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Emotional Challenges Of Working For Social Change

Someone lying on a couch looking distressed.

During our last Twitter chat, we focused on the lighthearted topic of funny interview mistakes. After the laughs and exclamations of “yep, I’ll never do that during an interview!” died down, we decided to switch gears for our next chat and address an important yet sometimes overlooked topic: the emotional challenges of working at a nonprofit.

Whether you bear witness to or hear stories of traumatic experiences, have financial worries, or feel cynical about your ability to truly make a difference, this is the chat for you.

We will talk about the importance of engaging in self-care, having a supportive community, avoiding apathy, and knowing your own limits.

To prepare for this chat, take a look at the following articles. Reflect on the issues that resonate with you and come ready to chat with your personal burnout stories, solutions that have worked for you, and questions you’d like to bring up during the chat:

What to do when you doubt your impact: an interview with Paul Loeb- this interview addresses feelings of cynicism and how to address it both individually and at an organizational level.

Emotional reward doesn’t pay the bills- if financial issues are one of the causes of your emotional strains, you might relate to this article and the need to use financial compensation in finding a balance between caring for yourself as well as others. 

How one nonprofit helps its employees tackle burnout- if you’re unfamiliar with the terms “vicarious trauma” and “compassion fatigue”, this interview explains the importance of acknowledging them.

Compassion fatigue- This article on Psychology Today addresses the physical symptoms of empathy.

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By Victoria Crispo

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