Author headshotLindsay Purchase

When we were first sent home from work in March 2020, I naively thought we’d be back in the office in a couple of weeks. It was easier for me to grapple with our shifting reality by imposing a time limit. I left a half-finished jar of peanut butter in my drawer and shoes under my desk – signs of optimism (or delusion).

While this mindset may have helped ease my initial transition, with the benefit of hindsight, I can reflect on strategies that might have been more helpful in those first couple of weeks. I could have thought about the tools, supports and resources I would need to manage the transition; established a plan for myself, while recognizing the need for flexibility; and considered which of my skills would serve me well as CERIC pivoted – and what new ones I might need to develop.

Knowing ourselves, being adaptable and cultivating resiliency are key skills for managing all types of change in our careers. Sometimes these shifts are expected – transitioning from school to work, for instance – while other times they catch us by surprise – a job loss or unexpected move. The mindset we bring to those experiences can be instrumental in how they unfold.

In this issue of Careering magazine, we explore the many facets of Career Mindsets. Without a singular definition of this term in Canada’s career development field, we left the door open for interpretation. The result was fascinating. Authors connected the theme to art, exploration, social mentalities, limiting beliefs, fixed and growth mindsets, design thinking and return to work. They shared how they use career mindsets to support students, from the early grades through to graduate school; newcomers to Canada and to the career development field; and jobseekers across all stages of their career.

So, is a career mindset about exploration and reflection? Commitment to lifelong learning? Having the skills to manage one’s career? While this choose-your-own adventure issue on Career Mindsets may not offer you one answer, we hope it will help you reflect on how this theme connects to your work, no matter what sphere of career development you work in.