Don G. dons many hats. It was through his varied experiences and paths taken throughout the course of his career in a number of different roles and industries that he became an asset in any department he was placed in.
As with many people, Don's journey began in high school when he was considering his next steps post-graduation. The culminating project working on a magazine-style piece for his creative writing class in his final year triggered his pursuit of a degree in general arts at the University of Toronto. He decided to drop out for a number of reasons part way through the program, instead opting for a journalism degree from Ryerson. The journalism program taught him invaluable skills that lay the foundation his career was built upon: how to approach people, how to gather information, and how to work independently. It was also through his journalism degree at Ryerson that he got involved as an editor for a monthly student magazine that published student writing and art pieces, which inspired him to pursue a career in book publishing.
Don's plan was to enter into book publishing through book retail. It was there that he worked his way up through numerous promotions, learning and picking up habits, approaches and techniques from talented peers. Eventually, an opportunity arose to become the right-hand man for an entrepreneur starting his own magazine publishing company. He lept at the opportunity, and as it turned out, was actually a better match for his skills and experience than book publishing.
This proved to be a crucial career decision going forward as he learned how to manage an office on the job, learning to wear many hats to meet objectives. He was responsible for circulation, the newstand channel, accounting and bookkeeping, and even learned entrepreneurial skills and computing (it was 1986 and personal computers had yet to become mainstream). These skills served him well throughout his career and continue to do so in his current consulting work.
Over time, Don became known as 'The Fixer' - you could drop him into any situation or area of a business that was struggling and he would be able to analyze the situation and propose and implement solutions to improve overall efficiency and profitability. Eventually, he reached point where he was forced to specialize and focus on one area of the business: circulation or accounting. His boss encouraged him to choose accounting, insisting that he would do well and that it would serve him well in his career. Don heeded his advice, despite his resistance to a field that so many of his family members were already in.
During the next few years, Don applied his financical savvy to a number of different companies in a number of different industries until 2011. Since then Don has been applying his entrpreneurial skills by providing consulting services to various Canadian businesses.
Over the course of his career, Don G. built an impressive and varied toolbox of skills, experiences and know-how that allowed him to be successful in multiple business departments and industries. He continues to carry out consulting contracts, but also relishes the time he has to himself. Having always been interested in creative writing, Don now has the time to explore poetry and other creative writing endeavours that he hasn't had time for since high school.
When I asked him what having a career means to him he had this to say:
"A linear career sounds very appealing. It's certainly advantageous in many regards: know what you want to do and go out and do it, no delays or detours. Straightforward. But linearity, for all its advantages, may numb one to worlds of possibilities."
And Don has had the privilege of exploring a plethora of possibilities, building a career that ultimately made him into a business handyman; savvy and capable in any department.