Simon Fraser University is doing more to help Lower Mainland residents with their careers.
There is a “huge need” for career counselling in the Lower Mainland, said Kon Li, who directs the career programs. Li has been in career development for 20 years.
The confidential assessment services, which SFU Surrey offers on the first Saturday and Wednesday of each month, consist of a career planning testing package for high school students, a career development testing package for post-secondary students, and a career management testing package for professionals.
Each package includes a three-hour test and a one-on-one follow-up meeting with a Registered Clinical Counsellor or Canadian Certified Counsellor to discuss test results and form an action plan.
Career management package gave Vancouver woman direction
“It helped push me in the right direction,” said a Vancouver woman named Aimee who preferred not to share her last name. Aimee took the professional-level assessment test March 5 and met with a career counsellor a week later.
Some of the suggested occupations were surprising, she said—they had always been interests of hers, but she had never considered them career opportunities.
Aimee was thrilled to have her options spelled out on paper. “Once you read it, it makes it more real,” she said.
She plans to look into educational programs next.
Career services help professionals take the next step
Li sees a particular need for career services for working professionals in the Lower Mainland.
Universities provide a great deal of help to students and recent grads, he said, and government programs focus on helping the unemployed, but there are very few services available for mid- or late-career professionals who would like to explore different opportunities.
Many people are looking for fulfilment in a new career—they’re thinking, “What next?” Li said. “Those people need some help.”
The new career assessment services supplement two career transition workshops that SFU Surrey offers each spring and fall.
SFU Continuing Studies gave the public a taste of these workshops—two for mid-life professionals, two for later-life professionals—at their open house February 5. Li estimated that nearly 250 people attended the free workshops at SFU Vancouver.
SFU alumni receive a 15 per cent discount on the new career assessment services.