From Pain to Empowerment: Post Divorce Career Planning

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Recovering from divorce can be a thorny and complicated process. Many look at their job future and struggle with reclaiming interests and goals they set aside while married and perhaps raising a family. In the interim, they may have changed as individuals, as skills and interests have shifted. “Often people struggle with having to rewrite their story when they weren’t prepared to,” says Ann Nakaska, a local career professional and consultant, specializing in career decision making.

“Many don’t even know what their career options are, and it can be overwhelming, especially if they were not the one who wanted the divorce. There can also be money worries for those who thought their financial future was secure. They see a hit in their economic status and realize they are solely responsible moving forward, including retirement preparation and complications that arise if there is a property split.”

Given the growing number of clients she was seeing struggling with these issues, Ann created a workshop to tackle the issues entitled Embrace Your Future: Career Decisions Post Divorce. She’ll be leading this session at the Central Library on Saturday, November 1st, where participants will examine essential workplace skills, career choices and financial options.

Ann acknowledges it can be hard to run towards a future that wasn’t anticipated or planned for, "but it’s possible if people are willing to plan a new vision of what they want in their lives, that can often be even more rewarding than the old one."

Registration for this program is easy, either online, or by calling 403-260-2782.For further exploration of moving forward after divorce, Calgary Public Library has a huge selection of print and electronic books on the subject.

Discover Careers in Banking and Insurance

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Canadian banks are coming up roses amidst global economic instability. Home to some of the strongest banks in the world, the sector is growing and diverse. According to Banks and the Economy, nearly 2/3 of the workforce is comprised of women. Moreover, full time positions have surpassed the 80% marker.

Given the increased need for workers in this sector, and those in the insurance industry, Calgary Public Library is pleased to once again be hosting Discover Careers in Banking and Insurance on Tuesday, September 30th at the Central Library.

This full day event is designed to provide comprehensive introductions to both sectors during morning information sessions, followed by a hiring fair in the afternoon. And to round out the day, we have invited local career practitioners to review resumes in the afternoon while you are waiting to speak to a recruiter, and have invited representative from Mount Royal University’s Financial Services Programs to be on hand to answer questions.

Confirmed recruiters include:

Servus Credit Union, Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank, Canadian Western Bank, National Bank of Canada, Alberta Treasury Branch, Dejardins, Rogers Insurance, Aviva Canada, Northbridge, Intact Insurance, and the Insurance Institute of Canada

Need advice on how to prepare for job fairs and how to make the most of your first meeting with one of these companies? Review our previous blog post on strategies – you can never come too prepared.

We are excited to be partnering with The Insurance Institute of Canada, The Canadian Banker’s Association, and Alberta Job, Skills, Training and Labour to offer this career exploration event. To register for the morning session use our online registration link or call 403-260-2620. For the afternoon hiring fair, simply visit us at the Central Library. Don't forget your resume!

Older Workers in Canada

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"With the leading edge of the baby boom generation now in their mid-sixties, there is considerable interest in how and when these individuals will retire. To help place this issue in a broader context, this paper provides information on the employment histories of individuals who were aged 33 to 38 in 1983 and aged 60 to 65 in 2010."

(Executive Summary, An Overview of the Working Lives of Older Baby Boomers)

A new Statistics Canada survey, An Overview of the Working Lives of Older Baby Boomers, highlights the work experiences of older baby boomers (for this study that means those between 1945 and 1950) and finds that these olders boomers are likely to have worked long-term—more than 12 years—in one position and with one employer.

"Baby boomers mostly hold jobs long term, StatsCan says" (CBC News, October 2, 2013)

As the population of Canada ages so too will our workforce. Living longer (and healthier) means more older Canadians will be part of the workforce.

