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The emerging field & importance of cyber security – Interview with cyber security expert and Xahive co-founder Sem Ponnambalam


With the growing threats to personal and government data security what are we supposed to do to protect against cyber attacks? And with the growing threats come career opportunities: information security was among the top 10 jobs for 2016. Learn more about the field of Cyber Security and Sems own career path that took her from working in various federal agencies to founding Xahive.

Jobs in the Great Outdoors –Tree planting, fishing camps & Zamboni driving


10 year veteran tree planter Adam Yudelman stopped pursuing a math degree so he could focus on something we often neglect, doing things he actually enjoys.

Adam’s love of the outdoors and working with his hands lead to his long and varied resume as a tree planter, fishing camp hand, organic farmer, bicycle courier, outdoor carpenter and even Zamboni driver. Hear Adams story and refreshing attitude on career & life in this episode of CareerBuzz.

What can you learn from outdoor active experience? – Interview with Outward Bound Executive Director, Sarah Wiley


During a mountain biking trip in Nepal, Sarah Wiley realized her planned career in law might not be the right fit. Now, as Executive Director of Outward Bound Canada, she is helping others learn about themselves and connect with the great outdoors. Hear Sarah Wiley’s inspiring story and learn about Outward Bound Canada in this episode of Career Buzz.

What you can learn about your career from a single leaf


Just as one leaf can represent all the colours in an entire tree, seemingly small stories from your life can provide insight into your career & life that you might not expect. Hear Patrick’s story and how our narrative system helped him gain clarity and learn about career options he may not have considered.

Managing Your Career While Going Through Cancer Treatment


Cancer strikes without prejudice – but people from all walks of life and within all levels of the cancer community can be united in a common goal of coping with this life-altering event. People living with cancer can and do play a significant and powerful role in their own journey. Kim Adlard has first hand experience witnessing how involvement impacts experience. And involvement starts with developing awareness of what’s available in terms of support, services, programs and activities. Hear Kim share her story and the new resource she founded, One Access Space, Kim also shared these valuable resources: Cancer and Careers and Working with Cancer

Don’t Make Any Assumptions: Inside U of T Mississauga’s Career Centre


“Don’t make any assumptions,” said self-confessed career geek, Felicity Morgan, “about what you think about any career area.” Felicity is director of the career center at the University of Toronto at Mississauga. The UTM career centre serves over 13,000 students, with 15 staff. When we make assumptions we risk “not seeing our own biases and not identifying career opportunities.” Instead, Felicity recommended career exploration: “Check it out, talk to people, check yourself out internally if it’s the right thing for you. You can only make the best decision with the info you have in front of you. So get that info in front of you.” Hear the whole interview with Felicity Morgan.


6 Reasons Why You Should Read the Obituaries First


Historian Ramsay Cook’s obituary clinched it for me – I decided I would start with the obituaries first when I read the newspaper, in paper or online. Though I’ve become more interested in history, I didn’t study it and hadn’t heard of Ramsay Cook. Then this: “we see Canada today through Ramsay Cook’s eyes,” John Ibbitson wrote in the Globe and Mail feature obituary (July 21, 2016). “More than any other historian of the last half of the 20th century, he defined Canada as we now live it.”

You’d think such an important historian would have a solid career story where you could connect the dots from a childhood interest in history, or at least from high school.

But no. His school interest? Chemistry.


Ibbitson wrote, “School was both effortless and boring, and it took a stern parental command to convince him to attend United College (today the University of Winnipeg), where he slotted in a first-year history course only because his much-preferred chemistry class was in a far-away building and he was too lazy to make the commute.”

What? The spark that ignited the career of Canada’s most famous historian was… that he was too lazy? I love stories like this, that reveal the secret turning point. Reading or hearing dramatic career change stories helps normalize these kind of small inputs that create big career changes. It’s chaos theory’s flap of a butterfly wing that results in a hurricane half a planet away. And having interviewed hundreds of people on Career Buzz radio about their career stories and counselled thousands more at two big universities and at CareerCycles, I can assure you, these kind of happenstance stories are surprisingly common.

I’m grateful for Ramsay Cook’s story as written by John Ibbitson, which gave me this idea to share six reasons why you should read obituaries first. They help you:

