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Phil Jarvis

Career Summit at Cannexus12

It is our conviction that the status quo in career development, or even working harder doing what we have been doing, will result in many citizens, businesses, indeed whole communities, falling victim to the looming labour crisis we’re calling the Perfect Storm in job markets. We believe it will take a harmonized, whole-community approach to career and workforce development to weather the storm. Leaders in the career space must support each other’s missions like never before. Therefore, Career Cruising is hosting a series of "Career Summit" dinners across North America to provide a venue for career leaders to explore options for collective action to move career and workforce development higher on the public agenda. A summary of issues discussed at each "Summit Dinner" will be posted on this blog after the event.


Career Cruising Career Summit

at Cannexus12

Ottawa - Monday, January 23, 2012


Participants: Norm Amundson, Lynne Bezanson, Tracy Biernacki-Dusza, Emil Boychuk, Kerri Brock, Clarence Deshiffart, Rich Feller, Mark Franklin, Tannis Goddard, Judy Green, Jeff Harris, Bryan Hiebert, Sareena Hopkins, Phil Jarvis, Lorraine Katanik, Gail Langlais, Chantal Locatelli, Carole MacFarlane, Kris Magnussen, Laurent Matte, Matt McQuillen, Kelly Moore, Roberta Neault, Geneviève Patry, Gray Poehnell, Marie-Josée Pouliotte, Lynn Sadlowski, Anne Sasman, Janet Uchasz-Hart, Linda Willis.

Summary of Issues Discussed

  • Career guidance needs to be imbedded in curriculum. A change of culture is needed in school boards. All teachers need training to learn how to infuse career in the subjects they teach. Career courses should not be just dropped on "newbies" or "the last one in the door".
  • Effective career guidance causes a "ripple effect" – when students are engaged, seeing a positive future, this can change their behavior right now. For evidence see:
  • We can’t continue to stay isolated in separate silos. The challenges are shared and too big to be tackled in fragmented fashion. We must pool our strengths and harmonize our efforts.
  • Importance of listening to student voice – teaching them to drive their own learning. We shouldn’t be afraid to ask the students important questions, to guide and facilitate their voice.
  • Accountability is important for students and administrators. Even students need to be able to track their progress.
  • Too many policies, funding cycles, and interventions are short term, "band-aid" solutions without sustainability of staff or funding. Only long-term models and funding can make a real and lasting difference.
  • To date our arguments have been moral (good for individuals and society). Governments have funded them in the past, but no more. They are under increasing pressure to ensure proof of impact/change (accountability).
  • Career development cannot be "bolted" on, but must be part of the building from the inside out.
  • Some systems have given up on career development in schools. The European example of taking career development out of the schools and into the community was cited.
  • If we want academic subject teachers to infuse career development concepts and conversations into their curriculum we must teach them why and how.
  • More of the same won’t get us where we need to go. We need to get crazy – get creative – think outside of the box. "Colour outside the lines."
  • Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. The idea of infusing career into the curriculum is a good one. We just haven’t been doing it well. Don’t discard the idea. We need to come up with better ways to make it happen.
  • Students are engaged when given the opportunity to explore "me." No other work they do in school is about them. If we want education to be personal and relevant, to ignite curiosity and create a thirst for learning, students must see the learning as for, and about, them. Only career, which helps them develop informed dreams for their future, is about them.
  • Implementation, cross-curricular or not, needs to be mandated in order to have teeth. Then training is required for all teachers and administrators.
  • Metaphors like the Perfect Storm are powerful. Recent research at Stanford University indicates that metaphors influence how people think about and solve real-world problems. With the same information, but different metaphors in mind, informed people arrive at different conclusions and advocate different solutions.
  • We need a national campaign focused on paying attention to career health. The approach should be preventative rather than remedial. We would all benefit from an annual career checkup, like our annual health and dental checkups.
  • We must get our message to average citizens who are the voters and have the potential to influence the governments, school boards, etc.
  • We need to focus on what is working and build on that rather than reinventing. Must identify the things that are important. They may not have resulted in all the changes we wanted in the past. We need to revisit good ideas that haven’t gone away and do them better.
  • Mutual respect is needed between community partners. We all have common goals about which we are passionate. Chances of success increase with collaboration and the voices become louder and more compelling.
  • There is a need for a cultural change. Rather than doom and gloom scenarios about work, people need to see positive role models, real people enjoying their jobs, happy, thus healthy.
  • Career crisis versus career checkup. Most people don’t seek help until they are in crisis.
  • We need to choose our language carefully. For example, when the real estate industry shifted from selling houses to selling homes they connected emotionally with buyers and sellers. The term career development hasn’t sunk in beyond our own circles, and employers don’t like it. To them, it’s preparing employees to move on.
  • Work, learning and leisure. Career is not all about work. Rather, it’s about life balance and navigating and transitioning through a very transient life ahead.
  • Traditional war strategies (i.e., war on drugs, poverty) have failed. "Gorilla tactics" may be more effective. If we can all agree on three goals and the strategies to get there, and everyone (irrespective of their silo) works toward these common goals, we may succeed. Are there two or three "pillars" we can knock over that will change everything?

Download: Cannexus12 Career Summit Notes

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