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Friday, Apr. 3, 2020

November is Canada Career Month

To celebrate, VCC invites you to explore your own career story!

Career development is a life-long journey. Sometimes the road is smooth and sometimes it takes many turns and detours.  It is possible to turn obstacles into opportunities that grow and advance your career.  
During November 2019, VCC is highlighting inspirational stories as well as the campus-based service areas that can help you develop your own career success story.

Check out these career stories for inspiration:

Program Coordinator for Fashion, and Report Writing Certificate programs

Andrea Korens loves that her job gives her the freedom to try new things. She also loves to be part of the students’ learning journey. “I like being able to witness the growth trajectory of the students. We help the students understand that struggle can be part of the learning process.”

Andrea has faced those struggles too. She grew up in a small town where creative careers were not valued. Instead, traditional careers, like those based on math or science, were seen as the only valid options. She struggled in high school, and ended up completing her high school diploma at VCC. In a VCC biology class she met a classmate who happened to work at a local clothing company.  The classmate thought she was great and introduced Andrea to her first job in the fashion business.  This experience was where she first became aware that the creative world might offer career opportunities as well.

She continued to try a lot of different courses geared towards a ‘practical career’ and while she did ok, nothing really seemed right. Her dad further influenced her career journey by gifting her an old sewing machine he’d refurbished from a dumpster. She loved using it so much she took a chance and signed up for a part-time fashion program.  “I almost immediately fell in love with it. The thing that I really loved was that it engaged all those different parts of my brain. There was detail, there was the math, there was construction, but there was also that creativity. This is something I can really help students with now.  I can validate that experience. Those of us in design, we like so many different things and we often find ourselves being pushed into these very ‘practical’ careers. But design can be a valid career option too.”

How to tell your own career journey story

It can start with a conversation. To learn how to tell your own career story, it can help to listen to the story of other people’s career journeys. Here are some tips on how to have a meaningful career journey conversation:

  • Make sure you have a few ideas about your own your career goals, your main skills, your passions, and your challenges (meet with a VCC Counsellor if you need some help to decide what these are.)
  • Find someone who might have overcome the same kind of challenges you have, or who followed a career path you admire. It can be a teacher, a boss, a friend, a family member, etc.  Ask if they are willing to share their story with you.
  • Some questions to ask (you can ask yourself these questions too):
    • What do you like best about your current career?
    • What other jobs have you done before this one?
    • Did you get any ‘lucky breaks’ or unexpected opportunities that led you to your current career?
    • What advice did you get in your career journey that helped you get where you are now?
    • What was the best lesson you learned along your career journey so far?

Explore the resources on VCC’s Career Guidance pages: