by Gloria Welton
In the career exploration world, we talk about emerging industries, and a great example of that is be the Bioscience sector. Twenty years ago, we knew very little about this sector, and now it is among the fastest growing one on PEI and around the world.
Who would have predicted that PEI’s Bioscience sector would one day have 60 companies and more than 2,000 employees? The Island’s Bioscience companies are addressing the need for research, development, and commercialization of bioactive-based products for human, animal, and fish health and nutrition.
Now when we think of the pandemic we are facing, no one would have thought that almost 100 years after the Spanish flu outbreak the world would again face another global health threat.
Career development speaker JP Michel, who is founder of SparkPath in Toronto, says that although challenges stretch our capabilities, challenges can also bring opportunities. “Career exploration can be a tool to help people explore challenges and see their fit.”
Drawing on examples from the many challenges people are tackling during the pandemic, JP Michel outlined strategies for career professionals to use with their clients and students. “Career planners help their clients explore where they fit into the world of work by exploring their interests, values, preferences, talents, and more.”
He has developed a program that brings together a selection of the best inspirational and informative content, exercises, and resources to help career planners navigate their clients’ journeys. Through videos, quizzes, self-guided study, journaling, and one-on-one coaching sessions, the outcome could be:
- Designing a satisfying career
- Identifying values, interests, and strengths
- Researching and exploring the world of work
- Discovering the right education program
- Taking critical next steps towards success
Looking at a huge challenge like COVID-19 through a career planning lens
JP Michel says the people working on the challenges brought on by the pandemic have more than a job – they have a mission.
“Their efforts keep small businesses alive, allow people to go out in public and work in community businesses and organizations safely and to enjoy life at an extremely difficult time.”
Those interested in helping to deal with the challenges caused by the pandemic can start by thinking about who is involved:
What type of challenge appeals to you?
- healing people who are sick?
- preventing the spread of the virus?
- developing a vaccine?
- communicating with the public?
- changing behavior?
Where are people working within the pandemic?
- Hospitals, retirement homes
- Government (at all levels)
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Equipment manufacturers
- Health technology startups
Careers that deal with the pandemic
- Doctor, Nurse, Respiratory Technician
- Pharmacist, Laboratory Technician
- Personal Support Worker, Manager
- Policy Analyst, Researcher
- Public Health Marketing Specialist
- Social Worker
- Infection Control Expert
- COVID-19 Testers
- Contact Tracers
- Temperature Screeners
- Screen Manufacturers and Installers
- Zoom Support Specialist
The next step is to determine what training and education is needed to work with the pandemic challenge. Some educational paths could be:
- Project Management
On PEI, additional employees have been hired as Government responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. The PEI Government reports that the Department of Justice and Public Safety, for example, added 54 new casual employees as part of the border screening team and to assist with COVID self-isolation checks.
The Public Service Commission provides human resources leadership and services that support performance excellence and help build the Civil Service’s capacity to deliver government’s programs and services, including its respons e to the COVID-19 pandemic.
How does facing challenges help the career planner?
“Encourage people to become problem solvers,” says JP Michel. “Youth today need to know the world needs them.”
He suggests asking students to choose their favourite story from a newspaper. Ask them to identify the challenges in the story and who works on these challenges, and consider if they have any interest for their own career path. He says everyday learning is preparing students to face world challenges and sparking their interest, which could be an amazing motivator when choosing a career.
“Don’t ask kids what they want to be when they grow up. Ask them what problems they want to solve and what they need to learn to be able to do that.”
– Jamie Casap
During his eight years at Google, Jamie was part of the original team that launched Google Apps for universities and Google Apps into K through 12 schools and helped get Chromebooks off the ground and into schools. He says being raised by his single mother on financial assistance gave him a unique understanding and appreciation of the power of education to change the destiny of a family in just one generation.
For more about a new approach to career discovery, visit www.mysparkpath.com
To explore the many industries and career choices on PEI related to the pandemic, visit www.employmentjourney.com/industries