how’s work going?

If you think I have been holding out on what I do at work – you’re correct.  I’d promised myself that I would spend the first 3 months in “observation mode” as much as possible.  Leaning the ropes, figuring out the lay of the land.  Not doing the “go-go-go” method of starting a new “job” in a new environment.

a goofy moment at the office - Greg, Boubakari, Caroline and Abel

The three months have come and gone.

I’m still doing a lot of observing, but it’s more active and the “doing” started a while ago – carefully, slowly and strategically.

What I’ve learned so far about my partner organization is that 90% of our day-to-day activities focus on managing some 100 national volunteers, scattered all over the Far North , who work in either education planning, teaching,  or with the communes (local government).  Lucky for me, VSO assigned another international volunteer to work in this area.

My actual placement is more in strengthening the structure of the organization – i.e. internal management and office functioning – and, hopefully, one day soon, developing more health related programs. After all, this is the organization’s primary mandate. For now, my days are filled with drafting internal procedures for managing the office, wrangling with the finances and dealing with human resources issues. So in this, I cannot hide my disappointment.  Not my most enjoyable cup of tea – but a necessary one.

The upside of course is that in the coming months, we’ll be working on developing programs and strategies in health-related efforts – dealing primarily with HIV-AIDS as well as malaria prevention and other “opportunistic” diseases that wreak havoc on the population of the Extreme North.  It’s a great opportunity to be involved in developing programs from the ground up.  And as a frequent sufferer of “starters-itis”, this will be a great fit.

poking out from my "box" - it's a corner office even!

There is also a lot of leeway for me to explore ways to bring coaching-approaches into my placement.  I have quite a few things up my sleeve right now, and all will be revealed when they get off the ground.  But it’s exciting.  I’m so glad that I’m working with a partner that is open – open to change, to new ideas, to creative opportunities.  In this, we’re getting along quite well.

Another great aspect of my “work life” is that I have taken advantage of many opportunities to connect with other HIV-AIDS organizations and programs, as well as others in the area of women’s advancement.  The synergies and willingness of organizations in the sector to work together is exemplary.  In the months to come, I know I will get knee deep in many new interesting projects – no one ever says no to an extra pair of willing hands!

Much to my delight, all of this “observation mode” work has lead to a flurry of inspiration for my coaching blog.  So many new experiences, so many new ideas – I’m filled with bursting.  In that alone, and in only 3 months or so, I feel successful.  And much delighted.

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~ by Caroline Spira on February 7, 2010.

One Response to “how’s work going?”

  1. Courage, Nous sommes ensemble, je pense à vous tous les jours.

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