1) How and when did your employment journey begin with the City of Portland?
I began job searching in fall 2017. With support from a career self-help book, I came up with a list of “must-haves” for a new job: located in the Pacific Northwest, involving a lot of writing, preferably disability rights-related, and a role that helped me feel like I was making a difference in the world. About two months in, this job posting appeared in my inbox, and I applied thinking it was a long shot. To my surprise I was invited for an interview, then another one, and then offered the job. I started working at the City in spring 2018 and haven’t looked back since.
2) What is your current role?
I’m the Disability Resources and Employment Specialist (DRES) at the Bureau of Human Resources. My job is to manage and grow the City’s new Disability Employment Program, which includes the development of equitable workforce systems, supporting an inclusive workforce culture, managing recruitment, and data collection and analysis.
3) Name one thing that you enjoy most or look forward to about your job?
The variety! No two days are the same in my job, which is perfect for my working style. Some days I’m moving from meeting to meeting all over the city; other days I’m troubleshooting an urgent situation; and some days I’m at my desk writing a manual or developing a training. It’s also amazing to watch how small seeds and ideas flourish over time, and become transformative, impactful programs and projects.
4) What is one advice or tip would you give to those seeking employment with the City?
Know thyself, and apply that to your job hunt. The City has a huge range of jobs and work environments. If you’re someone who benefits from a steady schedule and pace, we have both office and field work that matches that. If you are like me and need lots of different activities to keep your interest, we also have work environments that offer myriad tasks and opportunities to tackle. Don’t hesitate to look up news articles, reports, and webpages to get a sense of the Bureaus you’re interested in working with. That will help you narrow down what you’re really looking for.