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Has anyone taken those situational tests for the PSC of Canada?

  • Last Updated:
  • May 28th, 2017 1:54 am
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Jr. Member
Dec 9, 2007
156 posts
15 upvotes
PEs are not unionized.

This CR position sounds likely to be a HR assistant which is unionized.
Jr. Member
Apr 29, 2012
130 posts
51 upvotes
I think we're saying the same thing OscarWilde, but I beg to differ on one point: your work should speak for itself.

It's all well and good to say that your work speaks for itself and while I agree with that in theory (and always will) there are instances in the PS where you do have to emphasize your academic credentials. But first a little context - I am NOT a credentialist and believe that individuals who have the drive and motivation are fully capable of learning their craft either through hands on experience or through formal education. The difference is that someone who has undertaken formal education already has the foundational knowledge to hit the ground running.

I have a masters in Economics and Social Sciences: International Business Management which was very relevant to the Department I used to work for. All stakeholders that we dealt with on a regular basis - right up to the UN - had counterparts who were educated to the masters level (at minimum). Most have PhD's and Post-docs. I happened to join a unit where individuals somehow managed to firmly plant themselves there for life - thanks UNION - despite not having a clue what they were doing and their insecurities drove them to insulate themselves from the rest of the Department as they could not properly interact with internal clients, and certainly not our external partners (e.g. UN).

They formed a clique and used strong arm tactics and other unsavory behaviors to keep their jobs despite Agency-wide complaints of a lack of service for nearly twenty years. So, I somehow ended up on this team and having a background in OB, I immediately hid my education from them to avoid being ostracized and bullied. When every single client and executive sat up and took notice of my "work", the mobbing from my 'colleagues' commenced. They dug into my background and realized I had a masters and then they started taunting me that my degree was useless and they would advance ahead of me b/c they knew the Director/DG etc..

This clique purposely started removing my files and responsibilities so that I would not have any visibility, contact or references from clients and senior stakeholders. They gave me mickey mouse work to ensure that I could not apply to any other positions and would go stir crazy to the point that I would quit. Trust that I tried to leave many times without complaining just to escape but they kept bad mouthing me behind my back to prospective employers for some reason so I was stuck for years!

When I finally managed to leave (DRAP) I had to put my credentials on my resumé in the hopes that that HR or hiring managers would be able to assess competencies based on my education since I had no real experience, as this clique had disadvantaged me in every possible way for no other reason than they harbored some deep seated insecurities. Unfortunately, HR does not really make any decisions on hiring nor do they have the oversight everyone thinks they do - at least not in the unit I worked for.

Irony: During DRAP my manager (now a Director) who gave me the mickey mouse work had the nerve to tell me to go do a PhD during my leave - so a masters degree is apparently useless in the PS but a PhD is not? I knew when she told me this that she just wanted me out of the way given her immense insecurity around me. She's a Director now :facepalm:

So, this is a fact of life in gov and unless and until HR and PSC come into the 21st century and start placing individuals in positions/units where there are shared values, experiences, knowledge (formal education or self-taught) etc this will forever be an issue. Workplace well-being, harassment and mental health issues etc will never go away until HR gets their s--t together, take back the power and authority they seem to have given away and become strong strategic business partners.

HR....I'm available Smiling Face With Sunglasses
Candidates: Please don't let this dissuade you - consider this a public service announcement from a well-wisher. Knowledge is power and while the system is less than perfect, you can still make it, but you just need to be smart and vigilant. There are good and bad people everywhere and I have worked with some incredibly amazing individuals in this same Department whose guidance I will cherish forever.

Peace and best wishes to all!
OscarWilde38 wrote:
Mar 22nd, 2017 2:04 pm
Not to be blunt, but honestly, there's little to no reason to ever really need to highlight your PhD (or really any educational credentials) once you are actually hired and working. It is irrelevant. Your capabilities and effectiveness as an employee will come out in your work or not, proof in the pudding style. If you're into titles, you can tack it onto your signature, but otherwise why is anyone going to be exposed to this information and why should they care? Your contributions will be either good or bad based on their own merits.

Unless it is an essential or asset criteria, in which case that level of study is minimally required/deemed valuable directly relating to the role needing to be filled, having been awarded your PhD in and of itself is meaningless. Your experiences in research, managing workload/time, etc. that came from your PhD studies are what allow you to tick off competency or knowledge criteria, but since not all PhDs are created equal just like not all work experience is, it's up to you to highlight the specifics in terms of experience and knowledge these things helped you develop and be exposed to, not simply the fact you attained them. Aside from some colleagues who I know on a more personal level and thus we've talked about our time in university as part of our personal lives or interests etc., I have no clue what education my coworkers have beyond the basics I can infer from their classifications (ECs must have somewhere along the way taken an Economics, Sociology, or Statistics course, for example). And that's just fine because it doesn't overly matter in most situations.
Last edited by Dazzled on Mar 22nd, 2017 5:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Jr. Member
Apr 29, 2012
130 posts
51 upvotes
Hi!

