• Blog,  Transitioning to the Workplace

    Transitioning to the Workplace #8

    I’m writing this in the library café at the university I’m due to graduate from in less than two months. Over there, in the corner overlooking the fountain, I remember studying for gender studies quizzes with friends, and in the display case sit the red-grape chicken sandwiches I used to crave after every three-hour-long workshop class. In committing the majority of the last two years—16 out of 24 months—to the co-op program, for better or worse I have lost touch with this campus. I have given some thought to grad school; it’s almost cliche now, the notion that an M.A. is the new B.A., and that to get ahead in…

  • Blog,  Transitioning to the Workplace

    Transitioning to the Workplace #7

    Outside of gaining a greater understanding of my gender identity, over the course of the past few months I’ve learned a great deal about adapting to a workplace’s demands and expectations, as well as learned where and when I can push those expectations to meet mine. Whenever I enter a new workplace, I find that I don’t have any trouble fitting in on the surface. I’m a very social person, and I easily get caught up on the employer’s traditions and in-jokes and find ways in which to integrate myself into the work environment. However, I also find that I struggle internally with the gradual adjustments a new workplace makes.…

  • Blog,  Transitioning to the Workplace

    Transitioning to the Workplace #6

    One of the most interesting things about the British Columbia Public Service is the range and depth of positions it offers. The other day, a posting went up for a policy analyst job with our ministry’s policy, research and legislation branch. While I’m one law degree and a few years of experience shy of being in the running for that position, I still kept a copy as a sort of visualizing tool. Because even though I’m only a co-op student (classified as an auxiliary employee), I still get access to the entire B.C. government job board as an internal applicant. In the interest of finding a regular, full-time position with…

  • Blog,  Transitioning to the Workplace

    Transitioning to the Workplace #5

    The first government co-op job I applied for was the third co-op I got. Huh? I first interviewed for my position with the B.C. Ministry of Energy and Mines in November 2014, but I wasn’t offered the job until the following summer, after I had tried and failed at working at a small-town newspaper in the depths of the wild Saskatchewan winter, and tried and succeeded at working as a legal assistant at a hip non-profit downtown (back on the West Coast). I didn’t even have to interview a second time for the job; they hired me solely based on how well I had done the first time. When it…

  • Blog,  Transitioning to the Workplace

    Transitioning to the Workplace #4

    The package that accompanies a co-op employment with the B.C. government is pretty standard across the board. You get a standardized hourly wage, access to the same flexible working options as your co-workers, such as taking one day off every two weeks, and you get a small percentage salary bump in exchange for the complete lack of any health benefits or medical leave whatsoever. This came as a huge surprise in my first co-op with the government, when I had to take a week off to recover from strep throat and found out when I returned that no amount of that was paid leave, and that I would be expected…

  • Blog,  Transitioning to the Workplace

    Transitioning to the Workplace #3

    Further to my previous post, I’d like to delve into the politics of being out in the workplace. For almost half of my life—since at least the onset of puberty—I identified as a gay man. This isn’t something I went out of my way to hide from my co-workers at the various jobs I’ve held. Some people, like the cashier at the 24-hour grocery store I worked at for a couple years, picked up on my sexuality from my effeminate mannerisms and occasionally over-expressive way of waving my hands around when I talk. Others, like my manager at that same job, figured it out when I booked time off for…

  • Blog,  Transitioning to the Workplace

    Transitioning to the Workplace #2

    Yikes…it’s been three whole months since I wrote my last instalment of this series. For anyone who has been following my blog raptly, I apologize for completely abandoning my promise of updating you all after my first day of work. I want to excuse that delay by telling you I was caught off-guard by something a co-worker said on that first day, or that I felt too nervous to write the rest of that post, or that I was kidnapped by a group of rabid businessmen who kept me captive somewhere far from the Internet for the past three months. But no, as you’ve likely already figured out, I’ve just…

  • Blog,  Transitioning to the Workplace

    Transitioning to the Workplace #1

    Today is my first day returning to government work, and my first day of doing so openly as a trans woman—albeit only to my friends and family so far; I got this job under the pretense that I was a man. I’m not sure when, or if, I will come out at work. My current contract is for only 4 months, with no indication whether or not there will be room for extension. I’m not worried about finding work; as an internal applicant I’ll have several options open to me when my contract runs out. But the question  of coming out as trans remains. I am writing this in a…