dream job

I’ve been thinking a lot about the future lately.  From a career standpoint, what should I be doing with my life? What direction am I headed in?  Where do I want to be 5, 10, or 20 years from now?

The honest answer… I’m not 100% sure.  In the long-term, I have absolutely no attachment to Calgary.  Once I get through the next little while, I am completely flexible to travel or relocate. I know that I want to make a difference.  I want to impact others and contribute to the community in a positive light.

Today I asked the following question on Twitter:

The result?

[And of course people didn’t answer the what, where, and why, but it’s Twitter… land 0f 140 characters, so c’est la vie!]

Diverse answers but very much focused on travel, fun, and in some cases mega money.

Anyone can look at the Top Employers in Canada or the world or whatever… and say “that’s the company for me. They’ve won an award and proven themselves.”  Just because an organization has some sort of national recognized standing doesn’t mean they are the be all and end all.  Maybe one of them is the perfect employer for you, but maybe not?  Do perks (ie. benefits/vacation/office space/technology) matter to you?  If they don’t, I’d say the right employer for you is not on the that list.

Think outside the box.  Be creative.  Forget about money or resources.  Where do you see yourself?

Through this process, I decided I would love to work in External Relations at the United Nations. [Specific eh? :)]  Slightly terrifying to write that down as it seems like a huge leap from where I am right now.  A typical applicant for this type of role?  Public Relations/Communications background, Masters Degree, Bilingual, extrovert, etc.  I’ve got the extrovert in me already, but the rest… quite the gap in skill-set.

What employee characteristics does the UN look for?

Does making a difference motivate you? Are you selfless and driven to be a part of a bigger purpose in the service of humanity? And, are hope and strength of character attributes which will guide your zeal to make a difference in a complex world?Are you the type of person who will travel and work anywhere at a moment’s notice?

Do you thrive in an environment that is truly international and multi-cultural, which respects as well as promotes diversity and functions at its best through the efforts of teams of different people?

These are some of the characteristics that you will find in our staff.

We want people with integrity. People who are fair, impartial, honest and truthful. We want dynamic and adaptable persons who are not afraid to think creatively, to be proactive, flexible and responsive.

If you think you embody these values then this is the place for you and your career.

From the bottom of my heart [and at the present moment], yes to absolutely everything.

I entered into the field of Human Resources because I was good at it, in fact I excelled in every HR class I’ve ever taken.  I’m a people person with a knack for business.  I have good judgment, problem solving skills, leadership ability, and truly enjoy helping both employees and management.  Working in HR has taught me to appreciate policy and guidelines, advocate for employees, and to understand why HR is essential in today’s organizations.

HR has allowed me to develop my communications skills.  Whether it be, verbal/non-verbal, formal/informal, I am comfortable over all channels.  I’ve been given kudos for my ability to be casual, yet professional, with all levels of employees and management. At times, I need to work on my ability to be concise [obviously ;)], but the ability to communicate effectively has proven to be one of my strengths.

Working in HR has clearly shown me that I have a natural ability (and truly want) to help others.  The looming question… does a life-long profession in HR fully utilize my skill-set?  In the long-term, I believe that I need to merge my HR/corporate knowledge and ability to communicate, with a community-driven, client-facing international role.

How will I bridge myself from my current intermediate HR role to External Relations at the United Nations? First of all, I need to keep on doing what I’m doing.  Continually proving myself, developing my skill-set, maintaining my reputation in the industry.  There is no reason for me to abandon the HR profession at the the present time, it’s not harming my future.  I’m still learning, still developing a skill-set that would benefit a role in Corporate Relations.  Secondly, if I truly want to work for the UN or in the international limelight, I need to consider a second language.  Grade 10 French will likely not make the cut. :) Lastly, life-long learning is important. I would love to complete my Masters degree, but can confidently say I am not ready yet.  I need to get involved with the United Nations on a local or national level – whether that be volunteering with the UNAC or liaising via the JCI Canada’s National Board.  I need to network and learn from others.  I need to do research to understand the life of an expat.

Maybe this all won’t work out.  Maybe my career direction will change.  Maybe I’ll end up staying in Calgary.  What’s important is that you have goals.  Dream big and believe in yourself.  Break down barriers and create opportunity.  You can truly achieve anything you put your mind to.

“By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands — your own.” – Mark Victor Hansen

Think about where you want to be. Now, how are you going to get there?


  1. Nicole August 19, 2010

    Yet another awesome post Jill! I know that you will achieve your big dreams! :D xoxo

  2. jillianwalker August 19, 2010

    Thank you lady. Now I want to know what your dreams are. :)

  3. Monique August 20, 2010

    Lovely post Jill. I ask myself often what I am doing to further myself and my job/career. Constantly rearanging goals and targets. One day we will be get exactly where we want to be, just know the path is being paved :)

  4. Jen August 21, 2010

    oooooh my comment was nice and long and then I hit the wrong button and lost it all. I promise to send an email related to this post…don’t let me forget. In the meantime, I just wanted to let you know that I was thinking about you. :)

  5. Karen August 23, 2010

    Fanstastic post Jillian, I’ve actually read it twice now because it ‘speaks’ to me and I love reading what the strong, young women in Calgary dream of doing. I feel blessed because twice in my life I took the leap of faith to follow my dreams and it was the best thing I have ever done. Once, to move to Japan for 2 years in the middle of my Bach degree (my parents were not impressed!) and the second time to leave Calgary corporate oil & gas to live and work in Grand Cayman for 7 years (met my husband there!).

    Friends and family used to say ‘you are so lucky to live in Cayman!’ and I would tell them luck had nothing to do with it – I made it happen!

    I would encourage yourself and all your readers to actually put on paper what their dream is, research the steps to get there (or even part of it) and start contacting anyone and everyone who might help you get there. Make changes in your life to help you get there. Through pure self determination you can make anything happen for yourself – and let me tell you it is the most exhilarating, scary, exciting feeling you will ever have!


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