CERIC releases 2020 Annual Report: A year like no other

With a theme of “Stretch, Support, Strive,” the 2020 CERIC Annual Report reflects on a year like no other. It was a year that took us to new and uncharted places, both as an organization and as a sector. We started the year with banner attendance at Cannexus, Canada’s Career Development Conference, in Ottawa in January 2020. By mid-March, our staff were working from home and CERIC began to respond to the fast-changing needs of career development stakeholders in the face of the global public health crisis. 

As Board Chair André Raymond and Executive Director Riz Ibrahim outline in their Leadership Message, CERIC sought to better understand how these needs were unfolding and what gaps were emerging. We did this through a series of periodic Pulse Surveys that took a recovery-oriented lens and showed remarkable resilience and innovation across career services in Canada. Our response included offering free webinars on timely topics like taking career and employment services online and managing mental and emotional well-being for both clients and career professionals. The pandemic also meant that we had to reimagine Cannexus in 2021 as a virtual offering. Being mindful of the economic uncertainties, we offered compelling rates and were also able to bring in new international partners with the pivot to virtual – all with a view to reimagining career development in this new reality where we found ourselves. 

Internally, CERIC took time in 2020 to fine-tune our new Strategic Plan. Early in the year, we revised our Vision (People in Canada have the capacity to use their skills and talents towards a more fulfilling future for all) and Mission (Advancing career development in Canada) and confirmed two mandates that would drive our work for the next few years. These are: “Promoting career development as a priority for the public good,” working with stakeholders across the career development ecosystem to advance efforts that show the social and economic value, and public benefit of career development; and, “Building career development knowledge, mindsets and competencies,” growing expertise and skills among career practitioners and educators through research, learning and acting as a hub for community.  

Highlights for CERIC that promote career development for public good: 

Key achievements for CERIC that build career development knowledge: 

  • Initiated a project to translate the popular book Career Theories and Models at Work: Ideas for Practice into French, with Japanese, Latvian and Estonian translations also in progress, extending its international reach 
  • In partnership with Memorial University, continued to expand knowledge by publishing two issues of the Canadian Journal of Career Development, Canada’s only peer-reviewed academic journal in the field 
  • Presented free webinars that addressed pandemic challenges and also offered paid series with partner associations in the field on highly relevant topics such as supporting positive outcomes for Black students, with a total of 19,887 webinar registrations 
  • Hosted Cannexus, Jan. 27-29, 2020 in Ottawa, bringing together a record number of 1,258 delegates to learn about and discuss the issues shaping work and well-being in Canada, including workforce development, youth employment and reconciliation 
  • Produced timely resources through CERIC’s popular bilingual content communities, CareerWise and OrientAction (in partnership with Quebec-based GRICS), to help Canada’s career development professionals navigate a rapidly changing reality  
  • Conducted a series of CERIC Recovery Pulse Surveys with 1,146 career and employment professionals to track the effects of COVID-19 on career services across the country, with data showing resilience and innovation  
  • Engaged the next generation of career development researchers through our Graduate Student Engagement Program (GSEP), adding 39 students currently enrolled in full-time master’s and PhD programs  
  • Issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) on the linkages between experiential learning and career development to effectively bridge the gap between the classroom and the world of work  
  • Announced the award of the Career Development in Children: Identifying Critical Success Conditions and Strategies project, which will examine how foundational skills introduced by classroom teachers connect to career-related learning in grades 4-6 

In addition to these highlights, as well as inclusion of financial statements, the CERIC 2020 Annual Report also includes an acknowledgement of CERIC staff this past year as well as a special thank you to the CERIC Board and Advisory Committee volunteers who helped us navigate through these uncharted waters and to our funder, The Counselling Foundation of Canada, for its unwavering support. 


CERIC’s Retain and Gain Playbook helps to grow an inclusive public sector workforce

CERIC has published a new edition of its popular Retain and Gain Playbook to support public sector employers in developing an inclusive, agile and equipped workforce. The bilingual publication comes at a time when all levels of the public sector are focused on career development as a means of putting the full capacity of their talent pools at the service of Canadians, exemplified by the federal government’s recent Call to Action on Anti-Racism, Equity and Inclusion.

