author headshotWhen I was 5, if you’d asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have said an artist. By middle school, I had my eye on a career as a veterinarian. Back then – and through university – I thought of my career options in job titles. While I didn’t expect to do the same thing my entire life, I thought my initial choice would carry a lot of weight and determine which doors were open to me.

After several years of being immersed in the career development world, I can see how short-sighted this was. People pivot in their careers constantly, by choice and by necessity. Skills matter more than titles – and the skill of being able to continuously evolve may be the most important one. It’s both a freeing and an intimidating idea.

The Brookfield Institute’s 2021 report Yesterday’s Gone, which highlights trends expected to affect employment in Canada, captures this tension. Change will bring challenge – but also opportunity. The report authors state, “It is critical to understand the breadth of potential changes ahead so we can better prepare workers for the future of Canada’s labour market.”

This digital-exclusive issue of Careering, on the theme of “Career Pivots,” comes at a time when the workforce is navigating immense shifts. Articles explore the impact of COVID on a Grade 12 student’s career plans and on Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s class of 2020, as well as the experiences of entrepreneurs suddenly thrust into job search.

The broader takeaway, however, is a reassuring one: with the support of career education and career professionals, Canadians can develop the skills to thrive amid change. Careering authors examine theories that support client engagement and the development of a change-ready mindset; they offer strategies for employee career conversations, dealing with employment gaps and supporting lifelong learning; they present effective K-12 career exploration approaches, and much more.

How have you supported students, employees and clients in pivoting over the past year? Are you taking steps to futureproof your own career? We want to hear your Career Pivot stories and strategies! Tag us on Twitter or LinkedIn, or use #Careering to share your stories.

Keep calm, and pivot on.