Initial Career Setbacks, Graduating, and the Future Ahead

Hello everyone! I have been quite busy recently with figuring out my schooling and career and have not been able to write as much as I wanted. I was actually planning on writing up more articles when I graduated as I thought I would have some more free time. Turns out the opposite was the case! The past couple of months have been super hectic, but I can say now that the hard work was very much worth it.

Initial Career Setbacks: Full-time Job Offers Rescinded

I will start by talking a bit about my rescinded offers that I mentioned in the previous term summary post. So back in February, I had received two verbal offers from the same department within the Federal Government, one of which was for a permanent position. After talking to many of my advisors and former Managers in the government, I was told to accept the both of them and wait until the written formal offer letter comes out before acting. They had indicated to me that it could take months between the verbal offer and offer letter stage, and anything could happen between then that could result in the offers being withdrawn.

Naturally, in order to maximize my chances of securing a job, I ended up taking their advice and accepting both offers, figuring that I should at least wait until a substantial amount of paperwork was done before picking one over the other. In late April, the Manager offering me the permanent position was finally ready to do my security paperwork. However, since I had already done it with the other Manager, I informed them that my paperwork was already done as I had been seeking another employment opportunity in parallel. They immediately went to HR and found out the identity of the second Manager, after which both Managers had a meeting and agreed to rescind their offers as they felt that “my behaviour was contrary to the Ethics and Values of the Public Service”

Of course, I was caught completely by surprise. I had already turned down around half a dozen interviews and other potential job opportunities for I thought that out of these two positions, at least one would materialize. In addition, this occurred literally two weeks before I was supposed to start at one of the jobs, making it potentially too late to seek another position. I 100% disagreed with the actions of those Managers, and still do to this day. I was surprised at what they had done – having talking to many people in the Federal Government, I was told that accepting multiple verbal offers was standard practice. My current manager here also indicated that he strongly disagreed with the actions of those Managers.

The Aftermath:

So what happened after? I am happy to say that after this, things actually turned out for the better.

Immediately, I started to contact some Managers that I had met back in Fall 2018 when I was doing my Co-op term at Environment and Climate Change Canada. Luckily, one of them had an open spot for me for a 4-month summer contract on his team. Despite not being permanent, I knew that it was a good stepping-stone for experience and that it would get me back into government for the time being. The position was a mostly data analysis related role within the Clean Growth Hub at Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada (ISED).

I started working there in early June, and immediately at the same time began networking and looking for more permanent opportunities, as I knew that hiring processes would take months. This time, my Manager was very supportive of my networking activities, as he felt it was a vital part of my career development. I had about 15 to 20 coffee chats with various Managers and Directors, and learned a lot about the various groups within ISED. After almost three months of working at the Hub, I received a couple of permanent job offers all around the same time. After a few days of thinking, I ended up picking the offer from the Space and Marine Directorate on the Space Team within ISED due to the strong policy focus it provided. The anticipated start date is scheduled for mid-August 2019, and I am looking forward to starting there.

Graduating and What’s to Come

I honestly did not really consider graduation to be a big thing. I did attend the convocation ceremony in June, but that was about it for graduation. I did not really get the time to celebrate getting my degree, and left pretty quickly as I had work the next day. Perhaps it was because graduation happened at the same time I had all these other issues to worry about, which is why I did not really put that much importance on getting that piece of paper. I think it was also due to the one month gap between finishing all your courses and actually getting the degree. By the end of April, I already knew that I was good to get my degree, and that was really when I started to relax a bit more (until my offers got rescinded!). The June ceremony was really just a formality in the end.

Right now I’m in a much more stable position and my outlook and plans for the future are a bit more clear. As mentioned before, I will be starting my new permanent position with the Space Team at ISED in about a month. In addition, I will be doing my Master’s in Public Policy and Administration at Carleton starting September 2019 on a part-time basis during the evenings. I think between now and then, I’ll focus on catching up with some stuff I haven’t put a lot of attention in since 2019 started, and start going out more. I’ve been cooped up inside the house for most of this year focusing on either school or job-related things, and now that a lot of the heavy lifting has been done, I have more time to relax now.