My Career Purpose
As a wide-eyed student, I found myself grappling with the age-old question: "What do you want to be when you grow up?" It seemed like every adult I encountered was eager for a definitive answer, expecting me to confidently declare a future profession like a seasoned expert. But truth be told, I was lost in a sea of possibilities, each career path as enticing as the next.
My mind played with dreams of commanding tugboats through choppy waters, traversing endless highways as a long-haul trucker, deciphering the whims of the atmosphere as a meteorologist, and soaring through the skies as a pilot. I envisioned myself as a builder of grand structures, leaving behind monuments that would stand the test of time—a civil engineer shaping the landscape with bridges, highways, and airports.
Yet, amidst this cacophony of aspirations, I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed. How could I possibly commit to just one destiny when the world offered a kaleidoscope of opportunities? It was a dilemma that plagued me until I embarked on my journey from high school to Military College, chasing a semblance of clarity in the fog of uncertainty.
My heart initially set on the skies, yearning to become an Air Force fighter pilot. But fate had other plans, revealing my imperfect eyesight as an insurmountable obstacle to flight training. Undeterred, I pivoted towards the Corps of Engineers, where I discovered a newfound passion for construction, demolition, and the meticulous art of surveying.
Yet, as fate would have it once again, the rigid confines of engineering left me feeling stifled and uninspired. It was then that I found solace in the academic realms of economics, commerce, and human resources, domains where my restless spirit found respite. Embracing the ethos of adaptability, I shifted gears yet again, this time immersing myself in the world of the Infantry, drawn by the promise of adventure and the allure of distant horizons.
My days as an Infantry officer were a grueling test of endurance, both physically and mentally. From trudging through dense forests shrouded in darkness to wading through murky swamps with an eighty-pound pack on my back, each trial pushed me to the brink of my limits. Yet, amidst the chaos of simulated combat and relentless marches, I discovered an untapped reservoir of strength within myself—a resilience that defied my own expectations.
Upon graduating from Royal Military College, I found myself thrust into a whirlwind of assignments and deployments, from leading riverboat expeditions to overseeing mountain warfare training. Each experience was a tapestry woven with threads of adversity and triumph, shaping me into the leader I am today.
But it wasn't until I stumbled upon a career opportunity at Employment and Immigration Canada that I found my true calling. Tasked with revolutionizing career exploration through the creation of an innovative computer program called CHOICES, I embarked on a journey that would leave an indelible mark on the world of career guidance.
From its humble beginnings as a Canadian initiative, CHOICES soon transcended borders, captivating audiences across North America and beyond. Its impact reverberated through classrooms and employment centers, empowering countless individuals to chart their own course in life.
Yet, even amidst the dizzying success of CHOICES, my journey was far from over. Fueled by a relentless drive to make a difference, I spearheaded initiatives like The Real Game Series, transforming 100,000 classrooms in 12 countries into incubators of hope, aspiration and ambition, and the Blueprint for Life/Works Designs, which became an international model career management learning framework.
As the years unfolded, my path intersected with countless collaborators and visionaries, each contributing to a tapestry of innovation and empowerment. Together, we forged new frontiers in career development, from the Canada Career information Partnership, Canada Prospects, Canada WorkinfoNET to SmartOPTIONS, leaving an indelible legacy in our wake.
Today, as I reflect on a lifetime dedicated to helping others find their purpose, I am reminded of the words of the great philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson: "The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well."
In the twilight of my career, my purpose remains as clear as ever—to uplift, to inspire, and to empower the next generation of dreamers and doers. And as I embark on my latest endeavors, from podcasting with the Halton Industry Education Council to launching Career Callings, I am reminded that the true measure of success lies not in personal accolades, but in the lives we touch and the legacies we leave behind.