Question Catherine Mossop: Jennifer Browne:
Tell us about yourself. What is your job title and description of your role? I am the President sage Mentors Inc. We design Mentoring programs to accelerate the development of talent within Corporate, Government and Health Services organizations. I am currently the Director of Career Development & experiential Learning at Memorial University of Newfoundland. We provide career services to over 17,000 students. We are focused on experiential learning and assisting increasing student’s awareness of the skills they are developing from their various employment and volunteer experiences. I am fortunate to work with a creative, energetic staff who love working with students.
What have been Contact Point’s biggest successes in your view? Contact Point has had a number of successes over the years. The first one being that Contact Point was the first website of its kind in Canada. The second success is that it started out being practitioner-driven and remains that way even now. Finally, Contact Point is accessed “globally”, by practitioners from many different countries. It is the resource for career professionals everywhere in the world. I think our biggest success has been remaining in existence for 10 years. In an age where websites come and go frequently, Contact Point has withstood the test of time and has a solid following of career practitioners across the country. If it wasn’t useful it wouldn’t exist. With thousands of subscribers, both Anglophone and Francophone, Contact Point is filling a need in this field.

Listening to those in the field and doing our annual survey is a huge success as well. This is a huge piece of research that assists us in being on the pulse of what is going on in career development in Canada and what are the needs of the practitioners.

What do you envision for Contact Point in the future? What role do you think Contact Point will play as the field changes and develops? Contact Point might want to look at profiling innovations in new career types and styles. Mentorship is well established for populations such as youth at risk, but next to nothing is being done at the corporate or government levels in support of the various career management and mobility issues in the workplace. Also, Contact Point may want to communicate information and new ideas on how to manage work and life very differently or have open global discussions on new ways of managing work. I don’t mean just taking a computer home and working from there. I am referring to how people engage in teams, how they engage in knowledge transfer; how they are moved into management, how they move into building specialists, how do people learn from each other; how does education fit. All of these areas need new exploration. Contact Point will play a major role in identifying the trends and issues as they are emerging in the field. Remaining connected with the users and being responsive to their needs will ensure Contact Point remains a vital resource for practitioners who want to stay current and get the resources they need.

I believe the future of Contact Point is providing a dynamic and engaging website that allows more interaction between users, more professional development opportunities facilitated through the website, and continuing to be responsive to the changing needs of those in the field.

Read more of this interview in the upcoming fall issue of the Contact Point Bulletin Newsletter.