I spent nearly a decade in Western Canada. Calgary to be exact. I met my wife there, we had two kids there, and Calgary was very good to us. We enjoyed our time in Alberta, yet it always felt temporary and never truly like home. We had often talked about relocating to the east coast, but when exactly was TBD until spring of 2018. Our second baby arrived in February and, now that the family unit was complete, those relocation discussions became more frequent and more serious in nature.
The prospect of career growth was exciting. I had spent almost five years in a Program Director role at a creative agency and I was looking for a new challenge. I began researching agencies in the Halifax area, and Time + Space stood out for several reasons. First, the longevity of the business was very appealing. Having a strong presence in the Halifax marketing industry for over 30 years was impressive, as was their outstanding client roster. After speaking to the company's President, Donna Alteen, and the VP, Client Strategy, Clare Tidby, I knew Time + Space was where I wanted to work. Their approach to management was aligned with mine, and the Director of Client Strategy role they were seeking to fill was definitely in my wheelhouse and provided the opportunity for career growth that I was craving. Company culture and work-life balance are both important to me and both Clare and Donna assured me that my views were in line with the company in both of those aspects.
My wife originally hails from Nova Scotia and this, combined with our longing to once again be near lakes and for our children to grow up surrounded by family, meant Halifax was already on the short-list of potential candidate cities to live. We were intrigued by Halifax because it has become quite the hub for start-ups and it has a rapidly growing tech ecosystem, which is in stark contrast to Calgary’s natural resource-driven economy. Needless to say, I was very excited to accept an offer of employment from Time + Space. The prospect of joining a growing company in a burgeoning city was an exhilarating feeling.
After I accepted the employment offer, I was blown away by the support that the company provided during our cross-Canada move. There was no pressure or urgency for a start date. I had anticipated there would be an expectation for me to relocate immediately, so I was ready to jump into moving mode straight away. Both Donna and Clare understood what a huge undertaking moving across the country would be, so they encouraged me to focus exclusively on planning and moving. I cannot express what a huge relief it was to organize such a big move without the stress of a hard deadline looming.
This is the point where the real fun began. Moving across the country is not for the faint of heart and there were many points during the weeks prior to our move (and plenty during) when my wife and I wondered whether we were crazy to do this. Like any wise shopper, before I decided on which moving company to go with, I did some investigating. And let me tell you, the online reviews of most movers were nearly enough to scare us off moving altogether. My advice to anyone considering moving long distance is do your homework. In the end, we found a carrier that did have positive reviews, and boasted about always coming in under budget. Much to my delight, they did. Albeit they were a couple of days late, but nothing was broken, and nothing mysteriously disappeared.
My car broke down half-way across the country (yep, sure did). Luckily, I was on layover in my hometown hanging with my Mom when it did so it could have been so much worse. However, it did come down to a race between how quickly the part would arrive (because of course Murphy’s Law would dictate that said part could not be found anywhere within close proximity) versus me getting to Halifax in time to meet the movers. So I did what any crack problem solver would do and, well, it was time for a vehicle upgrade anyway. Crisis was averted and I thought it would be smooth sailing from there. Nope! The day before my wife and kids were to fly out to meet me, literally the day before at 10pm, my wife informed me that she and my youngest probably shouldn’t fly due to the flu. Ughh!! I can unequivocally say that this move taught me to go with the flow and expect the unexpected.
I’ve been at Time + Space for about two months now and, despite the chaos of the cross-country move, I have no regrets. The company culture is A+. There are a lot of other foodies like me on the team, which makes lunch hour really fun. The work-life balance is fantastic. The teams here are very respectful of boundaries, everyone seems to work well together, and management has realistic expectations of their teams.
I’ve found myself in a position to grow my career by transitioning into a new area of my field. I’m delving into areas I didn’t have the opportunity to explore in previous positions. It’s been a challenge, but a very welcome one. I’m eager to continue to learn, grow, and take advantage of the opportunities working for a growing company presents.
Taking the plunge and moving across country was both a scary and exhilarating experience. The past few months have been a whirlwind of activity—all culminating with us beginning fresh on the east coast. Sure, it was stressful at times. But starting a job I love in a place my family can call home has been a very rewarding experience.