Serendipity is…

…meeting your goals when you least expect it.

I would probably describe myself as a goal-oriented person. Few things satisfy me more than a finished product. That’s why I think I like quilting so much. While the process keeps me busy, the end product is just so beautiful, it makes the time consuming task of putting the darn thing together completely worth it.

When I was finishing up my last year of university, I approached my radio professor and asked what he suggested I do if I wanted to work for CBC. He said the north was probably the best place to start, and that he knew the program manager in Nunavut. He gave me the man’s email address, I sent my resume along, but was told there weren’t any openings at that time.

A few weeks later, my professor asked if I was billingual, I said yes… and he sent my contact information onto another friend/colleague, the manager out of Quebec City. A couple weeks later, I was hired on contract for four months, to cover summer vacations. I turned down a permanent weekly newspaper job to take the CBC gig, even though it was only for a few months. Working for CBC had been my dream. And I got it. Straight out of school.

So I set a new goal for myself. I didn’t just want to work for the CBC, I wanted to feel safe. I wanted a permanent job. It quickly became apparent Quebec City wouldn’t have enough money to keep me on full time through the fall, so I started to look at the jobs site for other opportunities.

A couple months in, I got an email from the manager in Nunavut. A reporter job was being advertised in Rankin Inlet, I should apply. So I did, on a lark. I did the necessary research, I read blogs, I boned up on my Nunavut and Rankin Inlet trivia. And somehow, this CBC neophite with just 4 months experience (CURRENT AFFAIRS experience, I might add) landed her first permanent job with the CBC.

My first month on the job was spent laughing off the “Why you’re just a BABY!” comments. It was true. I was young (haha, okay, still am). Young and carefree and optimistic. My life goal of being a full-time, permanent employee of the MOTHERCORP had been accomplished. At twenty-two.

I don’t know who it was who first asked me, but somewhere along the line came the question of “what’s next.” And out nowhere I pulled this totally unacheiveable goal of working at the Vancouver bureau for the 2010 olympics.

You see, the family and I spent three weeks in and around Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Whistler and the Okanogan when I was 17 and I fell in love with the place. An Island girl at heart, I loved the Pacific almost as much as I loved the Atlantic, and I was enchanted with the lifestyle. I can remember standing with my feet in the sand in West Vancouver, the sand stretching as far as I could see to my left, and the water in front of me. Beyond it, mountains. To my right was the city and sky scrapers and at my back, trees. On the sand was a group of people playing beach volleyball. It was lunchtime, and the players were businessmen who had thrown their suit jackets and dress shoes to the side of the court and rolled up their pantlegs. I was convinced Vancouver was THE COOLEST PLACE EVER. And I told myself THIS was a place I could live.

So my Vancouver 2010/CBC goal while a bit of a stretch, was one grounded in location. And I thought that was far enough in the future that it *could* happen, but I knew in my heart it probably wouldn’t. After awhile I stopped telling people that was my new goal, and lost hope that it would happen – especially as news about layoffs came down the pipeline. Suddenly it wasn’t realistic to hope to have a NEW job, it was a big enough challenge to keep the one I had.

And in the end, as most of you know, I didn’t. The Rankin Inlet reporter position was eliminated, and I was sent home.

So I find it quite amusing that two years after having set what seemed like a totally unrealistic and somewhat arbitrary goal… I am closer to it than I ever thought I would be.

And while Kelowna isn’t Vancouver, maybe it’s a better fit (if there’s anything I learned about myself over the past 2 years it’s that I don’t have any immediate desire to live and/or work in a megacity like Toronto or Vancouver: too big, too impersonal, too little space for me and a pup). I’m sure they already have all the plans in place for who’s doing what where and how for Olympics coverage… but maybe there’s a chance I’ll get to sneak in an see something, press pass in hand.

And that’s pretty darn cool.


As I look back on this entry, I realize I have written it more for myself than for you, dear readers. I’ve had a lot of luck and good fortune in my life, often when I’ve been looking the other way.

And sometimes I forget that.

13 Responses to “Serendipity is…”

  1. geri sharkey Says:

    Quite nice, Jackie…Mary Lou was wondering if you have a plan in mind for moving…are you making two trips or taking your stuff & find a spot to live at the same time ?

  2. Megan Says:

    Man, I could have written the top half of this myself. You’d only need to change about five words.

  3. Lindsay Says:

    Very well written Jackie, and congratulations on the job!!! Well deserved!

  4. geri sharkey Says:

    Hi Jackie….ML emailed me today & said the webpage for Kelowna is Castanet….maybe you have already found that out !! How is Hfx.? It is a good little piece of the world to celebrate in …do you have friends there ?

    • Jackie S. Quire Says:

      Geri, I sent you an email re: contact information for your friend. I’m trying to find out if she would consider looking at an apartment for me.

  5. Mara Feeney Says:

    Hi Jackie–I also was posted to a big job in Rankin Inlet by age 22. Did you enjoy your time there? (And Kelowna is not a bad place to land!). Good luck, and look up my book–“Rankin Inlet: A Novel.” I’m pretty sure you will enjoy reading it.

    Mara Feeney
    Author of Rankin Inlet: A Novel
    ISBN 978-0-9819319-5-1

  6. Reflections in the Snow-Covered Hills » Blog Archive » Jackie has inspired me Says:

    […] Jackie’s story is here. […]

  7. Meandering Michael Says:

    Cool! Congrats!

  8. Gold medal hatred « Serendipity Now Says:

    […] Gold medal hatred Once upon a time I was very very VERY excited about the Olympics coming to BC. […]

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