Competency Category:

13.5 – Work with Clients Affected by Work Disruption

Purpose & Context

Career Development Professionals (CDPs) reflect on their own values and beliefs and seek to understand those of their clients. CDPs challenge their own assumptions and avoid stereotypes that will negatively impact the well-being of the client and the outcomes of career development interventions.To prepare for working with clients affected by work disruption, CDPs must develop an understanding of the challenges and barriers clients face and how this may impact expectations regarding work, education and training. CDPs must look for solutions that combine the needs of local employers and job seekers.
Work disruption can occur due to multiple factors, including automation, globalization, artificial intelligence, and economic conditions.

Effective Performance

Competent career development professionals must be able to:

  • P1. Identify challenges and barriers clients face when seeking employment as a result of work disruption, for example:
    • Psychological effects of job loss, e.g. loss of self-confidence, feeling of insecurity, stress about providing
      for family
    • Discrimination, e.g. ageism
    • Loss of social support
    • Outdated skills and training
    • Inability to access retraining
    • Limited recognition of skills
    • Unstable employment
    • Poverty
    • Mobility constraints
    • Lack of ability, or willingness, to consider new roles
  • P2. Identify documents, tools and resources to overcome potential barriers, for example:
    • Techniques to cope with stress
    • Opportunities to develop new skills
    • Professional support services, e.g. health care professionals, financial advisors, business strategists,
      industry experts, elders, cultural advisors
    • Resources to stimulate and support career exploration
    • Career pathways for current, and similar, industries
    • Local labour market information
  • P3. Reflect on how the career development approach can be tailored, for example:
    • Explain legal protections relevant to the client, e.g. Canadian Human Rights Act
    • Ensure health and well-being of client, e.g. facilitate access to support
    • Identify current skillset
    • Identify local employer needs to fill positions in occupations that require a skillset similar to that of client
    • Determine desirability of selected potential occupations, e.g. salary, benefits, hours of work, projected growth
      of employment, time required to achieve credential and experience requirements
    • Identify skills gaps and develop strategies to close gap, e.g. formal training, self-directed learning
    • Meet with potential employers to explore work opportunities

Knowledge & Understanding

Competent career development professionals must know and understand:

  • K1. Types of career transitions (anticipated and unanticipated) and their implications to career development
  • K2. Causes of unemployment and their implications to career development interventions, e.g. outsourcing, advances in
    technology, relocation, redundancies, termination
  • K3. Legislation impacting people affected by work disruption, e.g. Canadian Human Rights Act
  • K4. Use of labour market information to support transition to another industry, i.e. data on trends, changes, gaps
  • K5. Occupations in high demand in local area
  • K6. Funding available to support workers in transitioning to high-demand occupations
  • K7. How job loss as a result of work disruption may impact physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness

Contextual Variables

Competent career development professionals must be able to perform this competency in the following range of contexts:

Although multiple clients may share the reason for their career transition (e.g. closure of a large local employer), CDPs maintain a tailored approach based on each client’s individual needs, and career intervention strategies must focus on solutions most likely to be sustainable.

Glossary & Key References


Industry-specific terms contained in the standard defined here, where applicable.

Work disruption: trends that significantly affect labour markets, e.g. globalization, technological innovations.

Information Sources and Resources for Consideration

Shepard, Blythe C. & Mani, Priya A. Eds. Career Development Practice in Canada. Toronto: CERIC Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling, 2014. ISBN: 978-0-9811652-3-3.

Zunker, Vernon G. Career Counselling: A Holistic Approach 9th edition. Boston: Loose-leaf Edition, 2016. ISBN-10: 978-1-305-40106-8.

Context Rating Scales


Q: What is the consequence of a professional being unable to perform this skill according to the standard?

High probability of risk: VERY CRITICAL


Q: How frequent and under what conditions is this skill performed?

Occasionally, e.g. generally several times in a month

Level of Difficulty

Q: Under routine circumstances, how would you rate the level of difficulty in performing this skill?

Moderate difficulty or complexity

Time Required to Gain Proficiency

Q: What is the average length of time or number of repeated events that are minimally necessary for an individual to become proficient in performing the skill to the standard?

A competent career development professional requires a minimum of one year of experience with at least 40 different clients, representing a broad range of work disruption situations.


Practitioners typically perform this competency without supervision, and alone.


It is unlikely that this competency will automate.

Requisite Work Aids, Tools, Equipment or Materials


Career Development Professional Centre

Help us cultivate a community we all enjoy by reviewing and following the Code of Conduct.  

Our Purpose  

Thank you for being a part of the online CDPC social learning community. To ensure that all members have the best possible experience, we have a few ground rules that we ask everyone to adhere to. This code of conduct applies equally to every person in the community and is intended to foster an online space that is inclusive, safe, and welcoming to all. 

Community Rules 

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We strive to be a community that welcomes and supports people of all backgrounds and identities. We aim to create and facilitate a community that promotes excellence and innovation in career and workforce development. Please extend respect to all members; we all come from different backgrounds and levels of knowledge and there is no such thing as a stupid question. 

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Group Admins 

There are four group admins who are available to you. Below are their names and their spoken language. 

Heather Powell | Anglophone 

Gabrielle St-Cyr | Francophone/Anglophone 

Florence Desrochers | Francophone/Anglophone

Muriel Andoblé-Yao | Francophone

Thank you and welcome to the CDPC Community!