This Canada Career Month, Let’s Talk About Career Growth and Meaning

Career Development Tree

By Lori Jazvac.

Every November during Canada Career Month, we celebrate the importance of helping jobseekers access meaningful work. We are reminded how career development enables growth, purpose, and builds stronger communities. Work impacts every aspect of our lives.

As career professionals, we are motivated to provide our clients with high-level expertise and innovative career resources and tools. But, we also listen to our clients for what lies beyond their words. Sometimes career journeys are filled with triumphs and other times our clients face turbulent challenges: being downsized, facing a major career transition, feeling misplaced in the ever-changing workplace, confronting ageism, lacking balance between work and life, and/or being ignored or bullied on the job.

These issues touch everyone at one time or another. Ironically, we can learn a great deal not only from our triumphs but also through the school of hard knocks. Hopefully, we discover our tenacity and ability to bounce back with zest and enthusiasm, ready to drive change and innovation.

We can help our clients tap into their subconscious to access answers to their problems. The answers are there, but often lie dormant. We can assist by uncovering the essence of their career triumphs and challenges, while asking thought-provoking career-related questions to get to the heart of the problem.

Recently, I conducted a coaching session with a client that involved setting clear, measurable goals and taking stock of his career assets and values. Team collaboration, freedom, and flexibility have been — and continue to be — key recurring themes throughout his career. However, the need for growth and meaning stood out the most. Our session caused me to ponder the significance of growth and meaning — these two core themes and values that resonate with so many professionals.

Viktor Frankl, an Austrian psychiatrist and psychotherapist who developed the psychological approach, Logotherapy, suggested that an individual’s primary motivation is the search for meaning in life. Frankl believed that we can discover meaning in life in three different ways: 1) by creating a work or doing a deed, 2) by experiencing something or encountering someone, and 3) by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering.

For Career Satisfaction, Cultivate a Career Tree of Growth and Meaning

After the coaching session, I began to carve out my vision of a “Career Tree” that symbolizes growth, with each branch representing different values that foster grounding, meaning, and ultimately, career fulfillment. This Career Tree symbolizes the key areas that, when all are present, contribute to career satisfaction. When one component or branch is broken or misaligned, it can impact the others.

While I believe no Career Tree is perfect, we can use this model to conduct self-reflection and evaluation of all the different branches so that we’re better equipped to understand the impact they have on our career development. Career development is an integral part of growth, and continuous improvement involves identifying the fundamental value-driven areas that make up our own Career Tree.

It’s so crucial to stop, look, and listen to our inner voice and ask ourselves: “What do I have now in my career, and what do I need in the future to keep fuelling my vision and mission? And does that vision and mission need to be refined?”

To develop and understand your client’s Career Tree, consider asking these questions to stimulate discussion and reflection:

  • What values matter to you concerning your career?
  • What beliefs do you have that are having a positive impact on your career growth?
  • Where do you see successes? Where do you see career branches that need development?
  • On a scale of 1 to 5, how does your career weigh in on each of the branches?
  • What are possible strategies for enhancing the growth of your Career Tree?
  • What subconscious or self-limiting beliefs or patterns may be hindering your career growth?
  • How can you reframe the self-limiting beliefs in an empowering way that would serve your highest positive intention?

The Key to Success: Adopting a Proactive Mindset and Reframing Perspectives

I coach clients from a holistic perspective, encouraging them to be active creators of their brand and their career story, while also championing them to create opportunities that align with their passion, purpose, goals, and core values. I remind clients that, in order to enable change, it’s necessary to embrace a new mindset.

You can guide your clients to become more proactive in their career growth.

Motivate them to reframe their perspective by asking themselves “How can I?” questions that will drive accountability for their career development:

  • How can I create opportunities for finding work that is satisfying, meaningful, and fuels my true purpose?
  • How can I leverage my unique value to make a positive difference?
  • How can I drive my values, purpose, vision, and mission within the organization?
  • How can I promote a more collaborative, empowering organizational culture?
  • How can I find work that compensates me equitably for my contributions and the value I deliver?
  • How can I build harmonious connections within the organization and encourage innovative problem solving?
  • How can I access rewarding training and development opportunities that will facilitate advancement while also increasing marketable skills?
  • How can I contribute to spearheading growth, creativity, and innovation while adopting interesting challenges and new ideas?
  • How can I cultivate a harmonious work-life balance that allows me to have a meaningful, well-rounded life?

This Canada Career Month, and beyond, let’s help our clients to reshape their career narratives with a proactive and inspiring mindset that will help to transform obstacles into opportunities for growth and meaning. Let’s dive deeper to tackle the career issues and challenges that really matter while being grateful for the opportunity to deliver tangible value to our clients and the labour market — not just locally, but globally. Let’s continue the valuable work of cultivating meaningful Career Trees for our clients.

Lori A. Jazvac is a passionate, award-winning Master Certified Résumé Strategist and Certified Employment Strategist through Career Professionals of Canada. As a multi-certified Master Résumé Writer and Certified Career Transition Coach, she specializes in helping clients navigate challenging career transitions. In 2013, an empowering vision inspired Lori to launch Creative Horizons Communications, a holistic career services firm where she virtually supports jobseekers around the globe to embrace their next career milestone. In her spare time, Lori enjoys dance, blogging, watching comedies and reality shows, yoga, and taking long walks in nature.

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