Written in an innovative “travel guide” format, the Playbook is a concise, action-oriented career management resource that public sector leaders and managers can use to attract, engage and retain staff. It applies to all levels of government: municipal, provincial, federal and First Nations. The Playbook is authored by workforce expert Lisa Taylor, who integrates diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) throughout and recognizes the unique context of public sector workplaces. The Playbook is situated in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on public sector careers, including workforce mental health and remote work arrangements.

The publication includes:

  • 40+ practical, low-cost tips, activities and actions that can be implemented in as little as 10 minutes a day (worksheets and additional references included)
  • An exploration of career issues of specific interest to the public sector such as when there are few opportunities for knowledge specialist advancement
  • A special section on “Careers and Canadians” outlining how career management can be a powerful lens for the development of public policy and delivery of public services

Activities in this Playbook will help facilitate dedicated career conversations, individual and organizational career planning strategies and greater awareness of the career-related resources available in the public sector – and how to find them. They will also help foster resilience and responsiveness to changing conditions. The Playbook makes the case that career management offers a strategic lever for stronger organizational performance beyond employee satisfaction and loyalty. It drives better public service and increased opportunity for innovation.

Development of the Playbook was guided by an Advisory Committee that included representation from the Government of Canada’s Interdepartmental Career Community of Practice, National Managers’ Community and Privy Council Office (Public Service Renewal Secretariat) as well as from the Governments of Saskatchewan and New Brunswick. The book is being championed across the public sector as a foundational tool for managers that also responds to the need to support the career advancement of equity-seeking groups:

“Finally! A comprehensive resource that is practical and speaks to the benefits of career planning while providing free tools and pathways that recognize our busy work lives. This should be saved on the desktops of all public service people-management leaders. As the public service readies itself for the culture shift for the future of work, and responds to the calls to action on addressing systemic racism, diversity and inclusion, this Playbook comes at a critical time to help understand how career conversations are essential to align talent with the organizational needs of today and tomorrow…now.”
– Tracey Sametz, Director General, Human Resources, Transport Canada

Retain and Gain: Career Management in the Public Sector is the third book in CERIC’s Retain and Gain series. It builds on the success of two earlier resources also authored by Lisa Taylor: Retain and Gain: Career Management for Small Business Playbook (2017) and Retain and Gain: Career Management for Non-Profits and Charities Playbook (2018).

The Public Sector Playbook is available in both English and French and can be downloaded for free at ceric.ca/publicsector. It is also for sale via Amazon.ca in print or ebook formats. Bulk orders of 10 or more copies can be purchased at a 30% discount and placed through CERIC by contacting sales@ceric.ca.


Free webinar with Dr. Kris Magnusson on “Working With – and Around – Emotions in Career Helping”

CERIC is offering a free webinar – A Conversation with Dr. Kris Magnusson on Working With – and Around – Emotions in Career Helping – on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. It comes as a follow up to his popular keynote earlier this year at Cannexus21, Canada’s Career Development Conference where he will further explore the dynamic interplay between feeling, thinking and doing and how career practitioners can intentionally use these processes to improve results for clients.

This webinar will be of interest to those working in career advising, employment services and guidance counselling. Others in the broader career development system including educators and policymakers will also benefit. Whether or not you were one of our 2,300 attendees at Cannexus, all are welcome to this free online event.

Dr. Magnusson will continue to discuss how the traditional view on career helping and career counselling as a cognitive process has been dominating funders’ perspective on career services provision. And, he will address how service providers can recognize the powerful role of emotions in helping clients navigate increasingly complex and unique career challenges.

You can watch (or rewatch) his Cannexus keynote and Q&A with Tony Botelho, Director, Career & Volunteer Services at Simon Fraser University in advance.

Dr. Magnusson recently completed two terms as Dean of the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University, and in 2019 returned to faculty life as a Professor. Magnusson’s academic work is in the area of counselling psychology and career development. He was the recipient of the Province of Alberta Career Development Award of Excellence and the 2006 recipient of the Stu Conger Award for Leadership in Career Development. He is also a co-founder of the Canadian Research Working Group for Evidence-based Practice.

Learn more about this webinar and register today.



