A Year in Reflection

Just over a year ago, I jumped into the excited and challenging field of employment counselling. Although, I went to school to learn about the different Career Practitioner theories, ethics in this industry and how to write a resume, I had no idea just how steep the learning curve would be in the rapidly expanding Skills Connect program.

After some intense training and inheriting a (at the time, seemingly large) caseload of nearly 50 new clients, I was eager to “help” others. But what exactly did that mean? Firstly, I had to learn about the countless regulatory bodies, so I could offer both assistance and guidance to our new comers.  Next, I had to expand my knowledge of local community resource additional agencies to refer clients to.

Over the past year, I have expanded my knowledge of the true multicultural make-up of our local community.  I have met some doctors, lawyers, nurses, teachers, salespeople, IT professional, etc, and I have learned a great deal not only about their profession, but also about their personal stories of migration.  My clients often explain what motivated them to make the exciting and challenging move to their new home, Canada. Above all, their reason always boils down to the same thing, they want, “a better life.”  With that in mind, every employment counsellor should understand the responsibility that goes with this profession. We have the ability to greatly impact the lives of people everyday, just as much as each client will impact our lives.   With that in mind, I’d like to reflect on some of the many rewards in this profession:

  • Meeting people from India, China, the Philippines, Mexico, Africa, Iraq, Malaysia, Taiwan all who are eager to get back into their pre-landing occupation.
  • Listening to someone who is frustrated and confused about the job search in Canada, but by the end of our meeting they walk out of the office with new hope and confidence.
  • When a client truly understands and hearing how they are applying the tools they have learnt in the workshops to their job search.
  • Hearing how much they are learning and all the new people they are meeting as a volunteer
  • When a client says, “I’ve passed my exam!”
  • Connecting clients with working professionals in their own industry, so the clients can network and learn how the local professionals got to where they are today.
  • In as little as a month, or some in several months, hearing a client say, “I got a job!” for the first time.
  • Closing a client’s file and hearing them client say, “Thank you for all of your help.”

Just as many clients are inspired after reading the quote on my desk, I hope Calvin Coolidge’s words act as motivation and inspiration to you:

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”