In recent times, we have heard about the Plan Nord and about the opportunities it will bring to the Cree communities. This could include jobs in the health, mining or human resources sector, to name a few. Many people are thinking about whether there is a career opportunity for them. What jobs are out there? What job would suit me? How do I get that job or get training for that job? For Sabtuan Adult Education Services (Cree School Board), finding the right career so you love your work is very important.

It is in that spirit that Sabtuan Adult Education Services has developed a new project for the young adults of the Cree communities, the Career Planning Event. During a process of three hours the adult receives individual counseling with a guidance counselor. The guidance counselor helps the participant plan his or her future career according to their strengths, interests, the job market, the programs available, and so on.

This fall, we were able to do our first Career Planning Event in all of the nine Cree communities. We helped more than 100 people in a period of two months. Unfortunately, in some communities, we even had to turn away people. As one of the member of the team of the four guidance counselors (the three others were from the firm AzimutConseils from Trois-Rivières) who participated in the Career Planning Event, I can say that my colleagues, local education consultants, teachers, and a lot of others where thrilled to see so many people committed to find achievable career goals. I can’t begin to tell you how rewarding it is to help someone finding a career goal that fits his or her interests, personality and abilities and set that individual on the path to finding fulfilling work.

This experience showed us the desire of the participants to plan their future. Through this process, we also created a database to help us identify the educational needs in the Cree communities. In addition, we will offer the possibility to the candidates who already participated in the Career Planning Event to do a follow up and continue their reflection when we will return to their community.

Once again, I am very grateful for this experience that made me see how much talent, creativity and potential we have in the Cree communities. Our next Career Planning Events will be during winter and spring 2013 and I hope to see there!