As Monday was a civic holiday here in Manitoba, I decided to publish this week’s Mentor Monday article on Tuesday (the first work day).
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Vicki Olatundun is the executive director at Anna’s House, a family resource center located in Steinbach Manitoba. Vicki refers to herself as a Social Justice Warrior. During our interview she explains that she absolutely loves her job. In her own words, ‘I do not go to work, because I absolutely love what I do’. I completely adore her attitude to her work. Her love for people and desire to help others is very refreshing. To describe Vicki several adjectives come to mind; powerful, influential, kind, assertive compassionate, hardworking, the list goes on.
Vicki and I met at a TEDX event in Manitoba a couple of months ago. I walked into the lobby where everyone was standing in various circles networking and picked a corner where a few people had been sitting quietly. I figured that starting to talk to those few people there would not be as overwhelming an experience as diving right in. I sat down and introduced myself to a lady who was seated beside me. While we sat there and talked, a very energetic lady bursts into the lobby and says hello then goes on to ask what everyone was doing. We explain to her that we were trying to fill out our Networking Bingo as a strategy to socialize. I cringed saying how unnerving it felt to walk up to complete strangers and ask them to sign my bingo. She laughs saying it’s no big deal. Before I know it Vicki has walked up to a circle of people, stretched out her hand and the networking began. My new friend and I got off the couch and followed suit.
At break, I walked up to Vicki and we began talking, getting acquainted with each other. She told me a few very intriguing things about her job at the family resource center. Just from the way she spoke about it, anyone could tell she is very passionate about her job. She truly believes in her cause. When someone so strongly believes in something, it’s definitely worth listening to. The story that stole my heart was about a new facility that she and her team were renovating. As a non-profit organization, Anna’s House did not have funding for the renovation to be done yet this was crucial to re-branding the resource center, as was Vicki’s plan for Anna’s House. What impressed me so much was that most of the renovation was done with absolutely no funding. At our Sunday meeting Vicki repeatedly stated, ‘be nice to people’ because it is through knowing people and appreciating them that they will be there for you when you need them. From this one story I was certain that Vicki had a lot more to share. I knew I could learn something from her, we all can. It is for this reason that this month we will be mentored and inspired by none other than Vicki who believe me, has the most realistic tips that will change your life and have you earnestly following your deepest passion.
Stay tuned this month to receive pockets full of career wisdom and lifestyle tips.
Until next week Monday, have a terrific Tuesday!