Cannexus21 is going virtual! Register by Sept 9 for Gratitude rates

Cannexus, Canada’s bilingual Career Development Conference, is going virtual for 2021 and registration is now open! As we move through pandemic recovery, the conference will bring stakeholders together around the theme of Career Development for Public Good. From reskilling to resilience, this is the moment to reimagine the role of career development and its impact on education, the economy and social justice.

Given the unprecedented times, the virtual format allows Cannexus to address ongoing uncertainty but continue to provide an accessible, content-rich and value-packed opportunity for Canada’s career development communities to convene, share and learn. It will be a different Cannexus experience but the conference will offer the same diverse and high-quality sessions delegates have come to expect, gather the broad range of constituents Cannexus is known for, and provide the exceptional networking opportunities that attendees value, all online. The virtual conference will be on a more relaxed schedule – up to five hours of sessions each day over four days and access to recorded sessions over an extended timeframe.

What to expect at virtual Cannexus

  • Cannexus21 will take place on January 25 & 27 and February 1 & 3, 2021
  • Days will begin at 12:00 pm ET and run until the late afternoon, accommodating all Canadian time zones
  • Be inspired by world-class live keynotes and “Around the World” international presenters
  • 150+ live and on-demand concurrent sessions in both English and French
  • Gain practical knowledge and skills-building content (mental health, online technologies, current LMI) to help you adapt and more effectively serve your clients during recovery
  • Critical big-picture conversations around equity, climate and careers and the innovative thinking that is redefining career development
  • Virtual networking across Canada and beyond, including peer-to-peer matchmaking
  • Interact with other delegates and engage with speakers through live chats and Q&A
  • Online Exhibitor Showcase highlighting programs, products and services to help you in your work
  • All sessions will be recorded and available for later viewing – so you don’t miss anything and can view them at your convenience!

The pricing recognizes the financial constraints that the current situation has put on both individuals and organizations so this instalment of the conference is being made more accessible through special Gratitude rates, in addition to deep discounts for Groups, Students as well as Members of Supporting Organizations. The Gratitude rates – available until September 9 – express appreciation for the hard work and commitment of Canada’s career development professionals throughout a chaotic period. Plus, with a virtual conference there are additional cost savings; no need to worry about travel and hotel, and you can learn from the comfort of your own home or office!

Cannexus is presented by CERIC and supported by The Counselling Foundation of Canada and a broad network of supporting organizations. For more information on the virtual conference and to register, visit cannexus.ceric.ca.


Marilyn Van Norman honoured with Cannexus bursary established in her name

The Counselling Foundation of Canada has established the new Marilyn Van Norman Bursary to support community-based career development and employment practitioners in attending the Cannexus conference each year. The bursary is given in recognition of Van Norman, the recently retired Director of Research Initiatives at CERIC and one of its founding Board members. Known as a collaborator, visionary and expeditor, she is widely respected for her more than 40 years of leadership in the career development field with particular expertise in career centre and student services management.

“Marilyn has had an incredible impact on the career development community throughout her lifetime. When she joined CERIC, she had a title, but most of us considered her as our ‘Elder in Residence;’ and I’m using that in the way that Indigenous peoples would think of Elders – someone who has gained a high degree of recognition because of their knowledge and expertise within their community and who passes this wisdom on to the next generation,” said Bruce Lawson, President and CEO of The Counselling Foundation of Canada. The Foundation is CERIC’s funder and is the Founding Sponsor of Cannexus.

For the past 12 years at CERIC, Van Norman has led several innovative initiatives:

She also authored two popular books for CERIC, From My Perspective: A Guide to Career/Employment Centre Management and From My Perspective: A Guide to University and College Career Centre Management.

Beyond these remarkable achievements, she has been considered a treasured colleague, sharing her extensive knowledge and acting as a career coach and mentor to staff.

Previously, she held key roles at the University of Toronto as the Director of the Career Centre and later Director of Student Services. Her earlier book, Making It Work: Career Management for the New Workplace, was a Canadian bestseller.

Van Norman has been active on numerous Canadian committees and Boards relating to career development including: a Past President of the Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers (CACEE); member of the ContactPoint Board; member of the founding Board of CERIC and Chair of the National Consultation on Career Development (NATCON) for 15 years.

