By Becky Benoit
Fort McMurray has been called “the land of opportunity,” a place that offers unparalleled chances to climb the ladder of success professionally. There’s perhaps no better example of this than Diana Washer.
Today, the 26-year old is a business owner, aspiring realtor and will be among this year’s crop of students in the Leadership Wood Buffalo program. Five years ago, when Washer and her fiancé arrived in Fort McMurray, she started out with little more than a strong work ethic, a fierce sense of determination, and a dream.
“There was no place in Ontario for two individuals with no post-secondary education, so when the occasion rose to move across the country for the chance at a better life, we jumped at the chance without a second thought,” Washer says. “Undoubtedly, it’s been the best decision we ever made in our lives.”
Though her resume wasn’t as bulky as she might have liked, Washer quickly impressed potential employers with her professionalism, drive and desire to learn. She landed a job with Campbell & Cooper law firm as a legal assistant, and worked her way up the ladder to senior paralegal with impressive speed.
“Within a short period of time, I went from being a young woman with a desire to learn to a young professional with a thirst for success,” she recalls. Inspired by her growing fascination with the law, Washer opened her own process serving company, Noble Services Inc.
Never one to rest on her laurels, Washer is now in the process of becoming a realtor as well. “Anyone who knows me can tell you that I have a lot of energy. I’m constantly delving into new projects and finding ways for self-improvement,” Washer says. “This energy, combined with my drive for personal success and knack for time management has made me successful in this balancing act which I call life.”
Washer attributes much of her success to the values instilled in her at an early age. “It’s really due to the morals I was taught, and the example I was shown by both of my parents growing up,” she says. “Myparents always worked hard and showed me that hard work pays off.” “I wouldn’t have admitted it as I wasgoing through my tumultuous teenage years,” she adds wryly, “but I owe so much of who I have become to their guidance and wisdom.”
Washer has some advice to offer young people wanting to get ahead, but lacking the necessary credentials to go after the careers they want. “The road that led me here has not been an easy travel and certainly nothing has been merely handed to me, but I can already see in my life that perseverance and having confidence in yourself are key character traits to a successful future,” she says. “With a positive attitude and a good work ethic, the sky truly is the limit.”