By Sarah Lupker

What do a sommelier, a cultural heritage specialist, an event co-ordinator and a support rockstar have in common? They are all in the early stages of careers they love. And they have all shared their work story on! is a web-based initiative, and pet project, created last year by two Canadian psychology professors, Natalie Allen from Western University and David Stanley from the University of Guelph. Their goal was simple: to create a place where those in the early stages of their careers could share their work-related stories with their peers and near-peers. The project was inspired by conversations Natalie and David have had with their own students and by their recognition that – although people love to talk about their work – many of us only know about a small selection of jobs. And by their conviction that hearing an authentic story, from someone who is not-so-very-different-from-you, can inform, intrigue and inspire.

Aimed at high school, university and college students, recent grads, those new to the job market, and career changers, features a collection of videos and text-based stories. Think “virtual information interviews”. Each WorkStory is recorded – or written – by someone in the relatively early stages of his or her career. In each WorkStory, contributors explain what they do and what they love about their job. And, perhaps most importantly, they describe the (sometimes unexpected and convoluted!) path that they took to get there.

Still in its early days, currently features over 50 videos. From the science-grad-turned-sommelier to the English major who landed a job in publishing (her dream industry!), contributors to WorkStory represent a variety of occupations and wide range of experiential and educational paths. Currently, WorkStory features graduates from over 25 Canadian universities and colleges, who were in various programs, as well as participants whose paths included less formal post-secondary activities. Sharing one’s WorkStory is easy – and requires no invitation! Simply visit our website and follow the Sharing your WorkStory instructions.

Since its launch, WorkStory has enjoyed terrific support, and received great ideas, from career professionals across the country. This year, based on one of those ideas, WorkStory initiated a student ambassador team at Western University. The team is comprised of four students in different programs who work together to spread the word about the project to students and recent grads. In the coming years, we plan to roll out WorkStory Ambassador Teams with students in other educational institutions across Canada.

Interested in learning more about WorkStory? Or sharing your WorkStory? Visit our website at to learn more!


Sarah Lupker is a third-year anthropology and psychology student at Western University. She is a member of the student WorkStory Ambassador Team at Western. She can be reached at