Recognized with multiple awards, she was the first recipient of CERIC’s Etta St John Wileman Award for Lifetime Achievement in Career Development in Canada. She has also received the Award of Merit, Outstanding Contribution, Life Membership, CACEE; Contribution to Career Counselling, Ontario College Counsellors; and The Joan Foley Award for Significant Contributions to Enhancing Student Life, University of Toronto.

Now retired, Van Norman is enjoying spending time with her family and at her cottage and is looking forward to travel south again when possible.

For the 2021 virtual Cannexus conference, there will be 13 bursaries available with one awarded within each province and territory. Applications must be from charitable or non-profit Canadian community-based organizations. Bursaries will be for a single full conference registration. The application deadline is September 30, 2020.


CERIC to publish edition of popular Retain and Gain Playbook to support career management in the public sector

Developing a skilled, inclusive, agile and equipped workforce is a necessity for public sector employers across Canada. To help meet this need, CERIC is developing a Playbook for managers at federal, provincial and municipal levels focused on career management. It is targeted to front-line managers looking to implement better career management approaches with their teams and will address employee engagement and retention, manager competencies, career progression and recruitment challenges in the context of the changing world of work.

Titled Retain and Gain: Career Management for the Public Sector, the Playbook is being authored by Lisa Taylor, President of Challenge Factory, one of Canada’s leading workplace and future of work experts. It will be research-focused and informed by the realities and experiences of the public sector. It builds on the success of CERIC’s two earlier publications with Taylor, Retain and Gain: Career Management for Small Business Playbook, supported by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and Retain and Gain: Career Management for Non-Profits and Charities Playbook, supported by Imagine Canada and others.

The new Playbook is expected to include:

  • Key career development issues, research, statistics – relevant to Canada’s public sector, and 40+ practical, low-cost tips, activities and actions to engage and retain staff
  • Recognition of distinct workforce and workplace conditions in the public service, special sections, templates and links to unique resources
  • Specific focus will be given to equity and inclusion, highlighting how career development approaches can address the impact of systemic barriers and discrimination

The Playbooks will be produced in both English and French and presented in the innovative graphic-oriented “travel guide” format used in previous versions. They will be available for free download in keeping with CERIC’s charitable mandate and accessibility focus, but also for sale in print and ebook formats.  It is expected the Playbooks will be released in Spring 2021.

CERIC is once again seeking Knowledge Champions to work with us to shape and support the dissemination of these valuable resources. Knowledge Champions play a key role in helping to amplify the importance of career management to the public sector workforce and provide concrete tools that lead to better employee as well as organizational performance. To get involved, please contact Sharon Ferriss, CERIC’s Senior Director of Marketing and Communications, at sharon@ceric.ca.

CERIC pulse survey2020

CERIC Recovery Pulse Survey spotlights resilience and innovation in Canada’s career services

Despite vast and ongoing challenges presented by the current global pandemic, Canada’s career and employment services are showing remarkable resilience and innovation as they reimagine their work. By leveraging technology, 89% are reporting they are delivering programs and services remotely, introducing novel approaches to meet student, client and employer needs. These findings come from the new CERIC Recovery Pulse Survey, which gathered input on the impact of COVID-19 on career services across the country as we move into a recovery period. A total of 1,146 career development professionals responded to the survey between June 4 and 12.

Using videoconferencing in addition to phone, email and chat to support clients has now become standard. Some of the other ways that career and employment services are enhancing their offerings include: creating videos and podcasts to deliver remote job search guidance, developing programming for Instagram and YouTube, offering virtual career fairs, hosting Twitter chats, preparing clients for digital interviews, working with employers to secure opportunities for students to do virtual placements and even buying tablets for clients to offset access issues. There is recognition that remote service delivery can be difficult for some vulnerable populations, but career professionals highlighted that it can also increase access, improve digital literacy and strengthen adaptability.

CERIC pulse survey

Click the image to see the full infographic

Comments about the transformation of career services include:

  • “It has forced us to review what we offer and how we offer it and to make it more streamlined and relevant.”
  • “An opportunity for clients to really take the time to research and determine a career change or career path.”
  • “Partnering with other service providers to offer remote advice, webinars and online information that they previously needed to do in-house.”
  • “In an attempt to understand the ‘new normal,’ I have been challenged to be more creative, more empathetic and broad-thinking in my approach to everything.”
  • “Offering more services remotely in future – expand our geographic territory, more accessible to those with transportation or mobility or childcare challenges.”
  • “Tapping into clients’ resilience to face challenges and foster flexibility in their job search.”

