Meet CPC Member Carrie Wakeford
by Cathy Milton
Career Professionals of Canada, Board Member
Carrie Wakeford is never short of tasks to keep her busy. She is actively involved in not just one, not two, but three separate endeavors, all of which she thoroughly enjoys.
Carrie has been wise enough, and fortunate enough, to be able to identify the kind of work she really loves and create a career around that work.
First, there is her company, LearnCache. The LearnCache site offers two résumé writing courses developed by Carrie; one course for people just starting out in their careers and a second course for the seasoned worker. The site also offers a free course to help people determine if online learning is a good fit for them. These courses were designed with the individual job seeker in mind, but they can also be used by counsellors or agencies to complement the work they do with their clients. Carrie is currently developing an online Career Exploration course.
Second, Carrie is the owner and principal of Wakeford & Associates where she provides services as a consultant. Those services include designing customized training for organizations (delivered both face-to-face to groups, or online) as well as providing outplacement services and individual career counselling.
Carrie’s third line of work is with her husband in his web design business, www.blackcapdesign.com. Her role includes writing content for clients, and setting up blogs and social media accounts.
Carrie started her career working as an advocate, case manager, and workshop facilitator for individuals with disabilities. Part of the job included setting up and supporting work placements for her clients. In 1991, she was hired as a Job Finding Club Facilitator with Ontario March of Dimes.
From there, Carrie, along with a partner, co-founded a business called Vocational Visions which offered job search programs, individual counselling, and case management services. Vocational Visions, via a team that Carrie trained and supported, also delivered services that were part of the Ontario Self-Employment Benefit program. These services included the screening of participant’s business plans, on-going business mentoring, and developing and offering relevant workshops.
The next step in Carrie’s ever-evolving work life was to start up her current business, Wakeford & Associates, in 2004. The most personally rewarding elements of what Carrie does were combined in the offerings of her new company; developing and delivering training programs designed to support people through career transitions.
When asked about a standout career success, Carrie has great memories about an online customer service course that she developed specifically for new Canadians. The course material was a lot of fun to write and develop, but the real satisfaction came when Carrie received enthusiastically positive feedback both from the client and all of the course participants.
Carrie discovered Career Professionals of Canada through LinkedIn Groups. She followed CPC for several months, and, deciding she really liked what she saw, became a member. She enjoys CPC’s LinkedIn Group and the Career Club because there is so much great information shared by members. Carrie also looks forward to the monthly CPC tele-networking sessions with their focus on a relevant topic.
In order to keep her skills current, Carrie is committed to ongoing learning and is thankful for the extent to which CPC addresses this goal. She likens CPC to having a personal research team which is skilled at sifting through vast amounts of data, but then selecting and posting only the most relevant information. She also attends conferences when she can, such as Cannexus 13, which was held in Ottawa this past January. Reading is also a big part of Carrie’s ongoing skills development commitment.
On a personal note, Carrie observes that when people first meet her they may make the mistake of thinking that she is fairly conservative. However, close friends know better. They know Carrie to be a calculated risk-taker. She recalls a canoeing trip taken with friends that provided quite a few physical and emotional challenges, including portaging around rapids in the dark and paddling down the river with flashlights. What Carrie learned from the experience is that people possess different levels of risk tolerance, which must be respected. As much as Carrie is a planner and organizer, she acknowledges that situations can arise that are completely out of your control, so you must be able to adapt quickly. She recognizes the value in ‘travelling’, communicating, and making decisions as team, especially in stressful situations. Finally, she says, even though things may not go as planned, you can’t let it stop you from trying again.
Carrie provides a great analogy in terms of offering advice to new career professionals. She says, “Imagine yourself standing behind a buffet. Your job is to describe the options to the “customer”; giving them the information they need to make the best choices for their current needs, interests, and preferences.”
In closing, Carrie shares her favorite work-related quote:
“If you do what you’ve always done, you get what you’ve always got.”
Clearly Carrie has taken this quote to heart as she continues to develop and stretch her own skills as a career practitioner.
Carrie can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 705-745-1607.
Cathy Milton is a CPC board member who loves to write; fiction, non-fiction, and, of course, résumés. She is currently working towards a Certified Résumé Strategist designation, and, in the meantime, enjoys pursuing several volunteer activities with CPC. Cathy lives in a 77-year old log cabin on a lake in the Kawartha Lakes region of Ontario with her husband, three dogs, and one rescue cat named Lucky.