fountain pen on notebookCareering

Editor’s note

Lindsay Purchase

Author headshotIn your wildest dreams, what would you want career development to look like in Canada? What is your vision of an ideal system, mindset, approach or resource to support people as they navigate all stages of their careers?

As we move through our day-to-day work, this kind of big-picture imagining tends to fall by the wayside. Visualizing what could be doesn’t always feel practical when we have to work within the confines of what is. But with this issue of Careering magazine, on the theme of “Career Development Reimagined,” we hope to spark questions and dialogue about the changes people want to see in the sector. You can’t do it if you can’t dream it.

Eighteen months into a disruptive and often devastating pandemic, we are in a moment that feels ripe for reflection. This issue of Careering both examines where we have been – the changes the field has made, by choice or by necessity – and where career development needs to go in Canada. The strategies, case studies and ideas this issue’s authors present reflect an inherent belief that we can do better than just going back to “normal.”

There’s something for everyone in this issue – available exclusively online at ceric.ca/careering – with articles on career education in K-12 and post-secondary; re-envisioning approaches to workforce development; hybrid career services; inclusive workplaces; measuring and communicating the value of career development; and much more.

You also won’t want to miss our multimedia feature sharing reader responses to the question, “What is your ideal vision of career development in Canada?” Your ideas for the future of the field fill us with excitement and hope about the many possibilities that lie ahead!

As you navigate busy schedules and new challenges this fall, we hope you’ll also take time to reflect and have conversations about how we can all reimagine career development.

Happy reading – and dream big!

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What is your ideal vision of career development in Canada?

Ahead of the release of the Fall 2021 issue of CERIC’s Careering magazine, which explores the theme of “Career Development Reimagined,” we asked readers to send us their answers to the question: What is your ideal vision of career development in Canada?

Through text and video responses, readers representing seven different provinces sent us their ideas for what career development could look like in this country. They shared their desire for greater awareness of the life-changing potential of career development; the importance of beginning career education in the early years; the need for individualized supports that shift to reflect and anticipate changing labour market realities; and more.

We’ve shared excerpts from your responses in the following video. They are also available at full length in the transcript below.

As we watch, we encourage you to think about what career development means to you – and how you want to see the field evolve.

“I’d like to see career development recognized as a sustainable and renewable public good. When Canadians need career guidance throughout their lives – and they will – they will have the awareness to seek help from trusted professionals. When that vision becomes a reality, our future generations will thrive – including Spider Boy here.” – Candy Ho, University of the Fraser Valley

“Career development should promote the idea that as individuals we are the CEOs of our own careers. Knowledge, visibility and connections are the three pillars that guide career success. Therefore we must increase knowledge, create visibility and build connections in order to achieve career success. Utilizing this model will align with Canada’s move to be more inclusive and diverse.” – Nordia Bogle, www.nordiabogle.com (NB)

“It would be nice to have a recognition of the profession and of the workers in the field. That in Quebec, there would be more tools for the English-speaking clients. Also in Quebec, if the organizations and Emploi-Quebec could have a real partnership, as if they would with the private sector, for example.” – Roxane Stonely, Centre de recherche d’emploi Côte-des-Neiges

“I imagine a day when all Canadians understand that they have a career, and that it consists of life, learning and work. Also understood is that during career, there are times of anxiety and change, and that during those moments, career development is the go-to response.” – Lorraine Godden, Carleton University

“My vision of career development in Canada is broad. I would like to see everybody in the country recognize the importance of understanding and addressing their own career development processes and to recognize the impact that this understanding has on their identity, relationships, mental health, and social and economic standing in the world. We need to steer our ships.” – Jeff Landine, University of New Brunswick

“Career development cannot be a one-fit-all model. With increasing awareness of discrimination and racism in hiring and advancement practices, career development needs to recognize the issues of exclusion and tailor a model that shifts the thinking towards success in marginalized populations. The model should include advocacy with outcomes reflecting diversity in positions of higher levels of responsibility and pay.” – Ann Clarke, career development professional (ON)

“I would like to see a trauma-informed approach to career development that will empower all refugees, immigrants, racialized and marginalized groups – in fact, all Canadians – to find their purpose and passion and to turn that into a productive and rewarding career.” – Helena Prins, BCcampus

“While societies embrace diversity and inclusion, this is a vision for career development to guide neurodiverse Canadians in the workplace.” – Soon-Lan L. Switzer, Douglas College

“Career development is a lifelong pursuit that begins in K-12 schools. As youth explore who they are, which skills they possess/hope to acquire, and those workplaces and organizations that connect with their values and interests, they build their capacity to make purposeful and relevant career decisions. When people engage career dev, they build a life that matters and resonates.” – Adriano Magnifico, Louis Riel School Division (MB)

“I believe Careers Education is (or should be) one of the most important subjects taught in our schools K-12 along with Literacy and Numeracy. Done correctly, Careers Education can open students to a world of possibilities effecting their future. Currently many students must rely on the limited information they receive from employers, parents and friends.” – Derek Beeston, Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools

“Many individuals have limited exposure to career development concepts until they reach post-secondary or even after they graduate. Ideally, people would have a foundation of career development skills to make informed career decisions, such as choosing educational paths. This foundation can start in high school, or with more robust advising services for prospective students.” – Amy Smith, BCIT Student Association

