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New narrative career clarification system integrates digital tools and gamification


Published in NCDA’s Winter 2017 issue of Career Developments. By Mark Franklin & Rich Feller

Engaging clients in storytelling about their life roles seemed to have a positive effect. However, we were struck by the variability in the stories heard, and unsure how best to use their richness. Building our storylistening skills, we began to see growth in our clients’ active engagement and positive affect. A pattern of elements, such as strengths, desires, and personal qualities were easily extracted from client stories. Over time, we realized that a tool was needed to gather and organize these elements, thoughts and feelings. This is how the Career Sketch innovation emerged.  A one-page marvelous mosaic could reflect client awareness that emerged from witnessing their stories.  Read more…

Workplace Wellness and Transformative Volunteering support Employees’ Careers and Lives


Gain insights into workplace wellness, volunteering for career development, and blending high tech with high touch, from speakers at the 2017 Your Workplace Conference held in Toronto. Career Buzz host, Mark Franklin, speaks with Corey Diamond of Realized Worth on the value of transformative volunteering on workplace engagement, Jennifer Elia of Sun Life Canada Integrated Health Solutions on health and wellness in the workplace, and Agnes Garaba, the head of HR at SAP Canada how high-tech and high-touch factor into a new approach to HR.

Also on today’s program, Mark interviews Atom Cheung, a former technical producer for CareerBuzz and currently a sports presenter for RTHK, Hong Kong’s national radio station. Atom shares with us the story of his journey that’s led to what is now a 7 year international career in radio and allowed for opportunities such as interviews with England Premier League players to broadcasting on location from the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Mental Health and Self-Care in the Workplace


Half a million Canadians are off work each week due to mental illness. One in five Canadians experience a mental health problem each year. With figures like these, Canadians are increasingly looking at how mental health issues impact employees in the workplace. In this episode of CareerBuzz (broadcast on Oct 19, 2017), Mark is joined by Nitika Rewari of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, Addie Greco-Sanchez, president of AGS Rehab Solutions and Judy Kerling at the Region of Peel in Workplace Health, Safety & Wellness to discuss the current state of mental health in the workplace in Canada, MHCC’s “National Standard,” mental health first-aid, and how job-seekers can identify employers supportive of a psychologically healthy workplace.


Canada ranks 13th of 23 countries in 3 career management needs


I was surprised to find Canada in the lower half of these international career management rankings, below countries like Saudi Arabia, and well ahead of USA.

Hello, I’m Jasper Naerger from Germany, and I am doing an internship – with good financial support from my country, by the way – at, a career management social enterprise with Associates in Toronto and Vancouver. Practice leader, Mark Franklin, asked me to analyze the self-report results of 3 questions in the 23 country papers submitted to the International Centre for Career Development and Public Policy (ICCDPP) and published on their site.

As part of their submission, country teams evaluated themselves, responding to three specific questions, on a scale from 1 – 5. The questions are:

  1. To what degree are the established career content, programs and services in your country meeting the career needs of the population?
  2. How does career development provided in schools, produce ‘career ready school leavers’ in your country?
  3. What is the strength of the public policy evidence base for career development in your country?

Together with Mark, we reviewed the results and prepared this rankings chart:


Canada ranks 13th of 23 countries, just below the halfway point.

I was surprised that Germany is not among those countries that submitted country papers. I was also surprised the UK ranked so highly. When I lived and worked in the UK – near Bournemouth – I noticed a lot of people were unemployed, especially in winter when tourism slowed.

Another big surprise for me was to find that the USA team had scored themselves so low. They gave themselves failing grades (2 out of 5 across the board). From my European perspective, America seems to imagine themselves as the greatest country in the world. So to see these low results from an American team, shows an unusual amount of honesty and humility, from my perspective.

The ICCDPP aims to facilitate and promote international policy sharing and learning on career development and public policy issues. The purpose of sharing is to improve national and regional policies and systems for career guidance. The Centre collects, analyses, and disseminates policy and systems knowledge [source:].

