Virtual Success Coach
1. What are three words that you would use to describe yourself?
Motivated, open minded, empathetic/compassionate
3. What is your educational background?
BA in Honours Psychology with a research specialization, Post Graduate in Addictions and Mental Health
4. Can you speak about the current projects you are working on?
Adding employment opportunities to the live job board
Continuing to establish relationships with various employers
Supporting youth via 1:1 sessions and email conversations (editing resumes, cover letters, job applications, helping prepare for interviews etc.)
Setting up/facilitating fireside chats for youth to have the opportunity to learn about various sectors from individuals with an abundance of experience in their said sector
12. What jobs are most in-demand at this moment in time? How can youth prepare for these job opportunities?
Web developer, Human Resources Coordinator/Manager, Electrical Engineer, Recruitment Officers/Talent Acquisition Specialists, Veterinarians, Financial Advisors, Administrative Assistants/Receptionists, Drivers, Merchandiser/SalesAssociate, Project Managers, Labourers, Accountants, Registered Nurses, College/University Professors
Many of the above jobs due require formal education and training, though some of these jobs require skills that can be learned from other employment and/or volunteer experiences, therefore acquiring and being able to apply transferable skills is crucial for youth to prepare for some of these opportunities
13. Can you share with us an organization or program that you think youth should be made aware of when looking for employment?
I think more people should be aware of the how to use LinkedIn effectively, as it can be used as a job search engine, a networking platform and also offers various courses to upskill and re skill which can then be showcases to employers via your profile
5. Why do you think this is important in the Canadian context?
The work we are doing is incredibly important to the youth population in Canada as there was already a disparity in regards to organizations hiring youth for good work and now with the pandemic this issue has become more prevalent and complex
6. What does equal opportunity look like in youth workforce development?
The ability for all youth to be able to access various opportunities despite the inherent barriers faced and for these barriers to become less pervasive over time
14. What does impact mean to you?
Something has been influenced by an external and/or internal factor
15. Which of your previous work/volunteer experiences have had the most impact on your work today?
My experience as a Community Support Worker for the Canadian Mental Health Association and as a Community Outreach and Education Coordinator for the The Toronto Humane Society. In these positions I learned how to support others during challenging situations, problem solve quickly and create partnerships and programs that contribute to the values and mission of the organizations.
7. What made you want to get involved in youth workforce development/employment?
The understanding that the youth population is not well represented and in many sectors not well received. I am passionate and motivated to change the way in which organizations perceive youth, to illustrate that young people have an incredible amount of value to offer organizations.
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?
By continuing to create sustainable partnerships with stakeholders and organizations that see the value youth have. In hopes that they will champion young people and continue to provide opportunities for them.
To also help organizations who aren’t currently champions of youth become aware of youth talent and change their processes to be more inclusive
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?
Keep your options open, network a lot (always have an elevator pitch ready), upskill and reskill (develop a learning mindset), know your worth, advocate for yourself in a professional manner, listen to yourself (you know more than you think)
10. What are some of the major differences between coaching and mentoring in a virtual setting versus in-person?
It can be more challenging to build a strong rapport in a virtual setting
For youth it may not feel like a safe space if the environment they are in isn’t a safe space, this could deter them from speaking authentically during a session which can hinder the progress made
16. What previous work/volunteer experience have had the greatest impact on your work here with CCYP Success Team?
I would say a combination of my experience with building partnerships and programs with community organizations and post secondary institutions which has helped me with building and facilitating partnerships with employers, stakeholders, educators and training providers. As well as my experience from the mental health field which has taught me the skills of active listening, validating youths experiences/feelings, and how to effectively build trust and rapport when in sessions.
17. Recognizing the importance of building a community network, how has mentorship supported you throughout your own professional development thus far?
The mentors in my life have helped support and guide me along my professional journey when I have felt depleted and unsure if I can continue on, they have provided me with the guidance I needed on next steps and have been references for me which have helped me get to those next steps.
18. Who is an individual/figure that you look up to?
Sarah Blondin for her magical and transformational meditations, Brene Brown for her incredible work on authenticity, and Dr.Gabor Mate for his fascinating work on the impacts of trauma throughout one’s life and many more!
19. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Stay in your own lane, other people’s journey is none of your concern - Everyone falls to their knees at one point in their life, you just have to be able to get yourself back up.
11. What are some of the implications (positive or negative) you think this will have on youth workforce development/employment moving forward?
The pandemic has definitely made it more difficult for youth to access good employment opportunities. It’s uncommon to find permanent employment as most organizations are offering short term contracts which isn’t able to provide as much stability
Remote work has become the new norm which for many has actually opened up opportunities, youth can apply for jobs in various locations without having to relocate
20. Can you share three fun facts about yourself?
I moved to the Belizean jungle for 3 months last year
I have two cats whom I adore tremendously (I am a HUGE animal lover, I use to volunteer at an animal sanctuary and work at an animal shelter)
I am happiest outdoors
21. Can you share a goal you have for 2021?
To find more joy in the present moment rather than beginning concerned with the future