“My ideal vision for career development in Canada is that of experiential learning. We are asking our young people and those transitioning between careers to pick an education before understanding what the actual career looks like. We need more opportunities for young people to get workplace-integrated learning opportunities, whether that is through my personal favourite, gap years, or co-ops or internships, we need to find more ways for people to get some hands-on experience to confirm that they are on a path that will resonate with them. With all the training and reskilling that is going on, having that clarity that is a personal fit with your personal interests, desires and skills is going to be key to helping our labour force enter into educational programs that are going to put them on a track that will be personally fulfilling and that they will enjoy and be able to be successful in.” – Michelle Ditmer, CanGap

“We will have ‘arrived’ at an education system reimagined through a career development lens when essential elements of traditional academic curriculum have been absorbed into collaborative learning projects and school is nothing but engaging, challenging, meaningful, supportive, collaborative learning projects.” – Phillip S. Jarvis, ReimaginED (NB)

“A school staff that shares a common vocabulary about talents and strengths and that are on the lookout to notice and communicate them to their students; Students who realize that their value and self-concept don’t rely only on their learning capacities and school performances; This is my career development practice reimagined!” – Catherine Carbonneau-Bergeron, École secondaire Massey-Vanier (QC)

“Ideal visions for career development in Canada include a renewed focus on equipping the next generation of young talent with future-proof skills they can leverage amid market transformations. As economies turn towards post-pandemic recovery, we must commit to investing in skills development training, meaningful work-integrated-learning opportunities, and improved policy responses to adequately facilitate sustained youth workforce development.” – Theresa Jones, Intern, World Education Services (ON) 

“Metamorphosis is the word I keep coming back to lately. Metamorphosis because the pandemic has changed how we look at things and allows us to continuously reimagine what’s possible, whether on an organizational scale or individually. Transforming, adapting, innovating, and pivoting our career journey will enhance our responsiveness to an ever-changing labour market.” – Shelly Drefs, Career Services, Medicine Hat College 

“My ideal vision of career development in Canada focuses on the equal alignment of ambitions, goals and skills of the workforce with current labour market demands. Due to the pandemic, there has been a massive shift in the skills in demand and we will need to focus on training for and obtaining these skills to achieve balance in the workforce.” – Edwyna Laughton, Sheridan College

“Career development needs to be nimble and adaptive, recognizing how the concept of a career is evolving in the face of technology, societal expectations, and the growing impact of climate change on migration and living standards. Career developers need to be able to advise based on what they see coming, not on past experiences that don’t reflect changing realities.” – Paul Brinkhurst, Futureworx

“I think that career development, educational institutions and the workforce would have to work together or have a method of communication to enhance the process of career development. I think the process would need an organizational structure to efficiently get what the needs are out there and how to get the skills out there without so much red tape.” – Sandra Costanzo, English Montreal School Board

“Career development in Canada is a process that changes and adapts to the individual’s needs. It’s about helping a client along their path to their ideal future, it’s about support, and reminding the client that they are worth every small step they take. It’s celebrating the small victories and advocating for your client. It’s about watching someone find their way.” – Ashley Christopher, YMCA of Western Newfoundland

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Close-up shot of hand holding pen and writing in noteboo2021

CERIC seeking article proposals for Careering magazine issue on “Career Mindsets”

CERIC is requesting article proposals for the Winter 2022 issue of Careering magazine, on the theme of “Career Mindsets.” New contributors are welcome, and can submit in English, French or both languages. Please review our Submission Guidelines and send a 1-2 paragraph proposal outlining your topic idea to Editor Lindsay Purchase, lindsay@ceric.ca by Thursday, Oct. 14.

This issue will explore questions including:
  • What are career mindsets?
  • How does this intersect with career literacy?
  • What does this concept mean for different groups of people (e.g. newcomers, people who are disconnected from the labour market, etc.) and how can career mindset be applied in those contexts?
  • How would you like to see career mindsets shift (e.g. for clients, employers) and how do you see the concept of career changing?
  • What is the impact of unexpected events on career mindsets?
  • How can you integrate career mindsets into different spaces (e.g. workplace, various levels of education, etc.)?
  • How can we help those who aren’t career professionals bring this concept into their spaces?
  • How is a career mindset demonstrated?

Visit ceric.ca/careering to view all past issues of the magazine, and watch out for our Fall 2021 “Career Development Reimagined” issue, which will be released Oct. 6.

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Storying: Concepts for future directions in career development research and practice

By Noah Dwain Arney (Cannexus22 GSEP Award Winner)

In her book Pathways for Remembering and Recognizing Indigenous Thought in Education: Philosophies of Iethi’nihsténha Ohwentsia’kékha (Land), Sandra Styres explains that the purpose of stories is to make sense of “one’s place in the past in order to be in the present” (Styres 2017, 50). This use of stories, or storying (Styres, 2011), for people to understand themselves, their relationships and their connections to others, places and concepts is a philosophical perspective that can support career development work.

Storying is more than the person’s self-making (Savickas, 2012), it includes the context the person brings to each experience through responsibility and relationship “to family, community, nations, and the environment” (Firman, 2005, 226-227). Or, as Styres puts it, “storying refers to how we describe in story our experiences through personal, community, national, and global narratives” (Styres, 2008 as cited in Styres, 2011, 718).

When we tell our story (Offet-Gartner, 2011) we learn from our telling. We tell our stories in circles (Little Bear, 2012), where each time we tell the same story we add “depth and dimension” (Styres, 2017, 186) to it. As we tell our stories we are actively building our connections to not only our physical, intellectual, spiritual, and emotional selves, but our connections to our family and communities (Pidgeon, 2014) and all the holistic individuals within those groups, each with their own physical, intellectual, spiritual and emotional selves. This, then, is the impact of storying: the construction of the holistic self.

