High Demand, Low Supply: How do you describe your job?
Benjamin Saffold: My job is to increase the organization's brand through media, events, special projects and volunteer recruitment.
HDLS: How did you get this job?
Benjamin: I started as a volunteer while still working at Tower Records Corporate and was offered a paid position after being laid off when Tower Records went out of business.
HDLS: What is a typical day like for you in your role?
Benjamin: Social media posts, electronic correspondence, meetings with staff, presentations in the community, recruiting and supervising volunteers, creating and implementing events, special projects and assigned strategies, maintaining public relations, making time for the unexpected, unplanned and urgent items.
HDLS: What are the best parts of your job?
Benjamin: Meeting, interacting and getting to know the clients served by our organization. All the motivation needed...and then some.
HDLS: What was your first job?
Benjamin: Newspaper carrier with The Stockton Record at 13 years old.
HDLS: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Benjamin: Independently wealthy. No plan. Just a desire.
HDLS: How did you get where you are now?
Benjamin: By following my passions. I remember going to a guidance counselor at San Joaquin Delta College. He was the first to ask me what I wanted to do for a career and what I was interested in. After I answered his questions, he advised me to pursue courses in communications, journalism and broadcasting. Skills, tools and experiences that have served me well to this day.
HDLS: What is the best career advice you have ever received?
Benjamin: When I was a crossroads of career choices, I was advised to see planning my career like a planning a vacation. Once you discover where you are and where you want go, make plans, provisions and accommodations to arrive and enjoy your appointed destination.
HDLS: What is the worst career advice you have ever received?
Benjamin: To accept a job offer out of desperation to a company that I knew to have had low employee satisfaction and high employee turnover.
HDLS: What career advice would you give your younger self?
Benjamin: Take more risks. Take them earlier. Take them often. Don't stop taking them.
HDLS: Can you tell me about an interesting or exceptional day you’ve had in this job?
Benjamin: There are too many to mention. The day I was informed that the first benefit music recording that we produced raised over $10,000 for the homeless. The day an individual who came to our organization homeless and addicted years earlier came back in his convertible with his girlfriend to make the first of his annual delivery of toys to homeless children. The day another individual who came to our organization homeless after being released from incarceration left us three years later as pre-med student at the University of the Pacific. The day I watched the final cut of a music video that I directed for the second music recording that our organization produced. The day that I cried in front of about 100 people while giving a presentation that I had given many times before but lost my professional composure when the story that I was sharing became less about "what my organization does" and more about "who my organization helps".
HDLS: Besides your work at Gospel Center Rescue Mission what else is important to you?
Benjamin: Though I work for a non-profit, my volunteerism outside of work as a board member for three other non-profits and as a mentor to college-age adults is just as important to me as the non-profit where I work for a living.
I have a special sensitivity to those involved in their job search. Though I have been working consistently for the most part since I was 13 years old (my LinkedIn profile serves primarily as my best recollection of jobs that I have had), there were a few occasions where I was unemployed for three to six months at a time. The emotions experienced during those times of financial uncertainty were not soon forgotten. I am always trying to help anyone that I know who is unemployed find gainful employment. I hope that my story is a source of inspiration and encouragement to those in search of fulfilling and satisfying employment!
Benjamin's passion for helping others led to his volunteering at Gospel Center Rescue Mission before that transitioned into a paid job. His job story shows that you can find happiness while following your passions. Thank you Benjamin for sharing your job story!
Benjamin spends a lot of time helping others and connecting people. I first met Benjamin when he asked me to join the Stockton Earth Day Festival committee as a volunteer.
Benjamin currently serves as Chairman of the Executive Board for the Stockton Leadership Foundation, Marshall Plan On Crime Committee Member, Executive Board Member at the Downtown Stockton Alliance, Event Planner for the San Joaquin County Leadership Prayer Breakfast and Executive Board Member at REACH Worship Center. He spent five years as a Stockton Arts Commissioner, founded the Dear Stockton Project in 2011, spent two years as a Board Member of the Friends Of The Fox (Bob Hope Theater) and serves as the Executive Producer of the The New Life Project.