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Career Crossroads

Author: Jonathan Collaton

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Getting to where you want to be in your career is not always as linear as we might think. Not everyone picks one career path and sticks to it for the rest of their lives, and lots of people are confused about what they want out of their career. 

Career Crossroads is on a mission to help people realize that being confused is okay - it happens to more people than you think! Host Jonathan Collaton talks to people with winding career paths, hears about the best advice career counsellors and career coaches and guidance counsellors give their clients and students, and talks to students who have changed their trajectory by modifying their academic plans.

If you're stuck at a crossroads or work with people who are struggling with their own crossroads, this podcast is for you.

97 Episodes
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#97 - Getting a law degree and passing the bar is quite the task, so it's not often people go through all that work only to leave their law career behind. That's what makes Stephanie Chan such an anomaly - she did exactly that. Today, I talk to Stephanie about how why she left law behind and what prompted her to found Home to Home Advisory Services and myCareBase.To read more about Stephanie’s companies or get in touch with her, use the links below:Home to Home Advisory Services Inc.myCareBasestephanie@mycarebase.com___________________You can find Career Crossroads at careercrossroads.ca or follow us on social media: Instagram: @career_crossroadsLinkedIn: Career Crossroads PodcastFacebook: Career Crossroads PodcastTikTok: @jonathancollaton
#96 - As Mike Gallagher spent his teenage years filming his friends skateboarding around the Metro Vancouver area, someone took notice. A high school teacher recognized Mike’s aptitude for film and developed an independent study course that allowed Mike free reign over the school’s media equipment. It didn’t take long for Mike to become hooked and as he approached graduation he applied to the Art Institute of Vancouver’s Digital Film and Production program. The plan was for Mike to live out his dream of working in Vancouver’s continually expanding film industry. The early years of Mike's career as a production assistant were a GRIND. Long hours, inconsistent work schedules, and low pay doing the work no one else wanted to do certainly wasn’t glamorous but Mike looked for opportunities where he could learn from those around him. He was watching and he was learning. Once he had a few years of experience under his belt Mike knew he was ready for something more so when he got a call for his next PA gig he said ‘no, what else have you got?’ The answer to that question was the props department and it was there that Mike got to flex his creative muscles while continuing to learn from expert prop masters – true veterans of the industry. Over time, the lifestyle of the film industry began to eat away at Mike’s personal life and he saw a potentially complicated future in the family lives of many of his colleagues. After a particularly difficult night on a set in below-freezing temperatures, he realized he needed a major change and the next day he called his parents to let them he was moving home because he was going back to school. That decision propelled Mike into a new career that has given him the opportunity to work on video game franchises like Electronic Arts’ NHL and UFC titles and allowed him to rub shoulders with athletes like Connor McDavid, P.K Subban, Connor McGregor, and Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson.How did Mike do it? Listen to his Career Crossroads interview to find out.Find Mike online on LinkedIn or at www.mikegallaghermedia.com___________________You can find Career Crossroads at careercrossroads.ca or follow us on social media: Instagram: @career_crossroadsLinkedIn: Career Crossroads PodcastFacebook: Career Crossroads PodcastTikTok: @jonathancollaton
#95 – When you go to a tech conference like Collision, you might expect that all the founders attending to showcase their companies have deep roots in the tech industry, My experience at Collision, however, shows me that is not always the case.In this episode, you’ll head my conversations with Austin of Seaube Software, Kaleda of Kilo, and Adam of Elo Gaming as we discuss how their careers have taken them on a winding road that unexpectedly led them to Collision.___________________You can find Career Crossroads at careercrossroads.ca or follow us on social media: Instagram: @career_crossroadsLinkedIn: Career Crossroads PodcastFacebook: Career Crossroads PodcastTikTok: @jonathancollaton
