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An unexpected journey.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 by Marianne Elliott

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I got a job.

I know. A job. It’s a bit of a surprise to me too. After being self-employed for the past four years, I didn’t expect to go back on anyone’s payroll. But this is no ordinary job. It’s the perfect job for an entrepreneurial advocate & story-teller like me.

About six months ago, when I got back from my book tour in the US, Canada and Europe, I had a very clear sense that I wanted to get back into working more directly on social justice, human rights, environmental justice and democracy. I was coming to the end of a four year cycle of commitment to my book – two years of writing and re-writing plus two years of launching, touring and talking about the book – and with an election looming in New Zealand, I had a sense of urgency about getting back into the change-maker saddle.

There were also changes happening at the restaurant, which meant I wasn’t needed there in the same way. My partner was leaving his job to take over the full-time responsibility of running our restaurant, freeing me up to find a new project.

What happened was the day after my partner finished his job, I was offered a job – as National Director of ActionStation.

ActionStation is an independent community advocacy organisation that enables individuals and organisations with progressive values to take powerful, coordinated action for a fair society, a healthy environment and accountable politics. Based on very successful campaigning models like GetUp, MoveOn and 38Degrees – but with a distinctly Kiwi focus, ActionStation is independent and democratic, co-ordinating online and offline action to hold powerful political and corporate interests to account.

This job will take courage, creativity & curiosity. It will give me the chance to play a part in rejuvenating democracy and promoting equity and transparency in New Zealand. My success in the role will depend on my ability to build trust and connections. Above all else, it’s a start-up – so I’ll get to build it from the ground up (although there is an excellent foundation already in place) which means I feel more like an entrepreneur than an employee. All of which makes it the perfect job for me.

What does this mean for my online programs?

Well, thanks to the amazing team who have been helping me run those online programs for the past few years, little will need to change. Nita, Brit and Lesleigh (aka Team Awesome) will continue to make sure registration opens and closes on time, they’ll answer your administrative questions, resolve any technical problems you might have, and be your first point of call at all times. Amanda will continue to co-teach the aid worker course with me. Anna will continue to be the lead teacher on the Curvy course. Lesleigh, a wise and compassionate yoga teacher who shares my philosophy and approach to yoga, will help answer yoga questions in the beginners, busy and standard versions of the course.

What does this mean for my writing?

I’m not entirely sure. I expect that much of my writing energy will be taken up with producing engaging, inspiring content for ActionStation campaigns, although I also expect I’ll still have things to say (or write) about my eternal themes of courage, compassion, curiosity, clarity and change – which you can expect to find on my blog as usual. I am working on another book idea, and I’m part of a writing group which I hope will encourage me to keep working on that in the wee hours of the morning.

Whatever else happens, I plan to keep sending a once-a-month round up of what I’ve been learning, reading, watching, writing. If you aren’t getting those already, you can sign up to get them here.


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8 Responses to "An unexpected journey."

  1. Congratulations, Marianne! It does sound like the perfect job for you – and it sounds like everything came together beautifully. Wishing you days of fulfilling enjoyment and tremendous success. 🙂

  2. Wendy Moore says:

    It does sound like a great match. Hope all goes really well for you Marianne and that Action Station can get people engaged the way Get Up has in Australia. And my God don’t we need that in Australia right now!!! Power to you babe. Warm wishes for energy and resilience, Wendy

  3. Christen says:

    So happy for you that you will get to be using your gifts in a new way. Sounds wonderful! Wishing you the best!

  4. How exciting, Marianne! And just what the world needs more of. It makes me happy for your country to know that you will be directing this good work. May it ripple out…

    xo Lesley

  5. Kathryn says:

    Congratulations! This sounds wonderful for you and wonderful for Action Station.

  6. Bronwyn says:

    Congratulations Marianne! This is fabulous news on every level. Changing the world requires big thinking, risk taking, empathy, energy and passion. All in the timing, it sounds like the healing you’ve done since returning from intense o/s work has paid off. Well done you!
    ps as a fellow Aussie, I’m with Wendy! I’d love to be your Aussie counterpart btw!

  7. Claire says:

    Delighted for you Marianne! All the best in this new venture 🙂

  8. It’s two months late, but congratulations! What a great way to go back to working for someone. Sounds really exciting.

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