What It’s Like To Work At Day One

Day One is extremely passionate about creating a workplace that is healthy, inclusive, and enjoyable for our staff. My name is Lisa, and I am Day One’s current HR & Operations Intern. I can tell you firsthand that Day One has done such a great job at making this a positive internship experience for me. One of my favorite things I’ve done so far is writing this blog post. I had the wonderful opportunity of asking some of Day One’s employees what they enjoy most about their jobs. Here’s what they had to say:

Why did you decide to join our organization?

“What attracted me to work here was my interest in working with youth. Knowing that this job would require me to work both in an office and at a school is what sparked my interest.”  -D, RAPP Coordinator

“I believe Day One is very unique because of the population we serve. My own thoughts and beliefs aligned with Day One’s mission and values and I decided to apply for the paralegal position since I am interested in the legal field. I also previously worked at other victim service organizations and wanted to expand my knowledge in this field.” -M, Paralegal

“I wanted a job that would allow me to do creative work with writing and design that would also have a social impact! I am passionate about gender equity in particular and was really excited to work with Day One on social issues.” -A, Communications and Development Coordinator

How would you describe Day One’s culture?

“I would say it’s focused on trying to build community. There are a lot of community building and staff meetings that I enjoy at the end of the week.“      -D, RAPP Coordinator

“While I’m not in the office much, when I am there, more recently, it feels good to be in the space. I think when you are working with a population that experiences high rates of violence, it’s important to make a great deal of space for celebrations, silliness, and joy. Day One is in a period of deep reflection and planning about the kind of culture we can co-create and sustain and that feels hopeful and exciting.”  -S, RAPP Coordinator

“Day One’s staff members find importance in building community, the Good Times Committee is an example of that. The Good Times Committee plans events with staff members to come together and practice self-care, community building, and like stated in the name, having a good time. These events help give staff members who usually don’t interact with one another due to their job responsibilities an opportunity to get to know one another.” -M, Paralegal

“Everyone is really friendly and collaborative with each other, which I really appreciate. Everybody is willing to learn.”

-N, Program Operations Coordinator

How would you describe a typical workday?

“The work is dynamic and changes a lot. Most days involve client interaction or following up with an active case. Some days I will have coalition meetings with other lawyers, case preparations for upcoming court appearances, or meetings with other members of the legal team to strategize. Things pop up, clients will reach out with an unexpected issue that I have to carve out time for.”     -C, Staff Attorney

“It’s a bit chaotic when I’m working in the school. I get a period of time in the morning when I’m free, but after that, I see students back to back. I’ll usually stay after school in case students want to come in to talk about things they didn’t get to during the day.”  -D, RAPP Coordinator

“I am usually at my desk most of the time, but I spend my time answering emails, updating social media and the website, crafting emails, and generally keeping on top of Day One’s brand and fundraising tasks!” -A, Communications and Development Coordinator

“Ha, there is no typical workday. Some days I have 6-7 back to back sessions and toss in a crisis. Some days, clients won’t show up and I get to catch up on paperwork, hang out with peer leaders, and plan fun events. What is consistent is that students always want to be in my office. I work hard to hold a nuanced boundary with them about the space; when I need it for a crisis, clinically, or when it’s open for socialization and peer support. It helps that the students are really, mostly respectful of me, our space and their peers. They know at the core what the RAPP program does and join in honoring the space.”  -S, RAPP Coordinator

“Every day is different, if we have any court dates coming up then I assist Day One’s attorneys in court case related stuff. I am usually the first person that new clients come into contact with. We receive referrals from different organizations and also through Day One’s helpline. I reach out to service seekers and complete an intake form and schedule appointments for them to meet with one of our attorneys.  There are also other non-legal areas that I can help clients with, such as assisting them in applying for an NYC ID or helping them get an ITIN number.” -M, Paralegal

What’s your favorite benefit that Day One offers?

“Time off. I think that having so many vacation and sick days gives me the opportunity to take time for myself to avoid burnout. I am meeting with clients experiencing trauma so it’s great to take a day for myself when I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. “  

-C, Staff Attorney

“Vacation and Sick Days. We are given a good amount and I like that they increase. I never experience the feeling of a deficit which gives me the space to plan accordingly for self-care and take days when I need them and not to hoard them. I know if I’m sick, it’s ok to stay home and actually get better without fear that I won’t have enough days or I’ll be judged. It takes supervisors and leadership trusting their staff for this to work and I think Day One embodies that.”            -S, RAPP Coordinator

“Young people these days prefer to receive a text message rather than a phone call or email, we always ask our clients what their preferred method of contact is and the majority prefer text messages. I find it easier to text our clients especially since some of them are in school or working and they can text back whenever they are available. Since I use an app on my phone to text clients, I find the mobile stipend to be a useful benefit for me.“ -M, Paralegal

What is the most meaningful part of your job?

“When a client’s case closes and they are able to get the legal remedy they came here for. Those moments where clients get to walk away from the process and they feel safer are the most meaningful to me.”  -C, Staff Attorney

“The most meaningful part of my job is the work I do with survivors. Having space, literally, figuratively and clinically, to sit with clients while they process their experiences and begin to heal from their traumas is what motivates me to show up to work every day.“   -S, RAPP Coordinator

“It takes a lot of courage for our clients to seek help from organizations like Day One. I have seen clients walk into our doors in a very vulnerable state due to the different traumas that they have faced. During our meetings, I start noticing how they are slowly gaining back their confidence and self-reliance. Seeing clients manifest their own reassurance is something very admirable to witness.”  -M, Paralegal

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