Reena (Corporate Assistant, CAO's Office)
What does a normal day in your role look, sound, and feel like?
Every day I get to work with one of my BFFs, who I met through work. We sit in an open reception-style area on the 2nd floor of City Hall. We meet lots of people as they pass by our area in their daily hustle and bustle. I’m a people person so I love to say hi to everyone. We’re the “hub” for Corporate Administration so we hear lots, see lots and get asked lots of questions. Some days we work on fun stuff and some days are less fun, but as long as we’re both there, it’s a good day!
What is your story? How did you get to where you are now?
My first job ever was as a day camp leader and preschool teacher at Thompson Community Centre. Through this role I met and worked with a number of City staff. Eventually I was hired as a Front Desk Attendant and have worked at Steveston, South Arm, Thompson and City Centre Community Centres in this capacity. When I became a "regular” Attendant at South Arm, I was tasked with little projects while on shift. My supervisor quickly realized I was efficient and willing to learn so the projects I was assigned got more interesting and more challenging. When there was a temporary vacancy for the supervisor (Recreation Facility Clerk) role, I applied and was successful. After that I worked in “TFT” or temporary full-time roles across the City, fulfilling a variety of different roles including Recreation Leader, Recreation Facility Clerk, Community Facilities Coordinator, Arts Programmer, Departmental Associate and Corporate Assistant. I’ve worked in Recreation, Parks, Production Centre, IT, Arts/Culture and Heritage Services, Real Estate Services and finally in the office of the CAO. Having moved around so much has given me the opportunity to learn how different areas of the City operate and to build connections with colleagues throughout the organization. Those experiences and connections help me be effective in my current position.
What parts of your work inspire you?
- People: we meet/interact with so many different people on a daily basis. Seeing how they operate, how they handle challenges and how they celebrate successes teaches me so much. Through my journey with the City, I’ve made friends and connections that I will carry with me for life.
- Projects: the opportunity to work on different projects, events and with different teams keeps me motivated, inspired and keeps me coming back on a daily basis.
What advice would you give your Grade 9 self?
Don’t get stuck thinking you’re going to do a particular job when you’re an adult. Be open to opportunities and possibilities. I was very focused on one career path; however, when I started down that path, I realized that lifestyle was not for me. I kind of “fell into” Recreation; when I was offered new challenges in my work, I took those and grew from them.
Any words of encouragement for today's Grade 9 students?
Use this time in your life to figure out what makes you happy and motivates you. Then try a series of jobs that fulfills those things. Don’t focus on finding a job first then becoming happy in it. Everything happens for a reason, go with the flow and grow from it.