The Career Accelerator’s Year in Review By: Nour Abi-Nakhoul It’s become over-stated at this point that 2020 brought many unique challenges with it. The COVID-19 pandemic that’s rocked the world since the spring has had wide-ranging impacts on varying facets of society. Some of the ways that it’s affected the world have been in the realms of economics and the job market. For some of our community members, their relationship with their career was altered by the spread of the virus. Here at Lighthouse Labs, we were in a unique position to try and help these people not only recover, but truly flourish. We have seven years of expertise in preparing Canadians for the world of work, through upskilling and reskilling, digital skills training, and a robust career services program. Since 2013 we’ve been helping our students find their career values, set goals, find fulfilling careers, and develop into their most capable selves. We wanted to help different communities successfully make career shifts not just because of our desire to help, but also in an attempt to make tech more inclusive and accessible. We want to ensure that the tech industry is accessible to everyone, no matter your financial circumstances or background. We began to tackle the barriers that our communities were facing by releasing a total of $1,000,000 in scholarships for students that were financially impacted by the pandemic. But we wanted to do more to make tech more accessible across multiple angles. So in July, Lighthouse Labs launched the Career Accelerator. Lighthouse Labs’ Career Accelerator Community Resource When we launched the Career Accelerator, we wanted it to be different things to different people — a resource for job-seekers, a way to facilitate conversations about accessibility and inclusivity, and a space for anyone seeking to make a change in their careers. The Career Accelerator was created in a world in which work is being transformed at an ever-accelerating pace. Job-seekers are at risk of being cast adrift in the new reality of the workforce, unless they have the right guidance and expertise. The Career Accelerator was also created with the acknowledgement that tech might be a frightening industry for some people. With its complex code, shiny products, and fast culture, many of our community members may feel intimidated by a career in tech. Helping our communities feel confident about their abilities is a part of everything we do at Lighthouse Labs. So the launch of the Career Accelerator was a natural step for us. Throughout 2020, people in Canada and all over the world tuned in to workshops and events to receive career guidance and advice. Many of these people are those who have lost their jobs, who are trying to make a career change, or who simply have had more time to reflect on their goals and values. People seeking all kinds of different things have been helped by the Career Accelerator. Career Accelerator’s Global Impacts Though Lighthouse Labs is committed to helping Canadians all over the country upskill and reskill through bootcamps and part-time courses, Career Accelerator helped us reach our wider communities all over the world. Our workshops, events, and speaker series were attended by job-seekers and changemakers from Vancouver to New York City, Montreal to the United Kingdom. Through the Career Accelerator, Lighthouse also had the opportunity to connect with excited companies on the cutting edge of their industries. We worked alongside speakers from organizations like LinkedIn and Shopify to provide our communities with career advice. We were also excited to partner with companies like Dyspatch, First30, and CultureShiftHR to help our attendees think creatively about their career trajectories. Key Moments for the Career Accelerator in 2020 Though Career Accelerator was born halfway through the year, through it Lighthouse managed to accomplish a lot. We touched a lot of communities through our events, workshops, newsletter, and expert advice. Events were held on a variety of themes including workplace well-being, resume creation, succeeding at interviews, identifying your career values, and more. One series of events that really resonated with our communities was on imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome can be defined as the persistent feeling of not fitting in or not being good enough at your career. These thoughts and feelings particularly resonate with people who work in the fast-paced tech industries. Our series sought to open up conversations about peoples’ experiences with the syndrome and start dreaming up possible solutions. We had people from many different backgrounds speak about their experiences, from CTOs and CEOs to professors. Showing our communities that even people from high-ranking positions experience imposter syndrome helps to break down stereotypes about these feelings, and start to work to alleviate them. Also in 2020, through the Career Accelerator we put on an event on hacking your career with renowned “job hacker” Izzy Piyale-Sheard. Izzy is a public speaker and founder of the ClearCareer peer-to-peer mentorship community. Another of our top highlights from the year was hosting a workshop on creating a great LinkedIn profile — with Jake Hirsch-Allen himself from LinkedIn. Moving the Career Accelerator into 2021 Moving into the new year, we’re excited to continue providing our communities with insights, guidance, and thought-provoking statements that help them along their career journeys. We’ll continue facilitating a space that helps the tech industry feel more inclusive and accessible. We’re kick-starting 2021 with Mentorship Month as the theme for January. Throughout the month, we’ll be talking to you about everything related to mentoring: the meaning of mentorship, how to find a mentor, the importance of mentorship, and more. We’ll be engaging our communities in sharing their personal experiences with mentorship, and facilitating more creative and innovative conversations. We’re excited to see you all then. Want to attend more insightful events like these in 2021? Sign up for our Career Accelerator newsletter!