Nominate a career development leader for the Etta St. John Wileman Award by June 30

The Etta St. John Wileman Award for Lifetime Achievement is designed to recognize individuals who have devoted their lives to enhancing the field of career development. If you know a leader who deserves to be celebrated – a changemaker who has shaped our communities for the better and has impacted your work and the work of the field in significant ways – complete the nomination form by June 30, 2021. 

The award seeks to: 

  • Honour individuals who have established themselves as leaders within career development. 
  • Recognize trailblazers who combine being a mentor, educator, advisor, advocate and role model. 
  • Encourage people in Canada and around the world to celebrate those who have contributed so much to the career development profession. 

Leaders who have demonstrated a substantive and long-term commitment to career development are eligible to be nominated for this prestigious award. The Selection Committee encourages nominations of candidates from equity-deserving backgrounds or of individuals working with communities facing equity challenges. 

Presented on a less than annual basis at Cannexus, Canada’s Career Development Conferencein Ottawa, the award is given in the name of Etta St John Wileman. A little over 100 years ago, with a World War that had just begun, Wileman emerged as champion and crusader of career, work and workplace development in Canada. She was a strong advocate for a national system of employment offices. She lobbied for the role of parents and schools in the career guidance of children. In short, she believed in the importance of work to the human soul.  

Reflecting the spirit of Etta St. John Wileman, past recipients of the award have included Marilyn Van Norman, Denis Pelletier, Norman Amundson, Mildred Cahill, Bryan Hiebert, Donald Lawson, Michel Turcotte and, most recently, Roberta Neault. Several of the previous honourees have recorded video messages to share what receiving the Wileman Award means to them. 


Free follow-up webinar with Zabeen Hirji on Cannexus keynote: “A Future of Work that Works for All”

CERIC is offering a free webinar – A Conversation with Deloitte Executive Advisor Zabeen Hirji on Building a Future of Work that Works for All: It’s Your Turn to Ask Questions – on Tuesday, April 27. It comes as a follow up to her popular keynote earlier this year at Cannexus21, Canada’s Career Development Conference where she will further explore the topic of inclusive prosperity and answer questions from participants.

This webinar will be of interest to those working in career advising, employment services, guidance counselling, workforce development and human resources management. Anyone in the broader career development ecosystem including educators, employers and policymakers will also benefit. Whether or not you were one of our 2,300 attendees at Cannexus, all are welcome to this free online event.

Hirji will continue to discuss themes related to our shared purpose in helping people unlock their potential, achieve career success and build inclusive prosperity, including:

  • Re-imagining “work from anywhere,” lifelong learning, employee agency and responsibility, diversity and inclusion
  • Building trust through transparency and authenticity, empathy, inclusion and compassion
  • Grasping this pivotal moment to create Work that Works for All when we are more aware of our interconnectedness but also our inequities

You can watch (or rewatch) her Cannexus keynote and fireside chat with Magnet’s Mark Patterson in advance of the webinar.

As Deloitte’s Executive Advisor, Future of Work, Hirji advises on issues key to the transformation agendas of business and government. She is also Executive-in-Residence at Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University and is the former Chief Human Resources Officer for RBC.

Learn more about this webinar and register today.


Call for Presenters for Cannexus22 Career Development Conference now open

Planning for Cannexus, Canada’s Career Development Conference in January 2022 is now underway. Cannexus22 is expected to be a hybrid conference with a live in-person and virtual portion. CERIC invites individuals or organizations with an interest in presenting at the 16th annual Cannexus to submit a brief session outline for consideration using the Proposal Form. The deadline for proposals is Thursday, June 3, 2021.

Presenting at Cannexus provides an unmatched opportunity to exchange information and explore innovative approaches in career counselling, and career and workforce development. Presenters gain recognition as experts and leaders in the field at the conference and beyond. We expect participants from across Canada and internationally. In the past, our live conferences have drawn more than 1,200 delegates and our virtual conference more than 2,300. 

