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Member of the Week: Nicholas Charney

1- What was your path to the public service/current job?

I left a major NHL Franchise during the height of their cup run to join the public service in 2007. (Yeah you read that right!)

My career since then has been that of a journeyman.

I won’t bore you with all of the details, suffice it to say that I’ve been both under-utilized and over-extended; I’ve experienced both atrophy and overtime; and I’ve seen both the best and the worst the public service has to offer. The story is somewhat of a roller coaster ride, but people seem to identify with it.

As a matter of fact I will be presenting my story in detail at the upcoming Next Generation Government conference in Washington in July. I don’t want to give too much of it away, but the short version is that I started in a very bad place and in three years have turned my passion into my profession, being promoted 3 times along the way. All in all, I am really excited about being back in Washington, visiting with my friends at Govloop and being a part of the conference. As Steve would say, its going to be awesome.

2 – What awesome projects are you working on now?

Right now I’m holding the pen on an agency wide strategy aimed at better engaging internal stakeholders using web 2.0 technologies. The strategy tackles issues like departmental connectivity, the availability of enabling tools, and workplace culture. I’ve also been drawn into a project that may produce a new data set for my department, so I will be working hard to ensure that we publish the raw data to the web in a way that makes it useful.

3 – What have been some of your most memorable experiences in public service?

Ironically, my most memorable experiences in the public service are the ones I wish never happened. Along the way I learned a lot of things the hard way. That being said, I don’t hold those memories close because I begrudge the people who were involved but because I find them incredibly motivating. Personally, nothing lights a fire under me more than being told it can’t be done, or that I will never succeed.

4 – What advice do you have for people who are new to the public sector?

I could give them a whole lot, but if I had to limit it to two things I would say that what I have learned through experience is that your reputation and your relationships are your best assets in the public sector, so take care in managing them both. Ultimately, how you manage those things will determine your own personal success and the success of the organization you work for.

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Nicholas Charney

@Steve – I will never tell you ;p

@All thanks so much for the continued support, let’s keep this boat moving!

Robert Giggey

Congratulations Nick. We’ve been able to benefit from some of the work you’ve been doing. Which in itself is atypical.

Andrew Krzmarzick

Charney – you rock! NextGenGov – beers…that we didn’t have in DC at Gov 2.0 Expo.

“…nothing lights a fire under me more than being told it can’t be done, or that I will never succeed.”

I do see a little resemblance here 🙂

Rébecca Verrall

Great interview! Its wonderful to see someone with so much passion getting some spotlight to inspire and encourage others.