“Jill of all trades, master of none, though often times better than master of one."
Curiosity, a passion for learning and an openness to experience define Alex. When she was young, her career aspirations ranged from being a marine biologist to race car driver to photojournalist to illustrator, but didn't stop there.
She got her first job in high school working at a call centre selling lottery tickets for major Canadian charities, providing her valuable customer service experience that would benefit her in future roles. When she graduated high school and left for the University of Victoria to get a degree in English, her hope was to write the next great Canadian novel. After a year, she decided that wasn't quite what she wanted to do so she transferred to OCAD for drawing and painting. (One thing that has remained a constant in her life is her love of art).
After a year and a half there, she left school and worked several jobs over the next 5 years. She worked in the professional services centre at a nursery dealing with contractors and landscapers, was a supervisor and trainer at a movie theatre, and at a Salvation Army in Montreal for a few months. She eventually decided to finish her English degree, this time attending York University. After graduating, she took an unexpected job at a butcher's where she sold meat and had to clean the bone saw, which was, in her words, "pretty gross". (I'm inclined to believe her.)
It was a relatively short stint. She left and took up a part-time role assisting with a stamp auction. Learning about history and geography had always been of interest to her and stamp appraisal provided an unexpected gateway to expand her knowledge in those arenas. After the auction she kept showing up until it turned into a full-time gig becoming a philatelist, which is where she is at today.
The varied roles she has embraced over the years have allowed her to develop a wide skill set and knowledge base that fed her curiosity and fueled her growth - from plant knowledge to training employees to bartending to customer service - even getting her forklift certification.
Alex eventually wants to settle into social work, though she's not ready to commit to a more defined path just yet. Her next goal is to teach English in Japan.
When I asked her what she hopes to see when she looks back on her life after retirement she had this to say:
It is easy to jump to the conclusion of aimlessness, and it is a reaction that is in no way foreign to Alex. But a defined singular career path is not for everyone. Her aim is to learn, and to build her life on her terms and her career by her definition.
Alex is a woman of many talents, skills and interests - a true Jill of all trades and an asset to any organization or endeavour she involves herself in because of that.