We had the good fortune of connecting with Lynne Dowell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lynne, how has the public health crisis affected your views on work-life balance?
As a mom with two young kids, work-life balance has been tricky in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are familiar with the Enneagram, I’m a 3 (i.e. an Achiever) and take a lot of pride in my work. I’m also Type A and very organized… and most of that had to be thrown out the window. I have worked hard to dive into my time maximization skills (thank you Laura Vanderkam for helping me in this). Vanderkam is an author who reshaped my image of ‘having enough time’ through her book “168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think”. I found waking up early to draft emails and tackle my to-do lists was the best way to prepare for the day. I’m fortunate to have a supportive husband, who knows how much I love my work and its mission. He and I devised a schedule to rotate our days with the parenting duties and work responsibilities. Although there were times I felt like I was failing as a mom and as an employee, I took each day at a time and did the best I could. If my kids and husband knew they were loved and my top priorities for work complete I considered the day a success!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I work for Booster Enterprises. Booster is a school fundraising company on a mission to change the world. Home to game-changing offerings like Boosterthon and Booster Spirit Wear, we’re reinventing the fundraising industry. This year, we’re proud to serve over 3,500 schools and 1.8 million students across the country. We started more than 18 years ago, and in that time we have helped schools raise more than $350 million in needed funds… and we’re just getting started. This next year, we know schools will need funds more than ever- for teachers, cleaning supplies, masks, and individual items for students and to help with budget cuts.
After graduating from Texas A&M University (WHOOP!) I pursued a career in broadcast journalism as a news anchor and reporter before moving back to Houston. Initially, I worked in PR and Marketing for a large, non-profit healthcare system for four years until some organizational changes left me disheartened. One evening I came across a photo of a group of people who looked like they genuinely loved their job. I had to know more. I messaged a friend of mine that was in the photo about her career, and the rest, as they say, is history! The beginning of my new career is quite a good story. I cried my first day on the job. It turns out, putting on big events to motivate students is a lot of manual labor. I was working outdoors on my first day, setting up on an unusually cold morning in Houston. There was frost on the ground, with temperatures below freezing. I was wearing the equivalent of work out clothes and I could see my former office building in the distance. Previously I had worked on the 25th-floor where I was wearing high heels and business attire, with a space heater beneath my feet. I had taken a 68% pay cut to start at an entry-level position and… needless to say… I wondered if I had made a mistake. I told my husband I would finish out the year and reassess. Six weeks later, a job opened up for a promotion I thought I’d be perfect for, so I applied. At the end of my interview, I told them I didn’t know all the ins and outs of the company yet, but I wanted to learn. However, I did know I had the job experience and life skills to do the job. They agreed. A year later I applied for another promotion, but a more qualified applicant received the offer instead. But seven months after that, I applied for my current job (the same level of the previous job I didn’t get) and got it! I’m the oldest person on my team and I love learning from team members who see life a little differently than I do.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Luckily, I have a great answer for this thanks to my girlfriends in DFW and California that have put this to the test. I do a lot of volunteer work fighting human trafficking, so our first stop would be A 2nd Cup in the Heights… and we might as well stop by Elijah Rising since it’s just a few doors down to pick up some goodies. For those of you who don’t know, A 2nd Cup is a non-profit coffee shop dedicated to improving human trafficking awareness in Houston. Andy’s Mint Mocha is my favorite drink on the menu! And Elijah Rising is a non-profit focused on ending sex trafficking. They have goods that empower survivors and are fair trade. I stock up on their candles (they smell divine!) every trip. Our visit wouldn’t be complete without brunch at The Dunlavy, dinner outdoors at Tiny Boxwoods, and dessert at SMOOSH. To work off our calories, we’d walk through the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center… seriously, can you believe an oasis like that exists at the corner of 610 and I-10?! To make the week truly memorable, we’d enjoy some kid-free time at the Houstonian’s Trellis Spa! Let’s pause the interview for a second… I think I need to book an appointment now!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Laura Vanderkam- I have already mentioned her, but if you haven’t read her books you should. The two I really like are “168 Hours” and “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast”. She also has a couple of podcasts and a new book coming out soon. My Booster Family- I believe I have the greatest job in the world. I work with a group of people on mission to Strengthen Schools and Change the World by helping schools raise needed funds. Our senior management team invests in our team and cares about our personal leadership development. With the impact the coronavirus has had on schools, students and admin teams will need our help more than ever. My husband- He works so hard for our family, but he knows how much I value working and does a great job cheering me on. We are a team and I couldn’t be who I am without his help. He also gave me my two greatest blessings in my children. They are my why.
Other: You can see more about Booster at @choosebooster on Instagram and Facebook, or locally @boosterthonhouston on Instagram.