Old Gig; New Gig

Careers are funny
things. Mine has been at least. Never a plan; more a wandering exploration
of things of interest to me. And gosh, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
I’ve been so lucky and done so many different things.

I graduated with an
Honours Bachelor of Arts (from the University of Toronto, of course) in History
and International Relations. But my first gigs were with municipalities. I was a
hired gun (read: municipal project manager) brought in to oversee
the construction and start-up of leisure centres: arguing with contractors and
architects to ensure the client’s interests were being met;
purchasing equipment to fill them with (gosh that was always fun … I love
shopping); hiring and orienting staff; programming classes & lessons; and
organizing the public grand opening.
I oversaw two: the
Milton Leisure Centre is one of my products; Valley Park Community Centre in
Stoney Creek is another. It was a lot of fun but gosh, stressful and too much
damn work!
So it was out with the old, in with the new.
I left that crazy
world and joined another. The world (read: big business) of international
humanitarian aid. I started that gig in 1993 with THE most recognized
organization in the entire world.  
But that was then,
this is now. So, it’s out with the old, in with the new
For some weeks I’ve
been maneuvering and shepherding and negotiating a new gig with a new
As of last Thursday,
success! Yay me!
So it’s goodbye to
thirteen years of successes, which I do want to pay homage to. Eprops to me

  • editing three
    books for National publication. Ah, 1994-95, what a blur of time working at
    National Office and those jaunts to St. Louis with Ironwoman Judy to hang with
    the gurus at Times Mirror Professional Publishing. Oh, not to mention, the
    purolator boxes that arrived every day, day-after-day, with new galleys to be
    proofed. How I survived that gawd knows.
  • revising one National program from scratch and successfully
    relaunching it in 1996. Ah, the coast-to-coast trips collecting input from
    field-test and pilot-sites, the great trainers and instructors I met, the
    supportive programmers that stayed true to the brand despite the growth in
  • centralizing an
    entire department from a regional to provincial service delivery model. Tough on
    folks for sure, especially those who were eliminated as a result of the move,
    but in the end the best thing for consumers.
  • launching a
    thorough, detailed, cutting edge quality management program in one region that
    became the touchstone for all quality work within the
  • surviving the nightmare, and workload, associated with
  • surviving a worse
    nightmare, and workload, associated with the Tsunami in
So, it’s on to a
new adventure. I’m happy with the deal we settled on. Downside: more travel
(gugh!), and less vacation (gugh!). Upside: gobs and gobs more money (20%
more/year); flexibility to work from home (okay, granted always done that but nice to have it in writing up front); waiving of hurdles vis-a-vis
benefits/pension; and responsibility for:
  • overseeing a
    groundbreaking program on the cusp of growth;
  • maneuvering that
    program to be coast-to-coast-to-coast within Canada;
  • lobbying with
    Ministries of Health to ensure costs associated with the program can be covered
    under provincial plans;
  • using my quality
    management expertise to nurture the conductor trainers to make it the best
    program for consumers going;
  • adding
    a Canadian university to the list of accrediting institutions offering
    this innovative degree, alongside the four that currently exist (one each in
    Israel, UK, Hungary and the USA);
  • drawing the best
    of recent graduates to Canada by making their transition through the hoops and
    ladders of Citizenship and Immigration easier; and,
  • in the end,
    helping individuals live their lives to their full
Noble, isn’t it?! Aquarians are always after the noble cause and I’m no exception.

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10 Responses to Old Gig; New Gig

  1. meoni says:

    wow, you’ve done a lot in your career. very impressive!changing careers is tough – leaving your comfort zone; venturing unchartered territory, so to speak.seems like you’re all ready and excited about your position, which is good.as you say, the $$$ shall compensate for less vacation and more travel. =P

  2. m3galomaniac says:

    great achievements…hope you’re enjoying it..thats more important..

  3. DivaJoe says:

    Aquarians unite!

  4. SubashKuttan says:

    Wow looks like you’ve added a lot and been a pretty big contributor. Good luck with the new role

  5. toroboy says:

    I hope to have great contributions to write about when I start work too. =)ryc: Trust me, Shanghai’s heat is MUCH more unbearable! I even returned to my room to get my umbrella before daring to continue with my day adventure……

  6. Fatcat723 says:

    You lead an exciting life! You have done well and will continuue to do so. Of that I am sure. Hey, Leo’s rule lol lol.

  7. kunhuo42 says:

    wow, sounds exciting! i hope i can look back at my career some day and recount past glories that i can be proud of. not that they have to be huge accomplishments, but hopefully satisfying ones.hehehe i too am an aquarian =D

  8. toroboy says:

    I am an Aquarian too!

  9. Isn’t it funny how people’s careers almost never pertain to their undergrad majors? Hehe.Ryc: Lol, I’m so glad you understand!

  10. enRoute says:

    Congrats on your successful works so far! Keep it up! =)

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