  1. Believe that small moments can lead to big and meaningful changes in career and life. Rather than trying to fill in the blank, ‘In my career I will be a ___,’ it’s more likely your career won’t follow such an organized trajectory. Better to be ready for career surprises and embrace that next small moment – like a newfound interest in a course you take. Our team of Associates likes to prepare clients for career surprises by priming them with a fund of self-awareness through a narrative assessment – we call that fund a Career Statement. With Career Statement in hand we encourage clients to: a) watch for clues related to your Career Statement, b) take inspired action to explore those clues, and c) welcome opportunities. To learn more about this approach and evidence of its effectiveness, see Franklin, Yanar & Feller (2015).
  2. Be inspired by the long view of career stories. When you read an obituary you get both the long view and the highlights of that person’s career. You begin to see that one chapter follows another, and we can create many chapters in a lifetime. Celebrate the good chapters. And when a chapter, or even a page, isn’t working out, tell yourself, ‘this too shall pass.’ The long view helps put current career crises in perspective.
  3. Feel relief in your own career drama. I teach a career management course at the University of Toronto (scroll to APS1030 here), and in it, I have groups of students interview business leaders in the community. One of the most useful insights the students reported, was realizing that even these leaders were still asking themselves, ‘What am I going to do when I grow up?’ If these leaders are still evolving in their careers, the students realized, ‘then maybe it’s okay for me not to be sure what I’ll do when I grow up.’ In other words, it’s normal not to know what to do next. The best we can do is make well-informed choices funded by a wealth of self-awareness, and then be ready to ‘error-correct’ as the need arises.
  4. Avoid being dragged down by daily bad news and instead, be uplifted by a positive story. I don’t know about you but when I read or hear the news, I think it would be more descriptive to call it the ‘bad news.’ Let’s face it, there are many problems in the world, and they show up first in the news. Even though 99.9999% of people were safe yesterday, safety is boring; the news tells us the terrible things that happened to the one in a million people. So start your day with a dose of good news. Yes, the person in the obituary has died, but their career and life highlights infuse your day with themes of overcoming adversity, making a difference, and lives well lived.
  5. Appreciate lives well lived and making a positive impact on others. Obituary writers seek comment from those whose lives were touched by this person. These quotes often support the accomplishments and impact of the career and life story. Of Ramsay Cook, Ibbitson wrote, ‘“He was a giant,’ his friend and fellow historian John English concludes.” Then we get this accomplishment: “At a critical moment in the life of the nation, when Canada seemed on the brink of dissolution, Prof. Cook succeeded in explaining French Canada to the English and English Canada to the French…” Pretty impressive impact!
  6. Be your best self. In Youree Harris’s obituary, The Associated Press quoted Harris’s colleague, “he found her to be ‘warm and welcoming and bigger than life. …She was smart as a whip and very intuitive.’” No matter what has come before, we all have it in us to be more of our ‘best selves.’ Laura Morgan Roberts et al (2005) define ‘reflected best self’ as “a person’s cognitive representation of the qualities and characteristics that a person displays when one is at his or her best.” Wouldn’t it be great to experience more moments of being our best self? Wouldn’t we all want to be remembered when we were at our best?

Read obituaries first, and watch for clues of inspiring people at their best. Then take inspired action, and welcome opportunities.

Arlene Dickenson – Feature interview with Dragons’ Den Star



Originally broadcast in January of 2013, we’ve edited, slimmed down and re-posted our feature interview with Dragons’ Den star and prominent Canadian business woman Arlene Dickenson.

At 30, Arlene Dickinson was divorced, had a high school diploma, no savings, and no idea how to feed four young children. She is now the CEO of Venture Communications, a co-star of the CBC TV hit Dragons’ Den, and one of the country’s most sought-after female entrepreneurs. Hear Arlene’s career story and advice from her book Persuasion. Plus, hear what it was like to be on Dragon’s Den from the founders of SMARTeacher and Urban Cultivator.

6 Easy Steps to Optimize your LinkedIn Profile: Tell your Story and Own your Brand


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“LinkedIn is the site where we’re investing time, not wasting time,” Leslie Hughes, LinkedIn optimization specialist and owner of PunchMedia, told Career Buzz listeners. “Linkedin is not the sexy social media site, it’s not the one everyone goes to gleefully every morning,” said Leslie, but it is the business network, so it pays to make it good. How?


Leslie highlighted 6 steps to start optimizing your online presence and improving your LinkedIn profile:

  1. Do a digital audit. Find out your “online first impression,” Leslie recommended. Conduct a search on yourself to see how you are being perceived by potential hiring managers or clients. Make changes to remove unflattering content.
  2. Get a professional head shot. “If you do nothing else, focus on a really good head shot so you appear confident, smiling and approachable.”
  3. Craft a strong headline that’s not your job title. Bypass LinkedIn’s default headline which is your most recent job title, and go for this formula: _[descriptive title]_ helping _[these clients]_ deliver _[these results]_, for example, Career management leader helping individuals and employees manage their careers for the future
  4. Understand the Summary is the most important content. “You have 2000 characters to effectively tell your story.” Need ideas? Leslie recommended watching Simon Senik’s TEDTalk, Start with Why.
  5. Go long on copy. In your Experience and Volunteer and other sections, “long copy outperforms short copy,” Leslie said.
  6. “Put the ‘social’ in social media.” Don’t just rely on a static profile, engage with others through Shares, Posts, and interactions in Groups.

Leslie Hughes recommended listeners use these social media tools and steps “to own their brand and to become their own digital media agency.”

Also in the show Denise Raposa discusses the careers of older adults in our changing work environment.


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