Responses to some of our families most frequently asked questions

FAQ

"Whatever you are, be a good one." - Abraham Lincoln

Frequently asked questions

What are the critical success factors in choosing a career path?


There are a number of important aspects of selecting an appropriate career path. The chosen career should be a good match to the student's individual profile - their interests, behaviour style, skills & abilities, values, financial objectives and their personal motivators. Pursuing a career that does not match well to the individual's profile will often lead to poor performance or an unfulfilling career. For example, a student with an interest in law, but an introverted behaviour style may struggle as a litigator where they are regularly called upon to stand up in a courtroom; however, the same individual may excel in another field of law where research or one-on-one negotiation is more the norm. Following the selection of an appropriate career choice, selecting an institution at which to study is also important. Being in an environment which is uncomfortable or non-conducive to the student's own style can be detrimental to their progress and academic performance. Some students will excel at the large, reputable institution where self-study is critical whereas others may benefit from a smaller, intimate school providing hands-on training and personal relationships with the instructors. Finding the right school can have a large influence on how the student launches their career. Understanding what the chosen profession's expectations are and the individual employer's work environment is like and branding oneself accordingly can also impact the ability to find the right placement following the completion of schooling.




Should a student be encouraged to follow their passion when making a career choice?


This is an often asked question for which there is no right answer. Experts are at odds when providing answers, with a number of career planners suggesting it to be a very bad idea, yet many successful entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs (Apple) insist upon it. Our advice is relatively simple. If a student has a passion, it should be considered as one of their areas of interest, but in order to make a successful career of it there must be additional elements in place as well - can they be financially independent, do they have the requisite skills, the required behaviour style and the proper motivation? The real concern here is that what the students consider a passion today may just be a passing fancy which will fade with time, especially when the task they seem to enjoy so much becomes a job. Will they be willing to do the things they need to do in order to be successful or just the parts of the job they enjoy? As an example, a student interested in being a musician must be more than just a good player to succeed. They must learn to market themselves, network with the right people, write music that is appealing to their target audience, slog thorugh auditions and low-paying entry level performances to pay their dues and of course practice their trade for hours on end. Sitting in their home 'studio' playing their favourite tunes is not going to lead to a successful career. Before embarking on such a career the student should give careful thought to the requirements for success, their qualifications to deliver on those requirements and their willingness to commit to doing what is necessary to move forward. If each of those elements is in place, then why not?




Is a University education preferable to a College education?


At one time, the answer to this question may have been a resolute yes, as University degrees were in short supply and thus highly coveted. But over the last 30 years the number of graduates has risen rapidly and there is no longer the supply shortage there once was. That is not to say there is no demand, but simply to suggest that expectations regarding the type of degree required have changed. Employers are looking for specific skill sets or degrees that will lead to professional designations (P. Eng., B. Comm) or serve as a pre-requisite for additional learning (masters, PhD, law school, medical school). For more general degrees employers will be focusing on specialties within the field that can be applied to the chosen workplace or multi-dimensional students with more than one area of expertise (think double major). Degrees with little relevance to the workplace or with extremely high enrolment rates with little specialization are of less value than they once were. At the same time, College programs have become more and more intertwined with the workplace. Schools have worked with employers in the field to develop programs focused on specific work skills and provision of hands-on training that will be deployable immediately and which address specific needs. As a result, College graduates are finding themselves in high demand upon graduation. The number of students leaving University and going on to College to obtain hands-on training is growing. The choice between University and College is a matter of personal preference. Careers focusing on critical thinking definitely favour the University route, while technical professions tend to lean towards the specialized hands-on training of a College program.




What are the benefits of participating in group sessions?


