Let’s Get to Work Presentation Abstracts

Achieving Success in Your Work Is No Accident! How CERIC Can Help

Whether you guide students trying to figure out their post-secondary options, counsel adults in the community seeking employment, or coach employees who want to advance their careers, you need to be equipped with the latest knowledge and most up-to-date skills. CERIC is a charitable organization whose mandate is to provide cutting-edge career development research and education to support you in creating workforce opportunities for clients – and in maximizing your own professional prospects!

This session will introduce you to CERIC and our programs and projects:

  • funding for research and education projects in career development available to individuals and organizations;
  • low and no-cost learning and professional development options to keep you current and connected; and
  • new, free resources including: Career Crafting the Decade After High School, Supporting People Affected by Mental Health Issues, and Managing Maternity Leave Career Transitions.

CERIC Presentation


Riz Ibrahim (WR)Riz Ibrahim

Riz Ibrahim is the Executive Director of the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC). Riz works with CERIC’s cross-sectoral Board and Advisory Committees to develop strategic and functional partnerships that enhance the body of knowledge for Canada’s career professional communities. Additionally, Riz oversees all areas within CERIC’s mandate including the Cannexus National Career Development Conference, the ContactPoint, and OrientAction online community collaboration portals, the peer-reviewed The Canadian Journal of Career Development, and a host of internal and external projects, including national surveys of Canadians’ perceptions about career planning and about career development and the workplace.


Beyond Barriers to Passion and Possibility: Creative Tools for Uncovering Assets, Strengths, and Work Preferences

Leo Tolstoy once suggested that it is through one hour of play that we will learn more about a person than in a lifetime of “evaluations”.  What makes a person tick, do a happy dance, or puts the sparkle in their eyes cannot be measured in a paper and pen assessment. We need to inspire a playful environment in which the person’s heart is able to speak. In this highly participative session, Denise shares some of her most popular tools and activities taken from her celebrated curriculum, “Cultivating True Livelihood”.    Among the purposes and benefits of these tools is to uncover a person’s gifts and strengths, whether or not they have ever worked, to identify a person’s work preferences and key values and get around what appears as “unrealistic expectations”, and to capitalize on a person’s passions and interests when brainstorming vocational possibilities. Delivered in a “train the trainer” style, Denise takes participants through the exercises, encouraging them to put the techniques into practice in their own work settings, whether in private coaching session or in a group or classroom settings.  These tools have proven effective with those new to the world of work, the seasoned professional, and individuals with a wide range of employment barriers.


DB PictureDenise Bissonette

Denise Bissonnette is a highly acclaimed author, trainer, writer, and keynote speaker in the Employment and Training field.  Denise is the author of Beyond Traditional Job Development: The Art of Creating Opportunity, 30 Ways to Shine, and The Wholehearted Journey: Bringing Qualities of Soul to Everyday Life and Work. Having spent her early years working with refugees, immigrants, and persons with disabilities, Denise is an impassioned advocate for individuals with barriers to employment. Her writing is infused with the themes of inclusion and diversity. Denise received her Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics from the University of California in Santa Cruz, California and her Master’s Degree in Multicultural Education from the University of San Francisco.


Career Development Considerations for Newcomer and Refugee Youth

Researchers in Canada have partnered together to learn about the shared and disparate approaches to career development for refugee and newcomer children. Findings based on data from the school and community settings in Manitoba will be shared and emerging themes and trends related to best practices for culturally responsive career development and exploration will be discussed.

Presentation: Career Development Considerations for Newcomer and Refugee Youth


Jan Stewart (WR)Jan Stewart

Jan Stewart, Ph.D is a Professor and the Coordinator of Advanced Studies in Education in the Faculty of Education at The University of Winnipeg.  She is the Acting Associate Dean and was the Director of The Institute for Children Affected by War at The Global College from 2006-2011. Jan is the lead investigator of a research program studying educational strategies and career development programs to support refugee, immigrant children, and youth. She was the lead investigator of a study on educational and psychosocial support for children in post-conflict situations in northern Uganda and South Sudan. Her dissertation on the educational and psychosocial needs of war-affected children was recognized as the top dissertation in Canada in 2007.


