Closeup of Canadian immigration formCareering

Canada’s essential yet overqualified immigrant workforce

Addressing the entrenched issues around newcomer employment in Canada will require systems-level change

Yilmaz E. Dinc

author headshotOverqualification is a common and well-known problem for the immigrant workforce. But the pandemic shed a different light on the issue: the products and services that we consider essential are also provided by immigrants whose talent potential is underutilized.

Immigrant underemployment in Canada is what we at the Conference Board call a “wicked problem” that has been around for decades. Many newcomers in Canada, particularly those without Canadian qualifications and work experience, and those with a background in a regulated profession, face considerable difficulty in finding jobs that match their skillset. They often have to take low-income jobs that don’t use their full skillset just to make ends meet.

Underemployment affects immigrant careers even in the longer term – and nowhere is this effect more pronounced than in essential jobs. A study that we conducted at the Conference Board of Canada last year showed that immigrants are a critical part of the essential workforce, constituting close to one-third of all workers in sectors such as food manufacturing, truck transportation, and nursing and residential care. However, many are overqualified for their roles. For instance, 28% of newcomer transport truck drivers have bachelor’s degrees even though their job doesn’t require one, compared to only 1.6% of their counterparts born in Canada.

What this data tells us is that even though many immigrants are performing essential work, these are often not the right opportunities that build on their talent potential. This in turn limits their earnings and negatively affects their career trajectories. This impact is usually much more pronounced for racialized newcomer workers and newcomer women.

“Underemployment affects immigrant careers even in the longer term – and nowhere is this effect more pronounced than in essential jobs.” 

This phenomenon isn’t only applicable to newcomers. Among people on temporary visas, more than 20% of fish and seafood plant workers and over 30% of labourers in food and beverage processing are overqualified. As Canada welcomes more people with previous experience in Canada and grows its immigration targets, the overqualification question becomes even more prevalent.

The qualifications disconnect is not just an individual-level problem. Canada loses up to $50 billion every year due to employment and earning gaps between immigrants – including essential workers – and people born in Canada.

At the same time, this creates challenges for employers, who continue to report difficulties in talent attraction and retention. Employees who feel overqualified for their role will likely experience lower job satisfaction and be more likely to look for other jobs. It’s worth considering to what extent skills shortages would be addressed by better matching immigrant competencies with labour demand.

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Moving the needle on credential recognition

There are multiple drivers of why overqualification happens. Despite decades of consultations and efforts to improve credential recognition, it remains a complex, costly and time-consuming process for many regulated occupations. However, there are also promising steps being taken in the right direction.

The Government of Ontario has recently removed the Canadian experience barrier for many professions, including electricians, engineers and plumbers. This move will surely help newcomers with a background in these occupations find better-quality job opportunities. Other provinces will likely take note of the results and mirror a similar approach.

However, Ontario’s recent changes did not include health-care occupations, which remain the thorniest part of the problem. Our report found that nurse aides, orderlies and patient support associates were the occupations with the highest degree of overqualification (surpassing farm workers, truck drivers and food manufacturing workers).

The data indicates that licensing internationally educated health professionals should be a government priority at both federal and provincial levels. A March 2022 Toronto Metropolitan University policy brief, for instance, highlighted the need for a “Health Human Resources Strategy” in Ontario that would address the gaps in licensing, seeking alternatives to Canadian experience as well as boosting access to permanent residency.

Tackling bias

The problem, however, does not end with formal credential recognition. Some occupations require further practice but have additional limitations, such as fewer residency spots for internationally educated doctors.

Bias is also an issue. Some employers discount the value of work experience and qualifications obtained abroad. Discrimination against international degrees and experiences, combined with race, gender and ethnicity biases, push many newcomers into difficult essential jobs that people born in Canada don’t want to work in. Groups such as racialized newcomer women end up facing the most complex challenges when it comes to securing quality employment.

The way forward

So, how do we address the overqualification challenge? It won’t be solved overnight, as systems-level change involving multiple actors will take time. In addition to government actions to expedite licensing, employers need to build more inclusive workplaces that help immigrants find jobs matching their skill level and address bias and discrimination.

Employers will also need support from the government, non-profit and settlement sectors to assess foreign work experience and qualifications more effectively and objectively. This is particularly true for smaller businesses.

For many immigrants already underemployed within the system, forming and strengthening upward and cross-sector mobility is critical. That needs to include identifying and building on their transferable skills to help them transition into more skills-commensurate opportunities. Tools such as OpportuNext could help chart those pathways. Reskilling and upskilling might be needed for immigrants whose skillsets are no longer up to date.

As the government and employers work on addressing systems-level challenges, it will be up to settlement and career development practitioners to support overqualified immigrants in pursuing more fitting employment opportunities. This could include identifying sectors with growing employment prospects and helping immigrant workers to assess and rethink their skillsets accordingly. Immigrants may also need guidance on how to diversify their job search as well as when to pursue further qualifications and training to secure skills-commensurate employment.

The pandemic has shown us that Canada relies significantly on immigrants to do the essential jobs, but many newcomers shouldn’t be in these jobs to begin with. We cannot afford to ignore the overqualification challenge if we want to make immigration work better for everyone.

Yilmaz E. Dinc, PhD, is a Senior Research Associate for the Immigration Knowledge Area at The Conference Board of Canada. Dinc brings a decade of experience in applied research, along with his passion for inclusion, to drive thought leadership on immigration. Previously, he worked as Research and Evaluation Manager at the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council and in the global private-sector hub of the United Nations Development Programme.

Sun rising over Toronto cityscapeCareering

How to lead the career development revolution

We need a national strategy on career development in Canada to capitalize on social shifts and respond to labour market needs

Lisa Taylor and Taryn Blanchard

author headshotsIt’s an exciting time in Canada’s career development sector. Individual actors, organizations and projects are coming together. Awareness, expertise and commitment are coalescing. Focus is shifting from isolated activities to ambitious initiatives that emphasize co-ordination, amplify impact and prepare the sector for what comes next: a catalyst that ignites revolutionary change.

Challenge Factory and others are calling for a national strategy on career development in Canada. This call is urgent and essential if we want Canada to capitalize on social and economic shifts, to respond to labour market and employment needs and to seize on powerful opportunities for change when they arise.

Revolutions feel chaotic and disordered, but they also follow predictable patterns (Figure 1). In this article, we explore how the career development sector can shape its future in revolutionary times.