CERIC has identified areas of interest to assist presenters in targeting the content of their sessions: 

  • Adult Education and Career Development 
  • Advocacy & Social Justice 
  • Application of Current Research, Theory & Methodology  
  • Building the Profile and Sustainability of the Career Development Sector  
  • Career Development for Youth Outside of School  
  • Career Education K-12 Students  
  • Career Education Post-Secondary  
  • Client Mental Health  
  • Effective Career Counselling/Coaching Techniques  
  • Employee Recruitment & Engagement  
  • Employment/Training Programs (Community, Government, Industry)  
  • Entrepreneurship & Self-Employment  
  • Experiential/Work-Integrated Learning  
  • Global Perspectives on Career Development Research & Practice  
  • Indigenous Career Development  
  • Job Search Strategies  
  • Labour Market Information  
  • Leadership Development  
  • Management & HR Issues for Career/Employment Centre Directors  
  • Mature Worker Career Development  
  • New Technology & Tools for Career Professionals  
  • Online Career Service Delivery/Remote Learning Approaches  
  • Pandemic Recovery  
  • Rural Career & Community Economic Development  
  • Self-Care for Career Professionals  
  • Supporting Clients with Disabilities  
  • Workforce Planning & Development  
  • Working with Newcomer and Refugee Communities  

Cannexus is presented by CERIC and supported by The Counselling Foundation of Canada and a broad network of supporting organizations and sponsors. 


CERIC is now making past webinars available on-demand

By popular request, CERIC, in collaboration with partnering associations and expert presenters, is now able to offer recordings of past webinars on-demand, extending access to this valuable learning. Available right now, you can purchase all paid webinar series from 2020, including those on Autism, Remote Services, Mental Health, Older Workers and Self-Care.

The cost is $119 per person with a discount of 25% on group registrations of 5 or more. Recordings will be accessible until February 2022.

CERIC partners with associations and organizations across Canada and beyond to present webinars that offer timely, convenient and affordable professional development.


New webinar series to help career professionals enhance their financial literacy

CERIC is partnering with the Vocational Rehabilitation Association of Canada (VRA) to offer a new webinar series for career practitioners to enhance their learning on current personal financial management practices. The 3-part series, Self-Employed Career Practitioners: Tools and Strategies to Better Manage Your Finances will be led by accredited financial literary counsellor Pamela George.

Often career practitioners, like many Canadians, have limited understanding of finances, how credit works, and of the potential impact on their financial well-being. With an ongoing shift towards self-employment, it becomes more important, especially in light of the pandemic, for career practitioners to educate themselves around financial literacy. This webinar series will help career practitioners who are self-employed themselves – or who support clients who are part of the growing gig economy.

  • Webinar #1: How to Set up and Organize Your Finances for Success, Thursday, May 20, 2021 | 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm ET
  • Webinar #2: BUDGETING – How to Build a Personal Budget, Thursday, May 27, 2021 | 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm ET
  • Webinar #3: Type of Savings and How to Pay off Debts, Thursday, June 3, 2021 | 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm ET

The cost for the full series is $159. A discount is available for VRA members.

George has been steadfastly committed to one overarching goal: To educate and empower Canadians, so they may regain control of their finances and start living the life they want. Whether she is counselling individuals, couples, families, solopreneurs, entrepreneurs or groups, George has successfully helped thousands of people pay off debt, build budgets and save for the future.

CERIC partners with associations and organizations across Canada and beyond to present webinars that offer timely, convenient and affordable professional development. Previously, CERIC has also worked with the Canadian Association for Supported EmploymentNew Brunswick Career Development Association Canadian Association of Career Educators & EmployersCanadian Counselling and Psychotherapy AssociationBC Career Development Association, Association of Service Providers for Employability and Career Training BC, Career Professionals of Canada, Ontario Association for Career Management, Career Development Association of AlbertaNova Scotia Career Development Association, and the US-based National Career Development Association.


Graduate students apply by March 31 to compete for GSEP Award

If you are a full-time graduate student whose academic focus is career development or a faculty member working with full-time grad students in career counselling or a related field, then you want to know about the CERIC Graduate Student Engagement Program (GSEP). Applications for 2021 are due by Wednesday, March 31.

CERIC encourages engagement of Canada’s full-time graduate students (Master or PhD level) whose academic research is in career development or a related field. Research areas such as Education, Sociology, Social Work, Counselling Psychology, Industrial/Organizational Psychology and Business with a focus on Human Resources or Organizational Behaviour are strongly encouraged to apply.

