By Catherine Ducharme

I always have a hard time explaining my work to my family. Most of my aunts think that I’m a career counsellor. Others claim that I do “non-profit stuff.” My partner is fond of telling his colleagues that I get paid to play on social media (he still resists the notion that Twitter can be a great tool for business!). But my work is so much more than that.

As you may know, CERIC is a charitable organization that advances education and research in career counselling and career development in Canada. We do this through a large breadth of programs and projects, which can make our organization hard to sum up in a few catchy sentences. I discovered that it’s particularly challenging to explain what CERIC does to people who have no previous knowledge of the field of career development – a world that, to be fair, I hardly suspected existed before I joined the CERIC team myself.

I find that the reason why CERIC is so hard to explain to “laypeople” is that, for most, they think that career services are there to help you figure out “what do I want to do with my life,” write a good resume, find a job – but then you’re set, aren’t you?

The notion that career development happens across a lifespan, that it’s a process that continues during employment, that it also permeates our personal life, is obvious to most of us working in the field, but overlooked by a large segment of the population. This issue of Careering magazine is here to explore what happens with our careers after receiving the coveted job offer.

Articles explore best practices for career development from two organizations (General Motors and Vancity Savings) that are leading the way, and also provides advice for career developers wishing to enter the field of corporate career development. We also share some important findings from the CERIC Environics National Business Survey, to give you insights into business leaders’ opinions and perceptions of career development in the workplace.

Happy reading!