Posts Tagged ‘Work’

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2013: Three stories to tell

December 31, 2013

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Often I write these year-in-review posts and go month by month through the ups and downs of my year. This time around, I look at it in three distinct segments. Let me tell you some stories.

1. A foray into politics

I started the year with two new jobs in a new field. I reluctantly left broadcasting behind to try my luck at communications. One job was with a private public relations firm and the other a political party preparing for an election. Very quickly all things political ramped up and I was swept into the tide of a campaign. Two jobs became one and that one became my life.

I was happy to put everything I had into the campaign. At one point, I spent 50+ days at work in a row. We were putting in 12+ hour days and my boss, even more. Almost everyone I worked with had been campaign staff before. I was the new kid, so I took orders and completed tasks as best I could. I rewrote text over and over – the words lost all meaning and the meanings were diluted. The edits would circle back around to where they had started. A phrase that worked once would be discarded the next time.

But I did my job and didn’t say much about how I thought we could do better. There was a plan made by greater political minds than I. And there was a leader who decided how that plan would (or would not) be implemented.

That plan failed. We lost. It was devastating. I just felt empty. And I was out of a job.

2. Getting personal

Last year, the engagements started to roll in. This year, that trend continued. It even included me.

I had the pleasure of watching two of my oldest friends get married this year. One was streamed over the internet after a quick engagement and the other I travelled across the country to attend. We also had the pleasure of watching two Vancouver friends get married. Interestingly enough, they were with Orgle and I on our first date at a Whitecaps game.

I’m not a particularly sentimental person, but it is nice to see my friends so happy.

I am part of the 2014 Marriage Class. Our engagement a product of a romantic Quebec City hotel, some “California Love” and a nice bubble bath. The wedding is a small affair planned for May. In fact, we’ve cut so many traditions, it will seem more like a barbecue than what the wedding industry is trying to make me plan.

Maybe more exciting than my own engagement is the addition to my family. My brother and his wife had their first child. My nephew is the cutest thing ever and not just because I’m related to him.

So that’s the middle third of my year. Watching friends marry, visiting with my nephew, getting engaged and as summer wound down, welcoming Orgle’s mom to Canada for the first time.

3. Our Nation’s Capital

Following the election loss, I really didn’t know what to do next. My foray into politics had left me feeling empty and I wasn’t sure I could go through that again. So as other members of the campaign team returned to the fold, I looked elsewhere. And I found a job in Ottawa. Go figure, I flee from politics to the nation’s capital.

I now work in international public diplomacy. It’s communications, but also research and event planning – two things I’m really excited to do more of.

I don’t work for the Canadian government, but I’m sure if you really want to figure out what I do, you will.

Orgle started over when he moved to Canada. Now, as a pair, we are starting over in Ottawa. The move was stressful and there are lonely times, but I know it was the right decision. Orgle is loving the real winter weather and I am happy to have a whole new set of restaurants and shops to explore.

But I miss Vancouver, or at least the people there.

Overall:

It was a good year. Except the Oilers, they were rubbish.

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32.

September 17, 2013

Today was my 32nd birthday. It’s also my last day in Vancouver as I pursue a new career path in Ottawa next week.

While this blog is a record (and a broken record at that) of all the things wrong with Vancouver, it did become home. Edmonton is my hometown; Vancouver was my home.  Truth is, I’m sad to be leaving. But I won’t miss the entitled masses and the superiority complex driven by some studies saying this is the best place in the world to live.

A friend put it more eloquently than I can:

“Vancouver is a city, a very nice one at that. But it is a lot harder to leave the people you love (or like, choose whichever word you prefer) than it is a city. There are lots of cities in the world, and they will always be there when you are. Not so much the people.”

He is struggling with the fact that during an extended travel, many of his friends will have left this city. Opportunities, adventures and love take us elsewhere. I tell friends, this is a permanent move, but it is not forever.

I have few close friends from Edmonton these days. Moving here gave me a good idea of who would make the effort and who would fail. It’s not a judgement of character. You can only have so many friends (or at least that’s the case for me) and inevitably, some don’t last.

So it will be a chance to see who sticks and who doesn’t. In my 8+ years on the West Coast, I’ve made some great friends – the kind you hope will last forever. We’ll see.

We will be back. Hell, we’re now about 8 months from our wedding – to be planned from across the country. If I was blogging regularly, all I’d do is complain about that process and the expectations driven by the wedding industry. But I digress..

