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Thoughts from the other side of Interchange

Friday, February 14, 2014
by Nick Charney RSS / cpsrenewalFacebook / cpsrenewalLinkedIn / Nick Charneytwitter / nickcharneygovloop / nickcharneyGoogle+ / nickcharney

A lot of people have been asking me about my new job (See: Today is My Last Day in the Public Service) so I figured I'd share some of my initial observations about working on the other side of the wall.

Change is refreshing

Admittedly I'm still technically in the honeymoon stage having only joined the IOG a month ago. That said I can say with a fair degree of certainty that I was definitely due for a change of scenery. I won't bother you with all the details but suffice it to say that the sight lines between my work and what I deem important were blurred. I still believe wholeheartedly in public service but felt like my work was too heavily weighted towards the transactional when my interests, skills and drive is biased towards the transformational. In short, I was looking for a better personal fit, and from I can tell thus far, I have found it.

Technology can be easy

Integrating into the IT infrastructure at work was seamless. I walked in, was handed log in credentials and sat down at my iMac (yeah that's right), hooked up my iPhone to the wifi and connected my office calendar and email with my other Google accounts.

Every organization has its own language

We often get so wrapped up in the nomenclature of the business we fail to understand that sometimes it can hinder rather than help; and the same can be said of organizational structures. This is playing out right now within our institutions of government, between them and whenever they interface with the publics they serve. It's creating real barriers to engagement across the board, causing people to dig in their heels with partisan rhetoric and otherwise eroding the middle ground of compromise that I've always thought was the inherently Canadian way forward.

A lot of people are looking for greener pastures

I'm not sure if it's where I am relative to my career trajectory cohort or symptomatic of some larger issues out there in the ecosystem (e.g. the one I pointed out above) but a lot of talented people I know either have or are now broadening their horizons and looking beyond the walls of the public sector organizations they currently work for.

You are always more valuable to an organization after you leave it

Whether it's Murphy's law or the fact that its human nature to take things for granted, your worth to an organization is never truly understood until you're no longer there when they need you.