Carli (Manager, Community Bylaws)
What does a normal day in your role look, sound, and feel like?
I spend most of the day solving problems. Because I work a lot with laws, many problems are related to people asking me what I think the meaning of the law is, or does a certain issue comply with the law. Before a business can get a license, the staff in my group ensure businesses comply with all laws. For example, restaurants need to pass health inspections and all businesses need to have passed fire safety and building construction inspections. We also have special rules for businesses such as gas stations, who are required to offer full-service (where they pump your gas for you). My group makes sure that the 15,000 or so businesses in Richmond are compliant with all laws. People in my group bring me problems when this process doesn’t work, when a business isn’t following the rules, or when they have questions about how the laws work. And to keep this whole thing going, I have to hire all the people from my team and make sure they have training and support.
What is your story? How did you get to where you are now?
I got a university degree in Engineering and started my career working in engineering departments doing engineering work. Then I got interested in other things and moved around a bit. It is unusual for an engineer to have a job like mine but I found that law, and the ability to get people to follow laws, to be much more challenging and interesting to me than engineering. Most engineers design things; I like working with people. But, the engineering background got me into the municipal sector and I would have never found my way into the job I have unless I got an opportunity to work with the City and learn more about what it does.
What parts of your work inspire you?
The most inspiring times are when I can fix a broken process. Such as when a law is old or doesn’t make any sense, I can replace it with something that people understand and can follow. I also love finding good people to hire and then watching them get good at their jobs, have fun and then move on to better jobs.
What advice would you give your Grade 9 self?
Make sure you are involved in things other than school. These are the thing that will help you figure out what you are interested in and expose you to different types of people beyond just your friend group. Play sports, get a part time job or even better, volunteer in your community. I always look to hire people who pursue their interests.
Any words of encouragement for today's Grade 9 students?
Not all work is exciting; some is boring! But don’t be afraid to try things out and talk to grown ups, like your relatives and friends of your parents, and find out what they do.