Work in Ottawa: Marketer Extraordinaire by Day, Mom and Entrepreneur by Night

Posted in Blog, Ottawa
Aug 24, 2017

Work-life balance, what is it to you? A phrase, a goal, a far-off notion? While your story may feel like the latter at times, we’re here to offer up another narrative – one that takes place in Ottawa where work-life balance can be attained! Ranked #1 for best quality of life in Canada (and top ten in the world), #1 for lowest cost of living of five major Canadian cities, and the #1 tech hub to live and work in the country, the nation’s capital offers the best of both worlds. And we’re not the only ones who think so!

Erica Watts

Erica Watts, Senior Manager, Marketing Communications at CENX

Meet Erica Watts.

Erica is Senior Manager, Marketing Communications at CENX, a software company that helps service providers manage their networks. A few years ago, Erica traded in her downtown Toronto life for suburban Ottawa and has never looked back. The result? A killer career at a rapidly growing software company, a cozy house in a family-oriented neighbourhood, and access to all the shops, parks, and activities that her heart desires.

Here’s what she has to say about living and working in Ottawa:

So Erica, what do you do at CENX?

I manage all components of the Marketing Communication team at CENX. This includes everything from public relations, media, social media, content creation, videos, event management, overall strategy, internal communications, sales supports, and lead generation. It’s pretty cool because I get to do a little bit of everything. As opposed to specializing in one particular component of marketing, I’m able to work with all departments in the organization and shape how the program is built, while having a say in all elements of the growth.

What attracted you to the company?

CENX is doing something totally new and is at the forefront of the telecommunications industry. An even better question though is what’s kept me here. When I started working for CENX, there were only 35 people and now three years later there are 265 of us! It was awesome to experience the transition from startup to SME, and even though our team has grown in size, we still like to maintain the startup atmosphere. We offer boot camps, lunch and learns, flexible work hours, smoothie days, catered meals, interactive workspaces, the list goes on and on. But perks aside, I really love how this sector is fast moving and continuously evolving. There’s never a dull moment and I really feel like the sky’s the limit.

Erica WattsI really love how this sector is fast moving and continuously evolving. There’s never a dull moment and I really feel like the sky’s the limit.

What’s the one thing you look forward to doing on evenings and weekends?

Spending time with my two-year old daughter! We usually head to the park after work and do something different every weekend. There are a million things that we can do; go to a museum, bike down the parkway, or head to a play centre. I usually chronicle my adventures with my daughter in my online blog for Ottawa parents, Mom Break. When I’m not with her, I play in a couple of softball teams with friends and family, and we have a great group of friends that we do escape rooms with (LOVE escape rooms!).

Pictures on wall

CENX ran a photography contest for staff – winners had their photos published throughout the building! 

Me too…although, I’ve never managed to successfully escape. What about hidden gems in Ottawa, do you know of any?

I know ALL of the great parks (there are hundreds of them, including the biggest playground in Canada at Mooney’s Bay), and hit up almost every food festival (Poutinefest on Sparks Street is my favourite). A hidden gem that I also hit up, is a new little fitness boutique in Hintonburg called Iron North Studio! It’s run by two female entrepreneurs and has the coolest classes out there (including strength, yoga, and cycling…all with class sizes of only 5 – 15 people!).

From my time living in Ottawa I’ve come to realize how many diverse neighbourhoods we have, Chinatown, Westboro, Little Italy, Beechwood, etc…which one is your favourite?

I live in Barrhaven and LOVE it for my family. I was initially concerned about moving to the suburbs (from downtown Toronto), but I now understand why people love them so much. I have everything I need for my family all while having lots of space and lots of families to hang out with. That said, I often venture out and stroll through Westboro to check out the many restaurants and shops (the restaurants there can’t be beat!).

EricaMy quality of life in Ottawa is amazing and I have everything I need to excel in my career.



What’s surprised you about living and working in Ottawa?

When I first moved from Toronto to Ottawa, I was worried my career would actually suffer because Toronto is known for amazing opportunities in Marketing, yet I feel happier and more fulfilled in the nation’s capital. I’m also making more money, so that was an awesome and welcomed surprise!

What would you say to someone who is thinking about moving to Ottawa?

It’s an amazingly quaint “big city” that has everything you need with a focus on family and health. After moving, I was worried about the things I’d miss (restaurants, activities…), but truth be told I only miss the Raptors’ games! The restaurants are just as good (you just have to know where to look), and there are so many incredible events and activities…without the traffic!

My quality of life in Ottawa is amazing and I have everything I need to excel in my career.

Hear, hear! Thanks for sharing your story, Erica!

Want to join the awesome team at CENX? They’re hiring!

Check out their current open positions here.

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