"Five Financial Realities of Living Longer" (Globe and Mail August 19, 2013)

Most of us will work several different jobs and even have to reinvent ourselves in new careers or by starting our own businesses. Mid-life career change is a hot topic right now. If you're looking for more information on this or related topics, you may want to check out some of our many books on this or register for our popular Mid-Life Career Change program:

Career Basics: Moving Forward—Mid-Life Career Change

Learn about the unique challenges and opportunities that come with looking for work mid-life, along with resume strategies. Workshops are led by professional career practitioners from Bow Valley College's Career Connection.

Monday, November 25, 2013
6:30 to 8:30 pm
Saddletowne Library

Book & ebook

Love The Job You Hate: Yes, It's Possible!

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Do you feel stuck in your job, or are you day dreaming about a big change? You aren’t alone. Recent research has shown that 44% of North American workers are unsatisfied with their jobs. But is quitting or being miserable your only option?

Happily, it’s not. Due to popular demand, we've invited back coaches Ann Nakaska and Sue Styles as they present a Central Library workshops on how to Love the Job You Hate on Saturday, September 21st. Discover the top reasons employees quit their jobs, and learn the three keys to embracing the job you have.

Here's what they've had to say about work and job dissatisfaction:

Sue, in your experience as a career consultant, what are the major factors for job dissatisfaction?

Sue: In my experience, the feelings of frustration due to inter-personal relationships have a huge impact. I have heard repeatedly that people will stay at a job they don't like because the people are so great and they have built relationships.

Sue, you recently authored a book entitled "How to Enjoy Your Work." Did anything in particular inspire you to write it?

Sue: I meet and talk with employees everyday who confess they don't care at all about their role at work. In my own progress through different jobs I discovered how to enjoy my work even though I didn't like my job. There is value if you can develop an ability to focus on it, and I wanted to share my insights and strategies with others, whether or not they wanted to stay in their current situation.

Ladies, what are the signs that it’s time to quit and move on?

Sue: Seth Godin writes a fabulous little pocketbook called The Dip which addresses this question exactly. I read several years ago and it really helped me gain some objectivity. When the eight hours of one’s day is spent complaining, being frustrated, even perhaps feeling nauseas and overly stressed then it's definitely time for change!

Ann: The major signpost I use is energy levels. When I am feeling burnt out and have tried a number of different ways to solve the work issues, it’s probably a sign to start looking. That being said, I believe everyone should be actively engaged in their career planning process all the time. When people are more engaged and proactive, they are less likely to find themselves in the position of being unhappy at work.

What is your top strategy for taking charge and making a positive change?

Sue: One of my favorite quotes is "Accept conditions as they are or accept responsibility for changing them, " coined by Dennis Waitley. The first thing is to acknowledge your current conditions and then be determined to move towards the conditions you desire. It all starts with a viable vision and then a plan followed by action.

Ann: My top strategy is to be a proactive career planner. Career decision making happens every day in little ways that most people are not even conscious of. I encourage people to become more aware of the career decisions they are making.

How much control does the employee have in creating a better work experience for themselves?

Ann: I believe that people have much more control than they think they do. What they often don't have is the information they need to create a better work experience. Also, I believe the feelings of lack of control often come from seeing ourselves as "the employee.” Instead, we need to realized that we are an integral part of industry and that employers, customers and shareholders need us just as much as we need them.

Sue: My initial response is the same as Ann's—more than you think! Depending on the role and company, you can be instrumental in developing yourself as well as your role. Most businesses are not looking to make employees miserable. They want staff to take ownership and submit ideas, and they want people who want to grow with the company.

