As a long-time educator, I hope to provide you with some valuable learning points you might share with your children, grandchildren, or friends. But, first, let me provide you with a brief chronology of my work experience.
I was accepted for aircrew training in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1966, within a month of my sixteenth birthday. At
the time, I was told that I was probably the youngest person ever selected. I was in the last cohort of approximately 70 candidates who were tested at Centralia, Ontario. Three were selected, but before I was to report a few months later, Central Officers School was moved to HMCS Venture in Esquimalt, B.C. I just about finished my basic training before I asked for a discharge. I may possibly be the youngest candidate to ever get an honoura- ble discharge from the RCAF. I don’t regret my decision.
I left B.C. by train, heading for my home in Nova Scotia. By the time I got to Montreal, I had enough train travel and I decided to visit some friends for a few days. Eventually, I decided to continue my journey, and I arrived in New Glasgow on a Satur- day at noon. The local newspaper had one adver- tised job: order-desk salesperson for a national industrial distributor, Railway & Power Engineering (subsequently Canrep, and the Canrep/Morse). I wasn’t sure what this involved, but first thing Mon- day morning I called to apply. I was told that the position had just been filled. When I asked if they had informed the candidate yet and they told me no, I suggested they might want to talk to me first (early sign that I had sales aptitude).
It was a small office with only eight people. Alt- hough I was told I was too young to have signing authority, I was appointed office manager at age 19. I was told that when I reached 25, I would be promoted to outside sales. However, at 23, follow- ing the sudden death of my boss, I was promoted senior sales representative and given his car and territories: Newfoundland, northern New Bruns- wick, and the Gaspe Peninsula. I subsequently worked for two other sales organizations: Specialty Steels (Atlantic District Manager) and Process &
Steam Specialties (District Manager, Atlantic Re- gion).
During my time in sales, I completed my MBA at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax. In 1986, I left sales to continue my studies for a Ph.D. in Busi- ness (Marketing) at the Ivey Business School. From there, I taught at Wilfrid Laurier University (4 years), Memorial University of Newfoundland (10 years), and Brock University (16 years). During my time in academia, I have presented at dozens of conferences, published dozens of papers and busi- ness cases, and have authored and co-authored more than 20 books. I have taught in Europe (France, Denmark, England) and in the Middle East (United Arab Emirates). I am currently “on the slope.” I have no further formal responsibilities at Brock University, but my salary continues until June 30, 2020.
Don’t be afraid to change careers until you find something you truly love.
Your life depends on many decisions you make, some very small, and some not entirely planned.
A lot of what happens to you depends on being in the right place, at the right time (if you are pre- pared).
Travel. The world is a lot smaller than you think.
Current interests: writing, consulting, drinking wine.