Mississippi Belle, Pursuing Her Passion for Philanthropy

Being a PR manager is no easy task. But it’s nothing a BSB cannot handle! Chaundra Luckett does PR for the Atlanta Food Bank. Her passion for philanthropy drives her every single day. Learn more about this BSB in action below and learn her five tips on changing careers to follow your true passion! 

Name

Chaundra Luckett

Title

Public Relations Manager

Company/Org

Atlanta Community Food Bank

Hometown

Gulfport, Mississippi

Alma Mater

Bennett College

Sorority

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Favorite thing about being southern:

What don’t I love about being southern?! It’s my blood! If I had to pick a few I’d say family traditions, the food, the smiles and the feeling that the word family isn’t just tied to people you are related to in this world.  

What is your personal life motto:

“Wherever you are, be all there.” –Jim Elliot I’m trying to live a more “Present Over Perfect” life (book by Shauna Niequist) and trying to make sure that in each moment I’m really there, not just texting on my phone, taking 10 snapchat videos (maybe only one) and truly soaking in the moment of being able to experience life.

What is the most challenging professional obstacle you have had:

Proving myself in a life outside of a TV newsroom—my comfort zone. Starting my career over after a decade in news still feels a little insane, but I’ve almost crossed the one-year anniversary mark!

Who is your favorite character a “Different World”?

Whitley of course—she was misunderstood and people didn’t respect her struggle!

If you could do any job, what would that be?

Producer of live award shows—music, movies—I’ll do it all!

Who do you wish you could meet?

My paternal grandmother who passed away before I was born.

What would your best friend say is the best/most annoying quality about yourself?

Best: I’m loyal and if I give you my word, you know I’ll do it.
Worst: I’m a perfectionist and the grace I try to give to others, I don’t always give myself.  

What advice would you give your younger college self?

It’s an old quote but I probably needed this 10 years ago: “Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”

Where can we connect with you?

Twitter: @chaundraluckett

LinkedIn: Chaundra Luckett

 5 Tips for Changing Careers to Follow Your Passion

1. Acknowledge the Issue:

Honestly, I ignored my inner concerns and unhappiness for almost a year before I did anything about it. I think my fear of shaking the boat of stability kept me from making a step before I did. It took a lot of praying and prodding by concerned friends to really wake me up to the fact that I needed more. You must first start with admitting it to yourself and that moment can come at an odd time, but you won’t forget it.  It’s not a problem that can be solved overnight, and you also don’t want to rush a decision, so take the time to really unpack the issues you have in your current situation.

2. Determine Your Passion:

In order to make the change, you have to decide what you want to do. In some cases, if you think it’s a realistic way to make a living. That’s harsh, but it’s the truth. If it’s something unconventional, I’d initially try to do it part-time or on the side while still having your current job. After you’ve spent time in that area, then you will know if it’s something you can do full time. I realize that making a living isn’t all there is to life, but you have to consider that during this period. If it’s changing industries, really key in on what you want to do within those and start researching careers and backgrounds needed to get in the door.

3. Network:

I probably job searched and interviewed for 6-8 months or so before I actually told any friends. I was petrified that someone was going to find out and then it would get back to my employer. But one of my wise best friends told me, “You’ll never find a job until people know you are looking for a job.” So I decided to be strategic and I let some of my friends who were well connected in the nonprofit community know that I was looking to make a move. Many of them then connected me with contacts at organizations and those who were in the Public Relations/Marketing world who shared amazing tips and advice to me. To further prove my friend’s point, I ended up with my job at the Atlanta Community Food Bank, thanks in part to a connection that came directly from one of my closest friends.

4. Be Patient:

You must realize that making a huge shift doesn’t happen overnight. Finding the perfect career that merges both your purpose and your passion is likely to take time to seek out something that is the right fit for your journey. You must also be careful not to just “jump” at an opportunity that comes your way, without fully vetting it and seeing if it is what you ultimately want to end up doing, or at least will put you on the same path as your dream job. In our frustrations in the workplace, we can end up taking the first thing that’s enticing, even if it’s not the greatest fit. Hold out for the right position!

5. Toss The Doubt:

I still have days when I worry that I’m in over my head or that I’m not cut out for PR when things don’t go exactly right, but I often tell myself to toss out the doubt! You have to remember that you are making this change to improve your quality of life (that looks different for everyone) and that it’s a choice that will ultimately make you happier and more fulfilled. Don’t let doubt and fear keep you from taking one step forward. Press through it, even when you don’t see the exact job you want posted or the process takes longer than you’d like. Like the old saying goes, “anything worth having is worth fighting for.”

 

Michiel Perry

Michiel is a Black Southern Belle living a lowcountry life. I love all things fashion, home decor and southern! When I am not running around doing fun stuff for Black Southern Belle, I live in antique stores and have a minor obsession with historic homes 🙂

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