New and Notable Career Resources

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Join us this Friday, March 15 on the third floor of the Central Library for New and Notable Career Resources, a free program featuring Calgary Public Library Career Specialist Roberta Kuzyk-Burton highlighting new and notable career resources, including:

  • Career and Learning databases and resume builders, including Job and Career Accelerator
  • Social Media for Career Search: resources
  • Employer Research: Beyond Google

New and Notable Career Resources

Friday, March 15 • 11:45 am to 1:00 pm
Third Floor, Central Library, 616 Macleod Trail SE
No registration required • Coffee will be provided

New and Notable Career Resources is part of the Career Development Speaker Series, a monthly, noon hour speaker series on a variety of topics of interest to Calgary's Career Practitioners presented in partnership with the Career Development Association of Alberta. Members of the public are welcome to attend these sessions, which are held on the Third Floor of the Central Library on the 3rd Friday of each month

Is Older Actually Better?—Work in Mid-Life and Beyond

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Trying to find a job in mid-life can be a disheartening task. But older workers, take heed: your age and experience may work for you in the market rather than against you. Employers no longer hire people with an expectation that they will be able to work for years and years. Even younger workers don't tend to stay in one position or one job for more than a few years at a time. This is good news for older workers, whose life and work experience are often welcomed in any work environment, sometimes in preference to younger workers.

Canada's older workers have good shot at jobs: survey Globe and Mail

Are Older Workers Taking Jobs From the Young? U.S. News & World Report

If you're concerned that you won't be able to keep up wtih all of the new technologies, don't be. Researcher Mark Walton found that: "brains are wired not for retirement, but for constant reinvention."

Jobless in midlife? Old brains can learn new tricks Reuters

There are still spaces in the following sessions of our very popular program on Midlife Career Change:

Career Basics: Moving Forward—Mid-Life Career Change

Learn about the unique challenges and opportunities that come with looking for work mid life, along with resume strategies. Workshops are led by professional career practitioners from Bow Valley College's Career Connection. Interested? Click here to register online or call 403-260-2620.

Fish Creek Library

Monday, June 11, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Central Library

Saturday, June 16, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Shawnessey Library

Wednesday, August 15, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Read about the recent TD Economics Survey on older workers: Older Workers Stampede into Labour Market

Alberta Learning Information Services puts out the excellent Guide to Midlife Career Moves

Hot Off the Press: March 2012

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GRE for Dummies by Ron Woldoff

Sharpen your GRE test-taking skills with this updated and expanded premier guide with online links to BONUS tests and study aids.

The 2-Hour Job Search by Steve Dalton

Through a prescriptive approach, Dalton explains how to wade through the Internet's sea of information and create a job-search system that relies on mainstream technology such as Excel, Google, LinkedIn, and alumni databases to create a list of target employers, contact them, and then secure an interview-with only two hours of effort.

Never Apply for a Job Again! By Darrell W. Gurney

Drawing on basic principles of human psychology, Gurney shows readers how to open doors to influential players in their fields of interest to gain top-of-mind awareness and top-drawer connectedness. Through 10 simple and easy-to-follow principles, Gurney teaches readers how to create powerful relationships with anyone, anywhere, for lifetime career management.

The Second Shift by Arlie Russell Hochschild

The bestselling landmark study that defines the dynamics of dual-career households-fully revised and updated with a new afterword.

Getting from College to Career by Lindsey Pollak

How do you get a job without experience and get experience without a job? It's the question virtually every college student or recent graduate faces.

NCLEX-RN : Strategies, Practice, and Review by Barbara J. Irwin

From the creator of the #1 NCLEX-RN exam preparation course comes the most up-to-date, focused, strategic guide offering the most effective methods to help candidates prepare for this challenging exam.

Before and After Resumes by Tracy Burns-Martin

With this book, you can discover how to polish your resume to a high shine with the clearest formatting; most effective keywords; and winning, step-by-step advice from experienced HR guru Tracy Burns-Martin.

The Job Search Solution by Tony Beshara

When Dr. Phil's viewers need help turning their job search woes into employment success, he calls in Tony Beshara. One of the most successful placement professionals in the United States, Beshara knows what works and what doesn't. In this book, he outlines the simple yet powerful system that has helped over 100,000 people land jobs they love.

Wiley CPA Exam Review 2012 : Auditing and Attestation by Ray Whittington

Everything today′s CPA candidates need to pass the CPA Exam. Published annually, this comprehensive four-volume paperback reviews all four parts of the CPA exam. Many of the questions are taken directly from previous CPA exams.

