Meet CPC Member Amy Knapp

By Cathy Milton.

Amy Knapp is in the ideal line of work for her personality. Amy is energetic, optimistic, and welcomes challenges of all kinds – especially those that advance her personal growth.

Amy Knapp-headshotAmy works at Lanark County Social Services as an Employment Transition Worker. Lanark County is a beautiful part of Ontario, located about 80 km to the southwest of downtown Ottawa.

In her role, Amy supports individuals who are participants in the Ontario Works program. Ontario Works is a government program that provides income and employment assistance for people who are in financial need. Amy’s role is to connect clients with training opportunities, schooling, and other employment-related benefits. By providing this support, Amy helps clients move forward by building their existing skill sets, and ultimately increasing their employability.

Amy has worked in the employment field for approximately 12 years. She came into the field through networking, has never really left, and is very glad she stayed.

When asked what aspect she finds most rewarding about her work, Amy believes that it’s hard to pinpoint just one thing. There are multiple rewarding facets. In general, she says that employment support work is very uplifting and encouraging.

When she begins working with a client, Amy often observes that they short-change themselves in describing what they have to offer. She thrives on watching her clients transition, sometimes from a place of despair and doubt, to a place where they are confident about themselves and their skills. It’s so rewarding to watch their eyes light up when they truly give themselves permission to be proud of their accomplishments. There is no doubt just how much joy Amy takes from helping and empowering her clients as they move through this change.

Amy’s optimistic attitude shines through when asked if she has a particular career success story she’d like to share. She says enjoys ‘success’ every day; some may be considered big successes, but she gets just as much pleasure out of the small successes, too. “It all depends on your perspective,” Amy says. “It’s just about moving forward every day, learning something new, and seeing the accomplishments in the smallest things.”

When it comes to the question of keeping her skills current, Amy is acutely aware of just how important that is. As someone on the front line in the field of employment, she understands better than most that the labour market is extremely competitive and that all practitioners should be proactive in pursuing opportunities for personal and professional growth. Personally, Amy is constantly on the lookout for ways to increase her skill base and employability.

Her best advice for new career professionals is to connect with other professionals. “Go to the CPC website and use all of the tools that are so readily available to members. Network and take advantage of the online features. It’s the best way to find your compass and begin moving forward.”

As to how Amy came to be a CPC member, she recalls that she was researching training that would enhance her skills and formal education, while providing a particular focus on resume writing. Through that research, she found CPC, was attracted by the availability of resume certification, and decided to pursue membership and accreditation.

What Amy enjoys most about being a CPC member is the information sharing between members. For a new member, or someone contemplating other professional avenues, it’s wonderful to be able to ask questions and learn about other people’s experiences.

As evidence of Amy’s willingness to challenge herself, she tells a story of the time she began working straight out of university. She was a quiet and shy person who avoided any situation that required public speaking. However, when approached by a team leader to take Life Skills Facilitator training, she was really determined to push herself outside of her comfort zone. She accepted the opportunity. Amy acknowledges that that training was the best thing she has ever pushed herself to do. “I learned so much about myself, but the piece that caught me most off guard was that I really enjoyed facilitation and engaging others. Facilitation has been a part of my job ever since!”

Amy’s favorite quote is one attributed to William W. Purkey: “Work like you don’t need the money, love like you’ve never been hurt, dance like nobody’s watching…” Amy interprets it to mean work to enjoy the work itself, truly love the work you do fully, and be passionate about whatever you choose to do…For Amy, that’s exactly what she has been able to do.

AdvisoryBoardCMCathy 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.

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