So what exactly do you do?
How many of us hear that question often in the course of our business and private lives? This is a question I hear often, mostly because I have an atypical work situation, complete with an atypical work week schedule that makes every week unlike other weeks. People find out I have been traveling for multiple days “for work.” “Where did you go?” they ask. It is always a different answer; Bemidji, Fargo, Atlanta, North Dakota, California, Wyoming, or even Red Lake Falls, MN. Not to be confused with International Falls, MN (it’s really cold there in the winter) or Frostbite Falls, MN (town motto: “Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here”), made famous on the “Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.”
By the way, I think I read that 43% of Minnesota towns have that same town motto.
So exactly what do I do? Here is a peak behind the curtain, so to speak, on the current iteration of my career. By the way, I love my work!
By profession I am a type of corporate trainer, who work is also mixed with some consulting work and process facilitation. And sometimes some public speaking that is not training. And other stuff. Having left the mental health services world after a nearly twelve-year stint (longest single career field in my life), I started a company. The company, Level 5 Services is a provider of training, facilitation, and consultation services in the upper Midwest region. Located in northwestern Minnesota, Level 5 Services serves the healthcare, social service, law enforcement, faith-based, and education sectors with live, interactive training products and services. Most of what I do is done in community and business settings; schools, clinics, colleges, churches, business and industries are my most common venues.
Many of the topics on which I assist these various sectors of the community are related to mental health and crisis response. Mental health identification for people who interact with the public is a common topic, as are adverse childhood experiences (“ACEs,” or childhood trauma), verbal crisis de-escalation, and accommodation of mental health disabilities in the educational and work settings.
There are other topic areas as well. Operational security practices for people in the community, in the home, or in an office or school setting is a part of my work. This includes consulting on security issues and practices, and how to increase safety when difficult or violent interactions are imminent. Managing stress and building personal resilience is a topic on which I am asked to speak often. How to engage younger generations – Generations Y and Z – is also one I am asked to speak on often.
The topic areas on which I write for this blog come out of an area of passion for me, and that is spiritual growth and how we can increase our intimacy and union with our God. Besides writing on this, I speak on it often, either for special events or for churches needing a speaker. This actually keeps me busy as I am out in the region speaking to faith-based organizations nearly 30 times each year. I enjoy it immensely.
If you have read my blog posts over time, you will remember that I am highly invested in a conversational relationship with our God. I believe that our God is speaking to people daily, and if we do not notice His speaking it is likely because we are far to busy and distracted. Because I experience His speaking regularly, the process of preparing for speaking to faith-based groups is mostly one of listening for His leading and following that leading while speaking. Every event is an adventure in hearing and bringing forward the words God intends for that group. Kinda fun!
One part of my work portfolio is very important to me. That is the suicide prevention work I do around NW Minnesota and other parts of the state. In my next post, I will unpack what this work is and why it is so important to me personally.
Did I mention that I love my work? Every day! Stay tuned!
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