Friday, March 2, 2012

On Engagement, Honesty and Walking Away in Austere Times

These are tough times and as many instinctively brace for impact in the face of looming cuts, I wanted to take a step back and reflect a little.

If you don't find your work engaging, perhaps now is the best time to walk away

If the reason you work in the public sector is the stability, I would argue that that reason no longer exists. If you need evidence look at the magnitude of the projected cuts.

In austere times, we probably need engaged public more than ever.

Untitled by Fire At Will [Photography]
Walking away from a job takes courage and honesty

It's a kind of courage that isn't easy in bleak economic times, but one that will be offset by a kind of honesty that's both personally satisfying and deeply moving to others.

I know we all have to put food on the table and clothes on our backs, but if it came down to you or someone else you know - say a friend - who was far more engaged in their work than you were, wouldn't you want to see them continue that work?

If the roles were reversed, wouldn't you want someone to step in and offer you the same opportunity?

I know I would.

One last thing

The worst thing anyone could do right now is make uniformed decisions.  There are a number of options available to public servants affected by Work Force Adjustment (WFA) (including alternation which I refer to implicitly above); I had no clue what these were until a friend sat me down and walked me through them.

I strongly recommend speaking to your manager, your human resources officer, your union rep, or consulting the Treasury Board website for more information; the budget drops March 29th.

Originally published by Nick Charney at
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