Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A door opens - a reversal of fortune

My journey has come full circle.  Yesterday I accepted a job in the private sector as a Senior HR Advisor (Recruitment Lead).  And just this morning, I sent out the email to my colleagues here in the Federal Government letting them know of my departure.  It is bittersweet as the door opens to a new, exciting, challenging, growth opportunity.

I plan to continue this blog to provide wisdom and advice from all the experience that I have had.  This blog has been a catalyst - I have given and taken from people support and encouragement.  I have seen people begin to tackle some of the key habits for a successful transition.

Here are some of my key habits, which might work for you too:

1.  Be happy.  I have a quote book on my desk, 365 days of Buddhist quotes.  Today, May 9th's quote is “There is nothing clever about being unhappy".  It is not what you don't have; it is what you do have.  Plus, the modern economy is a place, I believe, where individuals can genuinely express themselves and find money, in traditional salary-based systems or private businesses or contract work.  Happiness is not a superficial feeling but a deep, true realization about life and how lucky we all are.

2.  Create and grow relationships.  Involve your spouse in the career transition, have a challenging conversation with your boss, talk about it over beers with your friends.  Ask people what they know and who they know who might be helpful to your career.  Networking is fundamental to discovering, exploring and getting great jobs.  But remember, good relationships start with personal happiness.

3.  Make decisions based on evidence.  I did my due diligence on the job I took.  They had been a client of mine very briefly 8 years ago, I spoke to two friends about what they think of the manager of the unit, I researched them thoroughly on the web, I talked to an ex-client of theirs, I researched their industry and their competition, I visited their work-site, I asked lots of question in the interview. After my work was done, I wrote down the rational factors (the pluses and minuses) & I talked a lot with the people I trust about my intuitive factors (the gut feel).

4.  Don't grip your hockey stick too tight.  Hockey players and true fans know the harder you try sometimes, the fewer goals you score. When I saw opportunities to help others during this process - sharing job boards, sharing job advertisements, and introducing people within my network - it has been rewarding.  It has supported my happiness, grown relationships, and helped me see my situation from other vantages.

5.  Take a chance.  After all the work, in the end I had to act.  No one can see the future but by finding happiness, having supportive relationships, and making a well-informed, thorough decision, I have helped make my future positive.


  1. Congratulations, Jay. I enjoy your writing. All the best. Julia's Mom, Donna.

  2. CONGRATS - and in the scary private sector. You MUST keep everyone clued in on what you observe, etc. And, one thing I would add - keep a sense of humour !!

  3. Thanks Donna and Kee. It is a radical change from serving Canadians fairly (and sometimes at all cost) to serving sharholders profitably.

    What phrase did one guy coin - I will have to swim with the sharks without being eaten! Challenges are good and I am looking forward to stretching & growing my career.

  4. Congratulations on the next chapter in your life adventure.Too many people forget the importance of happiness in everything we do. Good luck!

  5. Michelle,

    one of my favorite buddhist quotes I recently read said - there is nothing clever about being unhappy.

    if we get some persepctive by looking at those of ill health, living in third-world conditions, living amidst wars... we see that we are fortunate.

    be mindful and cultivate your happiness so any obstacle will look like an opportunity