The month of November is associated with remembering those who fought for the freedom of Canadians. A time where we honour our veterans on Remembrance Day and proudly display our poppies on November 11 as a sign of our respect and thanks. And we do have a lot to be thankful for in ‘the land of the True North Strong and Free’. For it is that very freedom that has allowed us to choose our own path and be who we want to be.
Sometimes the idea of choosing our own path is intimidating to students. What if we choose wrong? But that’s the simple beauty of freedom. You have plenty of choices and options and opportunities to try and try again until you find what fits and feels authentic to who you are.
November is also Canada Career Month. Because of the freedom afforded to Canadians, you have possibilities to explore and services to help you identify your strengths and interests, articulate your personal and career goals, and help you discover opportunities that match. And whether you realize it or not, these activities greatly contribute to your career development.
The Canadian Standards & Guidelines for Career Development Practitioners (2012) defines career development as a “lifelong process of managing learning, work, leisure, and transitions in order to move toward a personally determined and preferred future”(1). This puts you in the driver’s seat to navigate your path in whatever way feels most comfortable for you. You have the freedom to make choices along the way that will affect the direction your career will take.
One way to ensure that you are making informed choices is to invest some time considering your career development and researching options. It is interesting to note that Statistics Canada says the average age of retirement is 63.5 years old (2). From the moment you first start working until the day you retire, you may have invested thousands of hours in the labour force. By comparison, how much time do you actually invest in thinking about your career development and in researching your interests, educational options, and career possibilities?
Canada Career Month is about fostering awareness of career development and reminding Canadians that they are in the driver’s seat. We have the freedom to make choices about the kind of life we want and we have access to services and supports to enhance our quality of life. As we explore the possibilities available to us, let us honour and remember those who paved the way by embracing our right to choose, investing our time in making informed choices, finding our career purpose, and creating a life well lived.
(1) Canadian Council for Career Development. (2012). Canadian Standards & Guidelines for Career Development Practitioners. Retrieved from Canadian Council for Career Development: https://cccda.org/the-career-development-profession/what-is-career-development/.
(2) Statistics Canada. (2019). Table 14-10-0060-01 Retirement age by class of worker, annual. Retrieved from Statistics Canada: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=1410006001.