Off to Montreal to find some Kindred Spirits
24 Friday Feb 2012
This weekend I leave town for a work trip to Montreal … yes, a work trip to Montreal! Sorry, I had to say it twice because it’s actually very rare for me these days to go anywhere other than to Greater Vancouver or up Vancouver Island for work and I’m just a little excited about it.
I hope someday that I’ll get to travel more for work (as in “Yes, I’d love to go to Santa Fe to facilitate a workshop at your creative retreat!”) and will put this intention out to where it needs to go. For now though, going to Montreal is absolutely perfect. I’m actually revelling in it.
I’m heading to La belle province for an incredible opportunity to get together with all the people who do what I do at volunteer centres across Canada. I know I haven’t talked about it here in this space yet (other than in my bio, if you got that far) but for the past almost six years I’ve been working part time managing the training program at Volunteer Victoria. That means that every year I work with dozens of facilitators to coordinate dozens of training workshops for people who work and volunteer at nonprofits across the Greater Victoria area and beyond. And yes, I facilitate some of those workshops too!
This work for me has always been a labour of love that I just happen to get paid for. I get paid to stand up in front of classrooms and engage participants in great ideas and possibilities. I experience daily the thrill of supporting people to learn what they need to to help their organizations become stronger and serve their clients more effectively. I am lucky enough to be able to network all the time with tons of people who have strong community values who are doing great and passionate work.
In fact, working in the nonprofit sector and doing what I do has truly shaped, over the last six years, who I am now and what I love to do. Not only do I get to organize great workshops every year but I get to speak to hundreds of people every year about volunteering. And, like a brick to the head, I realized in 2010 that I had been inspiring people to volunteer for years and my message – when it came right down to it – was do what you love. People! Especially when it comes to volunteering (but for paid work too, right?) do what you love.
And so I thought to myself last year, if I can motivate all these hundreds of people every year to volunteer, and get them all pumped up about doing what they were passionate about and what that could look like and show them that they could do it their own way and get what they wanted and help the organization too … then I could do that with people around other topics too. And that’s when I started this business. And so, I wear two hats.
This weekend I’m putting on my training manager hat and going to connect with people doing what I do – manage training programs and facilitate training workshops. And boy, do I ever hope I find a lot of people in the room who love what they do as much as I do. Kindred spirits unite!