The Pitfalls of Chronic Job Searching

By Allison Hendriks

With unemployment in Canada at 6.1% (Statistics Canada, 2007), the lowest rate in years, jobseekers can anticipate a shorter period of unemployment. However, there are jobseekers and there are chronic jobseekers. As career professionals, we all have experience with clients, who, heedless of our advice, consistently use out of date and ineffective job search techniques. These clients often fall into using two of the typical job searching pitfalls: the newspaper and the Internet.


Regional Voices

From British Columbia

BC Recognizes Excellence in the Career Development Sector

By Fionna Main

The 2007 BC Career Development Awards of Excellence were awarded to two BC individuals and two BC groups in honour of inspirational leadership and excellence in assisting others develop and move forward in their careers.

Awards were presented to recipients at the 10th Annual Career Development Conference Awards Reception held on March 14, 2007 at the Coast Plaza Hotel and Suites, Vancouver, BC. Over 80 guests representing career development agencies across BC attended. Several past Award of Excellence winners were also on-hand to congratulate the recipients of the prestigious award including: Betty Ann McInnes (YWCA Vancouver), Jim Howie, (BC WorkInfoNet) and John Coward (Pacific Community Resources Society). Recipients were selected in three categories, individual, team, and organization. Selection was based on criteria requiring proven attributes and achievements that displayed a unique, dedicated, and innovative spirit of excellence in the career development field.

The Individual Category was shared between Tannis Goddard – Founder/President Training Innovations Inc, Burnaby, BC and Gregg Taylor, President of Vancouver-based Transitions Career and Business Consultants Inc. Tannis was recognized for her passionate and dynamic role of educator and entrepreneur and her dedication to leading with integrity and vision. Gregg’s active contribution to building a strong career development culture through publications and public presentations was noted as was his open and supportive style of leadership.

The Team Category was awarded to the Career Development Practitioner Program Instructors at Douglas College in Vancouver, BC. This 10 member team was recognized for their collective contribution to the development and learning of all students as they continually work for the growth and advancement of career development in BC.

The Organization Category was awarded to ETHOS Career Management Group of Nanaimo, BC for extensive leadership in development and delivery of career programs made possible and sustainable by their engaging and consistent human resource philosophies and practices. Karen McDiarmid, President of the Career Management Association of BC addressed the reception, “I am honoured to be a part of recognizing the incredible commitment, dedication and contribution of these key members of BC’s career development sector. I look forward to all future initiatives of these groups and individuals.”

BC’s career development sector continues to strive for excellence with clients and in the work place. The Career Management Association and the practitioners of BC are proud to recognize and appreciate the contribution of this innovative and passionate group. Visit for more on this year’s Award of Excellence recipients as well as past winners.

Fionna Main graduated from the University of Victoria with her Bachelor of Commerce. She has been working with the Career Management Association of BC for over a year assisting in the planning and implementation of a variety of projects; including the 2006 & 2007 Career Development Conferences and partnership development related to NIDS in BC activities.

From Quebec

Inventory of Skills: a New Book about Theories and Practices

By Nathalie Perreault

Inventory of skills have been used for many years and in many different ways depending on the context. This has made it difficult to develop a good understanding of what an inventory of skills actually is. Furthermore, practitioners seem very interested in improving their knowledge and experience regarding inventory of skills.

Guylaine Michaud, Patricia Dionne and Ginette Beaulieu from Sherbrooke Quebec, have done a remarkable job of summarizing theories about different types of inventory of skills. They also brought together many kinds of practical activities that can be used to help the client build an adaptable inventory of skills. This is all available in a new book called “Le bilan de competences : regards croisés entre la théorie et la pratique” which was published this Winter by Septembre éditeur (

The inventory of skills can accomplish several goals and has many benefits for clients. It can help increase a client’s self-esteem and self-knowledge as well as concretely identify his skills. It also assists individuals in building an action plan and developing a professional project. Finally, the inventory of skills also provides the client with individual follow-up from the counsellor.

The authors propose an interesting model that can help the counsellor and the client to go through every step of the process . This model is composed of three phases: retrospective, prospective and realisation. Each of those phases goes through three different modes: exploration, understanding and action. The book also offers several activities that the counsellor can photocopy and directly use with his/her clients. The activities can be used with different age ranges allowing the counsellor to select the more appropriate ones.