Styres concept of storying is “circular, iterative, and relational” (Styres 2017, 38). When it applies to career development, storying requires three parts: story, circularity and awareness of relationships. Story, or narrative, is a core aspect of modern career development practice (McIlveen & Patton, 2007) and Peavy has identified how we link our experiences together through stories and create “an evolving biographical narrative under continuous revision” (Peavy, 1995, 1-2). For Anishinaabek (Peltier, 2018) and Niitsitapi (Marule, 2012) peoples as well as many other Indigenous peoples, the story is not just a narrative but is derived from observation and critical reflection.

Circularity, or iterativeness, is embraced by Western career development professionals who focus on experiential learning (Kolb & Kolb, 2009, Jarvis, 2006). It is a concept that is especially important for career development because we learn from the telling, and learn again from the retelling later (Styres, Haig-Brown, & Blimkie, 2013); with every revisit to the story the person brings their prior experiences to bear (Styres, 2017) on the retelling. This circularity (Akan, 1999) enables a great deal of reflection and personal growth.

The awareness of relationships is an aspect which is not centred as much as it should be in career development. Krumbotlz (2009) and others touch on the importance of relationships to clients, but it is rarely with the complexity and centrality of relationships that is seen in the Indigenous paradigm (Kovach, 2020, Peltier, 2018, Held, 2019). From Saulteaux (Akan, 1999), to Oneida (Antone, 2003), Okanagan (Cohen, 2001), Mi’kmaq (Pidgeon, 2014) and Mohawk (Styres, 2017), the “self-in-relationship” (Styres, 2017, 56) concept is central to the understanding of humans for Indigenous peoples in what is now Canada. From this perspective the relationship is not simply of a familial or romantic nature, but a relationship with the land, nature, our family, community and nation, and those who came before and those who will follow (Chartrand, 2012, p. 148).

The exploration of storying as a career development method, and the Indigenous philosophical paradigm, may open future directions for career development and counselling research and practice.

Noah Arney is a Master of Education student in Educational Research at the University of Calgary. He is a Certified Career Development Professional with over 10 years of experience in student affairs. He is a Career Services Co-ordinator with Thompson Rivers University. His research focuses on Indigenous students’ perception of work-integrated learning.

References

Akan, L. (1999). Pimosatamowin Sikaw Kakeequaywin: Walking and talking. Canadian Journal of Native Education, 23(1), 16–39.

Antone, E. (2003). Culturally Framing Aboriginal Literacy and Learning. Canadian Journal of Native Education, 27(1), 7–15.

Bear, L. L. (2012). Traditional knowledge and humanities: A perspective by a blackfoot. Journal of Chinese Philosophy, 39(4), 518–527. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-6253.2012.01742.x

Chartrand, R. (2012). Anishinaabe Pedagogy. Canadian Journal of Native Education, 35(1), 144.

Cohen, B. (2001). The Spider’s Web: Creativity and survival in dynamic balance. Canadian Journal of Native Education, 25(2), 140–148. Firman, B. (2005). Renewing Aboriginal Education through Relationship and Community (Issue July). UBC.

Held, M. B. E. (2019). Decolonizing Research Paradigms in the Context of Settler Colonialism: An Unsettling, Mutual, and Collaborative Effort. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 18, 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1177/1609406918821574

Jarvis, P. (2006). Towards a comprehensive theory of human learning. London: Routledge.

Kolb, A. Y., & Kolb, D. A. (2009). The learning way: Meta-cognitive aspects of experiential learning. Simulation and Gaming, 40(3), 297–327. https://doi.org/10.1177/1046878108325713

Kovach, M. (2020). Conversation Method in Indigenous Research. First Peoples Child & Family Review, 5(1), 39–48. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.7202/1069060ar

Krumboltz, J. D. (2009). The happenstance learning theory. Journal of Career Assessment, 17(2), 135–154. https://doi.org/10.1177/1069072708328861

Marule, T. R. (2012). Niitsitapi Relational and Experiential Theories in Education. Canadian Journal of Native Education, 35(1), 131.

McIlveen, P., & Patton, W. (2007). Narrative career counselling: Theory and exemplars of practice. Australian Psychologist, 42(3). https://doi.org/10.1080/00050060701405592

Offet-Gartner, K. (2011). Rewriting HerStory: Aboriginal women reclaim education as a tool for personal and community, health and well-being. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 30, 1499–1506. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.10.290

Peltier, C. (2018). An Application of Two-Eyed Seeing: Indigenous Research Methods With Participatory Action Research. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 17(1), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1177/1609406918812346

Pidgeon, M. (2014). Moving Beyond Good Intentions: Indigenizing higher education in British Columbia universities through institutional responsibility and accountability. Journal of American Indian Education, 53(2), 7–28.

Peavy, R. V. (1995). Constructivist career counseling. ERIC Digest. ERIC Clearinghouse on Counseling and Student Services Greensboro NC., Canadian Guidance and Counselling Foundation Ottawa (Ontario)., 1–6.

Savickas, M. (2012). Life design: A paradigm for career intervention in the 21st century. Journal of Counseling and Development, 90(1), 13–19. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1556- 6676.2012.00002.x

Styres, S. D. (2017). Pathways for Remembering and Recognizing Indigenous Thought in Education: Philosophies of Iethi’nihsténha Ohwentsia’kékha (land). University of Toronto Press.

