Community Enrichment: An interview with life skills worker Haedy Mason

headyHaedy Mason a life skills worker at the Powell River Community Resource Centre (CRC), who runs the Shift Happens program there, was able to sit down with Career Sense and give us a little more of her story. Haedy moved here during 2014 from Vancouver to start a brand new job that she found through last year’s Career Link Job Fair.  I asked her if she would be willing to spare a moment of her time in order to answer some questions for Career Sense.    

CS: How did you first come into contact with the CRC and the rest of career link?

HM: During the 2014 Job Fair I became aware of Career Link’s off site programme, which was focused towards community accessibility, a program which I believed strongly in.  

CS: What is the Shift Happens program?

HM: Shift Happens is a 12-week life skills pre-employment program that focuses on a strength-based approach that assists people facing multiple barriers to employment. The program aims to help individuals build on their strengths, and helps to organize them to achieve success in a work environment. It also focuses on life skills that will have an effect both in a work space, and in the day to day personal lives, while helping them to build their self-esteem.   The program is open to anyone who is 19-65 years of age who are currently unemployed with barrier s to employment. The next intake begins March 19th, 2015, and the next 12 week program starts April 2nd.  

CS: What qualities do you believe helped you to succeed in this field?

HM: I have had extensive training in asset based community development, and I truly believe that if you can find someone’s strength and put them in the right environment, they will flourish.  I also have a 30 year long career of looking at what is right within a community, and how people are supported within it.    

CS: What struggles have you had to face in starting the program, and coming to work in a new town?

HM: My personal struggle is that I had a 10 year long break in my employment due to health reasons, and finding an employer who was willing to let me work was difficult. Career Link however gave me a lot of freedom at the start. I know what I can do, and I know what I do well and I was excited to do it for the Powell River community.    

CS: What would you define as your biggest success within Career Link?

HM: I very quickly became attached to the community of Powell River and the belief behind community development is that you are enriched by your community by enriching it. Doing for myself what my job requires has allowed me to live and work where I am most passionate and in what I believe in the most. That is my greatest success.    

CS: Is there any advice you would share to those looking for work within the Powell River community?

HM: Talk to everyone you know about your dreams, practice describing your perfect job to yourself and anyone who will listen. Always carry a positive attitude and hopefulness.   CS: This year marks the second annual Career Link Job Fair, Thursday March 19th 2015, and it will run from 11am to 2pm, Haedy will be in attendance to start up the next intake of her program. For any additional questions you may have in regards to her program Shift Happens, you can contact her at the email Haedy@prcr.org or call the Shift Happens office at 604 485 0927

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