In the summer of 2012, I realized that if I wanted to move forward in my career as a public servant, I would need to move to Ottawa. But the HR mechanisms (and austerity measures) within the government aren’t so that occurs easily, especially given my level and experience. But nonetheless, I knew I needed to find a way.
I took advantage of every opportunity to travel to the city, make connections, and sell myself. I met with directors, strangers, and associate deputy ministers, telling all of them about my desire to pick up and move across the country. A friend even started a Twitter campaign, #HireErin.
There were moments of hope and moments of discouragement. Between all those moments, there I was, relentless in my pursuit. All I needed was one person to take a chance on me. Just one.
Imagine my disbelief when I jokingly asked a friend, “You guys have a job for me?” and he replies, “Yeah, you know, I think we do.” Within six weeks, I was hopping on a plane, moving from Vancouver to Ottawa.
While I hustled, a lot, taking advantage of every opportunity I could, accomplishing this goal would not have been possible five years ago. With social networking, we’re able to keep in touch with people far away from us at much more regular intervals.
Instead of spending hours on the phone or writing lengthy emails, I was able to create connections in person and then nurture these relationships through 140 character messages. Hours spent on the phone turned into mere seconds, while still being able to maintain the natural flow of these more traditional modes of communication.
Erin Gee works at the Canada Revenue Agency in Ottawa. She is also a contributor to the Huffington Post Canada and was the 2012 TEDxSFU content manager.