#94 - This week’s guest on Career Crossroads is Kelvin Beachum, a professional football player who plays left tackle for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League. As an 11-season veteran who has played in over 150 NFL games, you might think that Kelvin lives and breathes football but the truth is that Kelvin is not just a football player. Outside of football, Kelvin is an investor and philanthropist with a specific interest in ending hunger around the world while also spreading information about science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) to people who have never considered careers in those areas.As the eighth oldest offensive lineman in the NFL last season, Kelvin knows football isn’t forever and during our conversation, we chat about his rise to the NFL, how he got involved in so many areas outside of football, and how he’ll continue to use his knowledge, platform, and resources to make the world around him better long into the future.Find Kelvin online at:kelvinbeachum.com@kelvin.beachum.jr on InstagramKelvin’s LinkedIn profile___________________You can find Career Crossroads at careercrossroads.ca or follow us on social media: Instagram: @career_crossroadsLinkedIn: Career Crossroads PodcastFacebook: Career Crossroads PodcastTikTok: @jonathancollaton
#93 – When Sam Demma started his undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto Scarborough it didn’t take long for him to realize that while he might be in the right place, he was there at the wrong time. Had he put enough thought into his programs of study? Was he just going to school because that’s what he was supposed to do? These were questions running through his mind, but ultimately, he was thinking about what he really wanted; to build his own business motivating youth to take action.Sam already had plenty of practice speaking to high school students from his time running PickWaste, a volunteer organization that mobilizes youth to pick up litter in their communities, and he felt like motivating our youth is what he was meant to do. So, Sam had to make a choice. Stay in school and find the right academic path, or leave to start his entrepreneurial journey? To find out what path Sam took at his academic crossroads,  listen to my interview with him on Career Crossroads today.Where to Find Sam online:samdemma.com@sam_demma on Instagram@sam_demma on Twitter@sam_demma on YouTube___________________You can find Career Crossroads at careercrossroads.ca or follow us on social media: Instagram: @career_crossroadsLinkedIn: Career Crossroads PodcastFacebook: Career Crossroads PodcastTikTok: @jonathancollaton
#92 - When clients come to Soma Ghosh to help them with their careers, they often want support in getting out of an untenable situation. As a Career Coach Soma can certainly help them move to a new job but if there are unaddressed underlying issues outside of their 9-5 they may end up feeling the same way soon enough. That's why Soma likes to go deeper to find the root of the problem because helping clients find 'the next thing' may only be a temporary solution. As a Career Coach in London, England, Soma brings an international perspective to Career Coach Conversations. During our conversation, we talk about:How her interest in mental health brought her to career coachingThree themes related to career pivots that she's noticed recentlyHow high school students aren't getting enough career support at workWhy we should all tell ourselves not to worry so muchLinks in this episode:Find Soma online at somashosh.comFollow/connect with Soma Ghosh on LinkedInFollow @the_careerhappinessmentor on InstagramThe Career Happiness Podcast___________________You can find Career Crossroads at careercrossroads.ca or follow us on social media: Instagram: @career_crossroadsLinkedIn: Career Crossroads PodcastFacebook: Career Crossroads PodcastTikTok: @jonathancollaton
#91 – Every good magician has a stage name and Dan Chan is known as ‘The Millionaire’s Mentalist’. He has earned that name after a career of performing at events for wealthy tech moguls from companies like Twitter and Amazon but when he was first starting out he was making balloon animals at children’s birthday parties. That’s because magic was not Dan’s first full-time job. After getting a degree in Finance from the University of California, Riverside, Dan was hired as one of the early employees at PayPal – before the merger with Elon Musk’s X.com – and Dan worked his way up from Customer Service to the Finance department. After 13 months, Dan’s path split dramatically from members of the ‘PayPal Mafia’ who went on to found companies like YouTube, LinkedIn, Yelp, SpaceX, and Tesla. Instead of staying in the world of tech, Dan committed himself to magic full-time and now, 20+ years later, he reflects on his career journey on Career Crossroads.Mentioned in this episode:Danchanmagic.comMillionairesmentalist.comFollow Dan on Instagram @danchanmagic___________________You can find Career Crossroads at careercrossroads.ca or follow us on social media: Instagram: @career_crossroadsLinkedIn: Career Crossroads PodcastFacebook: Career Crossroads PodcastTikTok: @jonathancollaton
