“I Know I Can Because…” I Invested in Career Professionals of Canada
By Kamee Gilmore.
“I’m really happy I found CPC. I think that it’s going to be a real game-changer for my company going forward.” – Gabrielle Suttis
Recently, I was afforded the opportunity to once again collaborate with Maureen McCann as we headed Career Professionals of Canada’s 2nd annual Canada Career Month podcast. Following 2017’s podcast, in which we interviewed résumé experts all across Canada, Maureen and I were intent on exploring and revealing the value-add of CPC membership, particularly through the perspective and experience of those newest to the organization.
After some brainstorming and a bit of research, we sourced and selected seven of CPC’s newest members, all of whom had one year or less of membership experience. With interviewees spanning various professional backgrounds and geographical locations, we literally conducted our interviews from coast-to-coast!
While contacting potential candidates to inform them of this year’s topic of discussion, it was evident that all were eager to be involved; each keen to share their viewpoints on the value and benefits of CPC membership. Later, as we listened to their thoughtful observations during the project’s recording phase, it was clear that all seven new members shared a strong feeling of “I Know I Can Because…” due, in large part, to their association with CPC.
Interestingly, our seven interviewees’ comments fell into four categories:
Community, Confidence, Connection, and Credibility
Each participant revealed that joining CPC has provided them with a strong sense of community and belonging.
“I finally feel like I belong to something important.” – Sandie Seymour
An exclusively Canadian association, Career Professionals of Canada is comprised of hundreds of members spanning all provinces and territories and bringing a rich mix of talents, skills, and expertise. With this diverse talent pool, one of the most widely recognized features of the organization is its collaborative and responsive community – a community where members are readily available to offer advice, support, and guidance – all in the interest of empowering one another within the arena of career development services.
“At CPC, there’s a collaboration-over-competition vibe – the great thing about the CPC community is realizing there is a place for everybody.” – Ali Breen
CPC’s unlimited opportunities to expand knowledge, skills, and expertise helps foster confidence, enabling individuals to self-assuredly embrace the role of a qualified career practitioner.
“The confidence I have gained from the training I have taken has been so valuable for me and for my clients. Having had my membership for 5 months so far, CPC is doing a really great job of helping me towards my goals.” – Lena Stewart
A common challenge among many new independent practitioners appears to be a lack of confidence. Case-in-point: one interviewee, despite having several years’ industry-related experience, expressed her struggle with a phenomenon called “Impostor Syndrome.” This is a common issue among practitioners, particularly those at the start of their entrepreneurial career path. In joining a professional organization such as CPC, members are able to surround themselves with like-minded individuals, engage in a selection of training programs, and partake in group discussions/tele-networking seminars – all sure-fire ways to rapidly build competence and confidence as a career expert.
The various platforms, directories, programs, and events offered by CPC make it possible to connect and network with other professionals. The many channels available for members to connect also makes it easy to align practitioners with prospective clients from all across Canada.
“I was starting from scratch when it came to connections within the profession. CPC has really helped me nurture relationships and network within the career development industry itself.” – Lena Stewart
Interviewees emphasized the profound impact that CPC’s networking channels and platforms have had on their professional and business development. Being virtually connected to hundreds of industry professionals with wide-ranging experience levels and backgrounds presents a distinct advantage: the ability to instantly access information, acquire resources, and seek advice from professionals on a local and national level. Just log onto CPC’s Facebook Group at any given moment and you will be met with a continuous flow of dialogue between members. As Ali Breen states in her interview, “The [CPC] Facebook Group is like our ‘watercooler’ in private practice.”
“CPC has a lot to offer. Members are very knowledgeable and very willing to share their expertise. Of all the groups that I’m involved in, CPC is the group that has helped me with my core business.” – Michelle Precourt
A lesser-known membership benefit is the fact that prospective clients can also access CPC’s online member directory to help research and retain a qualified career professional. In fact, many of our interviewees expressed surprise and elation when their very first client approached them after discovering their profile on CPC’s member directory. With affordable annual membership fees, this feature alone can provide an immediate and full return on investment.
“It was so exciting! My very first client found me and contacted me through the directory. She sent me an email directly and asked if I would help her out.” – Gabrielle Suttis
In addition to belonging to one of Canada’s most widely recognized and reputable associations, members are presented with a vast array of professional development, certification, and award opportunities to leverage professional validity, recognition, and credibility.
“CPC offers not just the mandatory courses required for certification, but a robust curriculum. I’ve spent 15 years of my career in the learning and development profession, leading a team of e-learning designers and developers, so I can say with confidence that all of CPC’s courses are well designed; they are engaging and, most importantly, they follow adult learning principles.” – Barbara Wilson
Some of the greatest aspects of CPC’s expansive list of career development training programs and certification courses are ease of use, accessibility, and affordability. Courses are self-directed and designed to facilitate learning with work-life balance in mind. Interviewees who have already taken some of CPC’s training programs indicated that enrolment was easy and that courses were flexible enough to accommodate work schedules and personal commitments.
“I learned things I have never done before in terms of employment interview strategies. I earned the designation that I really need and took the first steps in career coaching. There are other designations, so I can put my hands-on experience into something systematic.” – Ying Zhang
CPC’s Awards of Excellence program is open to members of all levels and backgrounds, regardless of education or experience. The AOE program provides an exclusive and equal opportunity for members to raise their professional profile and credibility.
“Awards benefit all Canadians because it raises the profile of the importance and validity of career development in the everyday life of people in our country. It raises our profile as professionals and I think that is really, really important as we move into the future of work.” – Ali Breen
Having been a member for less than 3 years myself, I can relate to and agree with what each of our podcast contributors had to say. It wasn’t until I joined CPC that I became fully aware of the professional and business growth opportunities available to me as a career expert. Without a doubt, CPC has been the driving force behind my success. My only regret about investing in CPC is that I did not do it sooner!