Illustration showing phases of revolutions: Early Phase (Tech, Trends, Thought Leaders); then, Emergent Shift (Work force, Work place); then, Urgent Change (Catalyst)
Figure 1: Revolutions follow patterns, from The Talent Revolution: Longevity and the Future of Work, Taylor and Lebo, p. 24.
Signs of a career development revolution: Early phase

In quiet discussions among practitioners, it’s well known that the career development sector is undergoing significant disruption. COVID-19, social justice awareness, advancement in technologies and the role of post-secondary institutions in linking learning and work are all causing cracks in traditional careers work.

The early phase of revolutionary change is marked not only by disruption, but also by an abundance of innovation, study and analysis. Over time, these separate activities come to align in a variety of ways that push sectors and societies forward. Let’s take a look at four early phase activities.

“The early phase of revolutionary change is marked not only by disruption, but also by an abundance of innovation, study and analysis.”

International benchmarking: In February, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released a major report on the state of adult career guidance in Canada that details the need to strengthen co-ordination of careers policy across the country, encourage greater and more inclusive use of adult career services and promote high-quality service provision.

Book cover for Retain and GainDialogue and storytelling: Challenge Factory and CERIC are collaborating on a new Careers and Canadians webinar series that also focuses on the intersection of career development and public policy. Based on Retain and Gain: Career Management for the Public Sector, this series examines the personal career stories of senior policy leaders and where opportunity lies for a careers lens to inform policy development.

Professionalization: The Canadian Career Development Foundation (CCDF) is co-ordinating inclusive, sector-wide collaborative activities, including the renewal of practitioner standards and guidelines, the creation of a comprehensive competency model and the exploration of the feasibility of a professional institute.

Sector mapping: Efforts are under way to map the career development sector, including a project by CERIC and another from the Labour Market Information Council and Future Skills Centre. These projects aim to better understand career service providers across Canada, types of services being provided, client groups being served and the impact of these services.

These types of activities and information sources are important for building an evidence base that can be used to make informed decisions. To properly position the sector for revolutionary change, however, activities that look to learn from the past and understand the present will have a greater impact if they are also combined with activities that focus on anticipating what futures might be possible.

Recommendation: Stakeholders leading separate activities should recognize that our collective future is tied to working together. This is when true transformation will become possible. They should also start investing in future-focused tools and approaches, in the same way that they have invested in tools and approaches that research the past and present.

Getting organized: Emergent shift

In the second stage of revolutionary change, what we call the emergent shift, the importance of collective effort receives buy-in and everyone can see that a big moment is coming ­– but the conditions are not yet perfect for the catalyst that will set the full-scale revolution in motion. How do we ensure the sector is prepared to meet that big moment when it arrives?

Former Saskatchewan Deputy Minister Alastair MacFadden, the first guest in CERIC’s Careers and Canadians webinar series, notes that much of the sector is focused on optimizing the individual services provided to clients within current policy constraints. This includes advocating for better supports to reduce unemployment and faster access to training to fill skills gaps that are affecting the economy.

Read more

The skills-gap paradox
The thing we never talk about in career development
The future of work for the Black community

“We’ll really start to make headway when we flip our focus,” MacFadden says. “We need to develop programs and policy with a view to what they mean for individual careers. Rather than investing in training programs for displaced oil workers, for example, we need to create energy policy that has meaningful employment embedded within it as a key priority.”

Recommendation: The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should be taken up as an organizing framework for the sector’s future-focused planning. We already see this happening in pockets and on an ad hoc basis. Full adoption will allow us to draw together isolated activities and align our workstreams in service of broader needs and opportunities, such as the green economy, social justice and global migration patterns.

Preparing for the catalyst: urgent change

We don’t yet know which spark will be the catalyst that truly starts the revolution in career development across Canada. But once that catalyst occurs, it will activate urgent change, the third stage in the revolutionary cycle, and we will be able to move forward into whatever the new world is going to be – if we don’t let the uncertainty of upheaval stop us.

Recommendation: Create a national strategy on career development that is realistic in its implementation and wildly aspirational in its intent and impact. A national strategy must change how we perceive ourselves, our work and our impact, while demonstrating strong ties to other areas of social progress (the SDGs). Working toward this national strategy will position and prepare us to recognize the catalyst moment, when it comes, and shape a future that benefits Canadians and the sector.

Developing a national strategy (on anything) is a monumental task in Canada’s federated, diverse environment. Yet there are tools and methods to bring everyone to the table, to set achievable expectations and to ride the wave of revolutionary change. Right now, we would start by asking a few deceptively simple questions:

  1. What are the historical drivers of change in the sector?
  2. What emerging issues are we excited, concerned or confused about?
  3. If we continue as we are, what are a few likely scenarios that might occur (given what we know about current and future trends related to employment, labour, productivity, wellness and competitiveness)?
  4. If we had a national strategy in place, what additional scenarios might emerge?
  5. Which of the scenarios outlined in questions 3 and 4 are worth exploring in more detail?

Knowing how to ask better questions and what to do with the responses is a critical skill. Done well, this effort will challenge us all to zoom out from our work today, identify the collective future we want and see that future so clearly we can’t help but take steps to make it happen.

It’s time for the career development sector to forge a path to better work, employment, engagement, well-being, prosperity and productivity for all. Blazing new trails is challenging work. But such is the nature of revolutionary change – and Challenge Factory is energized by the potential. Let’s get to work!

Lisa Taylor is a sought-after expert, speaker and columnist on today’s changing world of work. She is the President of Challenge Factory, a full member of the Association of Professional Futurists, an associate at the National Institute on Ageing, and co-author of The Talent Revolution: Longevity and the Future of Work.

Taryn Blanchard is the head of research at Challenge Factory and holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Toronto.

Books with graduation cap inside labyrinth maze.Careering

Case Study: Bridging the gap between degree and career

How a mindset shift helped a graduate with a disability embark on a new career with confidence

Shakira Rouse

Author headshotIn my line of work, I am constantly helping students navigate major transitions from academics to the workforce. It is easy for me to look back now and understand how every step, failure and win helped me climb my career ladder. However, for a new graduate, the first step can seem like a hurdle – especially for a student with a disability.

Helping a new graduate make the transition from the classroom to the workforce requires a different approach to mentoring. I learned this first-hand with one of my most memorable mentees, Juliet.

Juliet’s story

Juliet was a recent graduate with an interest in social impact and community development. Yet she was not sure how to start working toward a career in this field with a degree in sociology. Specifically, she was worried about gaps in her career and work experience, which were a result of health issues. As a student with a disability, she was not sure how to enter the workforce with a disability and how to advocate for herself so potential employers would see her for her skills and talents.