However, current realities are presenting very real challenges to the viability of many organizations with nearly a quarter (23.7%) reporting they have had to reduce or close programs and services; 1 in 5 have had to lay off staff or reduce staff hours. Meanwhile, 17.2% of respondents report increased demand for their services from students and clients, and 1 in 5 organizations have been able to develop new partnerships and initiatives. The future remains uncertain: more than half of respondents (54.1%) expect to be open six months from now with limited impact on their operations, while 21.9% anticipate they will be able to grow their services.

Overall, career development professionals reported that among their students and clients, 83.9% see this time period as a stressor and only 16.1% as an opportunity. They indicate that clients with mental health challenges are among the groups most negatively affected, followed by unemployed and low-income individuals. Among respondents, 44.1% say their clients are only somewhat or poorly equipped to handle the mental health impact of the situation.

With the goal of this survey to gather vital intelligence around the changing state of the career development field in Canada during the recovery, there are plans to repeat the Pulse Survey again at the end of the summer and during the fall to track changes over time. Results will continue to show shifts in how career services are being reimagined and tell the story of the public good that career and employment professionals offer in this period of massive workforce upheaval.


Spring-Summer Issue of Careering focuses on rural workforce development

As part of the third collaborative edition between CERIC and the National Career Development Association (NCDA), the Spring-Summer 2020 issue of Careering magazine highlights “Rural Workforce Development.”

You will find articles from both sides of the border exploring creative solutions to labour shortages, the challenges of unequal broadband access, how to ensure the viability of the agriculture industry, trends in rural workforce development and much more. Several articles also analyze the impacts of COVID-19.

Articles in this issue:

…and much more, including:

Careering is Canada’s Magazine for Career Development Professionals and is the official publication of CERIC. It is published three times a year both in print and as an emagazine, including select content in French. Subscribe to receive your free copy. You can also access past issues for free online.

The Fall 2020 issue of Careering will be on the theme of “Career Superpowers.” Please send a brief description of your idea to Editor Lindsay Purchase, lindsay@ceric.ca, no later than June 30. Article deadlines will be set for this summer in conjunction with writers.


CERIC announces award of project to examine foundational skills in grades 4-6

CERIC’s Career Development in Children: Identifying Critical Success Conditions and Strategies project has been awarded to an international team of academic researchers led by Dr Lorraine Godden, Ironwood Consulting and Carleton University; Nicki Moore, University of Derby, and Dr Heather Nesbitt and Dr Stefan Merchant, Queen’s University. This project will examine how foundational concepts and skills that are introduced and developed by classroom teachers connect to career-related learning in Canadian elementary schools.

The project stems from a Request for Proposals that CERIC released last fall to identify the foundational elements that students in grades 4-6 need to thrive in all phases of life and career planning. It is clear that introducing career concepts within the early years, whether formally through designed programs or informally through play-based learning, can have a long lasting and impactful presence. But in the absence of the formal infusion of career into curricula, what options are available within the education structure to ensure that children can sustainably develop the tools they will need to navigate a world of work we cannot yet imagine?

The starting point for the research is that teachers are the linchpin, engaging with students at every age and stage. Teachers guide various learning and play activities that foster foundational skills (eg, healthy habits, social and emotional skills, self-confidence, empathy, team work, critical thinking, self-awareness, emotional regulation) but these are not usually undertaken from a career development perspective. Yet, in later grades, both teacher and student are expected to connect the dots to help students make sound educational, career and life-planning choices.

CERIC’s interest in this project is three-fold:

  • To understand the landscape of what is happening in elementary education across Canada related to introducing/building career related foundational skills
  • To use a mixed-methods approach to explore the impact of these conditions and strategies on career development foundational skills
  • To develop a teacher’s aid toolkit that validates teacher practice

Researchers will gather data from educators, parents and grade 4-6 students in public school settings across Canada. Diverse perspectives (including Indigenous communities, immigrant communities, francophone communities, special needs educators, and urban, rural and remote communities) will be included to deepen understanding of individual and collective beliefs, perceptions and interpretations concerning career-related education.

