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A Working Title

Posted on February 09 2018 | Author: Molly Gallant

For those of you that read the title of this post and assumed I simply forgot to add in a title and instead left a placeholder there, you would be partially right (everyone knows - titles can be tricky!) but also mistaken. Ever since I began contemplating my career and more recently, taking my first job in the Agri-Business sector, I struggled with categorizing myself and my capabilities into a couple of words.

From a young age, we are asked what we want to be when we grow up. Lawyer, doctor, and teacher were all common answers. And to some extent, a desire to label myself in this simplistic manner has held true through to adulthood. With a background in nutritional sciences and several diverse interests, answering this question can be difficult if not panic-inducing. Upon several occasions, exasperated, I’ve wanted nothing more than to be able to reduce my interests and role to one word, one profession.

Participation in the New Graduate and Mentorship Program through Bioenterprise has offered me the opportunity to work in a role that I struggle to define. However, as I learn and grow, I am becoming increasingly comfortable with this uncertainty.

In writing this post, I was asked to first identify my role. Inevitably, this straightforward question has allowed me to evaluate and consider my work, my role, my employer’s expectations as well as my own goals. Sometimes, when you’re working for a small company, and when you’re as exceptionally lucky as I am, your position is something fluid and unique. I have been working with Henry’s Tempeh now for the past few months and sometimes feel no closer to defining my role as I was the first day I stepped into their shop. Henry’s Tempeh is a small food manufacturing company located in Kitchener, Ontario that produces high-quality, delicious tempeh. Using local, GMO-free and organic soybeans that are fermented, pasteurized and packaged, they produce an excellent plant-based protein alternative.

I was hired to assist with the monitoring of their HACCP food safety program. The more comfortable I became with these responsibilities, the more efficiently I was able to manage them. As I learned more about the company, I became involved with their marketing strategies, business goals and product development initiatives. I’ve even stepped into production on several occasions and just ran my first delivery last week. Interacting directly with the owners and being asked to help with problem-solving issues has contributed to both my personal and professional growth, increased confidence as well as provided an excellent learning experience.

I recall filling out a form for a conference at work one day and of course, being asked to state my position. I cautiously looked to my co-worker Jason for an answer. He simply shrugged, and suggested I make up a title.

I can’t even remember what I put down that day but ultimately, it’s not your position title that is important. More important is the work you do, the people you work with and your own enthusiasm and passion that create your role.

Author:
Molly Gallant
Analyst, Henry's Tempeh
Bioenterprise Recent Graduate & Mentorship Program






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