One of the most important decisions anyone will make is deciding what they want to do for a living but with once stable industries evolving so quickly the challenge of selecting a career is becoming more difficult.

An organization called Open to Possibilities is a consulting company that offers creative ways to help people unlock their full potential and offers seminars to help equip teens with a different way of looking at picking a career.

 “They’re really looking at getting to know themselves,” says Purcell. “We look at four key factors when we look at career effectiveness and looking at not only your skills but also looking at your interest and your personality traits. If you’re living those you’ll be thriving and also what values need to be aligned for you to be doing rewarding and fulfilling work.”

Colleen Hood’s son Jake went through the program last summer and she says it was a powerful experience.

“We don’t even know what kinds of jobs kids are going to have and I think there’s so much pressure on them. University applications are so intense, often you have to write papers and describe yourself, you have to understand your strengths, you have to have really high marks, you have to know what it is that you’re taking and so he was really going through a fair amount of stress planning for this upcoming Grade 12 year,” says Hood. “The program really helped him understand where his strengths were, where his assets were and really helped him find some university programming that he knew would work for him. He didn’t have that sense before.”  

Purcell says it’s important teens trying to decide on a career find a way to position themselves so they can leverage all their strengths in the working world.

“I changed my major 4 times myself. It’s a pretty expensive way to figure out your career,” says Purcell. “The clearer they are now the better they’ll be at selecting those best fit choices for them.”

Hood says her son didn’t want to go to the seminar but the stress of looking at university applications and disappointing career sessions in his high school changed his mind.

“He got a list of jobs and he found that discouraging because there wasn’t anything on there that he wanted to do. This isn’t about a list of jobs, this is really about that opportunity to understand who and what you’re about, what makes you tick and what kind of environment you want to work in,” says Hood.

Hood’s son Jake will be looking at taking courses in the Athletic Therapy program at Mount Royal University.

Open to Possibilities was established in 2004 and offers a variety of workshops in career management.