One Step Closer to Knowing  

15 May, 2018 | Joel Worrall | No comments
One Step Closer to Knowing

Reposted from here.

With appropriate nods to Bono and Jon Foreman.

It’s been an eventful 12 months. Exactly one year ago, I exited an 8-year journey with CURE International. Since then, I’ve…

  • invested a lot of time with my family,
  • authored a book (more on that later),
  • consulted and volunteered for a number of nonprofits,
  • spent the lion’s share of the year working with some great people, building some meaningful technology products at Masterworks, and
  • started teaching (part-time) in the Computer Science department of my alma mater, Messiah College.

I also began working a Life Plan (highly recommended), became moderately more healthy, and finally got involved in my church.

It was a challenging but good year; and just like last May, I’m writing this asynchronous message to offer an update while avoiding repetition.

So what’s the Big News?

I’m going to work for New Relic!

My new job title is delightfully esoteric — Principal Solution Architect, Extensibility. (That’s actually the abbreviated version.)

Essentially, my new job is (1) to be part of a nimble team that (2) comes up with ideas to make New Relic’s products better and more valuable and then, (3) builds out those ideas, solving real-world problems. It engages a host of skills: software development, marketing, product management, consulting, sales enablement, and public speaking — all working (remotely) for a company I love, in the epicenter of digital transformation, and under a leadership team I respect.

Am I excited?

I recently told a friend and soon-to-be colleague, “If I didn’t have to work, I would still consider doing this job at New Relic anyway.” So, yes. Yes I am.

The role has a tremendous surface area for learning and impact; and it comes with the challenging uncertainty that marks any worthwhile, new experience (i.e. How quickly can I live up to my “be awesome at this” standard?). That’s an invigorating feeling, one I haven’t had in a long while. I’m excited to rediscover what I’m capable of.

Does this mean I’m done with full-time nonprofit work?

After nearly a decade in and around nonprofit leadership, it’s difficult for me to imagine never working in a charity ever again. At the same time, that’s not my call to make. Serving full-time at CURE was a privilege, and I don’t pretend to know if I’ll ever be called to a responsibility like that again.

I’ve also recognized some growing and learning I need to do as a leader, and I think that the charitable sector is on a parallel growth track. We’re not quite right for each other today. While perhaps someday we could be again, that won’t be my career focus for the foreseeable future.

Instead, in this next season, I’m grateful to bring the experiences I’ve had in an international NGO and the broader nonprofit sector back into the technology field, working with and for people I admire to solve problems that effect everyone, including nonprofits.

One more thing

Last May, I said that I had a personal writing project on my summer list. This book is the result.

The concept and content came from a decade of graduate studies and eight years of service at CURE, where I researched a connection between what I was studying in seminary and what I was seeing at my “day job.” If you’re interested in reading more, it was released this week. For many of my friends, the topic may not be your cup-o-tea; but if it is, the book is available on Amazon.

Additionally, this art project is also an act of service to a cause in which I still deeply believe. I’m donating a portion of the proceeds of every copy sold to the AIC-CURE International Hospital of Kenya to help treat children who can’t afford surgical care. So — quite literally — every copy of the book is going to positively impact a little girl or boy in East Africa who is suffering with a disabling condition.

Much thanks

Just like last year, I want to say thank you for taking a moment to read this. I have a lot of friends out there of all different nationalities, political stripes, passions, persuasions, religions (or none at all), and backgrounds. I’m grateful to know each of you and consider you friends; and I hope we’ll find happy cause to see one another in real life over the coming year. If not, I’ll at least see you on the Interwebs.



P. S. — I want to offer one final, heartfelt thank you to my friends at Masterworks. It was and is an honor to be associated with you. I’m proud of what we built together, and I believe it’s going make a lasting difference in the world. Thanks for letting me be part of the team for a season.