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.
“Career development is more about life management, especially when it comes to decision making in employment, education, and training,” says Gloria Welton, executive member of the CDA of PEI and Owner/Manager of The Employment Journey Inc.
Gloria worked with many different organizations and programs before joining the CDA of PEI. She is a self-employed woman who says she is blessed to get to where she is today. And this is her story.
Gloria began her journey by taking the Human Services program at Holland College. Soon after, she and her husband Steven moved to New Brunswick where she took a Life Skills Coaching course.
From there, she accepted a job at NB Community College as a Life Skills Coach, helping members of the community in all aspects of life, from youth to those leaving jail to live in the community. All the programs were geared to help people as they made decisions about education and employment. When their first child was born in Saint John, being away from family was drawing Gloria and Steven to move back to PEI.
Becoming a facilitator was a huge shift in Gloria’s life. She enjoyed working with people in group settings in NB so she sought out that type of work at Holland College when she moved home. There, she worked with groups looking to enter or reenter the workforce, but this type of programming was coming to an end on PEI so she was at a crossroads.
“To continue working at the college I needed to have a Bachelor of Education, and I decided that was not an option for me. So, I started to look at taking on contracts through the provincial government. I did get a contract for a few months which included handling the financial aspect which was new to me, and I embraced it. When the contract ended, I needed to look for another opportunity.”
Meeting with an employment counsellor, Gloria talked about how she wished the community could get more information about the employment resources available. The counsellor pitched the idea of listing those resources in a newspaper, and soon the concept for The Employment Journey was born.
“Every person I spoke to said it would be a good idea,” says Gloria. She began planning the creation of the paper and was ready to move forward with the idea, and Service Canada agreed to a contract to fund the paper for six months.
With no professional publishing experience, Gloria challenged herself to look for support for the journalism, photography, and graphic design aspect of the publication.
“I had a really strong sense of the employment information that was needed in the community, I knew I loved writing, and was willing to learn.” She surrounded herself with people with journalism skills, used the resources available, and managed everything successfully. Now, 23 years later, she says she is blessed The Employment Journey is still in production.
Today she continues to partner with CDA of PEI and SkillsPEI to continue the work of creating, producing, and circulating all the employment news each of us can use on our journey. Many people have used her paper to change careers, and you can too.
Gloria has been actively involved with CDA of PEI since its conception in 1999. “I believe strongly in the need for this profession who help others to find their way in a very complex world when it comes to making career choices and taking steps towards preferred careers.
“The Employment Journey is meant to help job seekers find their way and we have wonderful relationships with the many organizations across PEI who work directly with the job seeker and use the information we provide.
“I have enjoyed my many years of working in this field and hope to continue offering detailed information that we believe can make a difference. The goal of The Employment Journey is to give the workforce on PEI information that is clear and helpful.”
Gloria’s advice to those interested in the career development field
“If you are interested in the Career Development profession, explore it, and talk to people. Surround yourself with supportive people. See what possibilities are there and find answers to your questions. It is a sought-after profession, more than ever before.”