What is Your CDP Superpower?


By Maureen McCann.

Career Development Professionals have a CDP Superpower!

Superpower (noun): an exceptional or extraordinary power or ability. Oxford Dictionaries

Last year, while working on the Canada Career Month project with Kamee Gilmore, we reached out to Canadian career practitioners in private practice and asked them to share a little bit about themselves and the price of their résumé services.

At the end of each interview, I added a question of my own. This was not part of the research we were doing; I was just curious. Here were a group of people talented at drawing out the best skills, personality traits, and accomplishments from their clients. I was curious to know if they ever thought about these things relative to themselves. So, I decided to turn the tables on them, and you know what? Every one of them was ready with an answer! Talk about practicing what you preach.

I asked, “What is your CDP superpower?”

Most giggled at the question and the way that I asked it, but then quickly gave me an answer. I was surprised by that! Either these folks were quick on their feet, or they had each done the necessary self-reflection and self-assessment to come to their own conclusion about the superpower they offer the world.

I was so impressed with the responses I got that I tucked them away to read again and again for inspiration. This got me thinking; if reading these answers inspired me, maybe they would inspire you, too. And, since I am a member of the Career Professionals of Canada Communications team, I thought I’d take the opportunity to reach out and share this content with other CPC members.

Here’s what these career professionals had to say about their superpowers:

Maureen Farmer

Hustle. I keep asking until I get a clear picture. I am tenacious about collecting information. I care about my clients.”

Kristin Vandegriend

Structure. I can see strategy. I like to take a step back to identify what makes a client stand out.”

Stephanie Clark

The written word. I love to write. I love to say it in a different way… an evocative way.”

Gayle Draper

Intuition. I already know the answers based on the emotional well-being of the client. I know what people want.”

Dorothy Keenan

Labour Market Information (LMI).  I have a deep understanding of LMI and where people fit.”

Wayne Pagani

“…to empower others to tell their story authentically.”

Me (Maureen McCann)

Truth. I challenge people to challenge their own thinking (by asking questions like “What is your superpower?”), and I help them strive toward their own goals.”

Knowing a little bit about each of these career professionals, I can tell you that each superpower is authentic and accurate to the individual. What I mean by this is that each answer aligns with what I know to be true about that person – it’s how the person shows up in the world.

These are the superpowers of the career professionals I interviewed last year. I would love to know more about you and your superpowers.

Allow me to ask, “What is your CDP Superpower?” Add your answer in the comments below!

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Conceptualize – My superpower is my ability to form and convey an idea or principle in my mind

Vaughn that is a great superpower!

Such a great diversity of skills and strengths. Thanks, Maureen for pulling this together.

The pleasure was all mine. I absolutely love all the answers and can’t wait to read more from the comments. Thank you to all the amazing career professionals who gave of their time to be interviewed for this project!

Hi Team,

I joined CPC yesterday and I’ve been so inspired by the wealth of information and resources available to the group. I’m looking forward to interacting with you all.

My super power is my empathy.
I help my clients draw up on their weaknesses, barriers and potentials to help them see these as strengths to move them towards their desired goals.

Welcome, Busola! It is so great to have you here. Thank you for actively engaging with the career community here at Career Professionals of Canada (CPC) on your second day of membership!

What a wonderful thing to say about our group. Yes, I too have found the people here to be incredibly resourceful and helpful.

If you’re new to the career development profession, a post I wrote a few weeks ago may prove useful to you? https://careerprocanada.ca/new-to-the-career-development-profession-welcome/

Thank you for sharing your superpower with us here. Empathy! Such a wonderful superpower to share with your clients. I love the way you’ve phrased it “…to help them see these as strengths.”

Interesting question! My superpower is rapport: my ability to make clients feel comfortable and at ease and offer reassurance that I believe in them even when they have lost their own sense of self.

Welcome Busola!

Vaughan Simpson, I didn’t even realize you are a member of CPC. That’s great news. Obviously, we haven’t had a chat in a while.

Anyway, my superpower is Listening. If I don’t listen keenly to what’s being said or not said, I can’t help the client. In doing so, I draw on this W.A.I.T. concept: Why Am I Talking?

Love the conversation!


W.A.I.T. – that’s brilliant! Can I steal that? This reminds me that we’re often too quick to jump in and fill an uncomfortable silence but if we W.A.I.T. something magical might emerge from that moment.
Thanks Daisy

By all means Michael, and thank you. It’s not my original. I heard of it from a colleague in a coaching class. I thought it was brilliant as well, and have been putting it to use.

After a moment of reflection, I believe my superpower has been the capacity to build trust and credibility as a practitioner and over the past 24 years this has been my key to success. Delivering on our service commitment has always been my top priority.