Take Your Career Guidance Practice to 2.0 Mode: Hints from a Cannexus 2017 Workshop

On January 24th, my colleague Lyne Maurier and I held our first talk session at Cannexus, a major career development conference in Canada. We had a full room a very hot topic: digital practices in career counselling and career education. With that collaborative workshop, we wanted to collect ideas, thoughts, experiences and questions from the group in order to share that information afterwards.

Here are the main lessons learned during the workshop:

What tools do you use?

Of course, the participants use career counselling websites and tools. We all know Career Cruising, the National Occupational Classification website or My Blueprint. There are also new tools created by young entrepreneurs like Real Talk or Paddle that are “must see” applications.

But practitioners also use a lot of general tools, apps and websites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Skype, virtual classrooms or video conferencing. A list of all the suggestions mentioned by the participants is presented at the end of this post.

What does technology brings into your practice?

To work from anywhere, at any time. One of the participants even worked abroad for a few weeks and was virtually in contact with his clients!

It brings the efficiency associated with the possibility to reach many people at the same time, especially via virtual classrooms.

LinkedIn and Facebook offer a lot of opportunities to keep in touch with clients through professional pages or groups.

What are the challenges you faced?

It takes efforts to really engage our clients. Technology is easy to use and powerful, but it’s not magical.

We often forget, but there’s a learning curve to take in account each time you try a new tool.

The main challenges relate to ethics and confidentiality when doing online counselling. Many video conferencing or online meeting tools such as Skype or Hangouts are not private enough to meet the standards of our codes of ethics.

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to follow your steps?

Go on LinkedIn, on e-learning community groups, ask questions, read about what others do, try! You will get better and better at using technology!

Do not take clients under 21 years of age. It is better to work with adults in a virtual context for security reasons.

Sign a contract that includes a code of ethics, even if your interventions are virtual.

Here is a short list of websites and tools recommended by the group:

Therapy Online : tools for your online private practice

Facetime, Skype, Hangouts : video-conferencing tools, but not private

LinkedIn

Interview Stream: Online prep tool to help your clients practice video interviews

Webex and Zoom: One of the many online meeting tools available

Indeed : Online job search tool

Google Analytics: Allows you to track web traffic and trends to your website

Facebook: Great way to share info and resources with multiple clients at once

Career Cruising

Paddle: career development platform to help career counsellors advise students through career exploration

Ten Thousand Coffees: Helps connect students with professionals and provides a non-threatening way to try information interviewing.

Real Talk: Amazing career stories

ALIS: Career exploration tool

TypeFocus: Online personality test

Strength Finders: Talents discovery tool

Canvas and Thinkific: Online classrooms, e-learning tools

Academos: career exploration social network for students

Big thanks to everybody who gave us suggestions and to CERIC for the opportunity to hold that workshop! Feel free to share your preferred tools. We want to know!