Non-profit: New beginnings and fresh perspectives.

POS COMPUTER TERMINAL IN SHOP

I am currently the newest member of the Dragonmobility team.

I have had a number of jobs in my professional career. I interned for a graphic design company, I managed a department in a grocery store, I worked in high street retail and as a sales rep for a big international company. What do all those businesses have in common? Not much, I assure you, apart from the fact that the ultimate goal for them all is making as much profit as possible. Which is definitely not a bad thing, it’s just the way it is.

This little intro should give you an idea of the change that I faced when I joined a social enterprise like Dragonmobility. Some of you may not be familiar with the difference between a social enterprise and a charity, so let me give you a quick explanation: a charity relies mainly on donations and public funding to exist and function, while a social enterprise produces its own revenue to sustain itself while giving a positive contribution to society. And the positive contribution to society happens to be the core of the organisation, not a byproduct of its activities.

Studying marketing at university I have been taught that the customer is always central. I learned that if your business is not providing the right solutions for your customers, you need to change and adapt and give them what they really need. Unfortunately, working with real people for real people, I learned that is not always put into practice. So in every place I worked there has always been a sort of compromise, always having the customer in mind but focusing mostly on the business and its profits first. So it’s no wonder that I felt the change here at Dragonmobility, where the customer is at the core of what everyone in the company does. And I mean literally at the core: every powerchair produced here is tailored to fit the different needs of each customer. Providing people with what they need and not what the management of your big corporation tells you to sell them is quite refreshing.

So, here I am re-discovering a moral and ethical pleasure in working, something I struggled to feel in the other jobs I had in the past. Anyone out there that has ever worked for a cause will know what I am talking about. It is all about knowing, deep inside you, that what you are doing is positively meaningful. I do not feel bad going to work every morning anymore! Don’t get me wrong, in any job there are barriers and issues to overcome, but that is something that will always be there, what truly matters is your attitude and how you choose to face those problems.

Anyway, I am really happy to have been given the opportunity to work here. So, here’s a piece of advice: get involved, do things and make sure you consider all the ways in which work can be rewarding, not just the monetary ones. It will make you happy in ways you won’t believe until you try it.

Francesco

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