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
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