I've been working with the folks at Ontario Digital Service (ODS) for over a year now. I started in May of 2020 with very little understanding of how government works, or how the people in public service work to get things done. I started in the beginning stages of the pandemic, when the world was learning to work digitally. Like many of my peers, I've spent the last 15 months working out of my bedroom in the basement of my parents house.
We're building products and services that help people. I am someone that considers why things are the way they are, and contemplates how they might grow and be better. I'm someone that considers the ethos of the work I do when deciding what to do next.
It feels natural to try and continue that work: I've seen first hand how hard my friends and co-workers in public service pour their heart into trying to help people. To put it simply, I feel like the work I do is important, and I feel empowered to drive service delivery to a simpler, easier place with the ODS.
So, I’ve decided to stick around! I was successful in securing a new, more permanent position than the co-op I've been serving. I’ve been promoted to “Senior UX Specialist” and I’ll be working out of the Toronto office someday, when it’s safe to do that.
Personally, I’m taking the new role as an opportunity to re-locate and re-define my everyday life. I’m moving to downtown Toronto where I can expect new challenges and enjoy new surroundings. I'll be completing my degree part-time, with the goal of graduating 12 months from now.
Publicly, the stated goal of the leadership group at ODS is to become the leading digital jurisdiction in the world.
In practice, the goal I see exemplified by my co-workers every day is to make each moment of interaction with government products and services a bit easier on people.
We live in an exhausting world: one full of over-stimulation, frustration, and general discontentment and resentment. Interacting with the government in any context is often the last thing someone wants to take time to do in their day; that's not lost on me as a public servant.
What I feel capable of doing in my role with the ODS is driving change. I feel empowered to push culture toward simplifying the user journey and reducing friction, so that we avoid adding to the burden of everyday life. It's something that not every organization has the luxury of doing — after all, most companies need to sell things to keep the lights on. Not feeling driving by a sales cycle is a huge benefit to working in public service.
I’m looking forward to the future, and looking forward to the newness that will come with this next chapter. If you want to keep up with what I’m up to, you can check this website or subscribe to my email newsletter in the footer of the site. Thanks for caring. Be well :)