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/ Wiki Categories / Glossary of Career Development

The Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC) and the Canadian Council for Career Development (CCCD) have collaborated to launch the Glossary of Career Development. The glossary is primarily intended to serve as a resource to those working or studying in the field of career development, though it will also be of value to Canadians more broadly who are looking for definitions of terms in relation to their own careers.

Given the richness and diversity of the field, it is also hoped that this glossary can move us towards a common vocabulary and shared understanding of career development. With that in mind, the glossary is presented as a living document in the form of a “wiki” to encourage its ongoing growth and development. Everyone in career development is invited to participate, to add new terms and to modify existing ones.

As a starting point, many of the terms come from CERIC’s Career Development Practice in Canada: Perspectives, Principles, and Professionalism textbook, the Canadian Standards and Guidelines for Career Development Practitioners, housed by the CCCD, as well as a selection of primary reference sources.

Gig economy

The gig economy includes temporary, part-time, freelance and contract work in a variety of task-based employment situations. The gig economy provides workers with flexibility, increased employment mobility and entrepreneurial opportunities. Criticisms of the gig economy center around shifting the burden of economic risk onto workers.Workers who engage in the gig economy may receive an unstable/unp... Read More »

Work permit

Work permits in Canada consist of work visas and employment authorizations. A work permit is a document issued by officials of the Canadian government that allows a foreign individual to work temporarily at a specific job for a specific employer. References: Government of Canada. Work in Canada. Online: (Retrieved on August 8, 2014) Service Canada, “Work... Read More »


Work is a set of activities with an intended set of outcomes, from which it is hoped that a person will derive personal satisfaction and contribute to some greater goal. Work is not necessarily tied to paid employment, but to meaningful and satisfying activities, (e.g., volunteer work, hobbies). References: Canadian Standards and Guidelines for Career Development Practitioners. Glossary of Career ... Read More »

Working poor

Working poor is a term used to describe individuals and families who maintain regular employment (910 hours per year) but whose income fall below the poverty line, due to factors such as low levels of pay, high work expenses and dependent expenses. References: Arthur, Nancy and Sandra Collins, “Diversity and Social Justice.” In Blythe C. Shepard and Priya S. Mani (editors). Career Development Prac... Read More »


Volunteering involves performing a service without pay in order to obtain work experiences, learn new skills, meet people, contribute to community, and contribute to a cause that’s important to the volunteer, such as helping animals, people in situation of poverty, the elderly or the environment. References: Pickerell, Deirdre A., “Work Search Strategies.” In Blythe C. Shepard and Priya S. Mani (e... Read More »

Vocational interests

Vocational interests are personal likes, preferences, and aspects of work that people enjoy. References: Landine, Jeffrey and John Stewart, “Assessment in Career Guidance.” In Blythe C. Shepard and Priya S. Mani (editors). Career Development Practice in Canada: Perspectives, Principles and Professionalism. Toronto: Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC), 2014, p.435. Read More »


Values are a broad range of beliefs or principles that are meaningful to a particular group or individual. They are subjective and based on inner personal experience and occur at cultural and organizational levels. They are fundamental beliefs that drive the decision-making process and are key when making a choice about careers. For example some people value job security, structure, and a regular ... Read More »

Value proposition

Value proposition is a business or marketing statement that summarizes why a consumer should buy a product or use a service. This statement should convince a potential consumer that one particular product or service will add more value or better solve a problem than other similar offerings. In the context of the job search, it is the unique, consistent, and compelling message jobseekers use to eff... Read More »


Validation is similar to mattering. The practitioner ensures that clients feel that they are important to the process and that their experiences, thoughts, and feelings are valued by the practitioner. References: Walters, Beverley, Blythe C. Shepard and Priya S. Mani, “Developing Effective Client Relationships.” In Blythe C. Shepard and Priya S. Mani (editors). Career Development Practice in Canad... Read More »


Underemployment refers to being employed, but not in the desired capacity, i.e. at work that does not permit full use of one’s skills and abilities. This could mean working fewer hours than desired, doing jobs that require less skill or experience, being underpaid and working less intensively than able or willing to work. While not technically unemployed, the underemployed are often competing for ... Read More »

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