Styres, S. D. (2011). Land as first teacher: A philosophical journeying. Reflective Practice, 12(6), 717–731. https://doi.org/10.1080/14623943.2011.601083

Styres, S. D., Haig-Brown, C., & Blimkie, M. (2013). Towards a pedagogy of land: The urban context. Canadian Journal of Education, 36(2), 34.

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Counselling and the new world 

Zoée St-Amand 

A year ago, I woke up in a new reality. Without warning, a virus showed up, disrupting everything in its path. Across the globe, all of us have been affected personally. The labour market has undeniably been shaken up and will undergo an unprecedented transformation. Workers have had to adapt thus far, but they will need to continue doing so, as it is very difficult to predict what the labour market of tomorrow will be like. 

This transformation was well under way even before the pandemic, but it will certainly accelerate the changes. In 2019, the International Labour Organization (ILO) issued a document stating that many factors could have a profound impact on the labour market. The ILO predicts that, within a few years, automation, artificial intelligence and technology, among other things, will have effects that will impact millions of workers across all sectors.  

Today, the effects of the pandemic have already being felt heavily in the restaurant, tourism and health-care sectors, among others. Why is this so important? Because people’s jobs, professions and occupations are a major part of their lives. In 2007, Mercure, Vultur and Fleury conducted a research study involving 1,000 young Quebec workers. The study showed that at least seven out of 10 young people rank work as one of the most important values in their lives. They also reported that work is very important for older workers. Moreover, Dionne and Girardin (2021) note that a person’s profession plays a much more significant role than simply providing an opportunity to earn a living. It has an impact on identity development, social integration and general well-being. 

I went to my mailbox yesterday morning and picked up my copy of l’orientation magazine (February 2021), a publication of the Ordre des conseillers et des conseillères d’orientation du Québec. In it, I read a critique by President Josée Landry of the public’s lack of awareness of the value of the service and the expertise that career counsellors offer in the labour market and in training. I began to think about my future as a professional in the field. I had a feeling that the coming years could be defining moments for the profession: an opportunity for the field to take its rightful place and for employment counsellors to finally demonstrate their relevance in the social sphere. In fact, a study conducted by professors and researchers Milot-Lapointe, Savard and Le Corf (2018) demonstrates the effectiveness of individual career counselling in reducing career indecision and psychological distress. Considering the myriad upheavals in the labour market, I imagine that there will be many challenges and that employment counsellors could be of great help to the clients who meet with them. 

I was in class today, and my professor was speaking about advocacy, both for the client’s well-being and for recognition of the profession. I wholeheartedly agreed, and I put up my hand. Yes, I want to be part of the collective effort to make our profession better known to the public, because I feel that in the years to come our relevance and expertise could help a great number of people. It is such an exciting time for counselling, and it is up to us to seize it, to use it to our advantage and, at the same time, to guide our clients through this unknown future to the best of our abilities. 

Zoée St-Amand, master’s in counselling student, Université de Sherbrooke. Coming from an administrative background, I had a strong desire to work with people that led me to retrain in the field of counselling. I have a keen interest in understanding the changes in the world of work and their impact on individuals, sociology and humankind. 

References 

Dionne, P. et Girardin, V. (February 2021) Travail et suicide : au-delà des chiffres [Work and suicide: beyond the figures]. l’orientation, 22-24. 

Landry, J. (2021, février) L’orientation n’est pas un luxe [Counselling is not a luxury]. l’orientation, 4-5. 

Mercure, D., Vultur, M. et Fleury, C. (2012). Valeurs et attitudes des jeunes travailleurs à l’égard du travail au Québec : une analyse intergénérationnelle [Work Values and Attitudes of Young Quebec Workers: An Intergenerational Analysis]. Relations industrielles, 67(2), 177-198. doi: 10.7202/1009083ar 

Milot-Lapointe, F., Savard Réginald, & Le Corff, Y. (2018). Intervention components and working alliance as predictors of individual career counseling effect on career decision-making difficulties. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 107, 15–24. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2018.03.001  

Rani, U. et Grimshaw, D. (2019). Introduction – Travail, emploi, société: que nous réserve l’avenir? [Introduction – Work, employment, society: what does the future hold for us?] Revue internationale du Travail, 158(4), 633-650. doi: 10.1111/ilrf.12141  

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Burnout of health-care professionals in the face of a pandemic 

Steeven Bernier 

Over the past year, many of us have heard stories in the media about people who lost their jobs and retrained in order to help out in the health-care system. However, working conditions within the health-care sector seem to have deteriorated all over the world. Headlines announcing that nurses no longer want to work at a particular hospital because of the lack of recognition and poor working conditions, for example, attest to this.  

In this context, many health-care professionals who had been working in the field for a number of years have decided to leave their jobs and change careers. With this in mind, it therefore seems likely that career development and counselling professionals will have to meet with such clients in the near future, if they have not already done so. However, beyond the change of course for these health professionals, it is important to understand the circumstances that led them to this decision. 

The pandemic and the strategies designed to counter it (curfews, lockdowns, etc.) have resulted in increased rates of mental disorders, not to mention increased psychological distress, insomnia, suicidal ideation and substance use and the like in health-care professionals (Cénat, 2020; Cénat et al., 2020). Even in non-pandemic times, they are more likely than the general population to experience mental health issues, to be under-diagnosed and to be under-treated (El-Hage et al., 2020).  

