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Meet Katie: Director of Operations and Storyteller

Sharing Katie’s story is one of my favorite things to come of this Livlyhood journey. Katie is a friend from high school and we’ve recently reconnected because she saw what I was doing and then introduced me to her amazing blog, 52 Beautiful Things. Be sure to give her blog and instagram a follow.

Katie has a gift for storytelling that you’ll discover below. She has truly found a way to discover the positive in tough situations; a gift that I hope to emulate!

Tell us a little about yourself and your career

Hi there! I’m Katie Huey – a Colorado gal with a passion for storytelling, building relationships, and searching for beauty in the ordinary things. I’ve never been one to have a laser-like vision career goal. I’ve taken my passion for people and interest in communications and applied it in many areas over the last eight years or so.

I wear a lot of hats and the common feather in all of those caps is work places where I can be empathetic and make a difference in the lives of others.

My career started working for nonprofits. I have built funding pipelines and systems for thanking donors and community members and volunteers who rally behind important causes. After experiencing serious compassion fatigue and having a sudden loss in our family I had to take a step back to take care of myself. I worked at insurance agency for over a year and just recently took another step to return to work that directly helps others in a different capacity.

Currently, my title is Director of Operations at a business consulting firm. I support our team with scheduling, drafting client reports, creating quality communications, and managing our databases. I like that our company believes people deserve to be happy at work. We provide tools and resources to make work enjoyable, productive, and value driven.

I also do marketing work with a Colorado author in my downtime. I believe in the power of story and sharing history to delight and inspire individuals to make the world a better place.

How does your community of women you surround yourself with support you?

For me the power of support from women starts with my mom – a gentle powerhouse who taught me to not shy away from my emotions and caring heart. I carry her voice inside my head every day.

Working in nonprofits, I also had the privilege of being led by passionate, emotive women who listen to their hearts and make big changes for their communities. These women have taught me that leadership is a balance between inspiring others to do their best work while taking care of yourself – not an easy task.

Other women – artists and writers and mothers and bosses – encourage me to be vulnerable and brave. Sometimes that means crying in my boss’ office, other times it means continuing to follow that little tug on my heart that leads to scary and rewarding things. Most of all  – these supportive women keep reminding me that it’s ok to be a feeling person in a hurting world – to not shy away from sharing my quiet strength.

Why did you start 52 Beautiful Things? What’s most rewarding about it?

I started 52 Beautiful Things in 2013. We had just postponed my upcoming wedding because my grandpa died and my fiance had gotten laid off. My personal life felt shaky and uncertain. Always a cheerleader for the positive in the world, I decided to make my search for beauty a public thing. I needed to put words to the good. As the years have gone by I’ve gone through lots of ups and downs – got married, bought a house, lost my dad, and dealt with grief. I’m starting to realize that’s how things work – a bittersweet mix of good and bad, joy and pain, ugliness and beauty. It’s impossible and impractical to live in awesome all the time. Yet, we can find beauty in despair, confusion and pain if we start to look.

The blog continues to be an outlet for me and I always am tickled when readers share how my perspectives inspire, challenge or connect with them. Things are scary out there and the world needs more light. Looking for the beauty in the ordinary things keeps me grounded – it’s a bonus when my words help others in their journey as well. I’ve yet to make money on this platform, but the purpose of seeking good and connecting with readers keeps me coming back each week to write more.

What do you wish you could go back and tell your younger self re: your career aspirations? 

Oh boy. I wish I could have settled into the truth that this thing called career takes a long time to develop. And that that word does NOT define you. I spent much of my early twenties nervous and jumpy because I wasn’t sure if this job or that job would lead me where I needed to go. I compared myself to others regarding salary and benefits and lost site of actual impact made.

I would tell myself that building and maintaining relationships is more important than a job title. I’d remind myself that everyone has something to teach you and if you aren’t working with smart and caring people, you’re probably in the wrong place.

What is your career-related mantra? 

I like what Sheryl Sandberg says in her book Lean In. That careers should be looked at like jungle gyms rather than ladders. It’s ok to take side steps, or maybe even step down a rung because that move will get you going in another direction entirely. Don’t be afraid to be on a jungle gym.

And as another powerful, funny, smart woman Tina Fey says, “Bitches get things done.” Stand in your truth, follow what delights you, and move away from people who don’t get you.

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