In this recurring Careering feature, career professionals share their real-life solutions to common problems in the field. Read more Case Studies from Careering:

Carleton careers course aims to help students manage change and complexity
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Helping a client with autism improve her interview skills

Mindset is the foundation

The first step in helping new graduates climb that ladder is setting the foundation with a renewed mindset. Not every new graduate is able to obtain co-ops, summer jobs or internships in an area related to their studies and interest. Often, these new professionals do not see how the value and the skills obtained in previous jobs can be transferable to other positions.

In my initial meeting with Juliet, I conducted a small exercise with her. I asked Juliet to tell me more about her previous job experience. I challenged her to get specific by describing to me what a daily shift would consist of.

In this case, Juliet had previous experience as a sales associate in a department store. To her, key responsibilities such as helping customers, working the cash and stocking inventory did not equate to the skills new employers would be looking for. I coached Juliet to reframe her skills, indicating that it is all about language and how you view your experience. Responsibilities such as helping customers can translate to customer service. I helped her transcribe her skills into a new language that would be more appropriate and suited for her resume.

Changing the language of these skills also helped to change Juliet’s mindset and perception of herself. Gradually, Juliet began sharing more details about her academic journey, touching on why she decided to change programs and took an extra year to complete her degree.

Now in her late 20s, she feared that she was getting a delayed start in life. Many young professionals are living to fulfill an unwritten social rule that they need to accomplish major milestones by 30. I had to interject: “Juliet, you are right on time. There is no ‘30 time bomb,’” I said.

“You are not going to catch a whale by fishing in a lake. You want something big but are looking in small spaces.”

At this point in our mentee-mentor relationship, I felt it would be beneficial to share my personal story and journey. I told her about what led me to start Special Compass – an organization aimed at helping students with learning disabilities achieve success within and outside of the classroom. I talked about my setbacks in school, regaining my confidence, and juggling corporate life while starting a second degree and starting a business. I wanted Juliet to see that what may have seemed like a setback or a failing moment is actually a stepping stone to greatness. All the experience she has gained on her academic journey has helped give her insights and perspectives needed for community development.

Most importantly, I also reminded Juliet that having a disability is not a weakness but your biggest strength. Supporting Juliet to create a new perspective of her academic journey and work experience helped her give her that push needed to take action toward her success. Juliet came to our meetings more engaged and enthusiastic about finding a job.

However, while she was taking more impactful steps and initiatives, she was still hitting a bit of a wall in her job-hunting process.

Stepping into new arenas

Job hunting is a full-time job in itself. You need to stay up to date on the various new recruitment and interviewing methods. Unfortunately, almost every young professional I work with is not using effective job-hunting processes.

“You are not going to catch a whale by fishing in a lake. You want something big but are looking in small spaces,” I told Juliet. I explained that she needed to step into new arenas in her job-hunting process. For instance, using industry-specific job banks is more strategic than only using general job search banks.

Most importantly, networking is a must. Social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Instagram can be a great tool to make connections, establish a following and create a digital portfolio of one’s career.

Most new graduates are intimidated by the word networking. I once was too, until I learned that networking is just about meeting new people and having conversations.

A good way to help recent graduates step into new arenas is to encourage them to find a hobby. I encouraged Juliet to take this time to try a new class or do a workshop on an activity she enjoys. I also reminded her that with her studies behind her, she had more time to explore the things she may have always desired. In doing a new activity, you get out and meet new people, start conversations and build natural connections. This is what building your network is all about. You never know when you might be one degree of separation from a great job opportunity.

Today, I am happy to say that Juliet found a job and is embarking on new adventures in her career.

Shakira Rouse is the creator and founder of Special Compass, an organization dedicated to helping students with learning disabilities achieve academic success. Her innovative facilitating style has led to speaking engagements and interviews at various events in North America. In 2016, she received the Black Role Model Award from the Black Canadian Business Network, and in 2021, she was a nominee for the Universal Women’s Network’s Women of Influence Award.

Illustration of green tree with white roots growing below ground and multi-coloured leavesCareering

Client Side: Finding my way home – when your career leads the way

A career in professional fundraising opened up an unexpected path for this business owner to connect with her culture

Rowena Veylan

Author headshotI recently spoke with an Elder from my community. He told me that the Creator is there to guide those who will listen and then he taught me about the Medicine Wheel. I do not have much experience with learning from an Elder, metaphorically sitting at their feet and trying to absorb truths handed down through each generation. I often wonder what that would have been like, if things had been different.

My Grandmother spent 15 years in residential school, from the age of 3 to 18. She did not leave that residential school at all during those years. I once read an excerpt from an interview where she spoke about watching the birds outside and wishing that she had wings so that she could fly away. But even if she had wings, she had nowhere to fly to, nowhere to go.

It has taken me a long time to realize and fully appreciate what has been lost to me and to my family. Not only culture, but also the connection to family – both our direct family and the feeling of being a part of a larger community. I have spoken a lot about my own journey of finding my way home and have had to try to navigate that path forward for both myself and my daughter. It has not been an easy path to follow and I have often felt discouraged, with no idea of where to turn.

In the Client Side feature, workers and students reflect on successes and struggles in their career development. Read more Client Side articles from Careering:

You don’t need an ‘in-demand degree’ to be successful
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Surprisingly, the most unexpected gift of culture and connection opened up to me through my chosen career of professional fundraising. Let me explain!

In 2002, I was introduced to the world of fundraising, something that I had given little thought to in my life. I knew right away that it was the right fit for me as it spoke to my values. I appreciate being in a career that makes me feel like I am contributing, helping others and making a difference.

Through the years I worked for many different organizations and managed to gain experience in almost all facets of our profession. I moved up as I went along in my career until I was managing my own teams. I noticed that I was often brought into organizations in times of change to figure out what was going wrong and move things forward. I used to refer to getting the ship back on track, and at times, depending on the size of the ship, that could take years. When I look back on this time in my career, I realize that what I enjoyed most was contributing to the sustainability and strength of the organization and also mentoring and coaching fundraising staff to succeed.

“… there is no end to the learning, but also no end to the opportunity and joy and pride of having something that is yours.”

