by Gloria Welton
Career Development Services (CDS) in Souris has moved to another office in the same building upstairs above the Main Street Home Hardware Building Centre.
CDS remains a much-needed service in the community. Career Development Practitioner Nicky Perry says they are available to help clients with every employment step along the way.
CDS first opened its doors in Souris in 2003, and later opened offices across PEI. They recently held an open house at the Souris location to celebrate 20 years of being in the community.
There are three staff members at this location: Sue Hamiton, Career Counsellor, Nicky Perry, Career Development Practitioner, and Alyssa Runighan, Administrative Assistant.
Sue was the first person hired at CDS. She now works at both the Souris and Montague locations.
Meeting with Sue and any other Career Counsellor at CDS can help you discover your skills, interests, and strengths, and will guide you through the career decision making process.
Career counselling supports the discovery of a career path that suits your personality, strengths, and lifestyle.
“People of all ages can be unsure about which career and training opportunities suit them best,” says Sue. “And it takes courage to walk through the doors and be open to the process.”
Sue says she likes meeting with clients, helping them to discover and explore possibilities, and to determine their next steps. Sometimes clients complete career and personality assessments, which spark productive discussions and can be valuable to the process of determining a career path.
Nicky and all other Career Development Practitioners with CDS can help with the following:
- Create or update your resumé.
- Write a cover letter.
- Identify potential employers.
- Explore job opportunities.
- Prepare for a job interview, and more.
“We try very hard to stay up to date on the employment opportunities and resources in the community to help each client make an informed decision,” says Nicky.
“We welcome each person and offer what we can to help. Some people may use our services a few times, and some are longer-term clients. It really depends on their needs and goals. It is rewarding to meet up with people a few years later and hear how they have achieved their goals.
“We offer a private space to talk, and all conversations are confidential. Even though I have lived in this area all my life, what happens at work is kept confidential and the community seems to trust us for that type of service.”
Sue says their Administrative Assistant, Alyssa, keeps the office very organized and helps people coming through the doors feel comfortable. “She is also quick to pick up on the technology needed to keep the office running. It is so good to have her here as an integral part of our team.”
Sue and Nicky work together when appropriate to make sure each client is supported in their journey.
“For instance, if someone decides to enter post-secondary education, they usually meet with Sue first to discuss their decision. Then, if funding is available to help with tuition, either Sue or I help them with the paperwork required to apply. We work together to help clients,” says Nicky.
“We encourage people to visit our office to go over all the options available to them,” says Sue. “We can help determine if the next employment phase they are considering fits their life and make sure they know their options.
“We help people pause to explore what they truly would like to do next and what that might look like, whether it is going back to work right away, changing careers and direction, or taking short-term or long-term training,” says Sue.
“Gathering information and getting help to explore options will provide assurance that the next step is the right decision.
“We also help people to work out plans to get their GED and/or complete adult upgrading.
“Some people struggle for different reasons, so we look at each situation and help make sure all the necessary supports are in place.”
“The services Sue offers are very important,” says Nicky. “The overview with the client can ensure that nothing is left out of the equation and can help break down any roadblocks to success.
“This is a safe space. Confidentiality is very important,” says Sue. “We have spaces to talk one-on-one, and we make sure all the pieces are in place to help the client feel ready to move forward. Nicky has been with CDS for 17 years and knows the community well. Clients know they are safe with her, which is why this works well.”
Sue says some people come in discouraged and/or confused, but she hopes they leave the office feeling better when they realize CDS is here to help. “Nicky and Alyssa and I are here to help people of Souris and surrounding areas to move forward with employment, training, and career goals.”
Ann Marie Clow has accessed the services of CDS. She is very thankful and pleased with the services and felt the staff put her at ease. “I felt a friendship,” she says.
“It is a privilege to have done this work over the past 20 years,” says Sue. “We have seen people work out plans and take the steps that they might never have thought they would take.”
Souris staff invite people to visit the new office with their questions and requests.