A number of pandemic-related factors can affect the psychological state of health-care professionals. These include direct exposure to patients with high viral loads, exposure to the risk of contamination, physical exhaustion, restructuring of work spaces, adaptation to rigid work organizations, management of equipment shortages, unusually high numbers of deaths among patients, colleagues or relatives, as well as ethical issues related to decision-making in an overstretched care system, being parents afraid of contaminating their children and the stigmatization of caregivers as potential vectors of viral infection (El-Hage et al., 2020). 

Canada is no exception to this situation. Indeed, according to recent data from Statistics Canada, seven out of 10 health-care workers reported a deterioration in their mental health during the pandemic (Statistics Canada, 2021). What is more, this perceived deterioration is greater among professionals working with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases. In these stressful circumstances, and in the context of a health-care system that was already under pressure, more and more health-care professionals are contemplating a change of career.  

Different strategies can be used to reduce the psychological impact of this new reality. From an individual perspective, enjoying social support, developing resilience and adopting healthy lifestyle habits can have a positive impact (Hage et al., 2020). Going beyond their coping strategies, many health-care professionals will start thinking about their career. 

It is therefore important to understand the reality of these professionals seeking to change jobs or professions so that we can work more effectively with them. Psychological factors such as those described above may have led them to make such a decision or, at the very least, to consider it. 

Steeven Bernier is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Nursing at Université Laval, as well as a lecturer in the Department of Health Sciences at UQAR, specifically for courses related to mental health. He is currently pursuing a master’s in counselling. The research for his dissertation focuses on the organizational strategies put in place by health-care environments to support nurses who have experienced burnout. 

References 

Cénat, J.M., (2020). US deportation policies in the time of COVID-19: a public health threat to the Americas. Public Health. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.puhe.2020.05.017  

Cénat, J. M., Blais-Rochette, C., Kokou-Kpolou, C. K., Noorishad, P. G., Mukunzi, J. N., McIntee, S. E., … & Labelle, P. (2020). Prevalence of symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia, posttraumatic stress disorder, and psychological distress among populations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Psychiatry research, 113599. 

El-Hage, W., Hingray, C., Lemogne, C., Yrondi, A., Brunault, P., Bienvenu, T., … & Aouizerate, B. (2020). Les professionnels de santé face à la pandémie de la maladie à coronavirus (COVID-19): quels risques pour leur santé mentale? [Health professionals facing the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: What are the mental health risks?]. L’encephale, 46(3), S73-S80. 

Statistics Canada (2021). Impacts of COVID-19 on Health Care Workers: Infection Prevention and Control (ICHCWIPC). https://www.statcan.gc.ca/eng/survey/household/5340  

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Career decision-making: could art therapy be an avenue to explore? 

By Hélène Brisebois (Cannexus22 GSEP Award Winner)

Careers occupy a central place in people’s lives, and career decisions focus on finding a job that meets financial, social recognition and well-being needs (Blustein, 2008; Gati and Tal, 2008, Milot-Lapointe, 2017). To meet these needs, people choose careers that are in line with their interests and their goals (Gati, Krausz and Osipow, 1996; Milot-Lapointe, 2017). However, this choice can be difficult, and a person may feel incapable of making the right decision, a phenomenon referred to as career indecision (Amir, Gati and Kleiman, 2008; Forner, 2007; Osipow, 1999). 

Choosing a satisfying career cannot be done in a linear and rational manner alone; emotions and intuition must also be taken into account (Falardeau, 2007; Gelatt, 1989). Career decision-making requires a space for reflection, imagination and creativity so that information and ideas can be structured and restructured based on a subjective perception of reality (Gelatt, 1989). This process must be rooted in both the rational and the intuitive dimensions (Lecomte and Savard, 2008, 2009). The former includes rationality, reflection and introspection, while the latter includes intuition, emotions, creativity and imagination (Falardeau, 2007; Gelatt, 1989; Young, Domene and Valach, 2015). Falardeau (2007) explains that decision-making cannot be strictly rational and linear given the importance of emotions in the process: [translation] “people don’t make decisions just with their heads, but also, and especially, with their hearts.” (p. 76). 

We may then ask ourselves what could facilitate contact and make it easier to express and shine a light on the intuitive dimension. While facilitating introspection, art provides access to intuition and emotions and has the potential to play a part in reflection regarding career decisions (Gladding, 2012; Hamel and Labrèche, 2015). This form of expression fosters communication that goes beyond words and facilitates the expression of what is felt (Hamel and Labrèche, 2015). Art – a creative activity – gives free rein to emotions and imagination and, through reflection, introspection and expression, opens a door to the subject’s unconscious, including intuition: something that other approaches cannot do (Gladding, 2012). 

Art therapy draws on art in its approach (Hamel and Labrèche, 2015; Hinz, 2020). In counselling, this practice helps address self-esteem, anxiety, problem-solving skills and the matter of identity (Gladding, 2012; Hamel and Labrèche, 2015). These difficulties are also recognized as factors in career indecision, leading to the idea that such an approach could be used to work on the factors hindering decision-making in career counselling. In addition, art therapy fosters contact with the emotions, the development of intuition, creativity and imagination in a space for introspection and reflection (Gladding, 2012; Henderson, 1999; Hamel and Labrèche, 2015); these elements are essential to decision-making (Falardeau, 2007; Gelatt, 1989). 

Could art therapy facilitate decision-making in career counselling? This seems to be a worthwhile avenue to explore in the field of counselling. A qualitative phenomenological method (Smith, Flowers and Larkin, 2009) will allow us to explore the experience of professionals who turn to art therapy as part of the career counselling decision-making process. 

