What’s next in your career after a job as a city councillor?

That’s what 13 former Toronto councillors are asking themselves in the aftermath of an election that saw incumbents square off against one another as council shrank from to 25 seats from 44. And not just those losing incumbents but the scores of council and mayoral candidates who didn’t get elected, all asking: What can I do now, in the world of work with this desire to serve, with my strengths in communicating and influencing, with my hardworking and curious qualities, and with this unique asset of having been on city council or having campaigned hard for it?

You can do a lot of things. Jobs in leadership, policy or communications. Self-employment in consulting, teaching or a tech startup. Further education and get that masters degree, or professional development and get that privacy certificate. Sure, you may want a short break and pick up guitar lessons like Jon Burnside said on CBC’s Metro Morning the day after the election (thanks, Matt Galloway, for the career questions in the interview). But what about after your guitar lesson? What’s plan B if the rock star career doesn’t pan out?

When you have a toothache you go to a dentist. But if you’re a city councillor, what do you when you have a career ache?

Ask a career professional.

Wait. What?

We career professionals seem to fly under many people’s radar screens and yet we are thousands strong across Canada. We are counsellors and coaches and other helping professionals trained and experienced in supporting clients of all ages and stages. To manage their careers for the future. To generate promising career possibilities. To strategize on job search. To support self-employment or entrepreneurship.

I lead a team of career professionals at a social enterprise called CareerCycles. We’ve helped all kinds of professionals navigate a lifetime of transitions. Including former politicians, one of whom shared her story on Career Buzz, the broadcast radio show and podcast I host.

Let me end with a recommendation to newly unseated Toronto city councillors, and to all those who stepped forward to run as councillors and mayor: When the dust has settled from election day, and after that guitar lesson, make an appointment to speak to a career professional.


Mark Franklin leads a team of career professionals in Toronto and Vancouver at CareerCycles.com and is co-founder of OneLifeTools.com. He teaches for-credit career management courses at University of Toronto and Conestoga College, and is producer/host of Career Buzz radio show and podcast.

Learn more: CareerCycles’ evidence-based narrative – storytelling – approach to working with clients.  Get started with an initial consultation and walk away with new career ideas, a clear and effective process to help you, an initial career sketch, and newfound hope and optimism. Or, join a small group career clarification game event, coming up Nov. 1 and Nov. 29.

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