In every issue, Careering will present an interview with a practitioner in the field of career development that we feel you may want to know more about.

For our launch issue, we chose to learn more about Tannis Goddard, the founder and President of Training Innovations, a career development organization that delivers community-based career services in British Columbia. Tannis has been a pioneer in the delivery of online career development services in Canada, an accomplishment that is reflected in the numerous awards she has since won for her contribution to the field.

Tannis will be a keynote speaker at the Career Development Association of Australia National Conference (May 22-24, 2013, in Sydney).


Tannis Goddard

In one sentence, describe why career development matters.

Career development is a life-long activity that involves change, learning and achievement. When individuals make positive career decisions that result in inspiring and satisfying work – our whole community benefits.

Which book are you reading right now?

Design for how people learn by Julie Dirksen. I am really interested in the effective design of career learning interventions and what we can do in the field to make our services even more relevant and impactful for clients.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

As a child I was always interested in education – yet oddly I never wanted to be a teacher. My parents always encouraged that I could be anything I wanted. In summer breaks I often threw myself into self-study to explore occupations that interested me (one summer I thought I wanted to be a botanist!). I often think this early exploration into many occupations is what made coming into the career development field a natural fit for my curiosity and passion for education.

Name one thing you wouldn’t be able to work without?

My laptop – it is always with me and when I travel it’s my link back to my family and my company.

What activity do you usually turn to when procrastinating?

I start to plan my next travel adventure!

What song do you listen to for inspiration?

“Born to Live” by Ann Mortifee

Which word do you overuse?

Context. I think context is so important in our work with clients and in understanding the social and political systems within which we practice – but those around me probably get tired of me pausing to examine context!

Who would you like to work with most?

I feel fortunate to have collaborated with many people I respect in this field here in Canada and internationally. I really appreciate the team I work with at Training Innovations. But if Oprah wanted to collaborate on a career development project – I’d jump at the chance!

Which talent or superpower would you like to have?

With my leadership team we often joke about “cloning”. In a field where resources and skills are always tight, we laugh about cloning ourselves to extend our reach and capacity to do more for our staff, our clients and the field.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Being able to nurture my daughter, my marriage, my business and my academic pursuits at the same time.