Are you serious that PE's are not unionized? Why didn't someone tell me this when I first joined govt! Disappointed But Relieved Face
flair.14 wrote:
Mar 22nd, 2017 4:57 pm
PEs are not unionized.
Jr. Member
Oct 16, 2015
140 posts
13 upvotes
Really? Too many examples to share. Just look at this lengthy process for FS recruiting.
PublicServant wrote:
Mar 22nd, 2017 5:34 am
Care to elaborate on this?
Jr. Member
Oct 16, 2015
140 posts
13 upvotes
Thank you for telling the truth!
Dazzled wrote:
Mar 22nd, 2017 5:55 pm
I think we're saying the same thing OscarWilde, but I beg to differ on one point: your work should speak for itself.

It's all well and good to say that your work speaks for itself and while I agree with that in theory (and always will) there are instances in the PS where you do have to emphasize your academic credentials. But first a little context - I am NOT a credentialist and believe that individuals who have the drive and motivation are fully capable of learning their craft either through hands on experience or through formal education. The difference is that someone who has undertaken formal education already has the foundational knowledge to hit the ground running.

I have a masters in Economics and Social Sciences: International Business Management which was very relevant to the Department I used to work for. All stakeholders that we dealt with on a regular basis - right up to the UN - had counterparts who were educated to the masters level (at minimum). Most have PhD's and Post-docs. I happened to join a unit where individuals somehow managed to firmly plant themselves there for life - thanks UNION - despite not having a clue what they were doing and their insecurities drove them to insulate themselves from the rest of the Department as they could not properly interact with internal clients, and certainly not our external partners (e.g. UN).

They formed a clique and used strong arm tactics and other unsavory behaviors to keep their jobs despite Agency-wide complaints of a lack of service for nearly twenty years. So, I somehow ended up on this team and having a background in OB, I immediately hid my education from them to avoid being ostracized and bullied. When every single client and executive sat up and took notice of my "work", the mobbing from my 'colleagues' commenced. They dug into my background and realized I had a masters and then they started taunting me that my degree was useless and they would advance ahead of me b/c they knew the Director/DG etc..

This clique purposely started removing my files and responsibilities so that I would not have any visibility, contact or references from clients and senior stakeholders. They gave me mickey mouse work to ensure that I could not apply to any other positions and would go stir crazy to the point that I would quit. Trust that I tried to leave many times without complaining just to escape but they kept bad mouthing me behind my back to prospective employers for some reason so I was stuck for years!

When I finally managed to leave (DRAP) I had to put my credentials on my resumé in the hopes that that HR or hiring managers would be able to assess competencies based on my education since I had no real experience, as this clique had disadvantaged me in every possible way for no other reason than they harbored some deep seated insecurities. Unfortunately, HR does not really make any decisions on hiring nor do they have the oversight everyone thinks they do - at least not in the unit I worked for.

Irony: During DRAP my manager (now a Director) who gave me the mickey mouse work had the nerve to tell me to go do a PhD during my leave - so a masters degree is apparently useless in the PS but a PhD is not? I knew when she told me this that she just wanted me out of the way given her immense insecurity around me. She's a Director now :facepalm:

So, this is a fact of life in gov and unless and until HR and PSC come into the 21st century and start placing individuals in positions/units where there are shared values, experiences, knowledge (formal education or self-taught) etc this will forever be an issue. Workplace well-being, harassment and mental health issues etc will never go away until HR gets their s--t together.

HR....I'm available Smiling Face With Sunglasses
Candidates: Please don't let this dissuade you - consider this a public service announcement from a well-wisher. Knowledge is power and while the system is less than perfect, you can still make it, but you just need to be smart and vigilant. There are good and bad people everywhere and I have worked with some incredibly amazing individuals in this same Department whose guidance I will cherish forever.

Peace and best wishes to all!
Jr. Member
Apr 29, 2012
130 posts
51 upvotes
It's my pleasure. I really don't wish to disparage anyone or rant just for the sake of it (although it did feel good to get that off my chest lol), but I genuinely care about humanity and everyone's well-being. So, I feel it's important that individuals have all the facts so they can make informed decisions about what's best for them.
Corwsnest wrote:
Mar 22nd, 2017 7:10 pm
Thank you for telling the truth!
Deal Addict
Dec 8, 2008
1519 posts
94 upvotes
Also, it is extremely important to be mindful of just how vast PS is as a workplace - so many people have such different experiences concerning the same issue, which is often why you hear conflicting stories. I've heard of groups like the one dazzled was in (although I thought this happened more often at OPS where academic credentials is not an essential criteria), then there are also groups like the one I was in where everyone was EC and the min. education was a master, and many of my peers and managers had a PhD. So whether a PhD is helpful or detrimental to your PS career - it depends. At the end of the day, I don't think you should worry about this. Most people don't care.
Newbie
Mar 18, 2017
4 posts
That wasn't my question. In the application it asks for degrees attained. I was wondering if being honest was going to hurt my chances. If they don't care about this information, then why ask in the application?
OscarWilde38 wrote:
Mar 22nd, 2017 2:04 pm
Not to be blunt, but honestly, there's little to no reason to ever really need to highlight your PhD (or really any educational credentials) once you are actually hired and working. It is irrelevant. Your capabilities and effectiveness as an employee will come out in your work or not, proof in the pudding style. If you're into titles, you can tack it onto your signature, but otherwise why is anyone going to be exposed to this information and why should they care? Your contributions will be either good or bad based on their own merits.