My passion to share my love for fundraising led to the opening of my virtual fundraising school, The New School of Fundraising, in the fall of 2021. The entire process from the niggling thought in the back of my mind to the day that the school opened its virtual doors was so much more work than I had expected! I have a newfound respect for any entrepreneur who follows their dream and opens a business. From learning about and drafting a business plan to developing a website and taking classes on digital marketing, there is no end to the learning, but also no end to the opportunity and joy and pride of having something that is yours.

I have often been asked why I opened a school. After almost 20 years as a frontline fundraiser, I was burned out, but when I asked myself what I loved most about the profession, it was changing the way that others saw fundraising and helping them to succeed. The process of starting a fundraising school has both surprised me and exceeded my expectations at the same time. I underestimated the amount of work that it would take to get the school off the ground, but since gaining some momentum, I have been overwhelmed with the good wishes and gratitude of those who come through our virtual doors.

I started wondering if I could somehow combine my fundraising knowledge with my interest in learning more about Indigenous culture – my own culture. Could the fundraising school help move reconciliation forward within the non-profit sector?  What would that even look like?

I created a workshop called Indigenous Protocols for Fundraisers with the intent to help the industry with its own reconciliation efforts. It has been our most popular workshop and our attendees have appreciated the safe place that we have created for conversation, learning and sharing. It is times like these that I am able to step into my own Indigenous space, which is so new to me.

Through this workshop, I have been connected to Indigenous fundraisers from across Turtle Island as well as an Elder in my own community who opens each workshop for us. What a gift it has been. Now this connection is driving a different path forward for both myself and the school. The New School of Fundraising will push on with how to support Indigenous fundraisers and Indigenous-led non-profit organizations. Along the way, I will get the gift of learning more about who I am, where I come from and where I belong.

It is interesting to me how our paths in life offer twists and turns. I would have never thought that my fundraising career and school would lead me right back to the path that I had been searching for all along.

A fundraiser, consultant, teacher and mentor, Rowena Veylan has been working within the non-profit industry since 2003 and is the current Founder and Lead Instructor of The New School of Fundraising. The school offers fundraising training to anyone who is interested in learning more about raising money. They run courses and workshops throughout the year, offer private training and host special events. 

People and clipboard with job candidates list and magnifying glass.Careering

Helping before hiring: Rethinking employers’ post-secondary recruitment strategies 

Passive efforts such as booths and bulletin boards aren’t sufficient to engage students 

Gena Hamilton and Liana Thompson 

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the job market, hiring needs and job applicant responsiveness. Concurrently, Generation Z is becoming a larger presence in the workforce. Recruiting recent graduates with sought-after skills to fill job openings is competitive – yet many employers continue to use traditional methods to recruit post-secondary students.  

Employer expectations are that students are seeking to apply for jobs and that one-time interactions are sufficient to engage candidates. Examples of conventional recruitment practices are on-campus booths, bulletin boards, information sessions and student job boards. These strategies are passive and mostly transactional; neither employers nor students are getting what they want out of the process. 

Career practitioners are in a unique position to raise awareness of how outdated recruitment approaches are insufficient to position an organization as students’ employer of choice. For example, at a recent career fair, an employer was unhappy with the low traffic they had at their booth. Gena recognized that this employer had chosen all passive forms of engagement – expecting students to do the work to engage with them. Over a series of short coaching conversations, Gena assisted the employer to see the connection between passive recruiting efforts and low student engagement and encouraged them to engage potential candidates by taking a “helping before hiring” approach. 

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Increasing inclusion and engagement in virtual career workshops
Widening jobseekers’ views of education-to-career pathways
Re-envisioning the role of alumni in post-secondary career education

Student expectations have changed 

Student attitudes toward their future employers have changed. Liana recently surveyed University of the Fraser Valley students on the question: “What could employers do to make you more likely to apply to a position?” Some of the expected answers included employers who offer benefits, remote work options and reasonable wages. However, new themes emerged about students’ attitudes toward and expectations of their future employers.  

Students think employers should lower their job qualifications, recognize transferable skills and offer a willingness to train the right candidate. Comments included: 

  • “Stop expecting 27 years of experience, with an MBA for $17 an hour” and “I think it is important to not solely require a certain number of years [of] experience, but to take transferable skills and life experience into consideration or whether or not the applicant is enthusiastic about learning!” 
  • “Temporary workers are more flexible and have a wider range of skills. This makes them more adaptable to fall into roles that they might not originally be considered for.” 
  • “Employers should offer proper training and not expect someone to come in and know how they want things done without showing them.” 

 Post-secondary career services can support employers to proactively meet students’ needs. During coaching conversations, career practitioners can encourage employers to foster a growth culture and adjust their expectations by broadening job qualifications, recognizing transferable skills and training the right candidate. 

Additionally, potential candidates are expecting transparency to feel certain that they qualify for the position and that it is a good fit for them. Career practitioners can ask recruiters:  

  • Have you considered how students experience your job search and recruitment process?
  • Do students perceive that they are treated well?  
  • How did you show authentic interest in students’ career development?  
  • Do students leave the encounter perceiving that your organization will take care of them as an employee? Shares their values? Will be a place for growth? 

Employers need to ask if their recruiting practices resonate with students’ people-centred expectations and leverage their company culture, values and societal impact to engage with recruits.

Young job applicants in waiting room before interview.
Establishing intentional connections early and often   

How can career practitioners help employers to change their mindset and think differently about their recruiting practices?  

First, we can aid employers to recognize that not every student is ready to apply for a job. Therefore, it is important for recruiters to use approaches that build early connections and relationships with their future workers. Students progress through career readiness stages at different rates. They have different expectations with each stage of awareness, consideration and interest before being ready to apply for a job. Repeated exposure to an employer’s brand over time, with intentional interactions that position them as a resource to the student body, aligns recruiting approaches with student needs for every career readiness stage.  

Second, good relationship-management approaches, instead of selling tactics, build connections with recruits. Through mentorship and support, students can envision themselves growing and succeeding with an employer. The technology sector is a good example of using student-first approaches by engaging student clubs and associations through coding challenges, hackathons, meetups and makerspaces to support students to learn from professionals and participate in a community of practice. These recruiting approaches demonstrate that an organization is invested in students, supports their causes and shares their values. Students remember employers who provide motivating opportunities.  

Third, career practitioners can invite employers to participate in delivering student-relevant career education programming. This co-operation builds an early relationship between students and employers while students develop career readiness and confidence to apply for positions.  

Delivering student-centred career education programming  

Employers need to offer their mentorship before they showcase their organization. High-impact methods to be a resource to students should take priority for recruiters, including informational interviews, career talks, speed networking events, on-site organizational tours, employer panels, and supporting student clubs and associations.  