Hélène Brisebois is a student in the Master’s in Counselling program at Université de Sherbrooke. Her thesis looks at the use of art therapy as a part of the decision-making process in career counselling. 

References 

Amir, T., Gati, I. and Kleiman, T. (2008). Understanding and interpreting career decision-making difficulties. Journal of Career Assessment16(3), 281-309. 

Blustein, D.L. (2008). The role of work in psychological health and wellbeing. American Psychologist63(4), 228-240. 

Falardeau, I. (2007). Sortir de l’indécision [Overcoming Indecision] Québec, Quebec: Septembre éditeur. 

Forner, Y. (2007). L’indécision de carrière des adolescents [Career Indecision in Adolescents]. Le travail humain70(3), 213-234. 

Gati, I., Krausz, M. and Osipow, S.H. (1996). A taxonomy of difficulties in career decision-making. Journal of Counseling Psychology43(4), 510-526. 

Gati, I. and Tal, S. (2008). Decision-making models and career guidance. In J. Athanasou and R. Van Esbroeck (dir.), International handbook of career guidance (p. 157-185). Berlin, Germany: Springer. 

Gelatt, H.B. (1989). Positive uncertainty: A new decision-making framework for counseling. Journal of Counseling Psychology36(2), 252-256. 

Gladding, S.T. (2012). Art in counseling. In C.A. Malchiodi (dir.), Handbook of art therapy (p. 263-274). (2nd ed.). New York, NY: The Guilford Press. 

Hamel, J. and Labrèche, J. (2015). Art Thérapie Mettre des mots sur les maux et des couleurs sur les douleurs [Art therapy: Applying words to hurt and colours to pain]Livre de référence pour comprendre et pratiquer [Reference book for understanding and practicing]. Paris, France : Larousse. 

Henderson, S.J. (1999). The use of Animal Imagery in Counseling. American Journal of Art Therapy38(1), 20-26. 

Hinz, L.D. (2020). Expressive Therapies Continuum: A Framework for Using Art in Therapy. (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge. 

Lecomte, C. and Savard, R. (2008). Counseling de carrière: enjeu d’orientation et d’insertion professionnelle [Career counselling: professional guidance and integration challenges] Unpublished paper. 

Lecomte, C. and Savard, R. (2009). Counseling de carrière avec ses enjeux d’orientation, de réorientation, d’insertion, de réinsertion, d’adaptation et de réadaptation [Career counselling and the orientation, reorientation, integration, reintegration, adaptation and rehabilitation challenges that go with it]. Unpublished paper. 

Milot-Lapointe, F. (2017). Effet du counseling de carrière individuel sur l’indécision de carrière et sur la détresse psychologique : influence des composantes d’intervention et de l’alliance de travail [Effect of individual career counselling on career indecision and psychological distress: influence of intervention components and working alliance]. Doctoral dissertation in education, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke. 

Osipow, S.H. (1999). Assessing career indecision. Journal of Vocational Behavior55, 147-154. 

Young, R.A., Domene, J.F. and Valach, L. (2015). Counseling and Action: Toward Life-Enhancing Work, Relationship and Identity. New York, NY: Springer. 

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Equitable career development: Dismantling sociocultural barriers that create disenfranchisement 

By Caileigh Wilson (Cannexus22 GSEP Award Winner)

Recently, while teaching a workshop on reflective career planning, a student asked a question that left me without words: “If racism and discrimination exist within hiring panels, what are you doing about it?” This question was posed by a student who was in the process of applying for a job and who continued to experience rejection despite her employable credentials. She was feeling hurt, angry and ultimately was experiencing the beginning stages of disenfranchisement. Her question left me thinking about how career development practitioners uphold racism and systems of oppression and how we can better support those who experience this type of discrimination. 

Individuals who are navigating their career development during pivotal stages of transition, such as high school and university students, often begin with ambitious ideas and plans (Brown & Segrist, 2016). As students start to experience the realities of transitioning into the workforce, their aspirations decrease. Racialized students experience the largest decrease in aspirations as they often are faced with higher rates of rejection, unemployment and increased interactions with sociocultural barriers (Brown & Segrist, 2016). It is well understood that inequities exist for racialized and marginalized people. Discrimination remains dominant on hiring panels (Zschirnt & Ruedin, 2016) and corporate policies on equity, diversity and inclusion often feel like more symbolic declarations than practical applications. As students’ aspirations decrease, their self-efficacy often decreases as well, which can result in feelings of disenfranchisement and overall lower cultural identity (Byars-Winston, 2010). 

Career development is not only defined as the process of supporting individuals to find an occupation, it can be defined as “the process of assisting individuals in the development of a life career with the focus on the definition of worker role and how the role interacts with other life roles” (Tovar-Murray et al., 2012). Career development has a larger focus on change management and life-role adaptability (Bocciardi et al., 2017). With this in mind, working with students by addressing the barriers that exist is then an essential part of effective career development, as it creates a stronger focus on how to adapt to one’s career and life roles. Without appropriate awareness sociocultural barriers, individuals will likely experience lower career decision self-efficacy and lower vocation outcome expectancy (Conkel-Ziebell et al., 2019). 

Ignoring the barriers only perpetuates the inequities that occur for populations who experience marginalization. Social cognitive career theory and self-management model in career counselling suggest that inquiring about individuals’ experiences and beliefs with career aspirations and discrimination are effective practice when working with people of colour (Conkel-Ziebell et al., 2019). Engaging in conversations about attitudes toward career decision-making and experiences of discrimination will likely support students in developing strategies for coping with the barriers they face (Conkel-Ziebell et al., 2019) and create a more equitable relationship between the practitioner and participant. Building a stronger awareness of sociocultural barriers, as well as engaging in inquiries about participant’s attitudes toward their career aspirations, can support stronger self-efficacy and greater ability to manage barriers they may face. 

