Lead Virtual Success Coach
Virtual Success Coach
1. What are three words that you would use to describe yourself?
Tenacious, Curious, Empathetic
3. What is your educational background?
Technically the only education I have completed is high school. I prefer to consider myself a life-long learner on the world’s most prolonged pursuit of a bachelor’s degree. I started a degree in biological sciences and have since changed my major to psychology and am now on year 25 of doing it part-time with some significant life breaks. I am a Certified Career Development Professional and am continually taking short courses to keep that certification current.
12. What jobs are most in-demand at this moment in time? How can youth prepare for these job opportunities?
The jobs that are most in-demand provide an intangible item that people do not know they need. If you look at thriving businesses, they provide a service (like home delivery) or something that changes how people think, interact or do business. Youth who can learn to spot these trends, use their existing skillsets and learn new skills quickly are best able to springboard into new opportunities.
13. Can you share with us an organization or program that you think youth should be made aware of when looking for employment?
Not off the top of my head.
4. Can you speak about the current projects you are working on?
In the work realm, I am working with PIVOT 2020 and am excited to see how we are continually refining our service delivery. At this time, we are working more closely with youth in their career journeys, and we are trying to prepare them for the changing world of work.
14. What does impact mean to you?
To me, impact refers to the amount of change I can help individuals achieve.
15. Which of your previous work/volunteer experiences have had the most impact on your work today?
All my previous work and volunteer experience have impact as my career has been iterative.
5. Why do you think this is important in the Canadian context?
Having a national program is so important economically to Canada. We are the only G7 nation without a national career policy that hurts our ability to compete globally. The work CCYP is doing in Pivot and Impact COVID is a platform to show the importance of having a national strategy around youth employment.
6. What does equal opportunity look like in youth workforce development?
Equal opportunity in youth workforce development is where youth have access to quality jobs and mentorship to grow in the workplace.
16. What previous work/volunteer experience have had the greatest impact on your work here with CCYP Success Team?
My time working at the University of Alberta with internationally trained physical therapists have been impactful as it was my first exposure to virtual learning and curriculum development. The work I did with distributed, blended synchronous and asynchronous learning made me think about moving towards online coaching and career development. My work on various community boards has influenced how collaborative work is an essential skill for the current workplace.
7. What made you want to get involved in youth workforce development/employment?
My first professional job was working with youth, and I have always had an interest in making sure youth can reach their full potential.
8. What do you hope to bring to the youth workforce development/employment sector? How do you hope to move the needle in your work?
I want to bring hope and realism to the sector. I want to have youth think about work, education, and career planning as investments and not chores. Youth need to know that they can achieve great things, but expensive education or credentials are not always the best way to do it.
17. Recognizing the importance of building a community network, how has mentorship supported you throughout your own professional development thus far?
Mentorship has been key to my professional development throughout my career. My first “real” job had mentorship built into the contract from the funder. In every position I have held, I have had someone I have been able to learn from. I also have a coach that I have been working with for over a year.
18. Who is an individual/figure that you look up to?
Brian May from Queen. He went back to school to get his Ph.D. after being a rock star.
9. Given the impact of the pandemic on the job market, what are some helpful techniques you can share with youth who are looking for work?
The most useful thing that youth can do is strategize their job search. A deliberate job search plan includes working out what you would like to do, what is available to you at the current time, where your skill or connection gap is, and then setting goals as you how to leverage your resources to gain access to the labour market.
19. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Keep looking for the next opportunity. My first mentor in Career and Employment used to tell his staff they should always be looking at the next and better opportunity. It kept practitioners current on job search and interview trends and made them set goals for self-improvement.
10. What are some of the major differences between coaching and mentoring in a virtual setting versus in-person?
The sense of time and respect for time is blurred in the virtual environment. Our understanding of time has changed during COVID, and it is hard to cue the end of an appointment in virtual time the way you can in person.
11. What are some of the implications (positive or negative) you think this will have on youth workforce development/employment moving forward?
I think this could change how youth services are delivered and envisioned.
20. Can you share three fun facts about yourself?
I have a problem with buying craft supplies. This is a distinct hobby from using the supplies in crafting.
I play multiple musical instruments.
I once hosted a party where the main attraction was a paddling pool filled with jello.
21. Can you share a goal you have for 2021?
My goal for 2021 is to move more. Working from home in a pandemic has given me a terrible sitting habit. I think getting outside and moving is so important in terms of stress management, physical health and connecting us to our communities.