You’re a Writer

Social Education: So you hate your job?

Part 5

“You need to think about the interview process, if you don’t understand how to conduct yourself in an interview, you can be a great worker but not get the job.”

Brad Spencer, Executive Director, PATH Employment Services

On Friday I talked about all the fears associated with pondering a career change and for someone who hasn’t interviewed in some 15 years, the thought of applying and interviewing for jobs is pretty daunting.

Before we get to the interview however, there is a great deal I need to think about where ‘What’s Next?’ is concerned. What do I enjoy doing in my current role, in other roles I have held throughout my life, and is there something within my hobbies I may want to pursue further?

“Love. You’re a writer.”

That was my wife’s response to reading my posts thus far and of course, that is something I love doing. I mean I am exploring this life moment I find myself in through creative means. I am also the Managing Editor of The Point Community News , I have been blogging for many years, and have had many different blogs since the Geocities days. I believe my first blog on Geocities was titled something like Heterosexuals in Support of Gays and Lesbians. I am not sure how appropriate that title is now looking back, but I was in my early twenties and really for the first time through art college and new friends groups, being exposed to what is now referred to as the LGTBQ2+ community.

I’ve written about everything from education, sports, suicide, politics, divorce, parenting, and everything in between. I have guest blogged on other sites, and have even had a few articles published in the local newspaper over the years. I don’t have a lot of formal training in writing other than some courses I took at McMaster University before they shut down their creating writing certificate program, but the passion has been there since at least grade 7 when I took an elective on creative writing. I talked a little about that experience in this piece.

I have talked about loving working with and helping people, and two of the most rewarding experiences I have had in those regards is coaching and being a Trustee for the local school board. I try to be involved wherever I can from running events in my local community to recently building a community ice rink. I don’t do it for the accolades. It’s just nice seeing people enjoy the things you spend your spare time doing and witnessing it’s value first hand.

Education is also something that is very important to me and my excitement and passion for providing the best possible educational and recreational experiences for our youth skyrocketed after four years as an elected official. That experience is where a little side venture, INSE (Independent Network for Social Education), got it’s wings.

So as I dig deep, I have these two pieces of the puzzle of all these things I love being involved with, and a list of other passions both related to my job and otherwise, to ponder. I also can’t ignore a lifelong passion to run my own business, which I am sort of doing with INSE slowly now, in these internal and growingly external discussions.

As I ponder these creative and technical likes which also include a love for computers/spreadsheets, databases, and playing the harmonica, I will continue to watch the PATH Let’s Talk Careers Series as a way to learn from other’s, what is possible for me and the steps I can take to formulate my own path and not be so afraid of change.

Today’s interview choice, was Brad Spencer who is the Executive Director of PATH Employment Services.

PATH specializes in helping individuals with disabilities connect to employment.

After a job with the City of Port Colborne, Brad found himself applying for unemployment following a decision to not take a position that would send him backwards with regards to his career goals. It is through this process, that Brad met an employment coordinator and at that time, he didn’t realize there was such a role.

It just so happened that HRDC was looking for a youth employment coordinator and the agency called Brad to fill the role in which he did.

Reflecting on that early interview, he questions why he didn’t ask someone at the employment office about the interview process, ask to see the job description, etcetera. He didn’t feel he prepared well and talks a few times throughout this Let’s Talk Careers interview about the importance of being prepared and how better preparation might have accelerated his career goals.

Brad moved onto Goodwill from there where he first had an opportunity to work with unionized employees and used his skills to create a good relationship with them, which in turn prepared him for his role at PATH later on.

He has always found working in employment services a wonderful industry to be in. People are struggling to make ends meet and they come to you to help them find work and it can change their life.

Brad says that you don’t always need a university degree. There are often equivalencies listed, quality references, work and life experiences; these are all important and of course, be prepared.

Ongoing learning is important too and that also isn’t always related to a university course. Think of your self-learning goals. What do you want to accomplish? How are others approaching their work? What are your goal setting behaviors? Set daily goals and do one thing every day towards accomplishing your goals.

Find a good mentor. People will support you.

What’s Next? Part 4| Part 6

You can follow along with the conversation on Facebook or preferably because Facebook doesn’t play nice, start your own thread below. I would love to hear your stories as I venture down my own path to now what, and for more people to learn from you as well.

You can also reach out to me at

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