New to the Career Development Profession? Welcome!


By Maureen McCann.

Recently, a new career professional reached out to me after one of my LinkedIn blog posts caught his attention. He had some questions for me related to starting out on the path to joining the career development profession. Our exchange may be helpful and of interest to others in the same situation.

New Career Professional:

If you have time, I would love to hear more about Career Professionals of Canada. I have been considering a few avenues for additional education, including this organization, and I’m also thinking about getting a CHRP designation. Do you know how much CPC membership costs? And could you please tell me how it benefited you when you started out doing the work of helping people search for employment?


I’ve been a member of CPC for 10+ years. I sit on the advisory board and teach a number of CPC courses. I don’t know where I’d be if it wasn’t for CPC. It is an organization dedicated to helping support career professionals across Canada by sharing best practices. I could go on and on about how beneficial my membership and participation has been.

I believe that you are currently working for one of CPC’s “Group Members,” and so you qualify for a reduced rate for your membership fee – $150 annually. There are tons of resources and certifications to consider. I’m happy to chat sometime or introduce you to the Executive Director, Sharon Graham, so she can answer some of your questions.

New Career Professional:

Thanks. I am hearing that soon this will be a regulated profession, but there seem to be so many bodies looking to be the “regulator,” and I have no idea which one I should go through.


Let me point you to a few resources to help clarify the current situation in our profession.

CPC has put together a list of associations and other relevant resources for your consideration.

If I were you, I’d have a look at the Canadian Council for Career Development (a national organization) to get a better “lay of the land” before you decide to invest in any organization. Then take a look at your provincial organization, Career Development Practitioners Certification Board of Ontario (CDPCBO), as well.

Until you’re ready to invest, come spend some time at the CPC Facebook Group. You’ll see the value of community found there. It’s free and it’s not just CPC members who participate. There are lots of people who are in the same position as you – just checking things out.

A few days later, the new career pro wrote again.

New Career Professional:

I appreciate the invite to the CPC Facebook Group. I joined and I like what I see so far. I really hope to make it on my own as an independent career professional.


When I first started out, I volunteered with a career organization, got a job at a non-profit, and then built my business, ProMotion Career Solutions, as a side-hustle. That was 2006/7. You can do it, you’ll see. Have faith. Others have done it and you can, too. There are tons of independent career professionals in CPC and on the FB Group. We can all help so don’t be shy to ask questions.

New Career Professional:

I have been trying to figure out where to start. I try to do a bit of advertising on LinkedIn through my profile, but I get the feeling I’m not hitting the right people. I have also seen fees ranging between $100 – 1000.


I started with a business plan. Most one-page business plan templates you find online will do. Then ask yourself:

  • Who are my clients?
  • What am I offering?
  • What value will they (my clients) get in exchange?

You can’t go wrong if you start there.

A few months ago, I wrote an article about pricing résumé writing services that you may find helpful.

Good luck to you! I wish you all the best.

New Career Professional:

All the information you have given has been great! I really appreciate the time and effort you put into helping me. I love the Facebook Group, as it seems very open. If this leads me to start my own business I really think that I have you to thank for putting me miles ahead!

If you’re new to the career professional community, please don’t be shy! We are a welcoming group of helpful professionals, and we’ll be happy to help answer any of your questions.

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