Originally posted on#GovLife.
In my last post, I provided you all with some background as to who I am. One of the things I find fascinating about the public service (particularly in Ottawa) is that it’s a microcosm of Canada. It doesn’t attract a specific personality type or background – it is literally, equal opportunity. Which is great. It means that we get to interact with people, on a daily basis, who have different backgrounds, opinions, and experience than us.
As a child of the 80s, I grew up with shows like Saved by the Bell that really played up the high school archetypes (also, remember the College Years?). It was a time where athletes were lauded and geeks were ridiculed. Since then, the tables have turned and it’s the geeks who are prevailing (in the early 90s would you ever have imagined a show like the Big Bang Theory being as successful as it is?) and the athletes who are the comic relief.
While the geeks are having their day (and while I’m an athlete, I’m also kinda geeky), I think it’s important for us to remember what makes the public service so valuable: its diversity.
Yes, geeks have useful skill sets and perspectives. Yes, everyone should learn how to code (at least a little). But it’s important that we don’t start pigeon-holing ourselves into making sure we all have the same skills.
Athletes, like geeks, have just as important skill sets (something I plan on delving into at another time). Being able to hold on to what makes us unique is so important in a team. If we only hung out and interacted with people who were the same as us, there would be little innovation, which is something that urban planners take (or should take) into account when designing spaces. So stop and take a look at who your team(s) are. Is there enough diversity?
So whether your a geek, an athlete, a wonk, or whatever, fly your flag and fly it proud.