Penny Freno MA, HNCP


My joy as a narrative career coach and educator is helping people discover or rediscover what really makes their heart sing.   Supporting people to figure out, recognize, and give voice to their talents strengths, and desires and make confident and intentional career-life choices is ‘my calling’.

I have had the privilege of helping students, early-, mid- and later-career professionals identify how they want to show up in the world, navigate transitions, execute action plans, and find work. I am excited about working with diverse clients across the lifespan, and adults 55+ who are exploring next chapters.

My possibilities mindset, pragmatic approach, collaborative nature and 20+ years’ work in career development and employment services are among my assets. My story includes volunteer roles, serving as a board and committee member to non-profit organizations and winning an election. Other assets: Masters in leadership and training, undergraduate degree in English and Sociology, a holistic narrative career professional designation, certified job finding coach.

Penny’s Career Statement

Desires iconMy Desires, which are what I’m wanting and what’s important to me include:

  • To be supportive and encouraging; foster belief and hope
  • Use my expertise in the best possible way to inspire and help others
  • Listening to and honoring people’s stories
  • Curiosity and ideas; learning new things and being outside my comfort zone
  • Being a trusted source

Natural Interests iconI’m Naturally Interested in:

  • Career development theory,constructs and frameworks; mindset and success; narrative career counselling
  • Story telling, story listening
  • The power of leading from within
  • Working with diverse individuals from around the globe
  • Community gardening; local and international travel and live theatre

Strengths iconThe Strengths I want to use are:

  • Creative thinking, listening and oral communication
  • Coaching, facilitating and ‘nudging’
  • Linking knowledge of career development, career transitions, and work search to practice
  • Possibilities thinking and challenging the status quo to create change
  • Work search know how, resume development and interview coaching

Assets iconMy credibility and impact come from my Assets of:

  • 20+ years experience in the career development and employment services field
  • Master’s degree — Leadership and Training
  • Holistic Narrative Career Professional Designation
  • Undergraduate degree — English and Sociology
  • Certified Job Club Facilitator
  • Associate Diploma, Public Relations
  • Seven different careers; multiple different roles — worker, leader, and business owner
  • Curriculum design and development
  • Instructional Skills
  • Sessional Instructor, SFU Career Development Practitioner Program
  • Educational and grass roots fundraising
  • Co-Chair, Research Committee, Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers(CACEE)
  • Past member, Marketing and Communications and Web Services Committee, and Professional Development and Learning Committee, Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC)

Personal Qualities iconMy Personal Qualities and how others describe me include:

  • Curious and creative
  • A big picture thinker
  • Dependable
  • Risk taker
  • Resourceful

Other People iconOther People who influence me include:

  • Parents; unshakeable faith in me
  • Graduate School Advisor; convinced me to persist when I doubted myself and taught me how to kiss the ‘imposter syndrome’ good-bye
  • My amazing daughters and son-in-laws and my grandson who is instilling in me a renewed sense of wonder
  • Clients and colleagues that I have had the privilege to work with
  • Mark Franklin; for his support, generosity; so grateful for trust in me
  • The CareerCycles team in Toronto,especially Evan and Jennifer
  • Talented and generous leaders in the field — Jim Bright, Rich Feller, Norm Amundson, Roberta Neault, Mark Savickas, Kathareine Brooks and John Krumboltz
  • Brene Brown and the ‘gifts of imperfection’

Possibilities iconI’m most curious about exploring the Possibilities of:

  • Working with adults 55+ and PhD’s
  • Certificate in instructional design and/or curriculum development
  • Designing curriculum for blended learning
  • Developing a career development course for post-secondary students
  • Teaching and training others
  • Travel, local volunteer opportunities