by Jaimie Augustine
The Career Development Association of PEI Inc. (CDA of PEI) is celebrating Canada Career Month by highlighting the great work and career paths of its members.
CDA of PEI is a network of Career Development Professionals who work with people of all ages to help them manage their learning, work, leisure, and transitions. The goal of career services is to help people pursue learning, find work, which is personally meaningful, and learn how to manage transitions in today’s ever-evolving labour market.
Lisa Chaisson is Chair of CDA of PEI and an Employment Specialist at Immigrant and Refugee Services Association of PEI (IRSA PEI). In an interview, Lisa had a riveting story of how she achieved her present career through hard work and luck.
Lisa had no career plan or training in career development when she started her job search. Her first job was as an administrative assistant for a company that closed shortly after hiring her. She then decided to go back to school to take the Child and Youth Worker Program at Holland College.
After completing the program, she worked part-time in the education system, and then became a job coach with the Employment Pathways program, working with clients who had multiple barriers. Her duties included job coaching, training, facilitation, and job placements.
Lisa then became a Transitions Mentor for Holland College, working with youth in grades 11 and 12, introducing students to various programs throughout the college and helping them gain workplace skills and find their career paths.
During the summer break when Holland College programs were not in operation, Lisa found herself looking for work again.
She applied and interviewed for a position with PEI Association of Newcomers to Canada (PEI ANC) but did not get the job. Later, PEI ANC let her know about a different vacancy, a temporary summer position.
The timing was perfect, as the Holland College program was coming to an end. Lisa took the temporary job with the PEI ANC, and enjoyed it so much, she knew she wanted to stay. She has now worked there for more than 13 years.
The organization recently changed its name, and her job title changed as well. She was formerly known as an Employment Counsellor, and currently goes by the job title of Employment Specialist. PEI ANC became The Immigrant and Refugee Services Association of PEI (IRSA PEI).
Through the CDA of PEI, Lisa completed the following courses:
• Career Development Foundations
• Career Development Theories
• Ethics in Career Development Practice
CDA of PEI partnered with the Canadian Career Development Foundation (CCDF), which provides training, and Skills PEI provides funding to open opportunities for people in the field looking to enhance their employment and career development skills.
“As a result of my experience in the field and the courses I have taken, I am now eligible to become a certified Career Development Professional. This certification is available to those in the profession who meet the criteria.
“My advice to those considering working in the field and those currently in the field is to network, take advantage of any training opportunities, and work towards CDP certification.”