I often get asked questions about what I do and what my work looks like, so this post covers some of those questions and my responses. Feel free to ask me anything that I’ve missed in the comments, and I’ll address those in a future post.
Q: What are the core services of your business?
A: First and foremost, I’m a trainer and facilitator. I facilitate workshops on topics mostly related to managing volunteers. My clients are associations and organizations, networks of people, conferences, and volunteer centres who bring me in to deliver workshops for their member organizations. My other areas of focus for training and facilitation work is teaching people how to teach online (as I also have a background in online learning) and event management – something I have done for almost my whole career, particularly relating to educational events.
I also do consulting work in both of the topics above – volunteer management and online learning and facilitation. Additionally, I take on writing, editing, instructional design and curriculum development work from time to time.
Q: Do you only work in Greater Victoria, or do you travel for your business?
A: I actually do both. I’m happy that local organizations, associations and the volunteer centre regularly engage me in work, but I do travel outside of Victoria as asked to offer training in other places and I love this part of my work.
Q: What sets you apart from other trainers?
A: Well first of all I have many years of experience working in higher education and community-based education and I’ve seen and learned from hundreds of other instructors and trainers during that time. I know what works and what doesn’t, and what works is interactive training which centres around not only my experience but also the experience of the participants in the room. This is why I like to use the word “facilitator” more often than “trainer” – I don’t just dump content into people’s heads.
I’ve also taken formal education (a graduate degree) in adult education – unlike perhaps many trainers who are simply subject matter experts. I consider myself to be a subject matter expert in my subjects – volunteer management and online education – and also am a trained adult education professional so I know what good facilitation looks like. I consider myself a lifelong learner in the craft of facilitation.
Q: What are your fees associated with your services?
A: I have different fees depending on what services you require, so it’s best to send me an email to ask me to quote you based on what it is you’re looking for and where and when the work is to take place. I can tell you that I offer competitive rates that fit into most non-profits’ affordability ranges.
Q: Someone told me you do graphic recording work, is that still true?
A: While I took a course in graphic recording in 2012 and have done some volunteer work in this area I don’t take on clients either on a paid or volunteer basis for this type of work anymore. However, I do use graphic skills occasionally in my own training and facilitation work, particularly using graphic templates as teaching tools.
If you’re looking for a graphic recorder I can refer you to a couple of local people who do great work in that area.
Q: What does a typical day look like for you?
A: I’m a morning person so a typical day these days is an early morning alarm around 5:15 and doing some work at my computer before the rest of the household wakes up. I get ready for work and take my daughter to school. I have a part-time job right now that I am on contract for until June 2014 (volunteer management and online course development for training volunteers), so I typically then spend 5 hours a day there four days a week. I pick up my daughter from school and have family time until early evening. After my daughter’s bedtime I relax, hang out with my husband, do housework, read, watch TV, and often work for another hour or so on my business activities before I call it a day. On my fifth day each week I usually do activities for my own business. It’s pretty full-on but having a business and part-time work allows me the flexibility to create the family life that works for me.