Job and Career Coaching

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In celebration of International Coaching Week, Calgary Public Library is partnering with the Calgary Association of Professional Coaches to offer free 15-minute coaching sessions with experienced professional coaches. These valuable individualized sessions can focus on various topics such as: career, business, team and personal relationships.

This is the first event of its kind in Calgary and will be offered at two Library locations on February 8th and 9th, 2012.

Register online or by calling 403-260-2620. The regular Career Coaching program offered at four library locations offers further opportunities to access career advice from our experienced volunteers.

Calgary coach and human resources professional Tanya Snow answers some of our questions about career coaching:

Tanya Snow

What exactly does a career coach do?
A career coach can help you to take your career to the next level, assist you in finding a career that aligns with your interests, skills and values, or to make a small career shift to ensure a good fit.

What is the difference between an Executive Coach and a Career Coach?
A Career Coach would typically have clients from all walks of life and would be focusing on career related issues and barriers. An Executive Coach would deal specifically with senior management clients and would look at issues and barriers preventing them from achieving professional and personal goals.

When I hire a coach how much of my time is coaching going to require?
Typically Career Coaching consists of an initial assessment, and then three to five 1-hour sessions, depending on the type of change required.

Where do I find a career coach in Calgary?
The Calgary Association of Professional Coaches (CAPC) site has a Coach Referral Service that can help you find a certified coach that fits your needs.

What is price range for a Career Coach?
Prices can vary depending on qualifications and experience but typically you can expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $250 a session, or a flat rate per month of approximately $500.

What do you find personally satisfying about career coaching?
I find it very satisfying and rewarding to work with clients to help them achieve satisfying career goals and to find a career that fits their individual values, interests and skills.

Tanya Snow is a certified Human Resource Professional and with over 10 years experience in the areas of career development, job search strategies and resume development. Tanya is also a Certified Executive Coach specializing in Career Transition Coaching, Leadership Development and Career Management Coaching.

Mentorship: Worth the Effort

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Calgary career development professional Brian Lambier of Career Vitality Services Inc. answers our questions about mentorship, its importance and mentorship opportunities.

Come join us on Friday, January 20 from 11:45 to 1:00 on the Third Floor of the Central Library for Brian's program: Mentorship: Outside the Box. Brian Lambier of Career Vitality Services

1. Job searchers need to be aware that while mentors can help develop your career, their role is not to find you a job. In your experience, what are the most useful skills that mentors can help develop?

People believe that they have to be connected to an organization first to take advantage of a mentorship relationship. I believe that the individual must first truly understand who they are before they explore mentorship. What I mean by this is that it is important they have a clear understanding of their values, skills, abilities, interests and career desires. From that they need to be able to set a career direction and some concrete goals with a series of baby steps to reach those goals. This is where the career development professional comes in; it is their job to help people gain a broader understanding of their own individual footprint or foundation.

Mentoring is the process in which successful individuals (mentor) will help others establish goals and develop the skills to reach their goals.

Mentoring can help you acquire skills, increase confidence, widen your perspective, avoid errors, enhance your career and life, and help you succeed.

The type of skills that the mentor can help develop really depends on the type of mentorship relationship that exists between the mentor and mentee;

  • A Developmental mentorship relationship will see the mentor be able to offer the mentee develop new skills and abilities. The mentor acts as a guide and a resource for the mentee's growth.
  • A Sponsorship mentorship relationship occurs when mentor takes a close interest in the progress of the mentee and they influence others to support the mentees career advancement through providing them with opportunities. They in essence become a cheerleader and what I call the “doorman” opening doors of opportunities for the mentee.

2. Why do you think few Calgarians take advantage of mentoring opportunities?

This is a good question. I believe that many people take advantage of these opportunities. Immigrants and youth in particular have many opportunities to access these programs and do so through any number of social service organizations in the city. There are also many people in the corporate world that access programs through their organizations, professional organizations or institutions of higher learning.

