On Feb 22 CDPs who participate in the CEC Job Brokers Network discussed the topic of paid and unpaid work. The network is made up of practitioners from CCRW, WRDC, IPGS, CMHA, CEC and IPGS. 

We were curious about what practitioners are thinking about the value of skills. Are skills learned from unpaid work considered the same as those learned while being paid? 

To help bring this topic to life we started by identifying some of the unpaid roles within this small network.

We shared some of the skills that we learned and honed within these unpaid roles. The variety and depth of skills speak volumes to the value of unpaid roles and each of our development across the lifespan! 

The value of skills

The conversation closed with a reflection on the value of discussing and highlighting skills gained during unpaid roles. The group believes that it is a meaningful avenue to:

  1. It helps build trust with clients
  2. It helps build confidence and self-awareness
  3. It is a way of identifying skills when an individual has little employment experience
  4. It helps to discuss roles of social responsibility
  5. It demonstrates and validates the experiential experience
  6. It opens up conversations around values/ interests/ hobbies
  7. It highlights associated skills which can be a great starting point in identifying strengths

Language matters: personal responsibilities, unpaid work, volunteering 

The group discussed how the words we use to describe experiences and skills are important. The group shared that a broader definition and perspective of unpaid work is necessary to support individuals in a strengths-focused way. They discussed that the language of volunteerism and unpaid work can be rooted in privilege and middle-class values.  To help an individual see their strengths and skills, it can be helpful to pose the foundation career development question.  

What are some of the things that friends and family ask you to help with? 

If you are presently working as a CDP and Job Broker and would like to join in on our month’s conversation, please email Julia Bloomquist @ connectwithbloom@gmail.com and she’ll send you the link!