Monday, January 17, 2011

Fitting Professional Development Into Your Crazy Busy Life

Was one of your New Year’s resolutions to engage in some professional development? Wondering how to make room for it? Have you considered learning online?

Deirdre’s working on a PhD from Fielding University in the US, offered in a blended model. I teach for both Yorkville and Athabasca University, in both cases in courses that are fully online. Life Strategies offers scheduled and customized courses – online, blended, or at your own workplace for groups of 10 or more.

Worried about how to pay for your professional development? Click here for 10 Tips to Stretch Your Professional Development Dollars

If you’re a career practitioner, there are more professional development options than ever before – within Life Strategies, we’ve added several new certificate programs this year and it may be challenging to sort through which one is the best fit for you. It’s not too late to register for our new Foundations in Educational and Vocational Guidance program, starting on January 19th. This is our shortest comprehensive coverage of core competencies for career development practitioners.

To help you decide between certificate options, here’s a quick comparison of features (all are facilitated e-learning, equivalent to 10 hours of learning each week).

Career Management Professional (CMP)
  • 6 specialty certificates, aligned to Canadian Standards and Guidelines

  • 20+ courses to choose from; each certificate requires 10 two-week courses (20 weeks)

  • Modularized approach, so 2nd specialty certificate may only require a few additional courses

  • Theories (20 hours) and Ethics Essentials (10 hours) aligned to BCCDP certification

  • Preapproved CEUs from CCPA, VRA, GCDF

  • Next start: See schedule for specific courses; courses can be taken in any order

Global Career Development Facilitator (within CMP)

  • 11 two-week courses

  • Preapproved for GCDF Canada through CCE

  • Aligned to Canadian Standards and Guidelines and GCDF Competencies

  • Theories (20 hours) and Ethics Essentials (10 hours) aligned to BCCDP certification

  • Next start: See schedule for specific courses; program is modularized so courses can be taken in any order

Foundations for Practice in Educational and Vocational Guidance Practitioner

  • 1 six-week course

  • Preapproved for Educational and Vocational Guidance Practitioner credential through IAEVG

  • Aligned to EVGP Competencies

  • Great overview of career development basics for all career practitioners, teachers, and HR professionals providing career support

  • Next start: January 19, 2011

Case Manager

  • 1 four-week course

  • Develops skills for needs assessment, goal-setting, action-planning, follow-up, evaluation, and documentation

  • Next start: February 2, 2011

Global Career Development Facilitator (through NECA)

  • 1 twelve-week course

  • Preapproved for GCDF US through CCE

  • Offered in partnership with NECA

  • Next start: February 15, 2011

Job Developer

  • 1 four-week course

  • Preapproved by Job Developer’s Institute

  • Next start: February 23, 2011

B Level Psychometric Assessments

  • 2 three-week courses

  • In partnership with Yorkville University

  • CPE 510 and CPE 521, together, are equivalent to a graduate level course in tests and measurements

  • Meets B Level qualification requirements

  • Next start: CPE 510 – March 2, 2011 / CPE 521 – April 13, 2011

Personality Dimensions

  • Level 1 – 1 three-week course; Bridging – 1 one-week course

  • Meets qualifications for Personality Dimensions Facilitator (Level 1) Certification

  • Instructed by Master Trainers and authors of the Toolkits for Trainers series

  • Next start: March 30, 2011

Job Club Coach

  • 1 four-week course

  • Preapproved by Career Professionals of Canada

  • Meets requirements for application at reduced fee for

  • Certified Resume Strategist

  • Certified Interview Strategist

  • Next start: April 27, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Time to Take Action

In previous blogs we’ve introduced the steps outlined in our Let’s CHAT! coaching model. The last component is Take Action– a very timely topic for the new year. In concluding coaching sessions with employees or work groups, take the time to set goals and develop an action plan assigning tasks and setting due dates. A key concept in this model is that each party (e.g., manager/employee) takes action at the end of the session (e.g., manager investigates wellness program options / employee works to improve conflict resolution techniques). Strive to ensure that each party leaves with at least one action item.

The SMART goals model (i.e., Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-limited) is an excellent framework utilized during the “Take Action” phase; however, it’s important to also outline the tasks required to achieve each goal. Create an action plan by stipulating what you’re going to do, how you’re going to do it, and when you’re going to do it. This will help you to stay on track, avoid a last minute rush, and / or miss a deadline.

Always plan for follow-up to evaluate progress or make adjustments to your plan as necessary (i.e., due to changing needs or circumstances) and ask for the help you need. And perhaps most importantly, don’t forget to celebrate successes as goals are achieved!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Beginnings

It is the start of a new year and a new decade. Many take this opportunity to reflect on their personal and professional goals, often setting New Year’s resolutions. It is hard to predict how many people actually stick to or achieve their resolutions – some say less than 10% while others report higher success rates. What seems to be a key contribution to success is the type of resolution being made. Try to avoid making resolutions “just because” everyone else is. Make the resolution you want to make!


You don't have to be great to start, 
but you have to start to be great.
~Joe Sabah

Our January newsletter focuses on new beginnings. Read more at: Life Strategies News - January 2010

Look Before You Leap Survey Now Available

Life Strategies Ltd. is excited to announce that we’ve partnered with the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC) for the Look Before You Leap: Supporting Career Practitioners to Support Clients Considering Self-Employment project.

Self-employment is a growing trend in a variety of sectors; it’s also increasingly an option for career practitioners / career counsellors. Yet, most career practitioners have little understanding of self-employment or work as an independent contractor. The Look Before You Leap project will develop and pilot a 2 week (20 hour) facilitated e-learning course which focuses on self employment and a book, Look Before You Leap: Self-Employment Survival Strategies, which will be useful for those considering self-employment. A dedicated “Look Before You Leap” website with annotated links to relevant resources for the self-employed and a Blog that will share relevant self-employment tips and strategies will also be developed.

We Need Your Input
To inform the development of these tools, we are seeking insights and experiences from the self-employed through a brief survey available from January 5th until January 12th. To access the survey go to, enter in survey # 72694 within the “Take A Survey” box, and press “Go.”

Please forward this message to any of your contacts who may be interested in this project and/or can complete the survey.