Jen Webster | Helping people

How she found her place in charities after leaving the corporate world

Jen Webster is the marketing manager at Odyssey House NSW in Sydney.

Jen Webster (pictured left) worked in the IT industry for 30 years, spruiking software for some big tech firms until her first child started school.

Needing more flexibility in her work, Jen shifted to a part-time role running her organisation’s corporate social responsibility program… which opened her up to the world of charities.

It was a role she loved for many years until suddenly she was faced with redundancy – a daunting prospect in her early 50s, but also paving the way to make a career change and follow her dream of working for a not-for-profit.

Jen soon discovered that was easier said than done, but her determination paid off. She’s gone on to work in what she describes as the ‘gritty’ end of the charity sector, in areas like HIV, homelessness and drug and alcohol addiction.

Now the Marketing Manager at Odyssey House NSW, Jen has found a great sense of meaning in her work and loves using her marketing skills for good. Inspired by her frontline worker colleagues, she’s also become a qualified social worker and is studying to be a counsellor.

In this episode, Jen chats with host Jacqui Ooi about:

  • Why she loved working in IT and what drew her to the charity space
  • Going through a redundancy and the rollercoaster of job-searching and interviews
  • The challenges she faced and overcame in moving to not-for-profits
  • What she’s learned from working at different charities helping marginalised people
  • Her best tips and recommendations for aspiring career changers

Image: Chris Lani-McAllister from Cohab Coffee delivering soup for the community kitchen where Jen worked.

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