In 2012, Heather Greenberg decided to move from Calgary to Toronto—with no job waiting at the end. It was a gamble, but she knew what she wanted. “I was looking for a job at a growing company where I’d be part of a legal team with one or two other lawyers,” she says. What she eventually got was an interview with Enirgi Group Corporation, which has assembled a collection of complementary yet diversified integrated business units that own, operate, and acquire world-class, long-life, competitive primary and secondary resources and assets. “When I found Enirgi Group, it was like the job fairy had arrived,” Greenberg says. Here, she tells us about her fondness for in-house work.
Advantage: When did you know you wanted to go into the legal field?
Heather Greenberg: To be honest, I didn’t actually realize I wanted to be in the legal field until I became an in-house lawyer. I knew from an early age that I loved business, and I took commerce for my undergraduate degree. But my parents had thought I should be a lawyer since I was three years old. So, with my parents’ encouragement, in my third year of university, I decided to write the LSATs. I really love learning, and I thought, at a minimum, law school would be helpful in the business world.
Did you go straight into law after law school?
After graduating, I worked at a national law firm and knew early on that private practice was not an ideal working environment for me—and I even started questioning whether being a lawyer was the right career choice. However, after starting my first in-house job, I realized that combining my legal and business skills together was something I really enjoyed, and I could finally see a bright and appealing future with a career in law.
Obtains a commerce degree with a major in marketing and a minor in finance from Concordia University in Montréal
Graduates with distinction from the University of Saskatchewan College of Law
Leaves private practice for her first in-house counsel job
Accepts a new in-house job at an oil and gas company
Moves from Calgary to Toronto without a job and five months later begins working at Enirgi Group
So going in-house was the pivot point?
Yes. It was in going in-house that I realized my value to a corporation. In private practice, I was doing work on portions of transactions without being fully involved in the business affairs of a client. As in-house counsel, I see contracts and transactions through to completion, and I’m constantly rewarded with seeing the impact of my work on the company. For me, this distinction contributes to a real sense of job satisfaction.
What drew you to Enirgi Group?
When I left my first interview with Enirgi Group, I knew I’d found my perfect fit. Today, many things continue to draw me to the company. Key standouts are the team of people I work with, [and] my boss, who’s general counsel at Enirgi Group, is a wealth of knowledge and [is] always there to guide and mentor me. We have an incredible team of senior management, led by a CEO who inspires people to work hard, strive to be better, and make decisions in the best interests of the company and our stakeholders.
What’s most satisfying for you in your work for Enirgi Group?
The diversity of my role. A fear for many individuals in making the choice to go in-house is being pigeonholed into doing the same thing day in and day out, but at Enirgi Group I’ve been able to combine all my legal and business skills to successfully perform a wide range of duties. There’s never a dull moment here. My role requires my involvement and participation in company financings, board and committee meetings, brainstorming strategy sessions with senior management, and beyond. I feel that my role really allows and encourages me to contribute to my company’s growth and future.
What lessons have you learned over the course of your career?
Never wait for something to come to you. You’re the only one who can create opportunities for yourself. My move from Calgary to Toronto with no job in sight is a perfect example. I resisted the urge to go back into private practice and went on numerous interviews before I found Enirgi Group. It was a very trying time in my life, but I can honestly say that I’ve never felt as rewarded as a professional as I do now.
What advice would you give others seeking to follow in your footsteps?
Be confident in yourself and your capabilities, work hard, be assertive, and don’t be afraid to take risks.