Through this program, graduate students will be introduced to CERIC and invited to:

Interested in getting involved? Complete and submit this quick GSEP application form. If you are also interested in competing for the GSEP Award, please submit a one-page article on a career development-related topic of your choice to gsep@ceric.ca by the same March 31 deadline. To support you in sharing this opportunity with students and colleagues, GSEP information can be found at ceric.ca/grad_program and this printable GSEP handout.


First virtual Cannexus conference reimagines role of career development in society, economy

More than 2,000 career development professionals from across Canada and around the world came together for the first-ever virtual Cannexus conference to convene, share and learn over four days in late January and early February. With a theme of “Career Development for Public Good,” the conference explored how to re-imagine career services as a gateway to social and economic justice in the wake of the global pandemic.

A few of the many conference highlights included four transformative keynotes:

  • Executive Advisor Zabeen Hirji made the case for a human-centred approach to the future of work;
  • Professor Kris Magnusson explained the powerful role of emotions in helping clients navigate career processes;
  • Olympian Perdita Felicien told her powerful story of growth from failure and not letting one moment in life define you; and
  • The Hon. Ethel Blondin-Andrew talked about the opportunities for Indigenous peoples in the conservation economy.

The conference featured several timely streams, including Pandemic Recovery, Around the World and Workforce Development. With the virtual conference, many renowned international presenters were able to participate such as Jim Bright, Tristram Hooley and Nancy Arthur. Among the 150 different education sessions, there was strong interest in topics around:

  • Advocacy and rethinking how we organize and value work
  • Engaging with uncertainty and embracing the chaos of current times
  • Building resilience in youth to navigate their futures
  • Impact of COVID-19 on the labour market and reskilling
  • Blended delivery models for career services
  • Self-care for career professionals and emotional well-being

Other components of the conference focused on making connections and peer-to-peer networking with Cannexus21 offering exhibitor booths, “Hallway meetings,” a virtual cocktail party, a student meet-up and interactive chats.

CERIC showcased some of its recent and forthcoming projects at the conference including:

Additionally, though the Etta St. John Wileman Award for Lifetime Achievement in Career Development was not given out this year, the conference brought attention to the work of this lifelong social justice activist through profiling past award recipients and asked delegates to consider who they might nominate. The nomination deadline is June 30, 2021.

In a post-conference survey, 92% of delegates rated the virtual conference as good to excellent with 94% indicating that over time, they would incorporate what they learned into their work. Delegates cited enjoying the convenience of attending Cannexus remotely, the high-calibre sessions and the value in being able to access all the session recordings. However, many noted missing in-person connections and the energy of gathering face-to-face.

Comments included:

I was blown away by the virtual experience that Cannexus21 provided! The speakers, the sessions, the passion, the knowledge, the expertise and the insight that was shared was outstanding! I’ve learned, I’ve reflected, and I’ve pondered all that I heard looking for moments when I can put into practice all the takeaways!”
– Rhonda Taylor, CEO, Career Trek, MB

“After 11 months of scrambling to serve our clients to the best of our abilities in an ever-changing, complex environment, Cannenxus21 was such a blessing. I have been feeling disconnected while working remotely…the chance to convene with like-minded professionals was like adding air to a deflating balloon. I feel validated and renewed. If there was one year to attend, this was it!”
– Kimberlie Ladell, Employment Counsellor, Fanshawe Career and Employment Services, ON

“Brilliant, engaging world-leading conference. Powerful keynotes, targeted and outstanding seminars that allowed me and my staff to engage in rich topical discussions even in lockdown. Thank you for offering this fantastic conference so the world could experience the advancements that Canada has made in career development for all its citizens.”
– Bernadette Gigliotti, CEO, Australian Centre for Career Education

Cannexus21 was presented by CERIC and supported by The Counselling Foundation of Canada with a broad network of 40 supporting organizations and partners.

The Call for Presenters and information about dates and format for Cannexus22 will be available in the coming months. In the meantime, all registered Cannexus21 delegates continue to be able to access the conference recordings for a full year.