Employee Profile: Emily Jones
February 5, 2016
By Jenn Raley Miller
RSF’s purpose is to transform the way the world works with money. As such, we are keenly interested in what that transformation looks like internally—for the organization as a whole and individually for our employees. Staff members have a wide variety of opportunities throughout the year to explore their individual relationships with money. The following Q&A is a glimpse into one employee’s personal journey.
Meet Emily Jones, senior accounting manager at RSF. Emily is responsible for the day-to-day accounting operations of our complex financial organization, which performs a wide variety of innovative investing, lending, and giving activities. Emily recently completed seven years at RSF, and took advantage of a sabbatical opportunity last fall. She received her Master’s in Taxation from Golden Gate University.
In what ways, if any, has your understanding of money changed since joining RSF?
My understanding of money has dramatically changed since I started working at RSF. As an accountant, I’ve had basic training in how to deal with accounting for numbers. But the actual thinking and feeling about money has been a revolutionary process—one that continues still. My ongoing relationship with money has fundamentally shifted; I now look at money as energy instead of a commodity to either hoard or mismanage. I’ve also found the work we do as a staff around money and personal biography to be both difficult and deeply transformational.
In what ways, if any, has your thinking around compensation changed since joining RSF?
RSF has challenged my thinking around compensation in many ways. We started a conversation about compensation as a staff a few years ago, and it was fascinating to see how such a basic concept could be so difficult. To start with, the idea that a company can and should compensate a person for what they bring to the table was challenging. (See blog post by John Bloom titled “What am I Working for?”)
One major shift in perspective for me was realizing in what ways the company’s decisions about compensation do—and do not—take my personal choices into consideration. Meeting my basic needs is one thing, but meeting basic needs as well as prior decisions that resulted in greater need is something for me to take personal ownership over. Beyond that, it has been important for me to see culture as part of the compensation package.
How would you describe RSF’s organizational culture to new clients, friends, or colleagues?
I typically describe RSF’s culture to my friends and family as amazing and holistic and challenging. When I talk about how my life has transformed over the past seven years of both being in San Francisco and being at RSF, I recognize that the company has held space for that transformation every step of my journey. I talk about the staff retreats and the team retreats, and the conversations about money and biography. I describe how time off is encouraged from the top down. I say that we work hard, and then are often able to come together and hold space for growth in really important ways. I feel like people come to work at RSF for reasons often unknown to them, and then it becomes clear. I know that is true for me, and continues to unfold.
You recently returned from your sabbatical. Would you share a bit?
I took a month-long sabbatical last fall, and went to upstate New York to spend time at Hawthorne Valley, a biodynamic farm and community that has deep ties with RSF. I was able to deepen my understanding of biodynamic farming, experience the opening ceremony of a Waldorf school, and spend time experiencing a completely different style of working and living. Being out of my normal day-to-day work life, and out of a major city took me into a deep state of relaxation that I hadn’t experienced as an adult. I am so grateful to RSF for providing sabbatical as a benefit to employees. I highly recommend working for a company who offers it!
Jenn is Senior Human Resources Manager at RSF.