Review… Career Development Practice in Canada


By Sharon Graham.

Career Development Practice in Canada: Perspectives, Principles, and Professionalism is an essential resource for career development professionals. This uniquely Canadian textbook, published by CERIC, is a comprehensive single-source reference for career practitioners.

Built on the guiding principles outlined in the Canadian Standards and Guidelines for Career Development Practitioners, this book provides a broad foundational overview of the field. Using several concrete examples, it emphasizes the application of best practices.

Designed primarily as a learning tool for students and a resource for educators, the book discusses theories, models, practices, and issues relevant to the work environment. Each of the 22 chapters includes an orientation, learning objectives, stop-and-reflect moments, learning piece, discussion activities, supplementary resources, and a glossary of terms. At over 600 pages, it is an intensive – but necessary – read for any practitioner who is serious about acquiring sophisticated knowledge of career development in Canada.

This book takes the reader on a journey through the past, present, and future of career development in Canada. Contributors to this publication are well-respected thought leaders in the field. As practitioners, we learn the fundamentals on which our services and practices are built.

Section 1- Development of the Profession

The first section of the book provides an in depth historical perspective of the development of our field from a distinctly Canadian point of view. We learn about the emergence of career development in both English Canada and Québec. Many of the exciting and significant innovations discussed have influenced the development of our field.

Section 2- Basic Conceptual Frameworks

This section expertly ties career development to economic development addressing the collision of labour force megatrends – the great recession, up-skilling of jobs, and the unprepared workforce. With a sensitivity to our multicultural environment, diversity and social justice are covered from many perspectives. Two in-depth case studies provide concrete application to addressing and resolving ethical dilemmas that we encounter. A wide range of theories and models are explored, focusing both on our professional practice and our effectiveness as practitioners.

Section 3- Nuts and Bolts of Career Development

This section of the book outlines seven tangible competencies that we require in order to develop effective client-practitioner relationships. It emphasizes that career planning is a dynamic process and that we must prepare clients to manage career decisions throughout all stages of their career journey. We are reminded that labour market information, occupational requirements, and many other aspects of career planning are constantly changing. For this reason, it is crucial that we stay current.

Section 4- Working with Diversity

The section on diversity is robust. In addition to covering barriers and challenges related to poverty, it homes in on specific hardships and challenges that immigrants, refugees, and aboriginal peoples need to address. The book highlights the increasing diversity of employees in the workplace. Although many of these marginalized groups share similar challenges, we must be sensitive to differences as well.

Section 5- Navigating Developmental Tasks and Pathways

In this section, we are reminded that developmental tasks and pathways are crucial to ongoing career success. We must emphasize lifelong career management – a process that begins in elementary school and continues through the postsecondary years and beyond. In order to make the best possible career choices, students need a strong foundation of learning, self-awareness, career exploration, work search, and transition skills. For this reason, the book recommends that career development of students should be a major mission of all schools.

Section 6- Specialties in the Profession

This section focuses on three specialities which we can apply in our work. A discussion on Assessment in Career Guidance covers ethical principles and responsible application of all career assessment instruments, whether formal or informal. Proper and thorough assessment gives clients the best possible chance of career success. Career Cycles is a narrative approach we can use to position clients as experts in their own career and life choices. Through Community Capacity Building, we are encouraged to help to reorient clients to a more hopeful and empowered vision of themselves and the future. We are also reminded of the specializations outlined in the Canadian Standards and Guidelines for Career Development Practitioners – assessment, facilitating learning, career counselling, information management, work development, and building community capacity.

Section 7- Directions and Trends

The book closes with a discussion of two of the most pressing issues in our field – the accountability of career practitioners and the efficacy of career services. This final section homes in on new directions and emerging trends as we professionalize the field of career development. It proposes an approach where we infuse evaluation into our day-to-day practices. As evidence is built we will more adequately demonstrate the value of career services.

CareerDevelopment PracticeCareer Development Practice in Canada: Perspectives, Principles, and Professionalism is the definitive resource for anyone who might be interested in exploring the field. A solid reference for curriculum and training, the text combines advanced concepts and scholarly research with realistic examples that challenge practitioners to stretch their skills, abilities, and services. Any practitioner – new or advanced—seeking to further their knowledge of career development in Canada will benefit from the book.

Sharon Graham is CANADA’S CAREER STRATEGIST and author of the top-selling BEST CANADIAN RESUMES SERIES. Founder and executive director of CAREER PROFESSIONALS OF CANADA, Sharon is committed to setting the standard for excellence in the industry. A leading authority on resume, interview, employment and career transition, Sharon provides career practitioners with tools and resources to enable them to provide exemplary services to Canadians.

Career Development Practice in Canada: Perspectives, Principles, and Professionalism | Blythe C. Shepard and Priya S. Mani | Publisher: CERIC (Jan. 2 2014) | ISBN-13: 978-0981165233 607 pages | Paperback $48.00 CAD | eBook $27.99 CAD | Purchase

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