Introduction to Series: Rethinking Career Development Written by: Jessica Popp of the CEI
It feels as if we are constantly living in a state of change. Changing structures. Changing technology. Changing teams. Changing environments. Changing perspectives. Now, more than ever, we live in a world where the adage stating that ‘the only constant in life is change’ is impeccably spot-on. Given this constant state of flux, it can feel as if there is never really a good time to break from your work—we bring home our computers and our notes. We check our emails ‘just to make sure no one needs anything’. This is no longer an anomaly as it once was, but rather it is a common occurrence happening across sectors and communities. How did we get here? And what implications does it have for our quality of work? What are we missing out on by remaining constantly connected?
It’s probably not a surprise to hear that our inability to disconnect can negatively influence our productivity, creativity, and wellness. What’s more is that with our noses to the grindstone, we can often forget to come up for air—to stop and reflect on where we’ve come from, where we currently are, and then ensure we’re still heading in a direction that makes sense. Things can be easily missed or overlooked when we become so focused on the everyday tasks, making it difficult to identify or foresee future opportunities, possibilities and changes.
At the CEI, we recognize how important it is for our community to be able to effectively adapt to current and future changes. By taking some intentional time to reflect on the work that has occurred, designing our initiatives to adapt to the ever-changing landscape, and working together to achieve our goals, we can ensure we’re providing the best supports possible to our communities.
As our first year at the CEI comes to a close, we’ve taken some time to reflect on the wonderful work and developments that have occurred throughout our career development system. We realize how fortunate we are to work as part of a network that is so passionate about finding new ways to help Nova Scotians lead the lives they desire. We’re grateful for the incredible opportunity to learn from our growing network of partners, service providers, and community members; to hear stories of the heart-warming and life-changing experiences of individuals who have benefitted from our network’s efforts.
The exploratory work of CEI over the last year has helped us reimagine what is possible for our system moving forward. Through the many conversations and other forms of engagement, we have gained insight and feedback into how we can best support those around us. It has enabled us to design, reframe and restructure our strategic direction, in partnership with our stakeholders, to ensure it aligns and compliments what is happening in our larger system. As we move into this next year, we are confident that a strong foundation has been built, from which we can mobilize our assets and translate our learnings into action.
One of the themes that continues to surface as we reflect on this past year is the growing importance of the CEI’s interrelated pillars of work. It is through collaboration and engagement, research and innovation, leadership and governance, and capacity building and training that we will help move the needle and collectively enhance career development practices and employment services both locally and abroad.
Our plan is to further elaborate on this work by releasing a mini-series of blogs, “Rethinking Career Development”, that details our integrated approach to work and the impacts it can have on the larger career development field. We will expand upon the interplay of our pillars, and begin to re-imagine a future for ourselves and our province!