Tag Archives: story

Five Ways to Listen and Learn When You Hear a Career Story

Posted by: Mark Franklin on May 8, 2015 8:10 am

Set of speech and thought bubbles, element for design, vector illustrationYou can gain so much by hearing other people’s career stories, but you have to listen carefully and in special ways. After interviewing over 300 guests on Career Buzz, and hearing thousands more stories in our CareerCycles practice, I’d like to share these five ways to listen and learn, next time you hear a career story — like on Career Buzz this Wednesday 11 to noon, or by listening to our amazing archive of career stories.

1. Listen for clues and inspired actions. It’s not one thing after another, it’s one thing because of another. Listen for clues that people followed which led them to take action. Clues can be external like a conversation with a friend, or internal, like a thought or feeling about the situation.

2. Notice changes in working identity. As we progress through our careers and lives, we change how we identify ourselves. Identity statements sound like I am a… or I was a… For example, I was an engineer; now I’m a career professional and entrepreneur. Changing working identity doesn’t happen easily, and if you understand how someone else changed their working identity, you’ll have clues about how you can change yours.

3. Understand their lessons learned. I like to ask Career Buzz guests what they learned about making career and life choices from their own lived experience. Listen to their answers because you can gain a lot from others’ hard won self-awareness. It can save you years. If you listen to archived Career Buzz stories, it’s the last question I ask.

4. Borrow relevant language, especially about strengths. After helping thousands of clients, I’ve noticed how hard it can be for people to name their unique strengths, skills and knowledge. That’s why I always ask Career Buzz guests what strengths they draw on to be successful. Their surprising answers can help you name your own strengths.

5. Tune into yourself to integrate what you learned. We live in a fast paced world super-saturated with stories. It’s too easy to hear one and quickly move on to the next. Stop! Listen! Ask yourself: What have I heard that’s relevant to my present situation and will help me in my career and life?

If you need help figuring out what your own story is telling you about next steps, try an exploratory consultation with one of our amazing team of career professionals.

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Sand, Story and Solidarity: Finding Joy and Meaning in Clinical Work

Posted by: Bonney Elliott on May 4, 2015 9:06 am

My work life is split between coaching cancer patients and their families, and private general psychotherapy practice. In both domains, the clients who come to see me are often in the midst of major life transitions. Their stories can be heart wrenching. I could easily get lost in their suffering, Take it on and bring it home with me. Or worse, become so detached that it ceases to affect me at all. Both alternatives would impact my wellbeing and my longevity as a practitioner. There is no perfect formula for keeping the fire in the belly alive in my clinical work. Mitigating compassion fatigue is not simply about finding the perfect job and job/life balance, or staying healthy through self-care, nurturing relationships and mindfulness. It is about finding joy and meaning in the work I do.

fantasy-221242_640The three pillars of my clinical practice are sand, story and solidarity. Sand represents the Sand Tray Therapy that brings creativity, joy and lightness to the work, even with clients who have experienced significant trauma. Story represents Narrative Therapy and my own writing, which help me to find truth and beauty in client’s stories. Solidarity comes from the practitioner community that I belong to, my lifeboat of support. I meet with like-minded practitioners regularly, through group supervision and collaborative practice groups. Having a therapeutic community sustains my practice, keeps me grounded and bridges the isolation of clinical work. Continue reading

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Serving, Deploying and Collecting Stories

Posted by: Mark Franklin on May 20, 2014 8:00 am

“One of the incredible things about being a chaplain in the Canadian Forces is that you walk with the people who are there,” Padre Francesca Scorsone told Career Buzz listeners (April 23, 2014). “You’re going outside the wire with them, you’re going where they go,” said Padre Francesca, who has deployed to Afghanistan.


As a girl, Francesca wanted to be a movie star — so she went to theatre school and did auditions. A visit to an AIDS orphanage in Africa run by nuns made her want to serve her faith, but she didn’t know how. A chance meeting with a Canadian Forces recruiter changed that. “As chaplains we’re collectors of the stories,” she said. “We’re a safe place for people to come to talk about all kinds of things. It’s not just about faith, it’s about their life journey.”

What are the clues that apply to you? Padre Francesca loves her job and says you can serve God anywhere, but in the military you can do it in helicopter. Like her, consider how you can ‘redeploy’ existing skills or interests in your career in a new way. Try this:  Take a page out of Padre Francesca’s book and collect a few stories from co-workers or people in your life. Ask: What do you like about what you do? What don’t you like? Would you make the same choices again? How else do you think you could use your skills in the world of work? Then, see how you can use the clues you receive!


Need help redeploying your skills in new ways? Check our flagship career change program.


Listen to the whole interview with Padre Francesca Scorsone, Padre Stephen Morris, and Greg Redford.

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA