BFP: What do you do?
JP: I’m currently a knowledge and communications consultant for infoDev, a global partnerships program within the World Bank that supports innovative and growth-oriented entrepreneurs. The program develops and implements scalable programs specifically targeted for mobile, climate and agribusiness enterprises.
BFP: What is the best part about your job?
JP: The non-stop opportunities to learn and apply that knowledge in creative ways. The rapid advancement of information and communication technologies continuously expands the boundaries of the possible, for the entrepreneurs developing new and innovative business models, for the business incubators and other platforms supporting them, and for people like me who help to capture and disseminate enabling knowledge. It’s an exciting time to be working in this space!
BFP: What have been your greatest challenges?
JP: Working as an independent consultant provides a lot of flexibility, both in terms of location of work (I primarily telecommute), and the scope of work. The trade-off is a lack of work stability. Budgets and priorities constantly shift, and that can be stressful at times.
BFP: How have you overcome these challenges? / What is the secret of your success?
JP: Never stop expanding the knowledge and skills you have to offer, and always be looking for ways to add value beyond what’s expected. Like any client-focused industry, it’s important that people are happy with your work. Having intrinsic motivation for the work that you do goes a long way to making sure that happens.
BFP: If someone wants to do what you do, where should they start?
JP: My path has not been a straight one, so I don’t think it matters as much where you start. Rather, it’s more important that you’re always taking steps forward. Know what you want to get out of each challenge you face, and don’t be afraid of getting out of your comfort zones. Given how rapidly things change, it’s important to be adaptable, so the greater the diversity of experiences you have had, the more able you are to be a solution to someone’s problem.
BFP: Finally; what do you hope to get out of being part of the BFP community?
JP: The evolution of ideas, and the language and frameworks that underlie them, is a fascinating thing to observe and an exciting thing to contribute to. The BFP community provides a great opportunity to do both.
Thank you to John Paul for taking the time to do this interview.
Read previous Member of the Week interviews here.