By Tami Anderson

The experience of being human entails being connected and interconnected to a whole. The workplace is exactly the same. We are in touch directly and indirectly to the entire world. What we do in our daily lives affects the people we can see and those we do not. The products and services provided by a company links to companies around the world, through consumers, suppliers, raw material producers and as far as global economic relationships. This has always been the case yet we are now more aware of these connections through instantaneous access to information, email, online shopping, social media and by local effects of foreign financial circumstance. Our world is becoming accessibly smaller.

Being this integrated means employers and employees are no longer tied to their immediate geographical resources to handle their employment needs. Then why do they both continue to stay within boundaries? Well, although human beings have a natural instinct to survive, moving to where food can be found (or jobs to pay for the food), we are limited by our thinking, expectations and perceived needs. The survival criterion has personalized from our prehistoric ancestors. Now, our perceived eminent danger includes any form of change that causes or could possibly cause a negative emotional response such as fear, shame or pain. When faced with something new, we challenge it with resistance or avoidance. We become stuck. Moving beyond boundaries takes awareness that we exist within those borders.

Awareness can be exactly what we need for a psychic change to a new way of thinking. A paradigm shift: At any given moment in time, there is an exact workplace for every person because for every job there is a person and for every person there is a job. Denise Bissonnette shared this thought with us at Cannexus 2010 in her keynote, Beyond Barriers to Passion and Possibility. That, in itself, is an absolute truth. We are interconnected for this primary reason. Every person is here to fulfill a purpose and their purpose includes having a job where their work is an extension and expression of who they truly are; not the role they play. It is each person’s job to figure out what this looks like and where it is because that is our key barrier.
Moving beyond this barrier, we actually begin to own this responsibility, the intent sets into motion our future. Alternatively, since nothing actually happens by chance, if we always do what we have always done, we will always get what we always got. What prevents each of us from this path of discovery is the change required to do it. It takes great fortitude, courage and supporters in our corner to make this happen.

Those in the career field are those supporters; guiding their clients to broaden their scope for opportunities into new, different or other areas. We remove barriers in this self-discovery.  According to a Cannexus 2010 and 2012 keynote speaker, Mark Savickas, people shift toward their life design when they move from tension to attention to intention. Seeing our life tapestry, we can break free to focus our work, enabling us to identify the job, industry and company that best fit. Or, a person may know their work passion and transcend their skills into a different industry. Which job, industry or company? What are my choices? Where is it? Endless possibility presents when we move beyond these self-imposed borders.

Alison, unhappy with her employer, asked for a resume, cover letter and job search direction, staying in her field. First, we looked at her uniqueness – her distinct skill, passion, aptitude, experience and essence. She discovered what she has that 98% of the population doesn’t. Then we identified the thoughts and feelings blocking her from seeing her special gifts. Then a package was creatively compiled to present to employers or clients. The final step is to investigate all the places to offer her unique solution. This blockage comes when people only see what is immediately in front of them, such as location. An opportunity presented itself to work in Australia! This did not come to pass but it opened the mind and she now explores all possibilities.

Many jobs are outside our home territory and our comfort zone. The same effective search tools apply to all job locations. Right now there are companies across Canada literally screaming for employees. Relocating to foreign countries may be desirable, especially among the youngest working generation; it may be preferred since working abroad fulfils both employment and the travel bug. Who needs what your client has to offer? Search location sites, company websites, employment agencies, outplacement firms, companies growing or diversifying, even recruitment agencies. Network and communicate with people working in a selected region. Help clients create a list of Canadian companies in their field. Find out what they offer such as training, career advancement or relocating. The cost of relocating can be cause for concern. Negotiating the cost over a period of one to three years minimizes the pressure and shows a two-sided commitment.

The biggest hurdle to change is feelings. In our field, we need to deal with these more effectively to help people move beyond what is holding them back. It takes support, knowledge, courage and a plan to make these kinds of changes happen and move beyond the borders.


Tami Anderson lives in Okotoks, AB with her hubby, Jack. They enjoy their array of pets – cats, horses and anew dog. Through her business, Best Foot Forward Consulting Inc., her focus is on the essence of Life at work for companies and all their people.