I have been working at Avaaz Foundation full-time (More than 5 years)
- There's a lot of hope for the world here. Not naive dumb hope, but smart and considered. I find cynicism really draining (and tempting), and there's just not much of it at all.
- There's very few limits on what Avaaz can do in working to change the world. You might have an amazing idea to change the world that costs $1.5 million dollars - it could be raised and actioned within a week.
- The team is AMAZING. Such lovely people! So good at getting stuff done, and being considered and mature professionals. No drama here.
- You grow a tonne. I expected to be here for a few years, learn all there was to learn, and the go elsewhere. But the learning never stops. The leadership training is the best i've seen, management the same, strategy, writing etc etc.
- It's tactically agnostic, meaning, the team takes problems in the world and works out ways to solve them. Rather than only doing reports, or petitions, or lobbying, or stunts. It's really liberating!
- It's intense. Working on the most pressing issues gets tiring. If there's a big event, like the Paris climate talks, the team works hard and you will get tired.
- You have to manage yourself well. For example - the team values feedback, and everyone is giving it to you and asking for it. At some point it's going to touch a sore spot and that's tough. It's also a great learning opportunity. So it depends on the individual. Same with work life balance - the team has a no nonsense policy about it and you need to be excellent at signing off on time/ cutting tasks you can't get done in your time etc. But managing that is your responsibility and if you have bad habits from past jobs it's tough to turn around.
- Remote work. Working from the Africa/ EU or Sth/Nth American timezones is pretty easy for me. There are so many people online to chat with. But if you love woking in person with your colleagues, and there's not others people in your area, it might be tough. Working from other timezones is harder, and will require a lot of effort from you to reach out to others etc.
Advice to Management
Keep it rolling.
I applied online. I interviewed at Avaaz Foundation (Boston, MA) in September 2015.
So destructive that it has taken me over a year to write about it, not just because of the emotional impact, but also the practical effects on my life. In summary: I applied for 2 positions. The first, I was told would have been mine had they decided to actually hire for it (they called after 2 or 3 interviews to tell me the role had been "de-prioritized", but that I was their #1 choice). For the second role, I had several more interviews. During the final interview, the interviewer (the ED), told me that she didn't see how I was qualified for the role. I attempted to counter that by explaining why I thought I was (really I was just bewildered by the statement seeing as I had just undergone several interviews and exercises, and didn't understand why I would have reached this point if I wasn't qualified). They ended up making an offer anyway quite quickly as I had very recently accepted a different offer and explained to them that since I was going to have to rescind my acceptance of offer A, I needed to do it ASAP. I am also a part-time student, which is listed at the top of my resume. I worked for them for 5 days during which time my school schedule became an issue (A total of 5 hours of class time per week. Bear in mind that Avaaz is a virtual organization. I was working remotely. It was very clear that many Avaaz employees did not keep traditional hours. It also says in their handbook that alternative schedules are approved by line managers. My line manager knew about my classes and said it was ok.). They asked that I drop a class in order to make my schedule more amenable to their needs which I succeeded in doing regardless of the add/drop deadline already having passed. Then, they fired me, claiming that I had failed to practice what they call "radical honesty". Needless to say, I was unable to get the first offer back and was thrown into a high pressure job search. This is the most egregious part of the experience. It was also just generally fraught with inadequate internal communication. I should have heeded that as a warning sign during the first round and stayed away, but the prospect of what I thought would be fulfilling work drew me in.
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