20 Under 40: Melanie Kilpatrick provides creative drive for Craig
During typical working hours, Melanie Kilpatrick serves the City of Craig as an administrative assistant, though a different role she serves is by heading the Northwest Colorado Arts Council.
Balancing office work with creative endeavors is a job in itself, though it’s one Kilpatrick enjoys for the many ways she can help shape the area.
In your chosen career field, how has the job evolved since you first began?
My chosen career field has been very fluid which in itself is somewhat evolutionary. Embracing multiple intelligences allows me to simultaneously contribute and grow as a mother, an executive administrative assistant for the City of Craig, an artist, and leader with the Northwest Colorado Arts Council.
How do you feel your line of work is different from someone in a similar job a generation before you?
I’m not sure the line of work is necessarily different but perhaps more the approach and processes. The generation prior to me in my line of work did the best they could do with the skills and tools they had, and I’m doing the same today.
What kind of challenges do you feel like you and your coworkers will face in the next decade?
The biggest challenge is relevant to Craig and the economic impacts we will face over the next decade. There is economic prosperity in rural arts, there is value in working hard, there is benefit in approaching problems with a creative, positive and solutions-focused mindset.
What is the most rewarding part of your job on a day-to-day basis?
The most rewarding part of my job is putting forth nothing but 100% of effort, time, energy and integrity into this community. Being able to honor Craig’s authenticity and yet being able to apply an innovative approach is fulfilling throughout my various involvements.
If you hadn’t gone down your particular career path, what else would you have liked to do with your life?
This question kind of assumes I took a linear approach to my career path, which I simply didn’t and probably never will. I’m not one to think that just because I chose to do this that it limits me in trying something new. I’ve studied education, visual arts, healthcare, business, and going forward I’ll continue apply myself as multi-faceted helper.
How do you feel your work-life balance differs from those of your parents/grandparents?
Work-life balance is one of my biggest challenges to manage. I like to assume that my grandparents didn’t subscribe to the glorification of busy like we often fall trap to today. It’s just so tricky sometimes, as I am always bustling with new ideas plus I’m not always the best at delegating or saying no — I’m a work in progress.
How do you feel everyday life is better or worse in 2020 with certain technology shifts?
Modern technology, like most everything else has its pros and cons. On one hand technology elevates our connections and ability to communicate yet it can also be so disconnecting. Technology can easily demand our constant attention so it can be challenging to consciously unplug at times. I try to remain mindful of not letting technology distract from meaningful, in-person engagements and interactions.
What kind of strengths or weaknesses do you believe your generation brings to your career field?
I don’t typically reflect on strengths and weaknesses in terms of generation as too often, I think overgeneralized generational stereotypes are assumed. Our diversity becomes divisive instead of a catalyst to engage in and create dynamic work.
How do you feel your generation fits into Moffat County’s future?
I honestly fail to see how I fit into the world from a generational standpoint — my true allegiance rests with the creatives/the doers/the makers. I relate with the outside-the-box creative problem solvers, and fortunately for us, this asset isn’t confined by a generational cohort. Big, innovative ideas exist within our youth population and span through our senior population. The secret is to openly and actively listen. Moffat County’s future is for everyone and our future will depend on everyone’s ability to collaboratively work together.
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