“If racism and discrimination exist within hiring panels, what are you doing about it”? To answer my student’s earlier question, I can respond by acknowledging the struggle, inquiring about experiences with discrimination and racism, and further inquiring how to better support students through this. I hope to bring greater awareness to the inequities that exist to better support my students in building greater self-efficacy in managing their careers and life transitions. 

Caileigh Wilson is currently working on her MA in Counselling Psychology at Simon Fraser University. She is conducting research both in career development and mental health and exploring the access barriers that exist for refugees resettling in Canada. Caileigh also works as a career development practitioner at Simon Fraser University. 

References 

Bocciardi, F., Caputo, A., Fregonese, C., Langher, V., & Sartori, R. (2017). Career adaptability as a strategic competence for career development: An exploratory study of its key predictors. European Journal of Training and Development41(1), 67–82. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJTD-07-2016-0049 

Brown, D. L., & Segrist, D. (2016). African American Career Aspirations: Examining the Relative Influence of Internalized Racism. Journal of Career Development43(2), 177– 189. https://doi.org/10.1177/0894845315586256 

Byars-Winston, A. (2010). The Vocational Significance of Black Identity: Cultural Formulation Approach to Career Assessment and Career Counseling. Journal of Career Development37(1), 441–464. https://doi.org/10.1177/0894845309345847 

Conkel-Ziebell, J. L., Gushue, G. V., & Turner, S. L. (2019). Anticipation of racism and sexism: Factors related to setting career goals for urban youth of color. Journal of Counseling Psychology66(5), 588–599. https://doi.org/10.1037/cou0000357 

Tovar-Murray, D., Jenifer, E. S., Andrusyk, J., D’Angelo, R., & King, T. (2012). Racism- Related Stress and Ethnic Identity as Determinants of African American College Students’ Career Aspirations. The Career Development Quarterly60(3), 254–262. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.2161-0045.2012.00021.x 

Zschirnt, E., & Ruedin, D. (2016). Ethnic discrimination in hiring decisions: A meta-analysis of correspondence tests 1990–2015. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies42(7), 1115– 1134. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2015.1133279 

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Autism as an opportunity for untapped potential

By Andrea Vincent 

Many revolutionary figures in history have been considered to have autism as a result of their abilities to think creatively, focus intently and challenge conventional thinking. The art of Michelangelo, actors like Sir Anthony Hopkins, musicians such as Mozart, life-changing inventions by Nikola Tesla, activists who have stood up in the face of adversity such as Greta Thunberg, scientists who have shaped our understanding of the world like Temple Grandin and writers such as George Orwell have captivated our imaginations and encouraged us to view the world from a new perspective. These people demonstrate the traits of autism and illustrate it as an opportunity to tap into human potential that is often overlooked and underestimated. 

To gain a more comprehensive understanding of autism in the workplace, researchers at La Trobe University, in Melbourne, Australia undertook a three-year study to examine employment outcomes for people with autism. To facilitate the process, some employees were identified to provide assistance through strategies in mediation, advocacy and support in guiding new employees with autism as they integrated into the work environment. This support during the transition process is often a critical component for maximizing positive long-term employment success.  

Upon conclusion of the study, participants indicated that they felt the experience had demonstrated positive outcomes. Key reflections included the ability of people with autism to identify and detect errors often missed by employees who had been working for longer and who had the benefit of more training (Hedley et al., 2017). The unique perspective of people with autism encourages observation of details regularly overlooked by neurotypical employees. Additionally, people with autism are often able to view problems from angles frequently not considered by others (Hedley, et al., 2017). The ability to view obstacles from a unique perspective is essential for problem solving and is a trait from which many workplaces can benefit; yet without a neurodiverse environment, these perspectives are often underrepresented. 

In addition to direct employer benefits, the integration of individuals with autism into the work environment can also have a positive impact on employee satisfaction. In the study conducted by Hedley et al. (2017), many of the employees who worked alongside individuals with autism indicated that they were proud of the work these new employees had contributed to the organization, and some expressed satisfaction in participating in an opportunity that was helping to change perceptions. 

Providing an environment where individuals feel that they are valued is important for employee retention, and creating an environment where employees are part of the process of contributing to progressive collective change can foster an environment of positivity and increased productivity. 

Individuals with autism present an untapped potential as their advantages in reliability, attention to detail and visual skills often outweigh the cost of occupational adaptations required when compared with accommodations for other disabilities (Hayward et al., 2019). Additionally, it is believed that many of the strategies that can help individuals with autism successfully integrate in the work environment are beneficial for all employees (Hedley et al., 2017). Clear and concise expectations, visual schedules and reminders, organized environments and connections with individuals who can help provide support and guidance in the workplace as necessary are all strategies from which the majority of employees benefit. When employers commit to inclusive hiring practices, create a work environment responsive to all employees and integrate supportive transition practices, they are able to capitalize on the untapped potential individuals with autism can bring to a neurodiverse work environment. 

Andrea Vincent is a graduate student at the University of New Brunswick in the field of Adult Education. She has been working with people with disabilities for over two decades and believes in recognizing the potential that lies within each disability by focusing on the positives, and facilitating successful transition outcomes. 

