Let’s Promote the Value of Career Development


As career professionals, we know the significance of career development. Properly applied, it enables our clients to make informed educational, occupational, and employment choices. However, most Canadians do not know what “career development” is. They don’t realize that there are benefits to creating and managing their own careers. For this reason, they often do not engage in the process, nor even realize that they should.

Why We Engage Our Clients in Career Development

As career coaches, consultants, trainers, and counsellors, we have something in common. We are part of an outstanding support system for Canadians. By helping individuals, we are not only enabling them to attain meaningful careers; we are enhancing their ability to become productive, contributing members of society. More than this, we are doing our part to enrich our culture, eliminate poverty, improve our economy, and enhance our global competitiveness. We have a profound impact on Canada’s labour market.

We are in the midst of deep-rooted concerns about the immediate and long-term career prospects of individuals across our nation. Clients encounter challenges in all stages of their career and life:

  • Early-career: Young people need to make informed career decisions which affect them through their lifetime.
  • Mid-career: Experienced workers must realize and appreciate that they also need to manage their evolving career path.
  • Late-career: Those who have experienced a lengthy career are not often prepared for the next steps in their life and work.

Career development is not a one-time event. Rather, it is linked with every aspect of our clients’ lives – from birth on. Career development applies to everyone at every age and stage in life. It takes a “whole person” approach so that our clients can effectively:

  • Determine a career path: Prepare for the “world of work” and plan a “vocation.”
  • Complete a career transition: Complete a “career change” or “job change.”
  • Ensure career management: Focus on employability throughout their “work life.”

Facilitated career development enables our clients to develop a sense of meaning and purpose in their lives. By raising awareness about how lifelong learning complements and enhances one’s employment journey, we create better outcomes for our clients. Moreover, by instituting an understanding of the deliberate practice of career development, we are enabling our clients to have a lifetime of meaningful work.

Communicating the Career Development Message to Our Clients

Career Professionals of Canada has devised a working definition of Career Development that you can share with your clients: Career development is a proactive approach you take to create the work and life you desire. It is much more than getting a job. It is a lifelong process of learning and growing. Career development enables you to make informed educational, occupational, and employment choices. It is an ongoing process that you embark on to ensure meaningful work throughout your life.”

You can also share CPC’s Career Development Model with your clients. Through a formal process of self-assessment, research and discovery, goal setting, and performing, you can enable your clients to create the work and life they desire:

  • When you know your value you gain confidence.
  • When you explore your options you can make informed choices.
  • When you plan your actions you can set reachable goals.
  • When you create your future you are in control of your life and work.

Here are some discussion topics for you to start conversations with your clients:

  • You can attain joy and satisfaction from proactively creating a career that is fulfilling.
  • A career is much more than a paycheque if you love what you do.
  • It is possible to create and manage every stage of your life.
  • You can choose to do the work you love.
  • Work does not need to be meaningless if you focus on your passion.
  • When you are prepared and self-aware, you can make knowledgeable career decisions.
  • Life is a journey; things evolve and change organically and you can adapt.
  • Every decision you make and every step you take drives your career and life.
  • Maintain a good support system so you can survive and thrive during changes in your career and life.

As practitioners, we help people to make tough decisions, work out conflicts, and get through times of crisis. Once clients understand that their career is an integral component of their life, they can assume autonomous responsibility of their own career development. Such a careerpreneurial attitude positions our clients well for their future.

Career Professionals of Canada offers professional development to help you develop your competencies and a certification program to validate your expertise. Joining CPC can help you develop competencies, knowledge, and attributes necessary to work effectively with your client base. Take the first step in attaining your credentials in résumé, interview, employment, work-life, and career strategy.

Sharon Graham is founder and executive director of Career Professionals of Canada. Committed to setting the standard for excellence in the career development profession, Sharon has authored top selling paperback publications and textbooks, and has established a range of certificationprofessional developmentcommunity developmentmentoring, and award programs. As executive director of CPC, she provides foresight and leadership within the sector and ensures that the mandate of this national organization is upheld with integrity.

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[…] 2.  Big Picture of Career Development:  We viewed another Career Development Model worthy of consideration which originates from the CareerProCanada and was featured on Sharon Graham’s blog at:  http://sharongraham.ca/we-need-to-value-career-development/ […]

The brand and purpose toolkit at http://www.dailyplanit.com includes helpful resources for this process

Oh is very interested

The model is good. It simplifies the stages and the process of career development into a concise diagram. May I use this model as a reference for my YouTube video? I am making a channel that is monetised for self-sustainability only, and is targeting the youth in Indonesia, in Bahasa Indonesia. Please email me. Thank you.