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Women Who Went for It! is a bi-weekly podcast, hosted by Career Change Agent, Sara McArdle. The show features inspiring chats with successful industry changers who share how they found the clarity, courage and motivation to step into a deeper vocation and a life of meaning and fulfillment. We hope you'll see just how many before you have GONE for it—and they're eternally grateful that they took the risk!

Feb 3, 2019

Women Who Went for It Podcast Guest: Sanaa Green
In this episode, Sara talks with Sanaa Green about her nonlinear journey from television production to environmental education. Today, Sanaa leads National Audubon Society's Wild Indigo initiative in Detroit, a community engagement program that seeks to build lasting relationships between urban communities of color and their local natural areas. Sanaa shares the beliefs she once had that temporarily held her back from going into work she enjoyed, how quiet time in nature connected her to her deeper sense of purpose and what it means to her to offer spiritually-connected, culturally-sensitive environmental programming.
Want to make your own career change?
Download Sara's Seven Cs of Successful Career Change Chart.
Sara and Sanaa Discuss:
  • How they got connected (an article Sara found on Google!)
  • Sanaa studying TV & radio production
  • Getting an internship with an NBC affiliate
  • Realizing that she wouldn't be able to make the impact she wanted or have the excitement she wanted there
  • Working for a property management company in PR
  • Remembering that she enjoyed advertising
  • Considering going into entertainment law
  • Becoming a legal assistant to try it on
  • Realizing she didn't like it, but telling herself to "stay the course"
  • Leaving the job to care for her ill father
  • Following her heart into PR
  • Doing some freelance jobs and getting enough experience to work at an ad agency in New York City
  • Thinking she'd "really made it" but still not feeling fulfilled
  • Her "dark night of the soul"
  • Asking the universe to help her find her purpose
  • Studying feng shui and connecting with the environment and elements
  • Doing some feng shui consulting
  • Studying reiki
  • Trying to build a reiki practice but not getting it off the ground
  • Spending hours at the park to feel better
  • Taking a job as a camp counselor and kicking off her career as an environmental educator
  • Realizing that she had always thought that work had to be hard
  • Thinking she was "too old to start something new" and feeling self-conscious about that
  • Noticing doors were opening, despite her not having experience, and taking that as a sign
  • Going on a mission trip to Brazil
  • Returning there to teach English
  • Feeling homesick
  • Spending a lot of quiet time in nature
  • Connecting with her purpose and changing her mindset
  • Moving to Detroit
  • Teaching belly dance to help women connect with their divine feminine energy
  • Getting a job at an an environmental justice organization and working there for 5 years
  • Another epiphany after the death of her mother
  • Working on a project to turn a closed recreation center into a nature center
  • Getting the job at Audubon and launching their "Wild Indigo" program in Detroit
  • Her passion for creating programs for people to connect with and learn about nature
  • Audubon's focus on birds and how that focus can help us to see our connection to our own environment
  • Wild Indigo's focus on creating culturally-sensitive opportunities for people of color who live in urban areas to connect with nearby nature
  • What it means to offer culturally-sensitive programming
  • What it's like for her, as an African American, to work in a predominantly white field
  • Her spiritual approach to environmental work
  • Her family's history of spending time outside as slaves, and as cotton pickers
  • Taking care not to be tokenized
  • When Sanaa second-guessed her own intuition
  • Her mother's fears about her non-traditional career path
  • Sanaa embracing her feminine approach to work
  • Sanaa's book recommendations:
  • Her biggest piece of advice for career changers
  • ...and more!
Sanaa's Full Bio:
It took a while, but Sanaa Green is living and working on purpose! After studying TV and radio production at Howard University, Sanaa realized she would prefer the glitzy, fast-paced advertising world to a cold, dark TV studio. So, she set out to gain experience in promotions and public relations. After landing her dream job at an advertising agency in New York, she found herself exhausted and wondering, "If this was it, why am I so unhappy?" Now, 20 years after that realization, Sanaa is working as an environmental educator and loving her work!
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Phone: 503.893.2043
Want to make your own career change?
Download Sara's Seven Cs of Successful Career Change Chart.