I’m attempting a full-scale job search from scratch right now, something most of us in government don’t often do when we look for a job. Instead, most of us look for something that is just a bit different from what we have — a new area, or a new boss, or a new level, etc., but rarely do we step back and say, “Before I even look for a job, what do I want to find? What’s really important to me?”. By nature, employed people tend to be incrementalists.
So I wanted to look back at all my previous jobs — all the way back to being a paperboy — to see what I had learned in the jobs, and what I had liked about the positions. As I wrote, I found myself talking about experiences, not the “lessons learned” or even “what I learned about myself”, and I felt like I needed to get all that info out of my head and onto the page to allow myself the time to now look back at them and see what the outcomes and common elements were…in short, I wrote it all out so I could analyze it as if it was someone else. » Read the rest
This last post is a bit challenging to write as it is about my current job. And I don’t really have any distance or perspective from it yet, because I’m still doing it. But I’ll give it a go.
v. Manager, Planning and Accountability — One thing that frequently bugged me over the first six years was that we were fairly siloed in our division. There was a planning team, a reporting team, and my performance measurement team, but I really wanted them to mesh better together. We did what we could, but we were three separate teams with three separate managers. Sure, we reported to the same director, but we didn’t seem to be making much headway.
We merged with another division — horizontal policy — and another manager eventually left. We had no one to take those files, and I mentioned to the director in passing that if the planning manager wanted to shift things around, I was completely willing. » Read the rest
I was in need of rescuing at the end of the previous post…after 18 months of pushing string, and feeling like I not only had nothing to show for it but that the time had been a complete waste, I was spent. Literally. Figuratively. Mentally. Even physically. I had nothing left to give them. And to be honest, any self-confidence that I had previously was completely gone.
u. Manager, Performance Measurement, ESDC — I started working in the Skills and Employment Branch in May, and it was almost instantly a refreshing change. I wasn’t pushing string with abstract policy theory to combine social capital or human development, I was looking at concrete things like the Program Activity Architecture, performance metrics, indicators and logic models.
Things that were relatively straight-forward to me, particularly in comparison with the big ugly Integrated Policy Framework.
In addition, a lot of the work with the Branch was already done. » Read the rest
When I worked at DFAIT, and worked for a shouter, I thought I had pretty strong tolerance for bad behaviour. In fact, up until SDC, I was known for having worked for or with some people that others wouldn’t even consider. And honestly, I never had a problem with any of them. Until I worked for the DG that got fired in the last post. I needed a bit of a cleanse after that, and so I went to work with a Director that I had worked with previously.
t. Manager, Strategy and Integration, HRSDC — When I look back at this job, it is extremely difficult to separate the final result (bad) from the experience of working there (good). There are times afterwards that I felt like I wasted 18 months of my life. I didn’t, not really, but it sure felt like it at the end.
I was the manager in this group, and our team had three major deliverables — medium-term planning, an integrated policy framework, and the policy work to support creating HRSDC as a Centre of Excellence. » Read the rest
As I finished my previous post, I was finishing up what I had thought was going to be my best job ever — a senior policy advisor position in the Deputy Minister’s Office at CIDA. Instead, I was pushing too much paper. I also had another problem with my career — I was under-classified. While I was routinely offered, accepting and performing at ES-05, ES-06, PM-06 and even sometimes EX-01 levels, I was still an ES-04. I was in a competition back in Policy Branch to “regularize” my level with an ES-05 job, but I had my eye on a higher prize…the newly-created Social Development Canada ran a competition for their Manager of International Affairs position.
s. Manager, International Relations, SDC — HRDC had been through a big scandal at the end of the 1990s, most of which turned out to be more smoke than substance. But a new government direction was set in 2004/05, and the huge department split into two — Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Social Development Canada. » Read the rest