Every day, 40,000 people around the world work in extremely stressful situations to help provide assistance to people in need. People working for Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) leave behind their comfortable lives for the opportunity to make the world a better place. On assignment they expand their self-knowledge and limitations, experience, and adapt to entirely new ways of living while helping those in need. When it’s time to return home, they experience the challenges of re-assimilating to their native culture. In this episode, humanitarian Catherine Carr shares her decade-long experience working for Doctors Without Borders and how the lessons of working as a humanitarian translate to other areas of work once you return home. Catherine discusses:
Part I: The Humanitarian Experience
Applying to Doctors Without Borders, culture shock and adaptation, finding meaning at work, learning from locals, the various roles within Doctors Without Borders, Tea in the Morning, relationship building during “morning tea,” overcoming the fear that prevents personal growth, finding happiness.
Part II: Lessons to Learn from a Humanitarian
Advice for overcoming fear and facing future changes, resistance to change, agility, discovering yourself, getting out of your comfort zone (without leaving the country), the power of teamwork, building trust with employees and community members, the unique skills of a humanitarian, coping in high-stress situations, burnout vs. stress, belief vs. truth, disruption avoidance.
Organizations, People, Resources, Places Mentioned:
Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières), PB&J Family Services, Kenya, Iraq, the Philippines, Haiti, Central African Republic, Jordan, South Sudan
“I was scared of making the change, but I think what scared me even more was not making the change.”
Catherine Carr describing her decision to disrupt her career as a Human Resources leader to join Doctors Without Borders