Am I where I thought I would be after 15 years working in Community Engagement? Maybe not, But have I found a home in Career Development? Yes. No matter where the journey of my career takes me next, Career development will always have a part in what I do. Walking alongside the people we serve as they find their footing and carve out their paths, feeling supported, trusted and worthy has shown me just how important Career Development is to the development of us as people. The impacts of support and networking and sustainable employment in meaningful capacities are immeasurable. I've grown so much watching the people we serve grow themselves. It's allowed me to be braver, stand taller and has shown me just how fulfilling working in this sector is.
In a North America where everyone has access to career development services, all jobs would be accepted and considered meaningful. Everyone would have a place and a role and would feel worthwhile. Early intervention strategies would be utilized within school systems, with a focus on overall health and well being instead of a grade point average. Alternative Education streams providing strengths based programs would be widely available and accepted education options. People would not have to feel like the systems are failing them because traditional learning methods were not a best fit for their needs.
For our organization,this year marks the close of a multi-year research project identifiying barriers to employment in our small region of NL. Through the identification of these barriers, we have developed best practices for service delivery with a focus on client-led service that is strengths-based and takes into account that as a person you cannot find and keep a job if you have unstable housing, food insecurity or need access to wrap around supports. We've worked hard to ensure that the needs of our people are met and we will continue to do so.