Patrick Tanguay – Team Leader, Human Resources Planning

Patrick Tanguay – Team Leader, Human Resources Planning
  • Quote: Whoever wants honey must have the courage to face the bees.
  • Education: Bachelor's degree in political science; master's degree in public administration with a concentration in organizational development
  • Job title: Team Leader, Human Resources Planning
  • Employer: Canadian Space Agency (CSA)
  • CSA projects: Produce human resources management data for managers and senior management; evaluate various avenues to improve the reports produced; encourage CSA managers to use the data when making workforce management decisions.

What are your tasks during a working day?
I'm now in charge of a team, so there's a supervision component that comes with it. Since it's a new team, I'm in charge of organizing the sector and transferring knowledge. I'm in the process of training the people who will replace me in my former position. I also receive a lot of emails, like everyone else. My days are quite varied, as I work both with my human resources colleagues and with managers. I also take part in a lot of meetings.

Which professional accomplishment are you the most proud of?
When I arrived at the CSA, I didn't have a guide to follow; everything had to be built, especially in terms of how we would use the data (just knowing the number of employees was a challenge with the systems we used to have). Over the course of my years with the CSA, through trial and error, I gradually improved the way we write reports and present results until we found the right way to do it.

Who or what helped you the most throughout your career?
In my opinion, a satisfying career always takes a little luck. I think the luck I had was my first opportunity as a manager several years ago. I learn a lot from the people around me, so I would say that my colleagues have had a big impact on my professional development. I think it's important to have an enjoyable work environment. You can take your job seriously without necessarily always taking yourself seriously. You have to be humble and willing to learn from others.

What advice would you give to a child or young adult?
Work hard, be curious and don't let yourself be limited when you think you can do what you want to do. For a long time I was the only person in a wheelchair at my school, and I was often limited. You just have to have the courage to accomplish what you want and not let others set limits for you.

How do you spend your free time?
I enjoy music. I don't play it, but I like to discover new artists. I also like reading, the news, and I like writing comedy sketches in my spare time. I did five comedy shows where I laughed at my disability and how people react to my disability. It allows me to get out of the more rigid framework of work: I think humour is a good way to do that.

How do/did you reconcile work commitments and your free time?
The important thing is to relax when the day is over. I believe that the separation between work and home is essential. You have to give yourself the right to free time and to be able to see friends. In my opinion, when you are too invested in work, there is the danger of exhaustion and perhaps exhausting others around you as well. Music is a form of meditation for me. Humour also relaxes me, but in a totally different way. Writing a sketch and memorizing it is nothing like what I do at work. And lastly, travelling makes me relax instantly.

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