At the end of January I had the opportunity to attend #CANNEXUS19 – A national conference for Career Development Professionals put on by the good folks at CERIC. Despite being held at the end of January, in Ottawa, quite possibly the coldest time of year, in one of the coldest cities, it was well worth the drive! With over 1,300 in attendance, you couldn’t go more than a few seconds without hearing the words career, employment, or jobs. Having gone to every CANNEXUS since the beginning, with the exception of one year due to an involuntary sabbatical, this year was pretty special to me when I realized all the different hats I wear as a Career Development Professional.
Hat #1: Exhibitor for CLSR Inc. & Personality Dimensions® – I’ve been an exhibitor the longest out of all of my roles. I always look forward to CANNEXUS, it’s one of the few opportunities I have to actually see many of my clients in person, and put a face to a name. Despite living in the digital age, I still like being able to connect on a personal level that you just can’t do over email. We have clients all across Canada from Victoria to St. John’s, and as far north as Yellowknife, so being at CANNEXUS also gives my clients a chance to get a look at some of our resources in person instead of reading a short description. It’s also the one time of year I get to catch up with some of the authors of our resources, like Roberta Neault, and Deirdre Pickerel.
Hat #2: CDP Student – Last year I decided it was about time I started doing some more professional development, so amongst other things I enrolled in the Introduction to Employment Services program at Dalhousie University. Being in the program has given me a new appreciation for the work that Career Development Professionals do, not to mention the many things I have learned about ethics, theory, and practise. As a bonus I was able to meet a couple of my instructors from the program, Teresa Francis and Jessica Isenor, in person and see them present together. Their session on Practitioner Based Research still has me thinking about possibilities and what I can work on after I’ve wrapped up the IES program.
Hat #3: CDPBCO advisory committee member – I’ve been a member of the advisory committee since the board had its first meeting back in 2015. CANNEXUS provides the opportunity to connect with Career Professionals in Ontario that I wouldn’t normally have the chance to meet, and hear their thoughts on Certification. It was also great to meet with counterparts from other provinces who are working towards the same goal. Shout out to the great folks at NSCDA who had an incredibly creative setup in the exhibitor hall, and some amazing people working in it. That brings me to my last hat…
Hat #4: Newly minted CCDP – After much procrastination, and many stops and starts I finally submitted my application to CDPCBO for my CCDP designation in the first week of January. I was over the moon when directors Gillan Johnson and Gayle Takahashi presented me with my certificate… and thank you Sareena Hopkins for sharing in my achievement, and photo bombing the presentation. For anyone sitting on the fence I can honestly say it is well worth the time; the application has you reflect on all your strengths and achievements as a Career Development Professional – and seeing it down on paper makes you feel pretty good.
Simply put, CANNEXUS is one of my most valuable resources. I firmly believe that there is so much value in meeting people face-to-face, and this is the place to do it. Where else can you find that many people in the same place, at the same time, who all share a passion for Career Development? All that aside, it is a really well run conference; the amazing staff at CERIC and their army of volunteers kept everything moving along smoothly and make it a great experience for everyone there. I can’t recommend CANNEXUS enough to anyone in the field.
Brad Whitehorn – BA, CCDP is the Sales & Marketing Coordinator at CLSR Inc. He was thrown in to the career development field headfirst after completing a Communications degree in 2005, and hasn’t looked back! Since then, Brad has worked on the development, implementation and certification for various career and personality assessments (including Personality Dimensions®), making sure that Career Development Practitioners get the right tools to best serve their clients.