Creating Career Success—Luck or Hard Work? The Immigrant Experience

Every year, over 4,000 newcomers from more than 120 countries use Manitoba Start as a launch pad to plan their career pathways and develop skills to network, self-market, and gain meaningful employment. Once in the workplace, newcomer professionals continue to work through the licensing process, gain promotions, and build new relationships with management, colleagues and clients: They create their own luck.

During this interactive panel discussion, several newcomers will share how they navigated the Canadian workplace to not only enter but also advance in their profession and create opportunities—sometimes carving out new positions that didn’t previously exist in the company. Luck was no accident; they applied concepts that set them up for success in the Canadian workplace. Find out what impact career development practitioners have on newcomers planning to re-enter their profession and how newcomer professionals navigate a new culture to create their own luck.


Jonathan Bauer (WR).jpgJonathan Bauer

 Since 2010, Jonathan Bauer has worked in a variety of frontline and leadership roles at Manitoba Start. Manitoba Start connects businesses to a world-class workforce and is the leading provider of career services to newcomers to the Province.  Jonathan is currently the Manager of Manitoba Start Career Services, which annually provides career development and qualification recognition supports to over 4,000 newcomers.  Jonathan draws on over eight-years of experience in the social-services sector, including employment and volunteer experience in five Asian countries. His background includes professional and academic experience in adult education, career development, eLearning, and management.


Creating a Lifelong Career Development Model 

As part of a larger project to further develop knowledge about children’s career development, two researchers conducted an evaluative study to address three questions 1) how do children and adolescents perceive careers and career exploration? 2) how do children and adolescents engage in career exploration and decision-making?, and 3) What is the role of career exploration programs in this process?  1400 students across four Manitoba school divisions completed a series of measures that assessed career outcome expectancies, career self-efficacy, parental involvement in career exploration, and relationships with family, friends, and school. The data was analyzed to compare students who participated in Career Development programming to those who did not. The key finding was that Grade 5 and 6 Career Trek participants scored higher on measures of curiosity, interest, planning, and self-concept compared to the non-program group. Additionally, grades 7 and 8 Career Trek participants reported more curiosity in school, greater awareness of their academic interests, felt that they had greater control over their school-related activities and behaviours, increased importance to future planning, and clearer self-concepts than the non-Career Trek group.  This presentation will explore the data collected and make suggestions on how to a “Create Lifelong Career Development Model.”


kathy-v2Kathy Levine

Kathryn Levine is an Associate Professor with the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Manitoba. Her research and practice interests focus on family violence issues, child and adolescent mental health, services for people with intellectual disabilities, and the promotion of resilience in at-risk youth. She has extensive experience as a practicing social worker and has provided a wide range of therapeutic and clinical services to individuals, families and groups within the child welfare, child and adolescent mental health, and public school systems.


Creative Hurts: Transforming Pain and Loss into Career Potential

It might be hard to imagine that in the darkness of one’s life the seeds of possibility exist. This is not necessarily a place our clients want to go – the trauma, the hurts, the losses. It is also not necessarily a place where career development professionals want to go either. Stepping into the hurt can be awkward, vulnerable, and energetically draining. But what if a client’s deepest wounds call forth their greatest gifts? What if anger, shame, guilt, or regret could be a window into a career passion? The three key elements of Creative Hurts will be explored in this session: touching the hurt (acknowledging losses), finding your voice (owning the story of your losses), and writing you next chapter (curiosity, courage, and creativity.) The outcome is a process to help clients frame/reframe losses as catalysts for moving forward. This session is intended for anyone who supports clients in exploring career possibilities and/or developing life skills.


Catherine Hajnal (WR)Dr. Catherine Hajnal

Dr. Catherine Hajnal was a tenured university professor – outwardly successful, inwardly unhappy.  She quit without knowing what would come next.  What she discovered is that she was meant to be a teacher.  Ironically, she already was one; she just needed to be a different kind of teacher with a different set of topics.  She needed to discover some things about herself, including a need to acknowledge her losses and grieve.  Her curriculum is now life and all that entails.  She is currently a Grief Educator, Speaker, and Consultant.  She facilitates an understanding of loss, supports the process of grieving for individuals and in organizations, and invites everyone to step into the transformative potential of grief.