Instead of hosting traditional information sessions about their organization, employers can create content and offer engaging activities to provide career advice in areas of high interest to students, such as strategies for: 

  • overcoming the entry-level catch-22;  
  • requesting, conducting and following up an informational interview;  
  • answering behavioural interview questions; and 
  • negotiating salary.   

Employers can also provide first-hand experiences to showcase their organization’s culture through job-shadowing programs and paid co-operative education, internship and practicum opportunities. Students gain skills and experiences and employers get fresh insights from students. Additionally, through student workers, employers may gain an informal on-campus ambassador to promote their organizational brand with peers who share common values. Employers can offer examples of career transitions through interesting social media content, such as featuring employees who are alumni or student workers providing career advice.  

The feedback from the student survey offers insights about how the attitudes and expectations of new jobseekers are changing. To better attract talent, employers may need to adjust job requirements, expand their search scope and adapt their recruiting approaches. Career practitioners can help employers shift their mindset from hiring to helping: to engage in recruiting activities that are intentional and relationship-centric by putting students first. These “helping” approaches will yield greater candidate engagement and recruiting success for employers.  

Gena Hamilton is a Career Education Co-ordinator at the University of the Fraser Valley with a passion for learning design and innovation in career education. 

Liana Thompson is the Director of UFV’s Centre for Experiential and Career Education. She is an educational leader, strategist and skills trainer with an interest in values-based community and organizational leadership. 

Black man working on laptop in home officeCareering

The future of work for the Black community

Immediate changes are needed to dismantle anti-Black systemic structures in the workforce

Ingrid Wilson 

Author headshotAs we emerge from the pandemic and move toward the future of work, we cannot forget the systemic issues that were finally highlighted during the pandemic. The systemic issues affecting Black people in Canada are centred around the lack of access and sustainability in education, employment and health care for this community.

However, it is not enough to be aware that there is an issue. We cannot to take action to dismantle these systemic issues unless we truly understand what creates these barriers and the impact on the Black community. Without sustainability and access to the necessities of life that many take for granted, how does the Black community show up in the workforce? What is the future of work for the Black community?

Understanding the impact of anti-Black systemic structures

In February 2021, Statistics Canada looked at the impact of the economic disruption of the pandemic on one million Black Canadians in the Canadian labour market. According to the report, A labour market snapshot of Black Canadians during the pandemic, “Black Canadians experienced a higher unemployment rate than non-visible minority Canadians in the recent past.”

While we understand that many Canadians experienced significant economic and financial hardship during the pandemic, Black communities in Canada were already at a disadvantage prior to the pandemic due to systemic issues that created and continue to create barriers for the Black community.

More from Careering

Canada’s essential yet overqualified immigrant workforce
Client Side: Finding my way home – when your career leads the way
Supporting international students’ career development from a strengths-based lens

The systemic racism we are now beginning to understand is not new. It has existed for hundreds of years – built on the foundation of chattel slavery which officially ended in Canada almost 200 years ago, creating a continuing racial wealth gap for Black communities in Canada.

Whether enslaved or free peoples, there have been restrictions on where Black communities could live, own and develop land, limiting economic security and sustainability in Black communities. Multigenerational wealth is still a struggle for Black communities, affecting their ability to consistently and equitably access higher-level education, food security and housing.

Is the workforce of the future widening systemic gaps?

On top of this landscape is the impending impact of automation and technology in the workplace, which the pandemic has escalated. According to estimates from the McKinsey Global Institute, companies have already invested between $26 billion and $39 billion in artificial intelligence technologies and applications. Businesses are aiming to significantly increase their productivity and capacity for innovation through the use of such technologies.

According to the previously referenced Statistics Canada report, in 2020, Black communities and other racialized groups were overrepresented in occupations likely to be most affected by automation and technology changes, such as food and health services and other previously people-driven services including manufacturing and production-line services. These communities are also underrepresented in fields such as education, health, and law and in leadership roles. Continuing automation could lead the Black community to have higher rates of potential job displacement when compared with other communities.

As indicated previously, Black communities have started from a position of inequity within the workforce. If this pattern is not addressed through the strengthening of local economies and developing reskilling and transition programs, in tandem with automation and technology, the racial wealth gap will continue to grow. This could have a significant and negative effect on the growth of intergenerational wealth and the stability of the Black community.

“Continuing automation could lead the Black community to have higher rates of potential job displacement when compared with other communities.”

A point of significant concern is the impact of automation and technology on youth within the Black community, who are currently transitioning from education to employment in a rapidly changing workforce environment. The lack of intergenerational wealth creates a societal and financial impact on this community, often interrupting the pathway to higher-level education and opportunities for development to prepare for the changing workforce landscape. Are education and opportunities for development more important than food security and housing? These are the societal and financial decisions that affect Black communities.

To create a foundation and build sustainability in the Black community, it is critical to focus on youth, providing programs now that will provide access to financial stability and subsequently to development opportunities and sustainable employment.

Strengthening equity and inclusion in workforce development

So, how do these communities prepare for the future? There are many challenges and barriers to addressing these inequities. However, organizations and industries can focus resources on efforts that actually build sustainability for Black communities by:

  • Investing in long-term programs to develop and retain talent that are targeted to Black communities.
  • Offering development programs that include mentorship and sponsorship.
  • Offering access to learning development, reskilling and educational opportunities.
  • Creating pathways to occupations that are at lower risk of disruption from automation and technology.
  • Investing in new innovation and technology programs for Black communities.
  • Providing education, skills development and support for extended periods, to help Black students and jobseekers with career transition opportunities.
  • Understanding the societal and financial needs of the Black community and building flexible and adaptable learning opportunities that allow participants to continue to support themselves and their families. Educational scholarships and supports focused on Black communities can help decrease the educational attainment gap caused by financial and societal issues – potentially covering gaps in entrance and tuition fees.
  • Sponsoring research programs to understand and improve post-secondary retention and completion rates for Black communities. Colleges and universities can better retain and graduate Black students through targeted programs that increase preparation and provide financial support.

If organizations and industries implement even one of these initiatives, the workforce landscape will begin to more positively affect the Black community.

Ingrid Wilson, CHRL, CMS, is Senior Director, Culture, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Walmart Canada. Wilson has almost 30 years of experience in corporate human resources, board, inclusivity and business strategy. She also holds several certifications in diversity, equity and inclusion, and has pursued excellence in strategic human resources and leadership through the CHRL designation, and through programs at Queen’s University and the University of Toronto.


