Virginia Lawrence, Impresario and Connector Extradordinaire

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My name is Virginia Lawrence.  I have been “creatively detouring” my entire life and I am excited that these two special words are now coming to life. Creative Detourism was built for my fellow Peer Supporters to provide a network of resources, guides, and advice to help anyone create the perfect toolkit to take their career to the next level, a new level or a to place they never thought of.

So why is this so important to me?  Simple, devastation and frustration.  It was not in the cards that my life’s phenomenal trajectory would come to a screeching halt and I would fall back to earth with a THUD!  But it did and over the course of 7 years of hard work, dark places, and memories lost I crawled into a shaky form of recovery only to find the world had really changed. This was a world that I did not recognize nor did I know if I fit in.

However, I was still intelligent, witty, networked and talented and the best part was all of these unique parts of me were clear and refreshed.  This is the gift that recovery gives everyone – the ability to tap into the talents you have, you did not know you have and the ability to develop more.  I wanted to contribute but I did not know how to find my way.  I blamed the fact there were no jobs and no one wanted me but in reality I did not know who I was.  I needed to rediscover my goals but doing that takes working with others who are not “struggling” or need to “vent” but want to “push” and “drive” forward.  I looked for a job the old fashioned way for awhile but soon discovered that Peer Supporters are not really encouraged to become the people we counsel our peers to be.  Though we assist others to make a real plan to achieve their goals, I never found an organized system for us to do the same that is innovative and inspiring.

I pulled my forces together, begin calling in some superheroes from both inside and outside our field, contacted my fellow consultants, leading talent development members of the most innovative companies, and even some of the hundreds of students I have placed when I was Professor (they had a lot of opinions).  We never allowed ourselves to talk about what was happening in the past or what is happening right now, we talked about what was happening the future.  Peer support is founded on person centered principles and Creative Detourism is as well – the person is you.

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