#90 – Today’s episode of the podcast isn’t an interview- it’s just you and me talking. Now that we’re two months into the new show format, I wanted to give an update on how things are going and let you know about the podcast’s record-breaking month of May.I also want to talk a bit about the importance of preplanning to take time off and my own experience with it. The best month in the history of the podcast came during the month I was paying the least attention.Take a listen and let me know what you think.___________________You can find Career Crossroads at careercrossroads.ca or follow us on social media: Instagram: @career_crossroadsLinkedIn: Career Crossroads PodcastFacebook: Career Crossroads PodcastTikTok: @jonathancollaton
#89 – As a first-year offensive lineman on the University of Waterloo’s varsity football team, Ben Brown was supposed to be living his dream. With the support of his father, who had been his football coach, Ben received a football scholarship to an excellent school and was excited for the next chapter of his life. Before Ben’s university career began, however, tragedy struck as Ben’s father passed away. Suddenly, Ben was carrying the weight of his and his father's dream all on his own.Despite this incredible hardship, Ben pressed on and outwardly, had a successful first year of university. His grades were good and he seemed to be happy, but internally Ben was struggling. He decided that he needed to step away from the football team and take a term off school for his mental health and when he came back, it did not take long to realize he no longer saw a future in his program of study.With the help of a career counsellor at the university, Ben found a new path in an unexpected place that involved leaving the university behind. Now, years after graduating from Conestoga College, Ben is living a new dream as a firefighter.Listen to Ben's Academic Crossroads today to hear the whole story.___________________You can find Career Crossroads at careercrossroads.ca or follow us on social media: Instagram: @career_crossroadsLinkedIn: Career Crossroads PodcastFacebook: Career Crossroads PodcastTikTok: @jonathancollaton
When you know you want to change your career but you are unsure of where to go, you might seek the help of a professional. Chris M. Wilson, this week's guest, struggled to find the help he was looking for and that challenge led him to dedicate his life to helping people going through similar struggles. As a career coach, Chris helps people find clarity in what they really want because without that you can't move forward. Before we talk about that, Chris walks me through the early part of his career as a helicopter pilot and mechanic and why he felt he needed to move on from that field. Find Chris on social media and YouTube at @iamchrismwilson ___________________You can find Career Crossroads at careercrossroads.ca or follow us on social media: Instagram: @career_crossroadsLinkedIn: Career Crossroads PodcastFacebook: Career Crossroads PodcastTikTok: @jonathancollaton
#87 - What would you do if your ability to do your job disappeared overnight? How would you react? That's a question Andy Thibodeau wrestled with in March 2020 when Covid-19 shut down his career as a public speaker. As a 25+ year veteran of the industry, this was the only job Andy had ever really known and in the span of 48 hours, 31 bookings cancelled and his ability to make an income evaporated.As Andy struggled with this new reality and the recognition that he was a people person who could no longer be around people, he visited a friend one last time before we headed into lockdown. Something that friend said gave him the mental slap he needed to act and less than 5 days later Andy had a new job lined up to provide him with both the income he needed and the interaction with others that he craved. Hear about Andy's career crossroad on this week's CC Shorts episode.___________________You can find Career Crossroads at careercrossroads.ca or follow us on social media: Instagram: @career_crossroadsLinkedIn: Career Crossroads PodcastFacebook: Career Crossroads PodcastTikTok: @jonathancollaton
#86 -If you told 20-year-old Josh Green that he was going to be a business consultant in the future, he would have thought you were joking.  How did he end up a business consultant when he was well on his way to a successful career as an actor and improv comedian? He was getting regular work, making more money than most actors he knew, and even had scenes in movies with Ice Cube and Danny Glover.As 20-year-old Josh would soon find out, the way you feel today may not be the way you feel tomorrow, and when that happens you need to know what else interests you. It took years of travel and teaching abroad for Josh to realize that he wanted to be his own boss, and the best way for him to do that was to run his own company. Moving back to his hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Josh set to work on making that a reality. This is the story of how over the past 12 years....Josh went back to school as a mature student to obtain a Bachelor of Business Administration (his second degree)Created, sold, and/or shut down many successful (and sometimes unsuccessful) businesses from a wake park to dog walking to cookie cough and beyond Ultimately, realized his passion is in helping other people through the process of navigating the difficult world of taking an idea for a business and turning it into something realEveryone has a story to tell. Listen today to hear Josh's._____________Links from the episode:The Tangible Plan  ___________________You can find Career Crossroads at careercrossroads.ca or follow us on social media: Instagram: @career_crossroadsLinkedIn: Career Crossroads PodcastFacebook: Career Crossroads PodcastTikTok: @jonathancollaton
