Search & Replace S02E06: Tiffany Moore

Tiffany Moore found herself a whole decade into a high-profile career in non-profit, but with a mountain of student debt and no obvious opportunity for financial security. She decided to make the big leap to consulting for Social Entrepreneurship and tackling Imposter Syndrome head-on. As the coach for humanitarian entrepreneurs, Tiffany helps activists have their own thriving business that makes an impact in the world with freedom and without burnout. Find out how Tiffany made the leap on Search and Replace.

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[00:00:00] Announcer: Support for the following podcast is provided by the user experience specialist at Johns and Taylor. More information follows this episode. 

[00:00:10] Joe Taylor, Jr.: What if the job you are passionate about pays so little, you may never clear your student loans. I’m Joe Taylor, Jr. This is Search and Replace.

The great resignation, the great reconfiguration, the great re-skilling. Economic pundits have been putting fancy names on a trend we’ve watched since the start of the pandemic. Frustrated with low wages or with poor working conditions, as many as half of American workers thought about switching jobs sometime in the past year. That’s according to researchers at Willis, Towers, Watson. 

What’s different these days is there’s an environment where prospective job switchers can talk to each other via social media for support and information. But it wasn’t that way when Tiffany Moore thought about whether she had made a good career choice. 

[00:01:04] Tiffany Moore: I had started end of 2007 and I landed a position where I was working in the criminal justice system. So I was working with clients who were at risk of becoming involved in the criminal justice system, who are actively involved, from misdemeanors, felonies, through probation, parole. And really, it was very rewarding position but it was extremely draining.

I was there for 10 years. It was just going to be, oh well, I’m going to start this and I’m gonna get into grad school and then I’m out. And then that, that did not happen. Like, it does not always work like that. 

[00:01:42] Joe Taylor, Jr.: Tiffany found herself a whole decade into a high profile career, but with a mountain of student debt and no obvious opportunity for financial security.

[00:01:52] Tiffany Moore: So I started to really try to figure out what’s the next step for me. I had now completed school, was completely burned out after grad school. And then, you know, student loans hit. And it was like, okay, this wasn’t so much a problem before, because they were in deferment. But now I have been in school for so long and I am now considered real working. Even though I’m in the same position I have all of the student loan debt.

And so I was trying to figure out how am I gonna pay this? Cuz I was, I’m just making it before in a nonprofit space and what am I gonna do? So I’m working multiple jobs and I was in a very professional position in front of judges, in front of these high power attorneys, by day but screaming, toilets as a janitor at night. I’m like, this is, you know, and I’m exhausted and I’m just super sick and burned out all the time. So that’s really what I was like. Okay. Where do I go from here? 

[00:02:55] Joe Taylor, Jr.: Even in 2017, Tiffany understood she couldn’t risk letting her burnout get any worse. And she also recognized that despite the importance she placed on the work she was doing, she needed to find a way to make enough money to start living well. 

[00:03:10] Tiffany Moore: I had an opportunity to shift gears and get out of the system, the criminal justice system, working with offenders. Because I’m like, okay, this has been 10 years. And I think that’s just the issue. And so I started and pivoted to a different, through a different lens. And I was like, okay, this is gonna be it. This is gonna fix it all. Cuz we all are chasing those greener pastures of this is gonna fix it all. And it didn’t. 

I just remember sitting down with the COO, one of the vice presidents, and another supervisor of the organization and they’re like, okay, so what are you doing? And I’m like, oh yeah, I’m gonna be a consultant. And they’re just looking at me. They were just, like, are you crazy? What are you doing? I’m like, oh, I’m absolutely terrified. But I feel it, my bones that this is what I’m supposed to do. When you are in the consulting field, you are able to do what really lights you up and for the causes that you really care about, for the money that you know, that you’re worth. 

[00:04:15] Joe Taylor, Jr.: As a consultant, Tiffany hopped onto a growing trend of global workers who strive for jobs that make a significant social impact without resigning themselves to the sometimes stifling structure where the traditionally low wages of legacy charity organizations. Before long, she found herself coaching other socially minded entrepreneurs who wanted to strike a stronger balance between their work and their incomes.

[00:04:41] Tiffany Moore: Going into the humanitarian entrepreneur space, the first approach is clarifying your passion, really looking at your strengths, looking at your weaknesses. What lights you up? What do you dread doing? I think the biggest thing is like having people understand that it’s about empowerment for choice, for knowing that the world doesn’t have to be… your life, doesn’t have to be linear. It doesn’t have to be one way. You’re able to create a life that you are super passionate about, doing the things that you want to do to change the world and empower others. You can do that on your own terms.

[00:05:19] Joe Taylor, Jr.: Tiffany says there’s a common thread among frustrated nonprofit workers. It’s the combination of a falsehood that impactful work doesn’t pay well. And the notion that many burned out professionals allow imposter syndrome to rob them of a chance at earning higher incomes. 

[00:05:35] Tiffany Moore: I think that imposter syndrome, it happens to everyone no matter what walk of life you are. I think that people are like, okay, once I just hit this level then it’s all going to dissipate and that’s not true. People still get nervous no matter what level you are. But nervousness is actually it’s excitement. If you just it’s just a shift of your thought. It’s really caring about what you’re doing.

So imposter syndrome, and I see this a lot with the nonprofit space because in charity work in general. You’re constantly told you’re not enough. You’re not good enough to get the money, whether that is individually as an employee or as an organization, everything is super, super micromanaged financially from grant organizations or grants and other organizations that are doing the lending, the government and all these things. There’s this constant theory that you’re not good enough. So, I mean, although everyone experiences imposter syndrome to one degree or another there’s even more so when you’re in a nonprofit space. 

[00:06:45] Joe Taylor, Jr.: That’s humanitarian entrepreneur, Tiffany Moore. We’ve got links to Tiffany’s course for other nonprofit job switchers and to all of her other projects over on our website at Today’s episode was produced by Nicole Hubbard with help from the entire Podcast Taxi team. I’m Joe Taylor, Jr. 

[00:07:04] Announcer: This has been a Podcast Taxi radio production. 

Support for Search and Replace is provided by Johns and Taylor, user experience specialists serving media and technology companies that want their websites to work. Learn more about how top performing businesses eliminate barriers between customers and their goals at

Joe Taylor Jr. has produced stories about media, technology, entertainment, and personal finance for over 25 years. His work has been featured on NPR, CNBC, Financial Times Television, and ABC News. After launching one of public radio's first successful digital platforms, Joe helped dozens of client companies launch or migrate their online content libraries. Today, Joe serves as a user experience consultant for a variety of Fortune 500 and Inc. 5000 businesses. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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