Back when I was a PM-03 in Multilateral Branch, and just about to rotate to the Caribbean division, a job came available in the Cabinet Affairs office at CIDA. Different departments put these divisions in various parts of their structure…some put it in the Deputy Minister’s Office / Corporate Secretariat, and so they have a nice high-level “pull” function from the rest of the department. Some embed it in the policy branch as a policy coordination type-job. Others embed it in policy, but almost as a corporate job.
DFAIT had it in one of their policy branches, albeit in a corporate policy type role, and people fought for those jobs. Considering lots of DFAITers wanted to be Hill staffers, it’s not surprising to see those with and without political ambitions wanting to be “in the know” for what was going forward to Cabinet, even if DFAIT wasn’t often actively involved in the MCs. » Read the rest
My new job as an “economist/social scientist” analyst i.e. an ES was as great as I expected it to be. I liked the looks of the files, I knew some of the people, I was excited.
q. Analyst, Policy Branch, CIDA — The division had four main files, and I got to play on each of them over the years. I started in February 2002, and stayed until December 2004. Almost three complete years, but the ride was incredible.
Early on, I was assigned the OECD files, and we were gearing up to do the OECD Peer Review of Canada’s Aid Program. I was excited, it looked good, and more importantly, we had to write a huge memo covering the whole aid program. Horizontal work across the department, interdepartmental work, consultations, we were going big on this one. We recommended, and our recommendation was accepted, that the Minister be involved and attend the OECD management meeting in October. » Read the rest
In the previous post (What I learned from my previous jobs – Part 9), I had accepted a rotation to the Caribbean division to manage trade projects, with a small option to be developed as an analyst. Of all the positions available, I got my first choice, but honestly, I was moving because it was good for my career, not because I wanted to leave multilateral.
p. Development Officer, Caribbean, CIDA — The job was new and different, and I liked my coworkers and my boss. It was a pretty big change, not the least of which is I now needed to know how to do project administration in SAP. Project structures, WBS elements, complicated menus, approving disbursements, it was all there.
I’m pretty good with computers, and even I found it somewhat confusing at times. We had a small fund set up to do trade micro-projects, plus a couple of larger trade projects with the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States and the CARICOM Secretariat in Guyana. » Read the rest
o. Development Officer, Multilateral, CIDA — It wasn’t great for pay, however. I had been an IS-03 (information officer level 3) at DFAIT on a term, but I was now a PM-01 (programme administration/project management, level 1) at CIDA. The difference in pay was about $15K. Not an easy pill to swallow, but I got a spoonful of sugar in the form of partial salary protection (they moved me to the top of the PM-01 band so I only dropped $9-10K or so).
I was assigned to the UN division. As I mentioned previously, I had requested it, and they had never had anyone ever request multilateral before. » Read the rest
This will not be a particularly easy post to write, not because of what happened at work during the time, but rather what happened in my personal life. I was about to experience grief, really for the first time in my life. I say this upfront as I talk about my dad, and while you might be here to read about work, and lessons learned, if you are dealing with other forms of grief right now, you may want to skip this one. Consider it fair warning, although it won’t be particularly maudlin.
m. Contractor, DFAIT — I was back at DFAIT and gearing up for the APEC summit that was taking place in Indonesia. There were a couple of other contractors working too, APEC was getting bigger and bigger and we needed more help sometimes, but they weren’t very good in my view. Great at talking about how great they were, but when the crunch came, they were too busy schmoozing to work. » Read the rest