To add yet another experience to our bucketload of randomness here in Melbourne, Diana and I worked as "Wilderness Defenders" for The Wilderness Society (TWS), which is an Australian nonprofit that is independently run and gives a "voice" to the forests, oceans, and wildlife of this country.
Wait, maybe I should back up and tell you the full story of how we even got the job. When Diana and I were doing our first Friday Funday a couple weeks ago, we wrote at the bottom of our poster, "p.s. We are looking for jobs!" A guy from TWS approached us and asked if we really needed jobs and if we'd be interested in doing fundraising. Red flag. Usually those jobs are commission-based and involve a lot of rejection. The TWS guy then told us it was base PLUS commission and involved being on the streets talking to people (mind you, these are the people I avoided back home by crossing to the other side of the street if I saw them...). But again, we chalked it down to a new experience.
After a day of training, memorizing random facts ("Sir, did you know that 92% of Australia's forests have been destroyed since Europeans settled here and that one CBD is destroyed weekly?!"), and practicing our pitches ("Who loves the wilderness?! THIS GIRL!! Do YOU love the wilderness?!"), we hit the streets yesterday. Twenty minutes into our shift, Diana and I signed on a Kiwi and made our first commission.
We spent four hours being ridiculous and making people smile. "Hey sir, are you a superhero?..."No"...well would you like to be?!" There was a lot of rejection involved, too. Overall, I learned something important: I LOVE building rapport and entertaining people, but I do NOT like direct sales. I think the best part is that this job opened our eyes to different types of people and helped us to better understand them. For instance, maybe when I get back home I won't intentionally cross the street to avoid them but actually have a conversation with them. It's people like this that keep those nonprofits going. Supposedly 90 percent of their funding comes from signing on members just like we did yesterday.
And as it turns out, we only were Wilderness Defenders for a day. We were offered a new job for next week...stay tuned! This new job fulfills another one of my life goals!!