the game

How I chose meaning over money
Posted by Christina Greenwood Barlow, Conservation careers
Thu January 31st at 12:00am 6 comments

I have loved animals since I was small and wanted to do something with my life to save them, but somehow I got swept up into a management job in a huge company. What I knew of saving animals then is what we all see from the outside – the khaki outfits, the sweaty, scientific expeditions through steamy jungles to find rare and new species. It’s hard to see a way in from outside, and jobs seem as rare some of those species. Though I’d developed some great skills and experience over years of hard work in my corporate job, I thought that surely I’d have to retrain and become a biologist or a vet. How would I make the move from corporate to conservation?

A magical trip to a tiger-filled jungle in Nepal showed me a glimpse of another life, and how could I go about changing my own. I took the chance to work on a project in Kenya and found out that my skills were not only valuable but also scarce in nature conservation. It was a great realisation, and I leapt. I leapt from the safety of my known world into a new field, into an unknown country, into the promise of adventure. Into zero salary but into 100% meaning. It was one of the scariest things I’d ever done, but I knew it was right. 

There were five of us and we started to create together: we built relationships, ideas, energy, and trust. We paved a path through an unchartered territory to find solutions, and to make it easier for others to join and come after us to grow and multiply our impact.

That I am still part of this amazing work five years later still amazes me; I mean, who’d have thought that I’d be helping to save animals as cool as tigers! I feel lucky yet I know that this was my choice. A simple choice really – money or meaning. Anyone can do it.  All it takes is that first leap.


Its really amazing that Christina is working for wild animals of our earth. It would be a great pleasure for me if I could get opportunity to work along with Wild Team.Its a devine job and Christina is doing the same. Wish her every success in this noble work.

Posted by Zaweed Sheul, Wed September 3rd at 08:17pm

nice to know that someone tried to move his type of job & was successful..thats grate . i am highly motivated. Let i should try harder to change job type. that may not be a job .a service. .from corporate to nature..

Posted by Dedar Ahmed Dedar, Sat September 21st at 02:06am

Dear Christina Greenwood Barlow, thank you very much for sharing your story and experience. Its a great inspiration for me. I am a Banker (in Bangladesh) but I love nature, want to work for conservation of nature. I hope that I would be able to leap like you. Pray for me.

Posted by Muminul Islam, Tue September 17th at 11:38pm

Very motivational and very much appreciated. Salutes.

Posted by Rezwanur Rakib Chowdhury, Mon September 16th at 09:38pm

Really, the story inspired me as well as shows the way of meaningful life over money. Salute to her choice.

Posted by FARUK RAHAMAN, Sun July 28th at 10:24am

It really makes me feel good that you choose meaning than money. I appreciate your feelings towards tiger conservation.simply it was a daunting task.In NKC I have found you as a resource person.I am a vet and I too have compassion for wild creatures.

Wish you all the best,Christina.

Posted by Sanjoy Bhattacherjee, Tue May 7th at 10:20pm

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