Navigating a world without resumes

Some employers are pivoting to different forms of recruitment to try to mitigate bias in the hiring process

Alesia Dane and Laura Fyfe

Author headshotsStudents, new graduates and career development practitioners have spent the past two years navigating an evolving and increasingly virtual job search, recruitment and hiring processes. Many have noticed a trend becoming more prevalent in campus recruitment: employers are beginning to pivot from the traditional resume.

In its place, some are emphasizing the power of networking and the recruiter-candidate relationship, while others are moving toward online talent and skills-assessment tools to better and more equitably access, recruit and hire on-campus talent.

With this change in recruitment, career development professionals within post-secondary institutions and beyond need to shift how we support and prepare our students and new graduates. To do this, we need to understand why employers are making changes to their hiring process, what “resume-free recruitment” means for the job search process and what is filling the gap left by the traditional resume.

Why abandon the resume?

While motivation to drop the resume varies between organizations, certain outcomes are clear: removing the traditional resume in the campus recruitment process can mitigate the impact of unconscious (or implicit) bias in the recruitment process. This leads to increased diversity in hiring along with raising employee retention rates, both of which benefit a company’s financial performance, productivity, workplace culture and overall client/customer experience.

Read more

Case Study: Bridging the gap between degree and career
Helping before hiring: Rethinking employers’ post-secondary recruitment strategies
Supporting international students’ career development from a strengths-based lens

Removing the traditional resume shifts focus from alma mater and previous employers (two potential sources of recruiter bias) to more dynamic ways of assessing a candidate’s potential for a role based on competencies: the combination of a candidate’s knowledge, skills, abilities and attributes. For employers who have made the move to abandon the resume, the business case is clear: greater diversity in hiring leads to better candidates, increased productivity, increased revenue and happier business clients.

Case study: on-campus recruitment with Scotiabank

Scotiabank is one employer making a shift to resume-free recruitment. The Canadian bank recently removed the emphasis on resumes from its on-campus recruitment process to widen its candidate pool and remove barriers to employment. The company’s new recruitment strategy focuses on skills, potential, and attracting and developing talent from a broader base.

Removing the resume has allowed Scotiabank to focus on candidate potential rather than previous experience. Scotiabank partnered with Plum, a Waterloo, ON-based talent assessment platform, to assess candidate skills and talents via a 25-minute discovery survey. The survey helps recruiters to “screen in” applicants to roles within the organization in which they will thrive, then map out a candidate’s potential future development. Skills-focused platforms like Plum prompt applicants to consider their potential for a role beyond the confines of a traditional resume, and to focus instead on other aspects of the recruitment process.

Vector illustration of laptop, computer lamp, speech bubble and books on blue background with clouds

Removing the resume shifts the focus of recruitment for both recruiters and applicants to more active and dynamic participation in the recruitment process. The change in hiring encourages jobseekers to reflect on their suitability for a role through competency reflection, industry research and proactive networking.

This engagement, particularly in on-campus recruitment, gives both applicants and recruiters a better chance to “get to know” one another. Even with the shift online, recruiters have adapted their touchpoints with students to include more virtual platforms, removing barriers around travel and increasing student access to networking, events, job fairs and one-on-one meetings.

Removing the resume decreases emphasis on demographic information, education, work and volunteer experience, qualifications that often pose challenges for internationally trained professionals and students in equity-deserving groups.

What about the students?

What does a world without resumes look like for students? Resume-free recruitment prioritizes a student’s understanding of how their volunteer experience, work, education and life experience have nurtured and cultivated their career-ready competencies and skills.

Rather than relying upon a static document, students will need to understand and be comfortable articulating the value they offer to the organization through networking and engaging with organizations and recruiters. Shifting the focus from accomplishments and qualifications to relationship building and a more “whole human approach” to employability creates opportunities for candidates who may have been previously overlooked in traditional recruitment methods.

With shifts in recruitment must come shifts in how we support our students and recent graduates. We have included some practical tips and best practices for career development practitioners helping to prepare their students for resume-free recruitment.

  • Networking: Recruitment is relationship-based, so encourage students to attend events on and off campus. Touchpoints with the campus recruitment team are important for students to learn more about an organization. Also encourage students to regularly update their LinkedIn profiles and to use the platform for networking.
  • Research: Help students understand an organization before applying. Encourage company, industry and labour market research, and proactively connecting with recruiters for more information.
  • Reflection: Work with students on application documents and interview preparation. Encourage students to reflect upon skills developed through experience to help make connections to their potential within an organization. Encourage students to become familiar and comfortable with online assessments such as Career Cruising, TypeFocus, Color Code and Talent Today.
  • Assessment: If an assessment is part of the recruitment process, encourage students to:
    • Set aside dedicated time to take the assessment
    • Find a space free of distractions
    • Answer assessment questions honestly; don’t try to guess or anticipate what the algorithm is looking for

While resume-free recruitment creates a more dynamic, equitable recruitment process for both jobseekers and employers, it is worth noting that the shift is occurring mostly among larger employers and is focused primarily on campus recruitment. As businesses adapt their hiring practices, it is essential for students and career development professionals to continue to be flexible to industry change. While some are abandoning the resume altogether, the majority of small-to-medium-sized businesses still rely heavily on the document and its fundamental place in career conversations is secure, for now. Creating a resume-style document remains an excellent place for students to practice skills translation and articulation and to reflect on the experiences that form their career journey.

As Manager, Talent Partnerships & Relations, Co-op, Career & Experiential Education at Brock University, Alesia Dane leads a highly skilled team to develop and grow relationships with employers. Dane’s passion includes connecting organizations to campus talent in innovative and meaningful ways.

Laura Fyfe is a career professional with a background in labour market research. As Skills Translation Co-ordinator in the department of Co-op, Career & Experiential Education at Brock University, Fyfe facilitates meaningful connections between skills, education, and the ever-evolving labour market. Fyfe has been at the forefront of developing and integrating Brock’s campus-wide career competencies framework.

Two high school students looking through microscope in classCareering

The scary ‘C word’ in high schools

How we can inject career development into schools now

Adriano Magnifico

Author headshotVeronica is a Grade 11 student in the Louis Riel School Division in Winnipeg. Intelligent, friendly, engaged. She has a supportive family and group of friends.

In every aspect of her life, she is happy and well-adjusted – except one. She confesses that thinking about the ‘C-word’ – career – makes her feel lost.