This project builds on earlier CERIC-supported research from Memorial University that investigated the career development process of children, aged 3 to 8 (pre-K to grade 3). It produced two guides – one for Educators and one for Parents – to empower them to support young children during this critical period of play, fun and fantasy.

newspaper with covid-19 headlines2020

New literature search on “Career Development During COVID-19 and Beyond” released

It is undeniable that the COVID-19 pandemic has had unprecedented health and economic impacts. Simultaneously, the world is facing new realities in the labour market. CERIC’s latest literature search, Career Development During COVID-19 and Beyond, explores challenges that career professionals and their clients face and how to cope with uncertainty during these difficult times.

  • Impact of COVID-19 on career development
  • Employee engagement during the pandemic
  • Remote career counselling and virtual resources
  • Job search and career planning for recent graduate students
  • Post-pandemic world of work

This new literature search marks CERIC’s 60th, with others focused on Career Counselling Competencies, Ethical Issues in Career Development, Future of Work, Job Satisfaction and Career Development, Economic Benefits of Career Guidance, Generational Conflict in the Workplace, Mental Health Issues in the Workplace, and more.

Featuring comprehensive listings of key research and articles in career development, literature searches highlight critical points of current knowledge. As a student, academic or practitioner in the field, literature searches are helpful if you are researching the latest thinking or proven best practices. They are also valuable if you are considering a submission to CERIC for project partnership funding in order to gain an overview of major work already done in your area of interest.

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Complete the CERIC Career and Employment Services Recovery Pulse Survey

CERIC is seeking input on the actual and anticipated impact of COVID-19 on career services across Canada as we move into a recovery period. Professionals in the field are asked to take a moment to complete this 4-minute CERIC Career and Employment Services Recovery Pulse Survey by Friday, June 12, 2020.

The last few months have brought unprecedented change to every aspect of our economy and society – and career services is no exception. We want to know the implications of this new reality for career service professionals.

This survey is intended to gather vital intelligence around shifting conditions and provide a snapshot of the emergent state of the career development field in Canada and, importantly, how career services are being re-imagined.

Results will be shared with the broad career development community and other stakeholders. Survey participants will be helping to tell the story of the public good that career and employment professionals offer in this period of massive workforce upheaval.

Recognizing that the ground continues to shift, we plan to repeat this pulse survey again at the end of the summer and during the fall to track changes over time.

person learning next to a laptop2020

Webinars in June on job search for newcomers and computing careers for students

CERIC is offering two new free webinars in June to support career professionals and their clients.

Navigating Computing Career Pathways in 2020: What Advisors Need to Know, presented by with Janet Miller, Randy Connolly & Faith-Michael Uzoka | Wednesday, June 17, 2020, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm ET

Responding to a strong demand for computing graduates in Canada and a changing technology landscape, Randy Connolly, Janet Miller and Faith-Michael Uzoka of Mount Royal University, have released the second edition of the CERIC guide Computing Careers & Disciplines: A Quick Guide for Prospective Students and Career Advisors. This 2nd edition is developed to meet an evolving need among career advisors who support students interested in technology at both the secondary and post-secondary levels. It aims to address the questions of why student should consider computing when choosing a career, and what kind of education and career pathways they can expect when they do.

Prof Randy Connolly has been teaching at Mount Royal University since 1997 and holds the rank of Full Professor (Computing). He is the author of three textbooks, the most recent of which is used by thousands of students at over 100 universities worldwide. Dr Janet Miller is a counselling psychologist with expertise in mental health, leadership, and post-secondary student success. Dr Faith-Michael Uzoka has taught Computer Science and Information Systems at various universities since 1992. He is a Full Professor (Computing) and Research Development Officer at Mount Royal University.

Job Search and Career Exploration During COVID-19 Recovery: Providing Guidance to Newcomers, presented by Yilmaz E. Dinc  | Thursday, June 18, 2020, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm ET

Building on recent data and insights on the impact of the pandemic on the labour market, and adopting a newcomer inclusion lens, this free webinar will address how career development professionals can provide evidence-based guidance and tips to newcomers on effectively searching for jobs and pursuing career development and advancement opportunities. These insights and practical strategies will help career professionals to support newcomers in their career journeys during a time of economic uncertainty.

Dr Yilmaz E. Dinc is the Research and Evaluation Manager at TRIEC. He specializes in research and cross-country project management with a focus on immigration and international development, including workforce participation of underrepresented groups and immigrant inclusion.

Learn more about these webinars and register today.