by Jaimie Augustine
The Career Development Association of PEI Inc. (CDA of PEI) is celebrating and 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.
College can be a tough time for most people. Learning about yourself and what you need to continue your career development is important, especially when training to learn new skills.
Ethan Paquet, Membership Director for CDA of PEI and Reporter/Promoter for The Employment Journey has experienced many ups and downs, but never gave up on his efforts to reach his goals.
“Writing always came easy to me and everyone always told me how good it was.” His high school counsellor suggested he take his skills into the journalism field.
In 2016, Ethan’s post-secondary journey started at the Holland College Journalism program. When he graduated and was ready for work, unfortunately the job market had other plans. He was unable to find a Reporter position on PEI, and leaving the province was not a reasonable option, but he was not ready to give up.
“I did some freelance work by following police and fire sirens, trying to get photos and quotes to submit to local newspapers. I did end up getting some of that published, and that helped build my portfolio, but it wasn’t paying the bills.”
Not knowing where to turn, he took a summer job at a blueberry farm, where he met a job coach from the Prosper program, which is offered by the Adventure Group. While job searching a few months later, Ethan received a letter inviting him to join the Prosper program.
The seven-week Prosper program helps people to expand their resumé with skills and training such as CPR, Standard First Aid, Food Safety, and many other courses, while being paid to attend.
“The amazing Prosper program job coach could have easily written me off by putting me into a seasonal job or on another farm. Instead, she said she saw something in me. She suggested I contact Gloria Welton, Manager of the Employment Journey, to ask for an informational interview.”
The Employment Journey staff were happy to meet Ethan but were not hiring. They did say they would keep him in mind if they heard of any open positions that suited his abilities. A few days later, Gloria contacted him to ask if he was interested in a temporary position through the CDA of PEI.
In October 2019, Ethan found himself working for the CDA of PEI in a Coordinator position. Later, a Reporter position did open with The Employment Journey and Ethan is presently working in that position.
Advice for people during the job search and/or going into journalism
“Don’t give up. I know it’s a cliché, but job search is a full-time job. The more work you put into finding a job, the more likely you are to find a job. It’s not going to fall on your lap. If you don’t put yourself out there, somebody else will get the job that might have been a perfect match for your skills.
“Journalism is a very tough industry to break into. It’s easy to become comfortable where you are, so challenge yourself to take some risks, and focus on your transferrable skills and how they can fit into other industries on the Island. That approach will open the door to more opportunities.”
Advice for people going into Career Development
“For those looking to go into Career Development, I suggest booking informational interviews with one of the many career development organizations on PEI, including Career Development Services, which has offices across the Island.”
“Try to match the skills they are looking for with your current skills and be willing to learn and grow to become qualified to work in this field.”