventures, as they collaborate on branding, digital, and communications solutions that are changing the way these organizations do business.

Leaving (add)ventures was not easy. Over the last two years in particular, my social self – in person and online – has been intimitely intertwined with this organization and helping it and its client partners grow and succeed. Knowing that I’ll be able to continue to do work with my former colleagues as I realize my goal of working directly in Corporate Social Responsibility makes the transition easier.

(add)ventures president and CEO Steve Rosa always says that one of the key differentiators of his firm is the belief in hiring (and being) NICE – Nurturers with Intelligence, Character and Energy. Even more important than knowing what b-roll is and being able to hold a cogent conversation with a web developer, one thing I learned at (add)ventures is that despite what many people think about corporate America, being NICE is valued and respected.   As I met colleague after colleague at the first annual cookie party on my first day at Citi, and as I listened in on a conference call detailing the impact of this year’s investments in issues, organizations, communities and ultimately people across the country, Steve’s theory was confirmed.

Solve problems. Make people happy.
“See you tomorrow. You were great,” the text from my new boss read as I was heading down the escalator at Grand Central to catch my train home on my first day. It was an odd feeling to transition from seeing Citi and its non-profit partners as clients, but maybe that perspective is actually the most important thing I learned in the last four years. By thinking like a strategist serving a client, I am able to offer solutions, not just do a job.  And that is what makes people happy.

So just what kind of breakup is this one? I think it is the kind that proves those often annoying words of attempted consolation true: everyone comes into your life to teach you something.

Thanks for the flowers, (add)ventures, and thanks for four amazing years.

Gallo – A
2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 15, 2010 9:57 am

    Thank you, Angie, for the 30-minutes or so of overlap we had at (add)ventures and the heartfelt blog post. Sounds as though things are going well for you in the new role. We miss you around here too.

  2. December 17, 2010 11:18 pm

    Congrats on your new position. I always teach my new employees this axiom.

    “Making customers happy may make the company money but I do it to make them happy.”

    Good Luck! &

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