The number one thing I’m looking for in a new job is integrity.
A few of you are likely reading that and nodding your head. It seems like a good choice. Except it doesn’t mean only what most people think it does. For me, integrity is about far more than simply the personal integrity of my bosses. In fact, that isn’t even the biggest part.
First and foremost, I need to know there’s the integrity of the mandate. I need to know there is a clear link between the actions of the Department and the outcomes they are trying to achieve. A plausible connection that they can actually achieve something. Going back to an earlier post, it’s one of my challenges when looking at a Department like Indigenous Affairs or Status of Women. Both departments have great mandates, but there is no particular vision behind either one that makes me believe they can achieve their mandate. » Read the rest
Most people who have read my top ten list so far have probably wondered, “What the ??? Where is the substance?”. Well, that comes now. More by type of substance than individual file area.
As a digression, I am not super worried about the file content — I could work in just about any department, and feel like I was contributing and enjoying my work. There are a couple where I would probably hesitate. Indigenous Affairs is one I would avoid…I honestly don’t think anyone has any clue how to move the files forward, and we pour billions per year into a system that produces almost nothing. Thankfully we have a reconciliation committee to make us feel good about our current partnership, even when that partnership threatens to consign another generation to poverty-stricken, subsistence living. Put more neutrally, working there would be well beyond pushing string.
I have similar views about the Canadian Human Rights Committee that lost its way a long time ago, the Status of Women which needs to be either strengthened and given teeth or abolished and probably half of the Fisheries Department. » Read the rest
Up until now, the top ten list has likely seemed rather generic. Fuzzy features around jobs, not elements you could “target” or “search” for in a formal job board for example. The next two though are pretty clear.
I want to be a manager.
You might be thinking, “Wait, isn’t he already a manager?” Yes, I am, and I want to remain one. I like managing people. I am comfortable in expanding my “reach” through delegation. Obviously, sure, I can get more done if I have minions. 🙂 But I also really like two other aspects.
First and foremost, the management layer helps me to ensure that I stay “strategic” (item #07 on my list). Managing lets me exercise the judgement function that I like, combined with ensuring a broad direction and vision for my team. I always want my team to know where we’re going, why we’re going there, and some of the place markers on the road to get there. » Read the rest
Let’s see…right fit (10), environment (09), the people (08), strategic (07), value-added (06) and special projects (05). The next area is one of the ones I mentioned before that perhaps could be simply merged with others, but it produced such a bad experience previously when it was lacking, I am keeping it separate.
I want to do something that someone wants done.
Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? If I get something assigned to it, that must mean someone wants it done, right?
Not really. I spent 18 months of my life working on two files — an Integrated Policy Framework and a policy-based Centre of Excellence model for the department — and it was like pushing string. Outside of my own shop, nobody really wanted it. And without some sort of carrot or stick, I have no interest in taking on tasks that I have to “sell” to someone. I’m more of a “if you build it” believer, rather than an “always be closing” salesman. » Read the rest
I’m moving into the top five, after having covered the right fit (10), environment (09), the people (08), strategic (07), and value-added (06). This next one weighs in at #05 and again, is a little bit hard to define. I don’t want to go too narrow nor too broad. I’m also not sure it is right-sized. I want to talk about specific skill sets.
I’ve already covered things like strategic thinking and judgement, as well as some of the value-added areas. In addition to that, I noticed a trend in my early government jobs that trended into later jobs in different forms.
First and foremost, I started off leveraging my computer skills. Things that other people didn’t have much of at the time, and so I got hired for multiple jobs partly as I had skills that other people didn’t have to the same degree. The Ministry of Education wanted me to do their database of legal case summaries. » Read the rest