Nathalie Perreault is a career counsellor from Quebec. She graduated from Laval University where she now teaches one course in the “Sciences de l’orientation” bachelor program. She is also the Program and Content Manager for OrientAction.


Conference Sketch

By Carole MacFarlane

Highlights from Cannexus 2007

I recently had the opportunity to attend the very first CANNEXUS conference sponsored by CERIC – the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling. The three-day event held on April 16, 17, and 18 took place at the Hilton Suites Toronto/Markham Conference Centre and Spa. The conference program outlined approximately 85 workshops on various aspects of career development. Five keynote speakers offered their expertise on topics ranging from savant syndrome, the evolution of management practices in organizations, aboriginal counselling and healing, and the world shift game and how we participate in that game. Seeing and hearing savant Kim Peek was a poignant and powerful reminder that every individual has special talents and we must continuously strive to acknowledge and highlight those talents. The fact that Kim was given a standing ovation was indicative of just how much career development practitioners, educators and counsellors not only acknowledged his “gift” but also the fact that indeed we actually know very little about the brain and what drives peoples’ behaviours. We still have so much to learn!


From Solitary Job Seeker to Best-Selling Author and International Seminar Presenter

By Jean-Marc Hachey

Career counsellors are frequently passionate communicators. The following is an account of how I transformed my own passion for providing career advice into a viable and interesting lifestyle: that of a self-published author and professional paid speaker. You too can turn your communications abilities – through courage, creativity and persistence – into a challenging but rewarding public speaking or publishing career in the wider career services industry, if you are motivated by a passion to share.


New Programs and Initiatives

By Dr. Ray Metcalfe

Common Performance Strengths of Elite Performers and the Elite Performer Selection Report

For over twenty years now, I have done research on, and consulted with Elite Performers. Recently, I completed the Elite Performer Study, a Toronto-based Research project that studied over 15,000 Elite Performers (top 5%) in their fields, in over 200 professions and vocational groups.


A Personal Business Story

By Jen Denys

“You can do it.”
“Yes you can.”

These phrases I’ve heard over and over again the last couple of years. No, I’m not talking about reading a child’s storybook aloud, although I’ve had the great pleasure of doing so on a regular basis. These positive words of encouragement are those spoken to me by my greatest supporters. If you meet me, you will likely see a confident, young business woman who genuinely enjoys helping people. While most of these characteristics have remained a steady pattern in my life, the confident part wasn’t always so.


Beyond Government Contracts: Diverse Work Settings for Career Management Professionals

By Deirdre Pickerell and Dr. Roberta Neault

Career Management Professionals (CMPs) can often be found delivering their services within government funded community-based agencies. The mandate of these agencies is typically to support unemployed Canadians as they identify career options, develop job search skills, and strengthen their ability to maintain employment.


The Career Practitioner Field: A Look at Private Consulting

By Stacey Campbell

Confucius, a prominent Chinese philosopher once stated: “If you find a job you love, you will never work a day in your life”. However, what Confucius has failed to mention is that finding the job you love is easier said than done. Cultivating the right career destination or education path can be a frustrating and challenging pursuit for many individuals. Recent statistics reveal that 50% of all university students either drop out, or change their major after their first year of post-secondary education (Train, 2003). Naidoo (2005) and Chew (2004) note that Generation Y (born between 1980-2000) will be prone to many more career changes in their lifetimes compared with their predecessors (Generation X and Baby Boomers). With the recent elimination of the Ontario Academic Credit (OAC), young people are forced to make major decisions regarding their academics and careers earlier in life. Furthermore, middle-aged populations, newcomers to Canada and individuals with disabilities face complex barriers and challenges when discerning a rewarding and suitable career. I think it goes without saying that the career practitioner field is a much needed profession!


Becoming a Career Development Advisor: Biographies of Cindy Mancuso (M.Ed., c.o.) and Joëlle Grundman (B.A., Languages)

By Linda Cicuta

I have collaborated, interviewed, met, and worked with hundreds of professionals and am convinced there is at least one common factor among them all: their career paths have been experienced rather than planned. This theory also rings true for practitioners in the career advising field. The following stories are of two professionals who have pursued different paths, leading them to the same career center at McGill University.