On June 18-21, 2017, 23 country teams, including Canada, join the 8th International Symposium. Teams submitted country papers ( in which they describe their career development progress along four themes:

  1. Understanding how work opportunities are changing,
  2. Ensuring that content and delivery of career development programs and services are relevant,
  3. Improving career practitioner training and practice,
  4. Reforming career services in education and labour to focus on career competencies and successful transitions.

Questions for you:

What surprises you about these results?

How accurate do you think all country teams have been in their self-evaluations?

Add your comments to this blog post, or let us know on social media @careercycles


Opening Up a World of Career Opportunities & Lifetime Experiences


Seeing the need for post-secondary graduates to really understand and grasp opportunities Alex McKee founded Millennial Xchange. Not limiting itself as a mentor program but a career launch pad where ambitious creative minds can connect with professionals from all walks of life.

Also joining the conversation are Diane Latta, a mentor with Millennial Xchange and mentee, Harrison Olajos, of Campus Brainiac. Two Innovators in helping students build bridges with industry leading professionals as well as helping students from early stages shape their career paths towards a brighter future.


Taking a Workplace Sabbatical: Perfect Springboard to Career and Life Renewal


What is it like to take a years sabbatical? How do you organize one, not if you’re a professor or a teacher, but as an employee in a regular Canadian workplace? Caterina Sanders shares her experiences from a one year global travel sabbatical with her family. She’s back at work at Habanero Consulting in Vancouver with a new sense of refreshment focusing on bringing human-centered design work to employee experience consulting. Drawing from her experiences Caterina helps connects the dots for those wanting to know.


Pursuing a Career in Sales – Three Interviews from the Great Canadian Sales Competition


Sheila Cassidy leads the Great Canadian Sales Competition, one of Canada’s biggest student competitions. Her team, including 150 student Ambassadors coast to coast, promotes sales as a career and a valuable skill-set to students across Canada.

A trailblazer and Chief Revenue Officer at Ceridian, Larry Dunivan was instrumental in moving Ceridian to a cloud-based company. Larry also sits as one of the judges for the Great Canadian Sales Competition.

Carter Grant, a fourth year Business Management student enrolled in the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson, was a top 5 finalist at the 2nd annual Great Sales Competition. He competed against over 1,000 other students to reach his place amongst the standouts of the competition.

Sheila, Larry & Carter share their experiences with the Great Canadian Sales Competition as well as some sound advice for those wishing to pursue a successful career in sales.


Who You Are Matters! – New video explains game and narrative assessment


Put the power of story in your hands.

video-game-imageOneLifeTools bridges the gap between leading edge career theory and practice. Our mission is to help scale up career management with our Narrative Assessment games, tools and training.

The narrative approach has demonstrated effectiveness in several studies, and normally relies exclusively on 1-on-1 meetings. Within a world of limited resources, OneLifeTools offers a better solution. Our easy to use Narrative Assessment system maximizes your 1-on-1 meetings with an evidence-based method*, the fun and social Who You Are Matters! group discovery experience, and an Online Storyteller providing individual post-game narrative assessment tasks that increase depth, comprehensiveness and impact.

We are very excited to bring these game changing tools to an international audience and hope you’ll join us as we work to empower HEROIC careers & lives.

Mark Franklin & Rich Feller
co-founders, OneLifeTools
please visit our new site

“My Career Ended with a Mosquito Bite” – the challenges of transitioning away from Athletics and Dance


Dancers and athletes share strikingly similar challenges in their career and life transitions. Personal identity tied to profession, loss of community and team, and mental health are some of the challenges that athletes and dancers navigate in their transition from high performance.

Annamay Oldershaw Pierse swam for Canada in 2008 at the Beijing Olympics. In 2009 she broke 4 World Records. In 2010 Annamay was bit by a mosquito and got Dengue fever, which ended her career. Annamay is currently an elementary teacher with the Halton district school board.

After a fifteen-year dance career, during which he was a First Soloist with the National Ballet of Canada and performed principal roles on Broadway, Chris Body went back to school. Now he works as a Physician Assistant (PA) at Toronto General Hospital.

Hear Annamay and Chris’ inspiring stories on this episode of CareerBuzz.


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