Canadian Resources for Career Development Practitioners

By Natalie MacLellan.

Resources for Career Development Practitioners

Whether you are new to the field or have been around for years, a good practitioner realizes it’s not possible to know it all. What you do need to know is where to find the answers when you need them.

The following report is by no means an exhaustive guide to the resources available. To be more immediately useful to the reader, it includes almost exclusively online resources. In addition, as no report could hope to list everything, I have divided research into broad categories and tried to include a sample of either the most popular or my favourite resources in each category.

Professional Associations

The most obvious and potentially most valuable resources are your provincial and national associations, such as Career Professionals of Canada. If you are a practicing professional, membership benefits are well worth the annual fee.

The national organization that oversees provincial associations in Canada is the Canadian Council for Career Development or 3CD. Sample resources available on their website include templates for press releases, advocacy letters, by-laws, and governance.

Provincial associations include:

Government & Not-For-Profit

Beyond regional professional associations, where else can you find valuable career development resources? There are numerous government and not-for-profit organizations working to advance the practice of Career Development. Google will find hundreds, but here are just a few:

CERIC

The Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC) is a charitable organization dedicated to advancing education and research in career counselling and career development to increase the economic and social well-being of Canadians. CERIC hosts the annual Cannexus conference, Canada’s largest bilingual career development conference. They publish the country’s only peer-reviewed career development journal, The Canadian Journal of Career Development. They also run the ContactPoint / OrientAction online communities, which provide free learning and networking for career practitioners. The CERIC website includes a host of valuable, well-organized resources: surveys, literature searches, publications, and a researchers’ database.

CCDF

The Canadian Career Development Foundation (CCDF) works to advance career services and increase the capacity of professionals to respond to clients and stakeholders with empathy and skill. Their website offers publications for free download or purchase, training manuals (predominantly for working with youth), and also funding programs for projects that meet the organization’s mandate. Since 1997, CCDF has awarded the Stu Conger Award for Leadership to individuals nominated by peers for leadership contributions to the field.

Government Resources

Service Canada provides tools and resources to help evaluate skills and interests, prepare a career plan, and manage your career development.

Statistics Canada is a fabulous source for employment statistics in general.

Services for Youth includes youth-focused career development applications, with articles and resources to help youth identify their interests, explore jobs and career paths, and look into international work experiences, among just a few options.

Provincial governments all provide some degree of resources on career development, often connected to their public service career page. I could list all, but instead will include Nova Scotia’s new career page. There has been a recent push within that province’s public service to provide more holistic career planning and counselling services to public servants, and this developing website is one of the outcomes.

Colleges and Universities

Most college and universities have career centres that offer counselling and resources to graduates and alumni. They frequently also provide online resources such as writing guides, interview tips, resume samples, and more. While these may be relevant to working with any client, they can be especially helpful if you are not accustomed to working with students or recent graduates. For example, I frequently go back to Dalhousie University’s resume samples when working with students, which can give me some helpful ideas when faced with “writer’s block.”

The University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo also have extensive online resource sections, and aren’t hiding their best stuff behind passwords.

I’ve also been particularly impressed by the University of Michigan’s Career Development site. (Note: I am always a little wary of using American resources, rather than Canadian ones; however, for the most part, our economies are similar enough that quizzes or career profiles will work for either country. I also work with approximately 20% American clientele. I do suggest reviewing everything first, of course, to be sure statistics are not too heavily American or possibly alienating to a Canadian client.)

Special Cases: Clients with disabilities

The Council of Canadians with Disabilities is a wealth of information on the challenges facing people with disabilities entering and remaining in the workplace, and strategies and programs available to help. They also share media articles related to ongoing policy and advocacy work regarding persons with disabilities in the workplace.

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) offers funding to help people with disabilities prepare for, obtain, and maintain employment or self-employment. The Opportunities Fund helps organizations provide employment options.

Special Cases: Clients who have immigrated to Canada

Canadian Immigrant is an online and print resource for Canadian immigrants designed to help them settle in Canada. Along with the online site, the Canadian Immigrant magazine is a monthly publication distributed in Vancouver, Toronto, and Calgary. Both provide career-related resources for people planning to come to Canada and those already here.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada also provides resources to help you help immigrant clients navigate the Canadian job market.

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