Don’t ya think?
As I scour the internet for job opportunities (public and private sector) in Ottawa and in Halifax… and even a few Toronto, Montréal, and Edmonton (I reeealllly don’t want to move to Edmonton!) options, I find myself taking part of the hiring process at Company A. For the first time ever, I interviewed someone for a job…
When my HR Manager first approached me last Friday with an unsolicited résumé, I started having the cold sweats and heart palpitations. Cue emotional meltdown in the wheelchair bathroom stall. I had been under the impression that I would have a little more time (possibly even the summer) to figure out my next steps. Obviously as a temp I know that eventually my placement must come to an end. The best possible ending in my mind would occur a month or so down the road after I have received a job offer for a policy position with a federal government department of course… but an ending nonetheless. I was not expecting to be asked to review a résumé and sit in on an interview in a week’s time.
The fire under my butt was lit.
Instead of wallowing in my own sorrow and panicking about how I would pay my bills. I did what I do best.
I got organized.
I printed off every job posting I could find; three-hole punched them, highlighted the closing dates, and filed them accordingly in a 3-ringed tabbed binder. This action alone made me feel a little more in control.
So when I had the chance to discuss the intentions of the HR Manager early this week, I was already feeling a little bit better. It was a relief to find out that Company A was still thinking the process of hiring a new administrative assistant would take some time, and that they valued my contributions to the company enough to want to provide me with a reasonable amount of time to find my own footing in the job search process. In the meantime, my job is to continue whipping this place into organizational shape, and fulfill my own professional goals by taking advantage of the expertise available to me.
You can’t get a job without experience, and you can’t get experience without a job.
My HR Manager wants to help me expand my skill set while I’m here. This is one of the reasons why she asked me to sit in on the interview this week… But she then went a few steps further. I was asked to help her conduct the interview. I prepared my own questions and helped to interview the candidate. I may have focused my studies on Human Resources, but reading a textbook does not give you practical HR experience. Next she asked me to make a list of my goals and the skills I want to possibly achieve and items I could add to my portfolio while I’m here.
There are people out there that want to help you.
I am lucky to have a wonderful mentor of whom I met and became friends with in December when I travelled to Ottawa for the annual Dalhousie University Faculty of Management Ottawa Tour. She is an inspiration to me as a professional woman working in the Public Sector based not only on her impressive CV but also what she has experienced and achieved in her personal life. I hope that when I eventually move to Ottawa that I will be able to expand our formal and informal mentoring relationship.
I also believe that my current HR Manager has the potential to become a useful professional reference and resource for me throughout my career. I will be making sure to add her to my network, and maintain this professional relationship.
Today we will be conducting reference checks on a candidate for another position and I will also get to take part in the formal job offer process tomorrow; these are invaluable experiences for me at this stage of my professional development and career search process.
While my current career prospects may be pretty thin during this time of budgetary reductions and fiscal constraint, at least for the time being, I am being given the opportunity to build up my portfolio and resume to the point that when the machinery of government finally starts moving again…
I will be ready.