by Jaimie Augustine
The Career Development Association of PEI Inc. (CDA of PEI) is celebrating Canada Career Month by highlighting the great work and career paths of its members.
CDA of PEI is a network of Career Development Professionals who work with people of all ages to help them manage their learning, work, leisure, and transitions. The goal of career services is to help people pursue learning, find work which is personally meaningful, and learn how to manage transitions in today’s ever-evolving labour market.
Sometimes people find it necessary to change direction and pick a new career. Kim McCourt, Career Practitioner with Career Development Services of PEI (CDS PEI) in Summerside, can help you find your way.
Kim started her career journey in the 1990s as a kindergarten teacher in Halifax, NS. She later moved to London, Ontario where she discovered a passion for helping youth, so she took a Child and Youth care worker program in that province.
Moving back to PEI, Kim started working at Rural Community Learning Inc. (RCLI) in Tignish, were she worked with at-risk youth and young adults 18+ offering unemployed individuals assistance with preparing:
- Cover letters
- Filling out work application forms.
She then took a job with the Department of Social Services. After two years, she moved on to CDS PEI.
Sixteen years later, Kim still works at this agency, helping people find the right path to finding a satisfying career and showing clients there is always another direction to go. She finds solace in helping people with career development and watching them succeed.
“Together, the job seeker and I explore what they want to do as a career and/or what the educational goal will be,” says Kim.
“People quite often change jobs, and I have learned some skills as a career practitioner that are very helpful.”
Career development professional training
Through the CDA of PEI, Kim has completed the following:
- Career Development Foundation
- Career Development Theories
- Ethics in Career Development practices
These courses were made available through a partnering organization called Canadian Career Development Foundation and funded through SkillsPEI.
Kim has been a member of the CDA of PEI for many years. Currently, she serves on its executive committee as Co-Chair and Secretary. She has the following advice for anyone considering career development as a profession:
“Make sure you do your research, understand the big picture around what career development really is, and what that looks like on PEI. Because we are so small, resources don’t always appear to be obvious.
“There’s a lot more to the job search than submitting a resumé and getting the job. There are many bigger questions and bigger pieces that you can help people think about.”
Kim says career development on the Island tends to have its own different paths, from career exploration classes in high schools, to government programs and career programs in the community. Staff at these programs come from different education backgrounds and work experience before working in career development.
“My advice would be to go talk to people at the organizations that deliver these programs. Also, check the CDA of PEI website and find out what kind of training is available to help you reach your goal.”