Reflection on Canada Career Month’s Theme – “I Know I Can Because…”

By Stephanie Clark.

Browsing through the Canada Career Month 2018 website led me to reflect on this year’s theme, “I Know I Can Because…”

It is an optimistic phrase and so fitting for an event that focuses on the breadth and depth of skills found in our Canadian workforce.

It seems to me that when we are young, we are encouraged to say, “yes I can.” But when we become adults, we are besieged by seemingly realistic reasons as to why we cannot.

If we share our hopes and dreams, often well-meaning, but perhaps ill-informed friends, family, and colleagues seem compelled to remind us of our limitations.

In the case of career management, these reminders might sound like this:

  • “But you didn’t finish your degree and all companies want those degrees, you know.”
  • “Do you remember whose couch you camped out on last time you quit without a new job to go to?”
  • “You don’t actually believe those ‘blue sky’ dreamers who claim you can have a job you love, do you?”

Oh yes, “good advice” abounds when it comes to career management.

There is some truth to these comments, as negative as they sound. The truth lies in the fact that to be able to reply “I know I can because…” requires more than hope and daydreams: it requires strategic planning, realistic preparation, and sometimes, working with a professional.

The “blue sky” dreamers who think they can simply because they want to often give career changes of any sort a bad name.

Of course one cannot become a doctor without credentials, so why would someone think that he or she can become a career development professional, perhaps, without credentials?

Or a project manager or purchaser or administrative assistant or help desk coordinator, or any number of positions?

In order to confidently proclaim “I know I can because…” you must review the end goal with critical eyes. Ask advice of – not friends – but those who hold the coveted job. Seek insights from professionals who have worked with those brave souls who preceded you in making career changes. Realism plays an undeniable role in the successful achievement of lofty goals and dreams.

Thus, we as career professionals can offer that realistic voice while simultaneously supporting our client’s dream by creating a path to its achievement. Sometimes it’s as easy as composing a strategic résumé. And other times it involves identifying a multi-year path that meanders through re-education, mentoring, networking, and job shadowing. Such a path requires tremendous dedication and stick-to-it-iveness.

I have my own story to share. I wanted to be a writer, but desire alone did not make me one. Nor did talent alone. I enrolled in a university class to see if I had what it takes, for real. With strong encouragement from the professor, who wrote “You’ve got an instinct for this,” I then enrolled in a Business Writing Certificate through I stumbled onto Career Professionals of Canada and achieved first my Certified Résumé Strategist (CRS), then the Certified Interview Strategist (CIS) and Certified Career Strategist (CCS) designations. I now hold master-level certifications in each of these disciplines through CPC.

Deep down, I knew I could achieve my goal, but I also knew that if I wanted to succeed in a timely manner and provide clients with top-quality service, I had to listen to that realistic voice of reason and follow a strategic plan.

I knew I could; how about you? How do you complete the declaration, “I know I can because…”?

Image by Jack Moreh on

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I know I can become a better version of who I am

Hi Vaughn,

Yes, I am on that path too. It’s curious that I noted your comment just as I prep to speak to a personal coach! Serendipity at play. Thank you for your comment, Vaughn!