Unless it is an essential or asset criteria, in which case that level of study is minimally required/deemed valuable directly relating to the role needing to be filled, having been awarded your PhD in and of itself is meaningless. Your experiences in research, managing workload/time, etc. that came from your PhD studies are what allow you to tick off competency or knowledge criteria, but since not all PhDs are created equal just like not all work experience is, it's up to you to highlight the specifics in terms of experience and knowledge these things helped you develop and be exposed to, not simply the fact you attained them. Aside from some colleagues who I know on a more personal level and thus we've talked about our time in university as part of our personal lives or interests etc., I have no clue what education my coworkers have beyond the basics I can infer from their classifications (ECs must have somewhere along the way taken an Economics, Sociology, or Statistics course, for example). And that's just fine because it doesn't overly matter in most situations.



HR is absolutely unionized. All public servants in the CR classification are represented by the Public Service Alliance of Canada as part of the Program and Administrative Services group. I haven't worked in HR so I can't say what it is like, though I imagine different departments and even Branches/Sectors in them have different environments, so there may not be a one size fits all answer.
Newbie
Mar 18, 2017
4 posts
Thanks! :)
Dazzled wrote:
Mar 22nd, 2017 9:55 am
Hi there,

My humble advice based on experience would be to try keep your PhD on the down low and on a need to know basis. By this I mean that you should highlight your credentials only if:
  • a particular position requires it (whether explicitly or via specialized knowledge)
  • you are on a team where the majority also hold a masters/PhD.
  • once you have determined that your superiors are not threatened by your education.
It's unfortunate to have to hide achievements that you should be proud of, but if you're surrounded by insecure individuals who hold power (this includes well-established cliques) then your education, experience, 'worldliness' etc will work against you.

p.s. congratulations Dr. 'Sandinista' and all the best Smiling Face With Open Mouth
Newbie
Mar 1, 2017
5 posts
1 upvote
Anyone else receive a verbal offer from Stats- Can's recruit development program after just a phone interview? Don't get wrong, I'm ecstatic, I just find it odd that they wouldn't want to have a face-to-face interview, especially since I live in the NCR!
Member
Jul 2, 2014
277 posts
64 upvotes
Woodbridge, ON
Lonelyinthecity wrote:
Mar 23rd, 2017 11:23 am
Anyone else receive a verbal offer from Stats- Can's recruit development program after just a phone interview? Don't get wrong, I'm ecstatic, I just find it odd that they wouldn't want to have a face-to-face interview, especially since I live in the NCR!
Don't worry. 98% you are in. Congrats!
Newbie
May 19, 2016
31 posts
18 upvotes
sandinista445 wrote:
Mar 23rd, 2017 2:06 am
That wasn't my question. In the application it asks for degrees attained. I was wondering if being honest was going to hurt my chances. If they don't care about this information, then why ask in the application?
Putting it on your app will not hurt your chances, that would be absolutely absurd. The examples some are citing are talking more about once your actually working and potentially having colleagues feeling threatened or intimidated by a PhD. I have worked with many PhD's in the public service and, in my experience, they have either been treated with respect as being experts in a particular topic, or it was essentially a non-issue as OscarWilde indicated. Some of the examples cited in this forum seem pretty extreme and indicative of toxic work environments that you probably wouldn't want to work in anyway.
Jr. Member
Oct 21, 2016
108 posts
23 upvotes
Lonelyinthecity wrote:
Mar 23rd, 2017 11:23 am
Anyone else receive a verbal offer from Stats- Can's recruit development program after just a phone interview? Don't get wrong, I'm ecstatic, I just find it odd that they wouldn't want to have a face-to-face interview, especially since I live in the NCR!
Congrats! Is this ec-04 by any chance? Statcan said they are doing 2 waves this year where the first is master/phd and the 2nd is bach, looks like the odds are pretty bad for the 2nd group (which I am in) ....
Newbie
Mar 1, 2017
5 posts
1 upvote
Darkhorse259 wrote:
Mar 23rd, 2017 9:25 pm
Congrats! Is this ec-04 by any chance? Statcan said they are doing 2 waves this year where the first is master/phd and the 2nd is bach, looks like the odds are pretty bad for the 2nd group (which I am in) ....
Thank you! This is for their recruitment program starting at the EC-02 level, getting EC-04 after a year. Is this what you applied for? PS, I will be getting my Master's degree in June, which I had in my application. I don't know if that puts me in the first or second wave of recruitment? In any case, good luck to you. Keep us posted if you do get contacted!
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