As it’s the holiday season and I am not working, I will be taking a short break from blogging until I return to work in the new year.
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!
I think the hardest part of moving the website into WordPress is recoding the site, not only for WordPress, but also into HTML5 and CSS3 standards, which involves making someone else’s code work and playing with a ColdFusion template as well. So, here’s my summary of the week represented by a KawaiiNot comic.
I got a job! Mind you, it’s a contract and not a permanent job, but I think any new graduate will agree that even that is a feat when looking only within Canada, and being at least somewhat particular about what job to accept. In light of the whole process, I thought I would reflect a little on various aspects of getting and starting a job.
I think it’s important for every person to decide on what they want in a job before applying to everything. Totally common sense I’m sure, but strangely for me, it took some time to really figure out what I wanted in terms of:
I’ll not spend time on the application and interview parts of the process as I’ve covered them before in other posts. I will only say that while it’s important to be flexible, you might think about whether you’re willing to spend money on flying somewhere if the organization will not pay for you.
My interview was a particularly interesting situation as due to the available times, I ended up doing my interview after a 10-hour flight which I was sick on, 1-hour train ride, 20-minutes car ride, and a few hours to prepare and feel better. We also had a couple of technical difficulties, but I took them in stride (always have a back up plan!) as well as I could.
I also got asked a lot of questions about things that I honestly just did not know about. JAZZ? REST? Huh? Others I knew, but had absolutely no experience in, like AJAX, ColdFusion. I admitted to being unfamiliar with them and tried to emphasize that I am willing to learn (though I felt like a little bit of a broken record by the time I was done). Still, I think the important lesson is not to be daunted by the questions, since the questions are asked of all the interviewees.
As a new graduate, I was very nervous about negotiating my first professional contract. Thankfully, I had just finished my management class, so I took the advice of my instructor and inquired about:
Some things were a simple ‘no’ as mine is a contract and not a permanent position, but then I would never have known without asking. I think the last is especially important since many graduates may think that their work as a student will not count towards their salary, and while at some organizations it may not get the same level of consideration, that does not mean it will not be considered at all.
It’s important to know where you’re going and what time you’re expected the first day (oh and knowing what to bring for HR form filling), but beyond that, I think it’s okay to just take your time getting into it. Certainly, I’ve been a little worried especially since there are various technical things to take care of, but thankfully, people seem very understanding of needing some time to settle in.
After finishing my co-op, I was on vacation for 2 weeks. Since I’ve been back, I’ve been a little overwhelmed with beginning of September craziness. Hope to go back to posting regularly within a week or so.
Sunny, hot and full of people in Ottawa. Since museums and the like are free on Canada Day, I decided to take advantage of this. I got around to:
Great times. Tiring and long day though. I think I will need a weekend of reading to recover!
I had a fairly eventful National Public Service Week last week.
To begin with, there was a ‘kick-off’ event here with a video in honour of public servants. It was interesting to watch, because although I realized that the government does a lot for the country, it helped me realize that literally all sectors of our country likely have a related government department or agency (beyond finance/taxes).
To celebrate NPSW, our communications branch (I believe) set up wiki pages (via yours truly and coworkers) for people to add comments thanking other people’s hard work. I am proud to say that I added a comment as well thanking everyone, particularly the team, in helping me get settled in. I also greatly appreciate my coworkers putting up with my newbie questions.
For some context:
w2p stands for Web 2.0 Practitioners of the Government of Canada, a “community [which] focuses on sharing, identifying, helping and providing best practices within the Government of Canada, and share those leading examples across the public service.” You can follow the discussion on twitter: #w2p
Wednesdays of last week was a #w2p event and it was great. My first meetup with the group (since I missed the last one at the War Museum). I didn’t know anyone there, but the hosts were really friendly and so were all the other people I met. It was nice putting faces to names. I found it funny that half the people there either work or worked at NRCan at some point. A lot of good discussions and finding out what other people are doing. In particular, the accessibility web work that’s happening is quite interesting. I was also introduced to the @UXWG which is a government working group coming up with web guidelines. See Laura Wesley’s blog post summarizes UXWG.
Young Professionals Network Mixer
YPN organized an interdepartment mixer to encourage people to meet with young professionals in other departments. I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t a little more structured. They basically provided a place and time, but that was it. No introductory remarks, no ice breaker games, nothing to encourage people to actually mix. I was happy that I met new people from another department, but they were essentially coworkers of acquaintances. Still, it was great fun meeting other co-op students I hadn’t met before.
So, that was my NPSW. I’m glad I took the opportunity to go out to as many events as I could manage. It makes me all the more thankful that I had the opportunity in the first place. Thanks GC!
Just a quick post.
At my old work, wiki moderators = wiki gardeners.
At my new work, wiki moderators = wiki gnomes.
Interesting that they all refer to gardening in some way, but I suppose that’s just a general wiki trend. I think I like the gardener title better, but gnomes definitely allows for some interesting pictures.
The last couple of weeks have been somewhat trying as I’ve had all my final projects due and been dealing with summer co-op related things. I’m also coming to the realization that I really only have a month left here, which is a bit sad as I really do like working here. So, when life gets hard…
A little belatedly, but a Happy New Year and belated Happy Holidays (whichever you celebrated)!