85 - Attending university can change your life. Sometimes, in ways you don’t expect. For Frank Chen, coming to Canada from his native China to study at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) was a way to get into a stable career, while also making his parents proud. To satisfy both desires, Frank chose to study accounting and he was successful in his studies. During one of his co-op terms, however, Frank came to the realization that he wasn’t passionate about accounting. When he shared this knowledge with a colleague who was also from the co-op program at UTSC, Frank was informed he wasn’t the only one who felt that way. The more they conversed, the more they realized that a lack of love for accounting wasn't the only thing they had in common. Both of them were interested in entrepreneurship and it didn’t take long for Frank and his colleague to decide they were going to start their own company. That is how Frank, a university student, became the co-founder of Sumer, a grocery delivery service in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. From the challenges of running a startup as a university student, to the difficult decision to shut it down in 2022, Frank and I talk through what he learned from his Sumer experience and how he is applying those lessons today.More importantly, Frank and I discuss how accepting that he lacked passion for what he chose to study taught him a lesson that has influenced every decision he’s made since then.Links from this episode:Ideas Can’t Wait PodcastFind Frank on LinkedIn  ___________________You can find Career Crossroads at careercrossroads.ca or follow us on social media: Instagram: @career_crossroadsLinkedIn: Career Crossroads PodcastFacebook: Career Crossroads PodcastTikTok: @jonathancollaton
#85 – “What can I do with my degree?” This is one of the most common questions asked by students who have nearly finished pouring their blood, sweat, and tears into completing a difficult academic program and are now realizing they are unsure of what comes next. With a decade of experience working as a Career Counsellor at the University of Toronto Scarborough Academic Advising and Career Centre, and another decade of experience prior to that in Toronto Employment Centres, Wei Huang is well equipped to help students navigate this question.Wei’s biggest piece of advice? Reflect on your values; they will guide you in determining what careers fit what you are looking for. Listen to our conversation for the full story. If you are a student at the University of Toronto Scarborough you can book an appointment with Wei by calling the UTSC Academic Advising and Career Centre. For everyone else, email her at findyourwaycareer@gmail.com ___________________You can find Career Crossroads at careercrossroads.ca or follow us on social media: Instagram: @career_crossroadsLinkedIn: Career Crossroads PodcastFacebook: Career Crossroads PodcastTikTok: @jonathancollaton
#83 - In the early days of his career, Brian Millado jumped between jobs in the Department of Student Life at the University of Toronto. He wasn't jumping because he didn't like his roles, or because he was chasing higher pay; he was jumping because he was continually offered the chance to work on different programs as his skillset was in demand. Things were good. Until one day, they weren't. One day, Brian looked around and realized that all his peers knew what their next step was....but he had no idea what was next. He had exhausted all areas of interest and suddenly, he didn't see a path forward in Student Life.In this, the first CC Shorts episode of Career Crossroads, Brian and I discuss this moment in time where he hit a dead end. We walk through the emotions of his situation, how he overcame it, and what advice he has for others who experience a similar crossroads.If you'd like to get in touch with Brian, you can find him here on LinkedIn.___________________You can find Career Crossroads at careercrossroads.ca or follow us on social media: Instagram: @career_crossroadsLinkedIn: Career Crossroads PodcastFacebook: Career Crossroads PodcastTikTok: @jonathancollaton
