Zine Ghediri was born in Algeria and graduated from Nice University with a master’s degree in International Law. In 2009, he moved to Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where he currently resides with his wife.

Presently, Zine works for the Government of Quebec as an Administrative Reviewer in the Department of Labor Law. He strongly believes that his in-depth experience working in both the private and public sector has greatly benefitted his career path to date.

What do you love most about the industry you are in?

What I enjoy most about working in the public sector is that it gives me the opportunity to help citizens become familiar with and accustomed to the social and political structure of society. For example, I often help clients understand complex labor law concepts, so that they see how the government is establishing and enforcing fair work practices. I also thoroughly enjoy the aspect of my job that involves interpreting and applying labor law. 

What does a typical day consist of for you?

Like many professionals, my daily work experience is largely influenced by the volume and type of emails that I receive. Aside from that, my job involves quite a bit of file reading, since before anything can be processed it must be analyzed, and any data that is missing or incorrect must be addressed. Once that is complete and we have all of the information necessary, we move into the drafting phase. This is there we render a decision based on the facts and prevailing laws.

What keeps you motivated?

I am motivated by a variety of things. First, I am motivated by the satisfaction of doing excellent work. Second, I am motivated by interacting with my co-workers and clients. Third, I am motivated by being useful to my team. Personally, I believe that it is important to be motivated by a variety of sources, so that I do not run the risk of hitting the proverbial wall and feeling disengaged or burned out.

How do you motivate others?

Fundamentally, I believe that my commitment staying motivated has a positive effect on those around me. When others see and feel that I am dedicated to my job and am enthusiastic about what I do, they tend to feel the same way — which, in turn, inspires me even further. I also feel that it is important to acknowledge the contributions and qualities of everyone on the team, and let them know that they are valued and important. Sometimes, simply saying “hello, it’s good to see you today!” can transform someone else’s mood, and give them a boost of energy that elevates them both professionally and personally.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

My inspiration does not come from a single source. Rather, I am inspired by the many people around me. Obviously, this includes my co-workers and clients. However, I often find inspiration from strangers that I see on the street. I pay attention to the level of attention and care that people bring to their tasks, whether it is the owner of a small business who opens his business extra early or stays very late, or a coffee shop employee who is doing homework on her break so that she can achieve her academic goals and get ahead in life. I enjoy seeing people strive for excellence and improvement, and I find these episodes very inspiring.

Who has been a role model to you and why?

I have been fortunate to have many exceptional role models throughout my life, both professionally and personally. However, I think my parents are — and always have been, and always will be — my most important and influential role models, because they have greatly shaped who I have become today. Their work ethic and compassion for all that they do set a great example of what I should strive for in my later years as a working professional.

How do you maintain a solid work life balance?

I believe that the secret of maintaining a solid work life balance is the ability to disconnect. Each task has its own time and place. You must practice disconnecting from work once you get home if you want to be able to spend quality time with your family and personal hobbies. Work should be a pleasure, and not an obsession. If you do not have something else to do in your free time, then you are doing to get burned out sooner or later. 

What suggestions do you have for someone starting in your industry?

My advice to someone who wishes to launch a career in my industry is to get the required education, and not to hesitate reaching out to others — whether that is physically knocking on doors or connecting over the internet — to offer their services. Sometimes, you need to take a risk to succeed. As the saying goes: “you miss all of the shots that you don’t take.”

What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?

There is a quote from the actor Steve Martin that I have always really liked: “Be so good, they can’t ignore you.”  

What’s one piece of advice you would give to others?

I would advise others to spend time growing their professional network, and not just when they are actively searching for a job. Today’s job market is largely hidden from the public eye, which means a lot of opportunities and positions are based on who you know. Furthermore, growing a network is an excellent way to discover new partnerships and new opportunities for growth within one’s current position.

What is the biggest life lesson you have learned?

The biggest life lesson I have learned can be captured by the famous quote by Malcom Forbes: “A failure is a success if you retain something.” Failing in life on occasion is unavoidable. But what matters is the lessons that we learn from our setbacks, and put into practice in the future.

Outside of work, what defines you as a person?

Those around me say that I have a great sense of humour. I also furthered my education by going to graduate school, which I think illustrates my commitment and motivation to succeed and develop. 

Explain the proudest day of your professional life.

In my role with the Government of Quebec, the decisions that I make have an impact on members of the public. As such, any day that I can faithfully fulfill my duties, support my co-workers, and ultimately satisfy the needs of clients is a proud day.