Cindy Mardenfeld – My Moment of Clarity

At the time that I had my “Moment of Career Clarity,” I had already accumulated 10 years of fundraising experience and had accomplished a great many valuable things that had positively changed people’s lives as well as the future of several charities. By design, I did not remain at any one job for an extended period of time because I perceived myself as being a “sponge” who wanted to learn from a variety of different people. I wanted to be taught by the best in my field to hone my skills and knowledge while “on the job” instead of attending the classes that they taught.  So, I applied to jobs where these people held the position of Director of Development and where I could work directly for them.

I felt that I was at a high point in my fundraising career, and I interviewed and received offers from a major hospital system, an established Jewish organization, and a well-known nursing facility.  At that time. my goal was to solicit and attract enough money to add a wing to a healthcare facility as a means of helping the community and making a difference. I did my due diligence, researched my potential employment venues and spoke with many people. I accepted the offer from the healthcare facility because my ultimate fundraising career objective was to learn about securing “major gifts” from a highly-regarded individual in the field.

A short time later, the woman who became my new supervisor called me into her office, informed me that this job was “not a good match” for me and fired me. I was really devastated but decided that I would make the best of the new situation. (Years later, I bumped into a co-worker from that job who informed me that “my” lady supervisor didn’t like me because I was “young, too bubbly, happy, warm, creative, tech-savvy and made connections very easily,” unlike herself.)

At that time, I was crushed. But looking back, I now realize that this situation was the best thing that could possibly have happened to me. Instead of searching for a new job, I decided to start my own organization. I soon found myself planning events for three different networking groups, and my company began to be hired to plan events in both the United States and Canada. Today, I am proud to share the news that my company, Infinity Relations, Inc., is a registered New York State Certified Woman-Owned Business (WBE) and that we are celebrating our 17th year in business in 2019.

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