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10 Questions for Rich Feller


10 questions_RichFellerRich Feller is an internationally recognized keynote speaker, trainer and consultant. He has over 30 years of experience in teaching at the elementary, junior high, high school and university levels; he is currently a Professor and University Distinguished Teaching Scholar at Colorado State University where he teaches graduate courses in career development, counselling, and performance and change.

His area of research includes: career transitions, strengths-based programs, STEM-centred career development, workforce development and coaching.

Rich will be a keynote speaker at the Cannexus14 National Career Development Conference in Ottawa, January 20-22, 2014.


In one sentence, describe why career development matters.

Career development creates the freedom to maximize natural aptitudes, learned abilities, and preferences to find purpose and meaning at a variety of stages (stages meaning life roles since jobs are not big, plentiful, or healthy enough to maintain one’s identity) as one completes transitions over a lifetime.


Which book are you reading right now?

Daily I go to Life Reimagined by Richard Leider and Allan Webber as I work on a project, and I just put two books in my travel bag…Seeking Peace: Chronicles of the Worst Buddhist in the World by Mary Pipher, and Smarter than You Think by Clive Thompson.


What did you want to be when you grew up?

Beyond the fantasies of an athlete or union house painter (like by brother Bob), I knew that a job was important to help me live a little better than I was. An elementary teacher and coach came into my vocabulary, and as I gained confidence I started thinking about how cool it would be to be a politician.


Name one thing you wouldn’t be able to work without?

Airport bookstores as they give me a quick peak into what the media and large corporations think we should be reading. Alternative press and websites provide a different lens to what’s happening before it gets to the large-scale media, textbooks or professional journals. Since much of my present work is travel, a glass of wine with my wife Barb and best friends at home, or a text from my son Chris makes my present work sustainable.


What activity do you usually turn to when procrastinating?

Make lists, clean up my work space, sit in the hot tub.


What song do you listen to for inspiration?

My iPhone lists my top three songs played as Say What You Need to Say by John Mayer, Blossom by Carole King and James Taylor, and Better Together by Jack Jackson. When home alone I crank the volume to We Didn’t Start the Fire by Billy Joel, anything by Elton John and The Big Chill soundtrack… sorry for showing my age.


Which word do you overuse?

“Frankly,” “metaphor,” and “I’d argue”… I’m increasingly saying “you’re probably right”.


Who would you like to work with most?

I can never work with Joe Vasos and Skip Niles enough…and Martin Seligman, Richard Rohr and Paul Krugman would really stretch me.


Which talent or superpower would you like to have?

Super speed reading and full retention…and the ability to create one-act plays on demand.


What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Fortunate to have had many rewarding experiences which were great learning labs and counted in the public score sheet. But being Chris’ dad has been my greatest thrill, reward and accomplishment without question.


Catherine Ducharme is a bilingual communications specialist based in Toronto. She has been the Content and Communications Co-ordinator for the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC) since April 2012 and administers, an online community for career development professionals in Canada. She is also the editor of Careering magazine, the curator for the CareerWise newsletter and she leads francophone outreach at CERIC. Prior to joining CERIC, Catherine worked abroad for nearly two years and worked as a project manager for Quebec’s sector council for the community sector (CSMO-ÉSAC). She is also a translator.

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