Every Thursday at noon our community comes together to hear the stories, lessons and advice from members who have something to share.
Last week Hubbers Amy Longard, Camille Labchuk and Shannon Milling gave a Brown Bag Lunch talk about their journeys towards finding careers that aligned with their values.
Here’s what we learned.
Amy Longard, plant based chef and nutritionist
Amy “gave up” a financially secure career in government to learn how to be chef and a nutritionist. She had discovered that a plant-based diet made her feel healthier and happier, and she wanted to help people benefit from the same positive effects she had experienced.
As a newbie chef she worried that choosing not to cook with animal products would mean fewer opportunities. What she discovered was that making that choice was the best decision she could possibly make. “I very rarely have to step out of my comfort zone anymore” she explained, “I was worried that by calling myself plant based I would open myself up to stigma, but in the end it actually propelled my career.
I created a niche for myself and become an expert in that niche and on top of everything have found a supportive community of likeminded business owners and individuals who share my values”.
Amy’s advice? Do what you believe in and what you love. Create your niche and own it.
Camille Labchuk, animal rights lawyer and Executive Director of Animal Justice
Camille was on track to be a clinical psychologist. But she got involved in the Green Party and started wondering what more she could do, so became interested in animal advocacy. “People in Canada think that we are a nation that cares about animals,” says Camille, “what they don’t realise is that we have some of the worst animal laws in the world”.
At the time no one was legally defending the rights of animals here in Canada so Camille decided to go to law school, even though she had no real career prospects. When she was finishing her degree she interviewed at a few firms and government offices but her heart wasn’t in it, and they could tell. She didn’t get any of those jobs, and the truth was she didn’t want them. A few weeks later she was speaking at the Toronto Food Veg Fest and was approached by vegan lawyers who offered her an articling job as they shared her desire to help animals.
Today, Animal Justice is Canada’s leading animal law organisation and Camille has made a name for herself as an animal rights lawyer.
Camille’s advice? Realise that there is nothing more powerful than doing something that you believe in. That authenticity that everyone is looking for nowadays will shine through. Do what you know is right, put yourself out there, be part of the community. The rest will follow.
Shannon Milling, Communications Specialist at Animal Justice & Founder at Faunapparel
Shannon had always been disturbed by animal farms and became first vegetarian and then vegan. Once she realised how easy it was to help animals simply by not eating them she started looking for opportunities to do more. She began by giving out flyers and volunteering for PETA, but after graduating with a Journalism degree from University wasn’t sure what career path to take.
She really wanted to align her work with her values but had no experience, it felt like there were two versions of herself, the activist and her low-key self. Along the way she learned how to make and edit videos, got her sister to teach her some graphic design skills and learned more about photography. But it wasn’t until she organised an anti-fur protest that everything finally came together. Shannon knew that Camille, who she admired, would be at the protest and made sure to stand next to her. When they got talking Camille mentioned that Animal Justice was hiring someone to help with their communications.
Today she couldn’t be happier in her role at Animal Justice where she gets to use all the skills she picked up just because she enjoyed doing things.
Shannon’s advice? Do what you love, volunteer for causes you care about, learn things you are interested in, even if they don’t fit into a plan. You never know what skills you might end up needing.
Want to join one of our upcoming Brown Bag Lunches? Check out our events calendar here!
The work carried out by Amy Longard and Animal Justice in Ottawa is contributing to the following Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):