Changing jobs

After months of trying to crack both the local job market and consulting market I finally resorted to my transferable skills to try and generate some regular income. But not for long.

A difficult decision had to be made after a huge disappointment. A 3-4 month contract that I’d been offered verbally last November was given to someone else as a full time role at the end of January. Regular income was needed and it was time to consider the what else can i do question. Fortunately, the Brit ex-pat network came to my aid and I managed to get an in with a local insurance company. Al I had to do was to pass my Level 1 exam and get licensed. Despite having a course recommended to me I decided to take the least cost option which was buy the notes, read them and take the exam. So, 2 weeks of reading later I sat the Level 1 exam and passed first go, clearing the 70% pass mark bar with relative ease. I was licensed to insure.

So, at the start of March I began working for a local broker in North Vancouver. This was not without its logistical difficulties as it meant a journey that was at worst, bus – Skytrain – Seabus – bus or at best, bus – Skytrain – bus. Come what may I was looking at 90 minutes travel time each way.

The people working in the office were friendly and helpful and in some ways it was good to be back in such an environment. I was getting up to speed quickly, as I should with a $12/hr position, and income was flowing, well, trickling really.

Since coming to Canada I’ve never written off my environmental skills and have kept faith that sooner or later my faith would be rewarded. What I wasn’t reckoning on was the swift change in fortunes.

At the tail end of last year I applied for a job with the BC Lotteries Corporation, bclc. Unfortunately the job went on hold, I was told until Spring/Summer. Around 10 days in to my new career I received notification that the bclc post was off hold and if I was still interested, bclc would like to telephone interview me the following week. A very good friend said to me in the past that one should always be researching one’s next position//project. So, I accepted the interview, was short-listed for round 2 and attended a face-to-face interview the following week. The great thing is that both interviews were out of working hours so that I could continue masquerading as an insurance agent whilst following up the opportunity.

Cutting things short, I was invited to meet one of the VP’s at bclc’s headquarters in Kamloops a few days later. Unless I broke wind at the wrong time, I was in. But, another hurdle needed to be negotiated, I was due to be working the day I was invited to Kamloops (which is around 200 miles from where I live). So, deep breath and I resigned my insurance job before absolutely knowing that the bclc post was mine.

As it turned out, everything was fine. I was offered the job and I take up the role of Environmental Sustainability Specialist with bclc in May.

Oh, and my journey to Kamloops was pretty spectacular as I flew across the coastal mountains with Pacific Coastal Airlines. Four passengers in a 19 seater on the outward journey, three passengers in an 11 seater for the return flight. More pics are on Facebook.

1 Comment

  1. Ward Dossche
    June 23, 2009

    Remarkable, mark, that you first environmental outing was in an aircraft. Heck, you could’ve driven, done that last year.

    resr assured, this year I’m again going to be in the American northwest but probably not leaving the state of Montana, a bit too far to hop over.

    However, when I read your posts, I’m warmed by fond memories … and I sort of envy you.

    Hang in there. We’ll meet again,


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