“I personally had no idea what I wanted to do after high school and the thought of trying to figure it out scared me.”

Veronica is not alone in her angst. Research indicates that as career indecision increases, students experience higher levels of anxiety.

She faces the quintessential problem for high school students: what to do after high school.

Considering its ubiquitous and highly relevant nature to every student in every K-12 school system, career development surely gets serious attention in schools, right?

Not really.

Students are often left on their own. Schools prioritize completing those 30 credits, not figuring out what students can do with them. And that’s a problem.

More from the author

TOTS: A tap on the shoulder can make all the difference
Making career development ‘stick’ in K-12
Helping students connect the dots in their career development

3 key challenges that keep career development as a ‘nice-to-have’

The problem is that when schools assume career development (CD) naturally happens without substantive help from the education system, they ignore a serious disconnect with students like Veronica who lack the skills, knowledge, and confidence to make informed and purposeful decisions about their futures.

The prevailing nature of school organization and mindset poses challenges for offering systemic career development for all K-12 students.

1. Divisional/district leadership

Leadership is the key component. A recent article (Purchase, 2022) expounds on the important impact principals may have in delivering career development programming in schools. They shape the vision of their schools and decide who will lead career development initiatives and facilitate courses. If a physical education teacher is teaching a CD course, that’s the principal’s call.

Leadership, however, has to extend even higher up the food chain. When Britain published the Gatsby Benchmarks of Good Career Guidance and made career development activities mandatory in the school system in 2018, it became the law to do CD in schools. That’s commitment.

2. Compartmentalization

School subjects and life in most schools are organized in compartmentalized silos. The high school experience, for the most part, fits into course timetables with tight timeframes, each course laden with specialized content that rarely deviates outside its boundary. In Manitoba, even our Life Works/Career Development 9-12 electives inadvertently nurture the impression that CD begins and ends when the assignments are completed.

3. Space for reflection

Students need time to reflect on why and how courses may connect to their lives in the present and to assess how the skills and knowledge within those courses may contribute to their futures. School schedules are so packed with courses and homework, students rarely have time to do more than complete the assignments. The system simply does not allow students to take time for necessary reflection about the impact of the courses on their lives.

Practical ways to build systemic CD

Students’ readiness to engage in career development varies with age and maturation, so any programming must be robust enough to connect with students when they feel ready. Below are some ideas to inject career development into traditional school systems without radical alterations:

  1. Use the CMEC Benchmarks. Education ministers across Canada have done the heavy lifting. They’ve agreed to 11 CD benchmarks in a Reference Framework document, along with a Student Transition Benchmark Self-Assessment Tool and a Student Transition Action Plan. You can’t start planning for systemic career development without figuring out where you’re at with CD first.
  2. Include CD in the school plan. Schools write and implement school plans every year where they determine priorities, themes, initiatives, opportunities and exploratory ideas. Career development can be prioritized by including it in the yearly plan.
  3. Put a career coach in every school. Gone are the days of single-discipline departments heads (English, science, physical education, etc.). As new leadership roles in schools emerge – humanities, IT, integrated learning – the time is right to create career leaders in every high school who are trained and certified in the art of CD. Elementary and junior high feeder schools can benefit from the Career Leader in the high school, who can share expertise on developing an unobtrusive career lens on classroom learning.
  4. Inject CD into every academic course. Career development can be brought into every class to help students see the relevance of what they’re learning. Every course has the potential to ignite a CD discussion to apply content and knowledge to future aspirations and bring incredible relevance to students’ lives. Trained career coaches can work with subject teachers to reveal the best ways to connect subject matter with career content (such as LMI) and share ways to mentor students through a reflective CD process. Better yet, why not train teachers in the art of CD applications for students?
  5. Connect JEDI to career development. JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, inclusion) principles offer a powerful conduit that seamlessly flows toward CD processes for students. Career development honours the lives, choices, backgrounds and mindsets of every individual and is integral to helping students move forward and make life choices with confidence. Effective CD builds on every person’s diverse and unique qualities as strengths on their powerful journey toward self-actualization.
Tackling fears head-on

Veronica participated in a series of CD workshops with me.

She used the LEAN Career Design Canvas to help her reflect about who she is, which skills she has and which skills she wants to acquire.

She learned about her “career cluster” and examined data about jobs, trends, salaries, education and skills.

Perhaps most importantly, she appreciated the chance to express her authentic feelings about life after high school.

She said, “I was in panic mode, but these workshops helped me become my own guidance counsellor.” She felt a weight being lifted from her as she gathered knowledge and insights about future possibilities.

Veronica’s worry about the next steps after high school will not disappear entirely. Thinking about the unknown has this inherent effect. But now, her uncertainty will be tempered by knowledge, reflection and a growing sense of confidence moving forward as she continues her drive to find her best self.

She discovered that the C word doesn’t have to be scary.

Adriano Magnifico is the Career and Entrepreneurship Consultant at the Louis Riel School Division in Winnipeg and a member of CERIC’s Advocacy & Community Engagement Committee.

Plumber Fixing And Repairing Sink PipeCareering

Values are the antidote to the ‘Great Careers Disconnect’

These steps can equip clients with the language, knowledge and insights to align their career path with what matters to them

Helena Prins

Author headshotAt a recent team retreat, our HR Manager guided us through a values reminder exercise. We were given a few resources prior to the event to help identify five to eight of our core values. We were then given the opportunity to discuss an artifact representing our values with our peers.

While my artifact (shown right) in response to the activity was very simple, this hands-on, creative exercise was a powerful personal experience, as well as an excellent team-building activity. Finding similarities between myself and my co-workers felt affirming, while differences made for curious conversations.

Paper with hand-drawn lettering: Diversty, Kindness, extend grace, Authenticity
Courtesy of author

And the certified career strategist inside of me was doing a happy dance! I firmly believe that those who have a positive alignment between their values and their job have a higher level of job satisfaction and success. The opposite is also true: if there is a misalignment between your values and chosen career path, it will lead to a disconnect. The “Great Careers Disconnect” could manifest itself as apathy, resentment, burnout or poor performance. Knowing and understanding your own values, or supporting your client in knowing theirs, is one way to strengthen career connectedness.

What are values

There are a few different ways to think about values.

Simon Sinek’s take on values resonates deeply with me – he states that values have to be verbs. Sinek proposes that “values are the things you do, the things you live by … and you can’t do nouns.”

“If there is a misalignment between your values and chosen career path, it will lead to a disconnect.”

