Jane Chen has helped saved hundreds of thousands of lives—and she’s not even an MD.
She’s the co-founder of Embrace, an infant warmer that’s a cheaper alternative to traditional incubators. Thus far, it’s helped developing countries that can’t afford the typical hospital equipment save more than 150,000 babies’ lives all over the globe (and has gotten backing from Beyonce, no big deal).
Chen’s passion for making a difference became a job she loved getting up for every day, and her enthusiasm rallies others. For example, for Little Lotus, a swaddle and blanket that regulates babies’ temperatures, she tapped Drue Kataoka for the artwork. It’s also adorned with hand tracings from Stella McCartney, Heidi Klum, and Christy Turlington.
“I have been so lucky in my life—I wanted to use my opportunities to help others,” she says. And part of that is helping inspire others do the same—especially if making your job your passion is something you’ve been wracking your brain over.
Here are Chen’s 3 career tips that will help you find your calling, and start changing the world.
1. Don’t take “no” for an answer. “If you put your mind to something, anything is possible,” says Chen, who worked with the Clinton Foundation’s HIV/AIDS Initiative in Tanzania before starting Embrace.
“I learned to find ways around challenges or stumbling blocks,” Chen says. “If social good is your goal, let nothing stop you. The help is out there. Stick with your vision, and do what you’re passionate about.”
2. Make time to clear your mind. Chen does yoga regularly, and recently started surfing. She also tries to meditate on a daily basis. “It’s critical to make the time to clear your mind, and be in stillness. It makes me a happier person, and helps me to be in touch with my intuition,” says Chen.
3. Reflect on your successes. When you’ve got your head down making moves in your career, it’s hard not to wonder, “Are we there yet?!” In those moments, Chen recommends looking back on what you’ve accomplished thus far. “There was one baby, Nathan, who was tiny, born just under two pounds, and abandoned on the side of the road in Beijing just after his birth,” she says.
He was found by a nearby orphanage that swaddled Nathan in an Embrace Warmer for thirty days. “Thanks to the warmer, and some loving care, this vulnerable, hypothermic infant survived,” Chen says. “Months later, I got a letter from Nathan’s new, adoptive family in Chicago thanking me for the role the Embrace Warmer played in his life. The letter moved me to tears.” —Molly Gallagher