Luck is being ready for an opportunity


Greg & Geordie (WR)The team from Tec Voc High School will share their approach to Career Education in a presentation centered on this year’s conference theme – Luck Is No Accident. The school was the recipients of the inaugural Career Development Award of Excellence at last year’s conference in the organization category.

During this session the presenters will paint a picture of how career education concepts are integrated throughout the school. This session is intended for career educators in the K-12 system, or for anyone else who doesn’t take themselves too serious. We are hoping that you will come away with an understanding of the program at Tec Voc and, more importantly, a few ideas that may fit for your school or school division.


Greg Link

Greg Link is the Department Head of Applied Technology and Commerce at Tec Voc High School.  He led the creation of the Career Development course that is delivered to every grade-ten student at the school.  Greg’s responsibilities include guiding motivated grade 11 and 12 students on their career development and apprenticeship pathways, as well as facilitating Aerospace Industry Education throughout the province.  His career had stops in northern Manitoba and Australia before returning to Tec Voc.  Greg is also a faculty member of the Red River College Teacher Education department and has earned a Masters in Adult Education.


Geordie Wilson

Geordie Wilson leads the Career Education initiatives at Tec Voc High School.  His primary responsibility is to expose his students to career opportunities via mentorship and work experience placements.   This career educator definitely knows what employers want because he is one.  He draws on his decades of coaching sports to get the best out of his students.  He began his career as a Business Education teacher before setting off to create, teach in, and promote for the Aerospace Manufacturing and Maintenance Orientation Program – an internationally renowned partnership between the Manitoba Aerospace Human Resources Council and The Winnipeg School Division.


The Future of the Work


We cannot think about career and job counselling as we were. Not anymore, not in the 21st  Century. Looking through six drivers we may understand what it is coming and what it is already here: extreme longevity, the rise of smart machines and systems, a computational world, new media ecology, superstructured organizations, and a globally connected world. What are the abilities and skills needed to cope with these trends? Sense-making, social intelligence, novel and adaptive thinking, cross cultural competency, computational thinking, new media literacy, trans-disciplinary design mindset, cognitive load management skills, and virtual collaboration are already crucial. Kids are preparing for still unknown careers, employers are facing non-edited challenges exploring prototypes of solutions. Luck is no accident. We have to be aware of the Future of the Work to be an enrichment part of the flow, creating opportunities for the workplaces that will exist rather for the ones that will disappear.


Ingrid Neumarkt (WR)Ingrid Neumarkt

Ingrid Neumarkt has been working in the Training and Development Field since she earned her MBA more than 20-years ago. She has worked as a Manager and Consultant in South America.  She has extensive experience designing creative content for training purposes.  Focusing on the needs of the younger generation—those who will lead the organisations of the future—Ingrid is an active collaborator in studies on the Future of the Work.  As a newcomer to Canada, Ingrid keeps studying and learning, to be immersed into the Canadian Culture and add her value to their future Managers. Currently working on the design and facilitation of the Global-Issues Course (International Human Resources Management), at Red River College.


The Predictability of Luck


Jude & SandyIn today’s quickly changing labour market it is incumbent upon career practitioners to provide job seekers with more than the standard job search tools of yesterday. Today both job seekers and career practitioners need a new mindset that takes into account the necessity to be prepared for the unexpected. In this session we will explore the notion of luck in the job search and how we can help cultivate that mindset in the people we work with. This workshop is for everyone and anyone interested in adapting to the new reality of job search, whether you are the employer, employee, or the job seeker. You will leave with a better understanding of the Happenstance Theory and the qualities individuals need to maximize unexpected opportunities.


Jude Gaal

As a career counsellor at Osborne Village Resource Centre, Jude’s goal is to be a catalyst for positive change in the lives of the clients she works with.  Having experienced the negativity of job dissatisfaction herself, she works to provide individuals with the tools to create more satisfying lives through career exploration.

Sandy Hudson

Sandy emigrated from UK to Winnipeg in 2006, after facilitating a ten-year project helping women into work, education, and training.  She spent five-years at Osborne Village Resource Centre and then relocated to Winnipeg Transition Centre in early 2014.  Sandy has earned certification in Keirsey Temperament, Career / Employment Coach, Practical Workshop Facilitation Skills, Advice and Guidance, and Counselling.