#82 – Chris Lewarne is well known in the Toronto fitness community as one of the trainers at Barry’s Bootcamp, helping people achieve their fitness and health goals. Fitness, however, was not the path Chris set out on when leaving high school. Growing up, his family struggled financially, and Chris worked some awful jobs as a teenager to help contribute. With those experiences pushing him forward, he dreamed about the financial stability a high-paying career could provide and as a successful student, he chose a career in law to help him achieve his goal. Upon graduation, Chris was obsessed with making his way to New York City and it didn’t take long for that to happen; his first job offer was with a corporate law firm in NYC and Chris jumped at the chance. Then one day, Chris’s life changed. It changed so profoundly that he quit his job at the law firm without any real plan and spent the day wandering the streets of New York.  Ultimately, one of the worst experiences of Chris’s life set him on a new path that brought him back home to Toronto, years later. Listen today to hear about:What it was like working in corporate law in New York CityWhat prompted Chris’s move from law to fitnessHow Chris ended up back in TorontoHow his new career led him to become a contestant on Canada’s Ultimate Challenge. Links from this episode:Follow Chris on Instagram @the_cuddlycanadian Take a class with Chris at Barry’s Bootcamp’s Richmond studio in TorontoWatch Canada’s Ultimate Challenge on CBC Gem___________________You can find Career Crossroads at careercrossroads.ca or follow us on social media: Instagram: @career_crossroadsLinkedIn: Career Crossroads PodcastFacebook: Career Crossroads PodcastTikTok: @jonathancollaton
Today, we get vulnerable. In this short and final episode of the Chronicles series,  we discuss what new episode formats are on the horizon and how this series has driven Jonathan's public speaking work forward. Despite the good news we share, plenty of work remains to do. If you're invested in the Career Crossroads journey, this episode is a must-listen to.Referenced in this episode:Chronicling Career Crossroads #1 - The Career Crossroads CrossroadNew Podcast Episode Formats Explained___________________You can find Career Crossroads at careercrossroads.ca or follow us on social media: Instagram: @career_crossroadsLinkedIn: Career Crossroads PodcastFacebook: Career Crossroads PodcastTikTok: @jonathancollaton
When products change, their marketing has to change: that's the core of the fourth episode of the Chronicling Career Crossroad series. But how to market something that is still in flux? It's not a question I can answer on my own so I need to bring in an expert. Enter Ronak Patel. As a business owner, former guest of the show, and a friend, Ronak is the perfect person to bounce ideas off of.  Listen to our conversation about how marketing and promotion are changing in an ever-evolving social media landscape and how getting a 'rubber stamp' could be a game changer for Career Crossroads.___________________You can find Career Crossroads at careercrossroads.ca or follow us on social media: Instagram: @career_crossroadsLinkedIn: Career Crossroads PodcastFacebook: Career Crossroads PodcastTikTok: @jonathancollaton
Content is king. You've probably heard or read that phrase over the last decade with the rise of online content creators, but the origins of the phrase can be traced to magazine editing in the 1970s. What does that have to do with this episode? Well, content is the subject of Chronicling Career Crossroads #3. For a podcast, every episode is considered content, but in the context of the Chronicling Career Crossroads discussion, what content is really king? What is the best content available and how can it be utilized in a different way? Those are the questions I look to answer in this episode. ___________________You can find Career Crossroads at careercrossroads.ca or follow us on social media: Instagram: @career_crossroadsLinkedIn: Career Crossroads PodcastFacebook: Career Crossroads PodcastTikTok: @jonathancollaton
When this episode was first conceived it was titled “Research – or how to make sure what I’m doing isn’t a waste of time”.As the episode title was….simplified, the core idea for the episode stayed the same: research. In order to determine if the planned Career Crossroads pivot is hitting the mark, I need to find out if the audience I intend to support (high school students, university/college students, and young grads) will actually benefit from this content.To find the answers to these questions in this episode I speak to three people: Denise, a retired high school Guidance CounsellorWei, a Career Counsellor from the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC),Tara, UTSC’s Director of Alumni RelationsListen in to hear their takes on what young people know and need to know about their career trajectory, and how Career Crossroads can help them.___________________You can find Career Crossroads at careercrossroads.ca or follow us on social media: Instagram: @career_crossroadsLinkedIn: Career Crossroads PodcastFacebook: Career Crossroads PodcastTikTok: @jonathancollaton
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Comments (1)

Laura Nicolaisen

These are great career updates. Thank you for sharing about next steps on your journey.

Jun 30th
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