Fifteen. That's the number of jobs an average Canadian holds in his/her career according to a recent survey. This figure seems to be on the rise, particularly among younger generations, highlighting a shift in our work landscape. Evidently, the traditional notion of sticking to one career path and skill set for life is quickly fading away. Society is rapidly changing and should we. Perhaps, more important than formal education or natural talent, is the ability to navigate and thrive in an ever-changing environment. If you're feeling anxious or fearful about the twists and turns that lie ahead, allow me to introduce you to Arlene Kelly-Williams. When faced with unexpected circumstances, Arlene chose to confront them head-on and forge a new career path. Transitioning from her role as an editor/assistant at a photography studio to a project management administrator in the emergency management/property restoration industry, it was her courage and determination that made Arlene excel in her new domain.
Interview by Abigail Chung
Part 1: Arlene at ARS / Global Emergency Management
Abigail (Ab): Nice to meet you. First of all, can you give me a brief description of what your role is and how long you've been a member of ARS?
Arlene (Ar): I have been with ARS for a little over 2 years. I started with the company as a receptionist. During the time of being a receptionist, I was trained to enter into the Project Management Administrator role. I have been a Project Manager Administrator for a little over a year now and am enjoying every minute of this position.
Ab: It sounds like you got promoted in such a short period of time. How were you able to achieve such rapid advancement?
Ar: Two things. To begin with, I embrace challenges rather than run away from challenges. As long as I am confident that I am on a good track, I am open to hustling and learning. Taking charge of your own life is essential. Being passive won't lead to positive outcomes for you. Second, you need to be surrounded by people who are willing to help you, invest in you, and walk with you. The Waterloo/Kitchener office has a very unique culture in which mutual support and care are deeply ingrained. If someone has an issue, it becomes everyone's issue. I would have not been here if it weren't for my colleagues who showed me their genuine backing and dedication.
Ab: Tell me more about the corporate culture here in the Waterloo/Kitchener office. What do you think makes this office stand out?
Ar: In numerous instances, companies make claims about caring for their employees' well-being and promoting fair treatment. Unfortunately, these statements often turn out to be misleading marketing campaigns. That's why I was so pleasantly surprised when I joined the company. Here, you are clearly expected to respect and honour one another. Every member of the Waterloo/Kitchener office shares a profound sense of solidarity and unity. When I first joined the company, I had no prior knowledge or experience in this industry. Then people intentionally took the time to teach and train me. Now, I am delighted to extend the same support to others, having experienced it firsthand.
Part 2: Arlene with Her Story & Philosophy
Part 3: Rapid Fire