John Thompson

Career Development Portfolio

Professional Behaviour

The Standards and Guidelines identify "Commitment to Professional Development" as an important component of Professional Behaviour. Below I present evidence of that I have made such a commitment.


A commitment to professional development is often shown by attending annual conferences. The annual Cannexus conference is the primary conference for the career development practitioner community. In January 2016, I attended the 2016 Cannexus conference in Ottawa as a student. In January 2017, I was a presenter at the conference. My colleague Elizabeth Mahler and I presented a workshop session titled The Second Adulthood Transition: Career Development's Newest Role.

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Vocation is concept with significant spiritual meaning. In April 2015, I attended a workshop on Spiritually Integrated Counselling that was offered at the annual conference for the Canadian Association of Spiritual Care. This full day workshop was led by Dr. Kenneth Pargament. Attending this workshop was an example of my long-standing habit of seeking out opportunities to learn from leading authors and teachers in the fields of practice in which I am working.

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In their book, Surpassing Ourselves, Bereiter and Scardamalia argue that expertise develops through a process of progressive problem-solving. To develop expertise in any field, a person must be willing to continually seek out projects that are increasingly challenging. Deciding to do a PhD, and carrying out my thesis research, was the most difficult writing and research project I had ever done. The picture at the right shows the cover of my dissertation. I received my PhD in Human Development and Applied Psychology from the University of Toronto in 1998.

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