I think I can finally say it….. because it became official at the start of this week with the signing of my paperwork….
As of today I am wrapping up my work position to go on holiday and when I return I’ll be starting a new job working in salmon stewardship. I’m not going to type the name of my program in here because I don’t want to be google-able in that way – but in broad terms, I am moving away from communications and into a job fostering partnerships and new directions in BC’s salmon story.
Some of you know that I have spent 20+ year of my life in government fisheries work, I am a certified fisheries field tech with a communications degree and a lifetime of union experience in fisheries-related workplaces to boot. So although this is a departure from my field of communications, I am bringing all the relevant skills and some of the necessary knowledge into the new role. The rest I’m just going to have to learn as I go (which is the part that excites me – I love that I get the opportunity to delve more deeply into this field at this stage of my career).
Earlier this week though, I was ready to pull the plug on the whole thing. The paperwork hadn’t happened and I was feeling a lot of stress. I thought the stress was related to feeling unprepared to make the job change, a fear of failure and all that. But then on Tuesday, the paperwork got signed… and immediately all my trepidation disappeared. I realized afterwards that it wasn’t the new job I was stressed about; the fact it might not come through was upsetting me. Since then I’ve been focused on wrapping up my current job, a big research report for Coast Guard, an internal accessibility survey, a number of external-facing projects I’ve been managing – and realizing that hot damn, I’ve been good at my job these last few years. I *am* good at my job. And that I’ll be fine going into a new one because I am able to work with people, and information, and systems which is what I’ve done my whole career (union and work).
The photo up top is one I took seven years ago, right before I moved into my current role, when I had the opportunity to attend the Adams River Sockeye festival as part of my job (something I’ve got to do more than once). I grew up on the west coast and have often been moved by the sight of migrating salmon. Since going to work in fisheries in my mid-twenties I have worked in the midst of an ecological crisis involving the loss of many stocks and species to climate change, habitat destruction, and overfishing. I cannot think about the beauty and resilience of these creatures without also feeling a great fear and sorrow for our future. I don’t move into this new role under any illusions about what can really be done in the face of it all. But in these last years of my career, change in perspective and practice with regard to salmon and other species is something I feel lucky to work on.
I’m only going into the new job as an assignment, which means that if things don’t work, I can step back in my other role again – but I’m hopeful that this will be a place of meaning and challenge for me, and that I can make an impact on this world in some small way before I’m gone from the workplace, before things change too much more for the worse.