Another of my favourite definitions of values comes from Brené Brown’s book Dare to Lead: “A value is a way of being or believing that we hold most important. Living into our values means that we do more than profess our values, we practice them.”

For the purposes of this article, I define values as the principles we choose to live by.

Why is knowing values important in career development?

Values build resilience

Research has shown that connecting to personal values can help people be more resilient in the face of stress. According to Patterson and Kelleher (Resilient School Leaders. 2005, p. 51), the process of “privately clarifying, publicly articulating, and consciously acting on” core values is a great source of strength in helping people face adversity and emerge stronger than before.

Values have motivating powers

Sinek wrote a bestseller just over a decade ago that underlines the motivational power of knowing your “why.” According to his framework, your “why” makes clear your purpose – why we do what we do. Guiding your client to the answer of why they do what they do will not only help them to truly differentiate their value proposition, but it will also provide a reason to keep going, especially when life events make it hard or impossible to live in line with personal values.

Values give clues about an employer or potential employer

Could there be some tension between what your client values and what their company values? Or is there alignment? When your client is searching for companies to work for, ask them to look at what the companies list on their website as important values.

For example, if your client is considering a career in the banking industry, comparing the websites of the different financial institutions makes it evident which banks truly value diversity and which don’t. Their values are represented in the programs and projects they support. If your client is feeling resentful about their current employer, it could be helpful to explore a misalignment in values.

Read more

Navigating a world without resumes
Client Side: Finding my way home – when your career leads the way
The thing we never talk about in career development

Values come up during interviews

It is not uncommon for an employer to ask a question about an applicant’s values. In some cases, the question can be as direct as, “What are your top three values and how do they show up at work?” or “How do your core values align with that of our company?” It could also be examined more indirectly through behavioural or situational questions.

As career practitioners, we may have to help our clients understand that knowing their values will have a positive impact on their career development. Their behaviours reflect their values and how they choose to live each day. It is also important for your client to recognize that they can’t live values that they can’t name.

Here are several steps to equip clients with the language, knowledge and insights to align their career path in a direction that will allow them to fully live their values and to avoid a disconnect with their career development:

Step 1: Explore resources
  • There are many free online self-assessments, like the Barret Value Centre’s “Personal Values Assessment,” that only take a few minutes and will provide your client with a report that could be used for a follow-up conversation.
  • Nishnaabeg author Leanne Simpson articulates seven values in her 2011 book, Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back: Stories of Nishnaabeg Re-Creation, Resurgence and a New Emergence (pp. 124–127). Kokum Dibaajimowinan, the grandmothers’ teachings around courage, truth, respect, love, honesty, wisdom and humility, are common values typically reflected in Indigenous teachings.
  • Provide your client with the list of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals as a framework to help them expand their current career aspirations. Candy Ho suggests questions such as, “Which of the SDGs do you think you can contribute to as you work in your chosen field, and how so?” This can help your client better connect their work aspiration to a bigger purpose.
Step 2: Encourage reflection

Ask your client to consider their top 3 values and discuss:

  • How has this value guided your career decision making?
  • How does this value align with the values of your current workplace or role?
  • If there is tension between your values and those of your workplace, what could you do next?
Step 3: Get practical

Once your client is more familiar with their values, you can support them to take practical steps to incorporate them into their career documents and planning. Consider:

  • How do your client’s values show up in their resume, cover letter or online profile? Provide support to your client to tweak and update their professional application package.
  • Who are the people in their network who embody these values? Encourage mentorship.

Ultimately, your clients will be happier when their value system aligns with their job (Forbes, 2020). It is also worth highlighting values might change over a lifetime. A young graduate might prioritize a job that will pay off student loans, while autonomy and creativity might be more important to someone in a later stage of their career. Ideally though, your client knows their values, because there is no stronger antidote to the “Great Careers Disconnect” than living our values.

Helena Prins (she/her) is a Certified Career Strategist with Career Professionals of Canada and is currently an advisor in Learning and Teaching with BCcampus.

Victoria Grant in a canoe.Careering

10 Questions with Victoria Grant

Victoria Grant, O.C., Maang Indoden, (Loon Clan), Teme-Augama Anishnabai Qway (Woman of the Deep-Water People), is a member of the Temagami First Nation.  

Currently, Grant is committed to the work and development of the Indigenous Peoples Resilience Fund, a new national fund that began as a response to COVID-19 in March 2020. The fund is led by Indigenous peoples to support Indigenous organizations and communities. 

Grant has always been a passionate advocate for a more robust Indigenous voice within the philanthropic world. She is especially proud of the Temagami Community Foundation, where she was co-founder and inaugural Chair, and her work with Community Foundations of Canada. Currently, she serves as a director on the board of The Counselling Foundation of Canada and is Chair of the Board for The Canadian Canoe Museum. 

In a sentence or two, describe why career development matters. 

The process of self-knowledge and exploration will help shape your career. Career development helps one identify their strengths and abilities, and to improve in those areas where one may need some support. Career development will help lead you to work that is fulfilling, while providing a lifeline.  

Which book are you reading right now and why did you choose it? 

I am reading Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles. I chose it because I read Amor’s novel A Gentleman in Moscow, which was a very good read.  

What was your first-ever job and what did you learn from it?  

My first-ever job was for a couple who owned a resort on Lake Temagami. I waited tables, cleaned cabins and helped in the kitchen. I certainly learned how to cook, but I think most importantly, I learned how to relate to people and engage in conversation.  

What do you do to relax and how does it help you? 

Being a spectator and having the opportunity to be present in my grandchildren’s activities makes whatever else I am doing workwise worthwhile. 

What is the one thing you wouldn’t be able to work without?  

In this time especially, access to the internet.  

What’s something you want to do in the next year that you’ve never done before? 

I think it would be fair to say that I am open to new adventures. I believe that events or opportunities will always come your way. It is a matter of being ready and seeing them when they are there in front of you.  

Who would you like to work with most and why? 

I am working with the people I would most like to work with right now. I could not have imagined that in this time and space, that I would be doing what I am doing with the people who are responsible for the creation of the Indigenous Peoples Resilience Fund.  

What is one piece of advice you have for people as we navigate these challenging times?   

Look after yourself, understand what you need and take the time to do it.  

Which talent or superpower would you like to have and how would you use it? 

I would like to have the superpower of creating time. I like to do so many different things, and I always run out of time. But I would want to get enjoyment, so not rushed.  

What do you consider your greatest achievement? 

My family. My husband, my three boys and their spouses, and my grandchildren. Nothing better!