I would agree that there are many people don’t take advantage of mentoring opportunities. I believe this is for many of the same reasons people do not engage the services of a career coach:

  • Many people don’t really understand the value of what a mentor can provide to them both personally and professionally
  • Many people have not done the work to have a clear understanding of who they are and where they want to go so they are not motivated to ask for help
  • Many people don’t set personal or career goals
  • Many people do not truly understand the goals of the organization where they work, how their role fits into the company goals and the internal avenues they can access to develop a plan to meet their goals
  • Organizations may not have a commitment to sustain and grow their employees
  • Middle managers that are supervising employees may not have the skills or been given the latitude of responsibility to identify individuals within the organization to participate in such programs.
  • Mentoring opportunities are not always apparent unless you network connect, explore and dig for opportunities
  • Many individual’s hesitancy to make the commitment to the mentorship relationship and process
  • An individual’s fear of change or their feeling that they cannot change
  • Many people think they can do it themselves.

3. Are there programs in Calgary for those interested in mentoring opportunities? (We often have immigrant clients who are interested in doing so.)

The following is a list of some of the programs offered in Calgary by a variety of different organizations in the Calgary area. (This is certainly not an exhaustive list.)

  • U of C Graduate Students Association—the Career and Mentorship Program
    Helps graduate students attain their desired career goal—whether it's re-entering industry after graduation (as 70 per cent of grad students do) or continuing with academe. This program is free, and helps grad students make professional contacts by pairing students with a mentor in their field of interest.
  • Bow Valley College Mentoring Internationally Trained Professional
    A bridging program to fast track foreign-trained professionals into the Canadian workplace. United Way and Bow Valley College have entered into a partnership to offer a mentoring program for internationally educated professionals through the Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council (CRIEC). Internationally Educated professionals face a variety of obstacles when arriving in Canada. The information and guidance they receive can be critical to making decisions related to their career and skill development and finding meaningful employment. The goal of the mentoring program is to connect immigrant professionals with working professionals in a mentoring partnership.
  • Calgary Youth Mentoring Coalition
    Fifteen different Youth Serving organizations offering a variety of mentorship programs and services to youth through their individual organizations.
  • CIPS Alberta MentorNet
    Has partnered with MentorNet to bring an e-mentoring program to the membership, promoting mentorship relationships between college students (protégés) and IT professionals (mentors). Protégés gain invaluable career advice, encouragement and support, while professionals lend their expertise by helping to educate and inspire young professionals. Students are asked to fill out a profile specifying what they are looking for in a mentor, and then are matched in one-on-one email relationships with industry mentors who have relevant experience in the IT field. This one-on-one relationship takes approximately 15 minutes per week and is free to both the protégé and the mentor. The official e-mentoring relationship lasts approximately eight months.
  • Immigrant Services Calgary Integrated Women’s Mentorship Program
    The Integrated Women’s Mentorship Program links established professional women with new immigrant and refugee women to assist them in overcoming barriers to employment and help them realize their full potential in Canada as individuals and professionals. The program serves immigrant and refugee women who have the ability to effectively communicate in English but are experiencing difficulties looking for a professional job in Canada
  • The Project Management Institute Southern Alberta Chapter (PMI-SAC)
    Offers the Mentorship program to its membership each year. There are two intakes per-year: Fall (September) and Winter (January). This program is designed to provide you with guidance and advice on moving your career to the next level.
  • The Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council (CRIEC)
    In partnership with Calgary employers and CRIEC community partners, has recently embarked on an initiative to bring skilled immigrants and established professionals together in occupation-specific mentoring relations. The goal of the program is to help build inclusive workplaces and strengthen the ability of Calgary organizations to attract and retain talent.
  • University of Calgary Haskayne School of Business Mentoring Program
    This business school along with business partners in the community offers its students several mentoring programs including the Calgary Hotel Association Mentorship Program, the Enbridge Incorporated Undergraduate Mentorship Program, the MBA Mentorship Program and the Petroleum Land Management Mentorship Program. Each of these programs pairs students with experienced business personnel from the world of industry in the Calgary region.
  • The First Calgary Financial Mentorship Program with Theatre Junction
    Brings students together with mentors from Theatre Junction’s Company of Artists including actors, directors, technicians and designers for a unique look at what happens backstage. As part of the First Calgary Financial Mentorship Program, students have the opportunity to learn about creating their own original performance through an intensive workshop series, invitations to private rehearsals and backstage tours. Mentoring relationships will develop throughout the year and students will have a chance to speak one-on-one with Company artists and Theatre Junction staff about their profession.
  • Cybermentor
    An online mentoring program that matches girls aged 11 to 18 with professional women scientists and engineers or female students at Alberta universities who are studying science and engineering. The primary goal of the Cybermentor program is to expand girls’ knowledge of careers, opportunities and benefits that exist for women in science and engineering fields. The girls have the opportunity to communicate with mentors from diverse fields, expanding their options for potential career paths in the process. The second goal is to provide a motivation for girls to continue in their math and science studies through interaction with women role models who are studying and practicing in these fields.
  • Lilith Law Mentoring Program
    A one-on-one mentoring program designed to provide mentoring relationships between women lawyers and judges, and develop, retain and advance women lawyers through reciprocal learning, relationship building, and personal and professional development.
  • Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) Mentoring Young Entrepreneurs Program
    We know that young people have great business ideas and can benefit from a bit of help to make them a reality. In addition to our community partners, entrepreneur-in-residence and Online Business Resource Centre, CYBF provides mentoring from experienced business professionals to help set you apart from the competition while launching and growing your business.