Group sessions are held for groups of 8 to 20 students. The most obvious benefit of group participation is the cost advantage. Sharing the resources with others greatly reduces the financial burden on the individual student. However, there are a number of additional advantages to group sessions that should be taken into consideration:

  • Buy-in: accepting one's own profile is greatly influenced by observing differences in others. Having the opportunity to see differences between themselves and other students rapidly increases the student's understanding of their own profile and how to recognize the styles of others.
  • Interaction: group sessions include a number of activities involving group participation (games, discussions, tasks) which enhance the learning experience and allow for immediate reinforcement in a live environment.
  • Mindstorming: all students benefit from the shared thoughts of the group. In particular, the thoughtful questions asked by one student may trigger ideas in another or provide answers to questions that may have otherwise gone unasked.
  • Camaraderie: similar to a school classroom, students are often more comfortable when surrounded by others in the same situation, reducing the fear associated with being fully responsible for their own development.
  • Breadth: the collaborative environment requires that less time be spent on individual profiles, but at the same time allows the group to explore a greater breadth of topics in the same time period. Group sessions tend to cover the full gamut of the planning process but does rely on some self-study time to get the depth of an individualized program.
It should be noted, that participants in the group sessions do receive their own individualized profiles with full explanations on how to evaluate those profiles. There is however, less time spent on analyzing the individual profiles and more spent on interpretation of profiles in general and thus greater emphasis on life skills such as communication, conflict resolution and branding.




Are private sessions available or must students join a group?


Private sessions are available to anyone interested, including those students who having completed the group sessions would like some personalized guidance in specific areas. We offer a series of private sessions covering the three key elements of the career planning process as well as selected career launch topics. Private sessions can be booked by accessing the appointments section under the Sessions tab. Should a student be interested in a specific topic not covered by our private sessions, arrangements can be made for personal assistance which will be charged using an hourly rate plus any incremental costs incurred.




Can we choose to do only a portion of the program?


Unfortunately the group programs are designed to provide both continuity and interaction amongst the students, so partial participation is not encouraged. However, if a student has a specific requirement and would benefit from attending a single session, accommodations can be made to attend a session that already meets the minimum students criteria. Alternatively, students can book a private session for the module they are most interested in, either in person or on-line.




Do I need to be a session participant in order to use the member portion of the website?


No, enrolment is not a requirement to become a member. Anyone can subscribe to the website and access the tools and information available. Simply click the sign-up button and complete the registration process as described. Students that do enrol in the Beyond the Horizon program will receive free membership to the members section as well. Please note that this portion of the website is currently not active. We are working on developing the value added content presently. All parts of the website are currently accessible without registration.




Is there a discount for multiple registrations or referrals?


Absolutely! In assisting us with our marketing efforts by encouraging other participants to join, whether bringing a friend to the same session or referring someone to a future session, we will be pleased to offer a $50 credit to anyone that successfully directs another person to our Beyond the Horizon group programs. Multiple referrals will result in multiple credits, which will be processed at the time of the referred participant's attendance. The referred participant must indicate the person referring them at the time of registration in order to apply (to avoid multiple people claiming the same referral).




What area(s) does Dynamic Career Pathways service?


Our primary market is the area bordered by Halton Hills, Mississauga, Burlington and Guelph. We will happily hold sessions within other areas of southern Ontario should there be at least 10 interested participants. However, we will not be actively marketing outside of the areas listed above and the fees will be subject to a small travel premium to cover incremental costs associated with the distant sessions. For families looking for private sessions, arrangements can be made delivery via the internet for locations outside our service area, including the evaluation of profile assessments. We can accommodate up to 3 students remotely at a time for those interested in small groups.




What is the meaning of a SMART goal?


SMART goals are clear, consistent and actionable, thus making them far more likely to be achieved. SMART is an acronym for the following 5 components:

  • Specific - be clear about what the target is (e.g. lose 20lbs as opposed to lose weight).
  • Measurable - ensure progress towards the goal can be monitored on a regular basis.
  • Aligned - ensure the goal is consistent with your other objectives and personal values.
  • Realistic - the goal must be achievable in order to serve as a motivational tool.
  • Timebound - attach a complete by date, otherwise the tendency will forever be to start tomorrow.