Why one twentysomething made the career move away from a global brand to a local outreach.

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Let’s say you’re a twentysomething who manages to land a job right after college. Let’s say it’s a good, grown-up type of job; you know, the kind where you don’t have to live in your parent’s basement. And let’s say you really like this job—but (isn’t there always a but?), despite all of that, there’s a tug in your heart to do something more meaningful. This was 26-year-old Britton’s life.

After graduating from Elon University, Britton worked with Red Bull for four years as a field marketing specialist. In those four years, Britton moved to three major cities in three states, got promoted and was exposed to many creative circles.

“It was a crazy, fast ride,” he said about his experience with the company. “They supported youthful thinking and a big idea approach to life. You could really make a name for yourself at a young age.” After all, this was the same brand that sponsored a man diving from space, and its international campaigns target and endorse athletes in extreme sports.

But as great as the gig was, Britton struggled to find a sense of true fulfillment.

“When I was in high school, my identity was wrapped up in sports, but then I got injured, so I turned my focus to sports media and marketing,” he explained. “My friends thought I was going to be the next Sports Center anchor, and I did, too—and that became my identity.”

After accepting the position at Red Bull, Britton became “Britt from Red Bull” to everyone he met, and his identity once again became synonymous to his occupation.

“I found myself longing to do something that made a difference in other people’s lives,” Britton said. Because he didn’t know what that would look like for his future, he began to pray for God’s direction. While the clarity didn’t come immediately, perspective did.

Because Red Bull was such a forward-thinking hub, Britton began to see his time there as a unique training ground for what would eventually come next, even if he wasn’t sure what that would be.

“I was still giving Red Bull one hundred percent, and praying for God’s will for the future,” Britton said.

Six months later, Britton encouraged his friend Blake, who had just launched a non-profit called beremedy, to enter a team in the Red Bull Soapbox Race.

“I thought it would be a fun, creative way to get the organization’s name out there in front of its target audience,” he said.

Blake’s team got accepted and partnered with Atlanta Mission to build a soapbox car. As race day approached, Britton got better aquatinted with Atlanta Mission’s team and purpose. It just so happened that Atlanta’s largest and longest-running provider of services to the homeless had an open media marketing position.

“I had a bit of apprehension at first,” Britton admitted. And while going from Red Bull to a homeless organization didn’t seem like the most logical career move, it became more and more apparent that it was the answer to Britton’s prayers.

Today, Britton is the Media Relations Manager for Atlanta Mission. Looking back, a little over a year later, Britton is thankful for the path his career has taken.

[The interview took a brief pause when a homeless family who is currently being served by Atlanta Mission walked by the coffee shop patio. The kids called out "Hey Britt!" The family approached for a quick visit with their friend Britt. A very cool moment for this interviewer to witness.]

“Even though it’s only been a year, I feel like I’ve gained 10 years of experience and connections,” Britton said. From valuable lessons in grace to connections with a wide array of Atlanta Mission partners, to serving Atlanta’s homeless community, Britton feels beyond blessed for his new role.

atlanta mission kids

When asked to give a piece of advice to his twentysomething peers, Britton warned about the cons of over-involvement and over-committing yourself.

“It seems as though a lot of twentysomethings lack focus when it comes to being involved and serving causes,” Britton explained. “They want to be involved in everything, which only ends up creating subpar involvement and sense of community.”

Britton’s advice to his peers is to focus on serving one (or maybe a few) organizations or causes well.

“The best way to move forward and grow is to build off of a foundation of existing success,” Britton said. “You can’t build a reputation of success when you just dabble in a lot of things.”

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Photo credit: Morgan Blake

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