Career planning workshop held at Coquitlam campus

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Presentation provides guidance on how to choose a career

By Colten Kamlade, Staff reporter


Douglas College hosted a career planning workshop for students at the Coquitlam campus October 26.

The two-part workshop is run by Gurmit Grewal and Kristen Rattray, with the second session to be held November 9. The first session covered everything from how personal values affect employment decisions, to how external factors shape choices. Only a few people attended, so there was plenty of opportunity for one-on-one time with the counsellors.

Grewal said people invest a lot of time in their jobs.

“We spend roughly one third of our lives at work,” she said.

If such a large portion of life is spent in the workplace, Grewal said, people should put serious thought into their careers.

“We spend a lot of time giving thought to decisions like buying a car … If only people would spend that much time thinking about their careers,” she said. “How many people take a car for a test drive before they actually buy it? Pretty much everyone. But how many people actually go out, and ‘test-drive’ a career?” she asked.

Grewal said it’s important to start thinking about careers while still in college.

“I worked with a lot of adults in their forties,” she said. “These were individuals who had done the shotgun approach to career planning.”

According to Grewal, those people shared the same sentiment.

“I would hear it over and over again, ‘I wish I had done this while I was in college,’” she said.

The workshop also touched on how values can help guide people into careers that they will feel good about.

“There are some career theorists who see values as the most important places to start when we’re looking at career,” Rattray said. “If you can really connect your values to what you’re doing… that’s going to give you some clear satisfaction.”

Rattray spoke about the importance of values generally in people’s lives.

“[Values] help organize what’s important to us,” she said. “[Value] also impacts our choices and the decisions we make … very specifically in the career-planning experience.”

Even if you missed this workshop, Douglas College offers career counselling services to students. You can book appointments online on the Douglas College website.