In celebration of CERIC’s 10th anniversary in 2014, The Counselling Foundation of Canada provided a grant to facilitate an online competition to increase the recognition of the value of career counselling as well as career development professionals in Canada.

The results of national surveys commissioned by CERIC about the Canadian workplace and how Canadians approach their own career development show that career development, its professionals and their rich contribution to our nation are greatly undervalued. In brief, there is a serious disconnect between the quality of career development services available and their usage. Moreover, Canadians do not appear to recognize the benefits that career development affords our country. This online competition served to surface innovative ideas about how to solve this “perception gap” in Canada.

CERIC’s National Challenge received a remarkable 80 submissions. A panel of judges shortlisted the entries for online voting by the career development community. More than 4,500 votes were cast for the Top 10 Finalists! The three entries that received the most votes during the online voting period were:

  • Nathacha Courchesne, Université de Sherbrooke, “I’m investing in my development!” Her idea involves recruiting well-known individuals to star in video clips in which they talk about significant experiences where using a career development service made the difference for them.
  • Juliana Wiens, Women’s Employment Outreach in Halifax, “Career Development: It’s not too late!” Her idea is for a marketing campaign that uses various forms of media to dispel the myth that career development is only for young people, and spreads the message that all Canadians of working age can benefit from career development services.
  • John Horn, in Vancouver, “Career Swap” This idea blends career development, experiential learning and reality television to engage youth aged 10-15 in meaningful career conversations and share their stories with the world.

The three winners received $5,000 and a free registration to the Cannexus14 National Career Development Conference in Ottawa, where they were recognized.