Brian Lambier is the owner of Career Vitality Services Inc. in Calgary, Alberta and specializes in career and retirement transition coaching and corporate training. He can be reached at (403) 978-9134 or Brian has two upcoming programs at the Central Library: Friday, January 20 from 11:45 to 1:00 on the Third Floor of the Central Library for Brian's program: Mentorship: Outside the Box (Friday, January 20 from 11:45 to 1:00, Third Floor Central) and Champions of Learning 2012: the New Retirement (Saturday, March 24)

Thanks to the Centre for Newcomers for reminding us about other Calgary mentorship opportunity: The Peer Mentorship Program for Professionals at the Centre for Newcomers Application Deadline: Wednesday February 29th, 2012 Training for selected mentors: Saturday March 3rd, 2012 (10:00 am to 12:00 pm) Orientation and group matching for mentors and mentees: March 10th, 2012 (10:00 am to 1:00 pm) To apply: please contact Camilo at 403-569-3349 or This program is a partnership betwwen the Centre for Newcomers, the Association of Colombian-Canadian Professionals of alberta (ACCPA), the Chinese Professionals Entrepreneurs Association of Calgary (CPEAC), and the Nigerian Canadian Association of Calgary (NCAC) and started activities in September 2010.

Hot Off the Press: December 2011

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Fashion Design by Sue Jenkyn Jones

This book offers a thorough grounding in the principles of fashion design, describing the qualities and skills needed to become a fashion designer, examining the varied career opportunities available, and giving a balanced inside view of the fashion business today.

Cracking the New Job Market by R. William Holland

Everyone knows that safe jobs and lifelong careers are long gone. So why do most job seekers and employment experts cling to outdated tactics for landing a good position?

The Academic Job Search Handbook by Julia Miller Vick

For more than 15 years, this book has assisted job seekers in all academic disciplines in their search for faculty positions.

Starting & Running a Sandwich-Coffee Bar by Stephen Miller

A UK-based insider guide. Self-started sandwich bars are a huge growth industry in UK currently - this book is topical, up-to-date, thorough and extremely practical.

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