Career Development / Planning

When I started university in 2004, I originally intended to do a double major in Journalism and Political Science.  I had dreams of writing for a living, and using the degree to help me get a job as some sort of foreign reporter, stuck in war zones, third world countries and major world events.

After a few journalism classes, I began to become bored with the subject.  In the first two years, you need to take a broad array of classes to help you figure out what you want to do and how to focus your interests into your major (and minor).  I ended up taking some criminology and human rights classes, which were both quite interesting.

Before I knew it, I had moved away from journalism entirely and was focusing quite heavily on law, ethics and human rights.  The shift kind of just happened, but before long, I had graduated with a double major in Criminology and Human Rights and a minor in Native Studies.

In my second year of studies, I participated in a programme the Province offered (SEED), which enabled organisations to hire students for the summer who were desperate for some professional experience.  I ended up working with a non-profit who provided assistance, guidance and a voice for criminalised, marginalised and victimised women and girls.  My summer job quickly developed into something I would do on weekends when I visited my hometown, at Christmas and for the next few summers.  Eventually, I was offered a contract position that would start a week after I graduated from university in 2008.

For two years after graduation, I worked in a role that had me facilitating programmes – both in the community and in federal & provincial prisons, attending court with women facing charges, and spending lots of time looking for funding to keep us going.  I was thrown into the deep end, working with women who had committed petty crimes such as minor thefts, to women who had murdered their partners & children.  To say the role was an eye opener would be an understatement.

Moving along, the organisation was heading in a direction I didn’t particularly like and we were losing funding.  I took a short term role in another non-profit, this time focusing specifically on mental health programming in the community.

Wanting something more stable, I ended up looking for another position.  I was trying to establish who I was and who I wanted to be professionally, so I started reaching out to my networks, people I had met over the years, and just firing my CV off to everyone.

When I had interviewed for the mental health role, I had also interviewed for a role that was a contract for another company.  Whilst I was offered that position, I ended up turning it down because I didn’t want to do a contract.  Eventually, in December 2010, I ended up going back to that company and accepting a full time, permanent position as the EA to the President & CEO.

The role was all encompassing and I was taking on a significant amount of responsibility.  I quickly became responsible for human resources, but without the proper foundation, experience or education, I quickly needed to find some help. I ended up enrolling in a 1 year certificate programme through a university about an hour away (the same city I did my undergraduate degree in), and was promoted to Manager of HR once I had received my certification.

Flash forward to today, and I am a HR Manager for a company in London.  My job, again, is all encompassing, and I have taken on significant responsibility.  I sometimes reflect on the past few years and how my roles have evolved and how my professional career has kind of lead itself down a variety of paths, obviously with my guidance, education and desire to be successful.

Do I love HR?  No.  Do I love aspects of HR? Yes.  There are so many great things about being in HR, but with any role, there are downsides.  I guess the one aspect I truly miss from my old HR role is the engagement component.  I was responsible for getting employees engaged not only with the company but with the community.   I lead the charge on events that had our staff interacting with the public, being ambassadors for our company.

In the summer of 2015, I was working at the American University in Bulgaria, teaching a summer program on Career Development.  I worked with international students on how to properly interview, how to write a proper CV, and how to set goals in your education plans to help enable you to make good career decisions.  This role was so much fun.  I was working with people on a nearly one on one basis (in my class of 30), trying to help them decide what they love and what they want to do.  How much fun is it to watch other people’s light bulb moments when they realise that not only cant they do something, but they can do it well and earn success from it?

What do you love about your company?  What do you dislike?

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If you want to know more about me professionally, or you want to work with me, get in touch.

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