References 

Hayward, S. M., McVilly, K. R., & Stokes, M. A. (2019). Autism and employment: What works. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 60, 48-58. doi:10.1016/j.rasd.2019.01.006 

Hedley, D., Cai, R., Uljarevic, M., Wilmot, M., Spoor, J. R., Richdale, A., & Dissanayake, C. (2017). Transition to work: Perspectives from the autism spectrum. Autism, 22(5), 528-541. doi:10.1177/1362361316687697 

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The truth will set you free: Why deception is not an effective strategy in job interviews

By Jordan Ho (Cannexus22 GSEP Award Winner)

People are naturally driven to put their best foot forward during a job interview. There are times, however, when people perceive that being entirely honest will hurt their chances of securing the job, or they cannot provide a high-quality response to the interview questions. In these situations, some candidates may resort to a set of strategies called “deceptive impression management” because they believe it will help them succeed in the interview (Levashina & Campion, 2007).

Deceptive impression management describes candidates’ distortion of responses to the interview questions (Levashina & Campion, 2006). These tactics can include minor exaggerations of skills, pretending to share values with the interviewer or covering up negative details about oneself when asked directly. In fewer instances, candidates may even lie and invent fictional stories (Bourdage et al., 2018). These tactics may not be rooted in malicious intent (Ellingson & McFarland, 2011); rather, the evaluative nature of job interviews can pressure candidates into distorting their answers as a natural social response (Marcus, 2009). It is unclear, however, if deceptive impression management actually benefits candidates as they believe it will.

The inherent purpose of resorting to deceptive impression management is to be evaluated more favourably in a job interview (Levashina & Campion, 2006). This perceived benefit of deception may, however, be an inaccurate assumption made by job candidates who see the need to engage in such strategies. Some studies have discovered that deceptive impression management is related to better interview evaluations (e.g. Ingold et al., 2015), whereas others have found the opposite relation (e.g. Swider et al., 2011). Thus, there is mixed evidence regarding the extent to which deceptive impression management predicts better interview evaluations.

To enhance the understanding of deceptive impression management and interview evaluations, our research team conducted a meta-analytic study – currently in-press at the Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, Special Issue: Emerging Research in Industrial-Organizational Psychology in Canada. We compiled all existing studies that contained data on the relation between deceptive impression management and interview evaluations. Across 27 different studies, we discovered that deceptive impression management has, on average, almost zero association with interview evaluations (Ho et al., in press). In comparison, our analysis of existing studies indicates that honest forms of impression management (i.e. truthfully promoting one’s skills or fit with the company) are associated with better interview evaluations. These results therefore suggest that although candidates feel pressured to distort their responses during interviews, these deceptive strategies typically will not help them in the end, whereas honest tactics will.

Although deceptive impression management may be a tempting response to a tough interview question or a perceived gap in the skill requirements, job candidates do have better options. For one, our study demonstrated that engaging in honest tactics – being completely truthful about what skills one possesses – is more likely to result in a favourable impression during the interview (Ho et al., in press). What career counsellors can take away from our research is that they should train and encourage candidates to only use honest impression management tactics in job interviews, due to its demonstrated effectiveness.

Career counsellors can further emphasize that even when candidates feel pressured or tempted to distort their responses, they should focus on highlighting the skills they do have and demonstrate their willingness to learn. Candidates do not want to end up in a situation where they embellished their skills and end up being a poor fit for the job (Charbonneau et al., in press). As such, whereas lying does not improve one’s chances of securing the job, honesty may in fact be the best policy.

Jordan Ho is a PhD candidate in Industrial-Organizational Psychology at the University of Guelph. Jordan is interested in methods of improving the fairness of personnel selection practices, including research on intersectionality, stigma and hiring discrimination.

References

Bourdage, J. S., Roulin, N., Tarraf, R. (2018). “I (might be) just that good”: Honest and deceptive impression management in employment interviews. Personnel Psychology, 71, 597– 632. https://doi.org/10.1111/peps.12285

Charbonneau, B. D., Powell, D. M., Spence, J. R., & Lyons, S. T. (in press). Unintended consequences of interview faking: Impact on perceived fit and affective outcomes. Personnel Assessment and Decisions.

Ellingson, J. E., & McFarland, L. A. (2011). Understanding faking behavior through the lens of motivation: An application of VIE theory. Human Performance, 24, 322–337. https://doi.org/10.1080/08959285.201.597477

Ho, J. L., Powell, D. M., & Stanley, D. J. (in press). The relation between deceptive impression management and employment interview ratings: A meta-analysis. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science. https://doi.org/10.1037/cbs0000223

Ingold, P. V., Kleinmann, M., König, C. J., & Melchers, K. G. (2015). Shall we continue or stop disapproving of self-presentation? Evidence on impression management and faking in a selection context and their relation to job performance. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 24, 420–432. https://doi.org/10.1080/1359432X.2014.915215

Levashina, J., & Campion, M. A. (2006). A model of faking likelihood in the employment interview. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 14, 299–316. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2389.2006.00353.x

Levashina, J., & Campion, M. A. (2007). Measuring faking in the employment interview: Development and validation of an interview faking behavior scale. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92, 1638–1656. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.92.6.1638

Marcus, B. (2009). ‘Faking’ from the applicant’s perspective: A theory of self‐presentation in personnel selection settings. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 17, 417–430. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2389.2009.00483.x

Swider, B. W., Barrick, M. R., Harris, T. B., & Stoverink, A. C. (2011). Managing and creating an image in the interview: The role of interviewee initial impressions. Journal of Applied Psychology, 96, 1275–1288. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0024005

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