My birthday was a familiar day in British Columbia. Grey, rain, a lengthy wait for a ferry, infuriating traffic, and take-out sushi. While a move 4,700km is not going to clear up all those issues, it is going to give Orgle and I our own little adventure.

It all starts after this sleep.

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Five things I want to do in my life

November 29, 2012
Iceland House

Someone probably built this house by hand. (Skaftafell Park, Iceland)

I used to have a “30 things to do before I’m 30” list. While I didn’t accomplish everything on it, I gave it a try (25/30). I figure I got the big things done: Before 30 I managed to save up some money (which is allowing me to have an extended unemployment as I find something I really want to do, rather than just jumping back into an unfulfilling role), I established a career, I traveled a lot (celebrating the big 3-0 solo in Japan last year), I fell in love with a man with whom I’d like to explore the rest of my life, and I think I have a better grasp on who I am then I ever did in my 20s.

So instead of having a short-term deadline like last time, I’m looking big picture. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Info(graphic) about Erin Loxam

November 13, 2012

Erin Loxam Infographic

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What should I do?

November 1, 2012

I am currently working through the book “what colour is your parachute”.

Yes, I’ve decided I’m not just looking for a job but a career direction.

One of the exercises is to find out some skills and knowledges and combine it all into a job. I have written them below. I’m supposed to put this list to friends, family, readers(?) and see what jobs come to mind in connection with those areas. Take wild guesses! Use as many of the terms as you want!

If there is one thing I have learned about job hunting, it’s that you can’t do it alone. So if you happen to read this, whether you know me or not, I’d appreciate your thoughts.

Green technology

Research

Storytelling

Initiating and leading

Planning

Logistics

Compiling

Online writing and analytics

Innovating

Spatial awareness

So, what job title do these areas make you think of?

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Finding the next step in a sea of unemployment

October 9, 2012

At the end of August, I quit my job. I had been with the news organization for nearly 5 years – starting as an intern, leaving as a manager. Along the way, I was, first and foremost, a reporter, but also a web editor, a writer and an anchor.

Now I just need one…

It was the job I went to school two years for. It was how I racked up over $20,000 in student debt. (This after a full economics degree as well.)

It is all I have known for the last 7 years.

So, what’s next?

The question often comes up, “What do you want to do?”

I hum. I haw. I come up with a list. But the list is all the things I don’t want to do.

I have no idea what I’m going to do next.

I do see a couple options:

1. Get another media job – This would be the easiest thing to do, as I have experience, education and a good track record. I thoroughly enjoy being a reporter but would need an organization focused at a market more my speed.

2. Get into PR/Communications – This is where a lot of media folks end up. I really like the idea of doing this for a company I’m passionate about, where I can use my social media expertise to bring awareness to campaigns and issues I believe in.

3. Get into _______________ (Market research? Polling?) – I have trouble defining this job but I figure organizations need people like me. As someone with an economics degree, I love research and data and trends. The reporter in me relishes investigating things. Having worked in an exceptionally fast paced environment, I’m quick on my feet and believe in accuracy in even the most hectic of situations. Despite the fact I’m a numbers nerd at heart, seven years of journalism has taught me how to write.

And so I search…

If there is one thing I could tell potential employers, it’s this:
They see on my resume all the social media accolades (awards, achievements, conference talks and my teaching gig at the Vancouver Film School) and want me to tweet for them. I like social media and appreciate it as a tool to spread a message. I regularly tweet, blog (mostly on The West Cider) and am one of many addicted to Facebook. However the idea of *just* doing social media bores me.

You see, I saw a need at my former job to get the organization on board social media. I took on a leadership role, I pushed for it, I developed a strategy and managed a team that implemented it. I am self taught. I did such a good job of learning it, I now pass that knowledge onto students.

My adeptness at social media should be less about hashtags and character counts and more about my ability to pick up whatever skills are needed and absolutely excel at them. In five years, I had five different positions while managing the online content. I want new challenges, I need them.

But if I stray from media or from communications, how do I ask an employer to take a chance on me? Or do I demand it?

In the meantime, I’m going to Iceland next week.

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August, Australia and Dawson’s Creek

July 29, 2012

Here we are, just days away from August.

Summer starts every year.
And then you have a realization that it is running out.
That’s where I am now.

The season started with some ligaments gone awry. I hoped my ankle would be a quick fix but nearly six weeks later it’s still not close to soccer and volleyball-ready.

As you may have noticed below, we had a pretty spectacular trip to Newfoundland. And the travel doesn’t end there.

Every month of our relationship, Orgle and I have gone somewhere.

At the end of this month, we’re off to Australia. Read the rest of this entry ?