“I am here to help build career success for people. I believe that everyone is a genius in the right context. The key is to know your particular brand of genius and then identify the context in which you can shine!”
– Laurie Sutherland, Career Management Consultant
When you meet Laurie Sutherland and chat with her about career planning, she lights up and speaks about team dynamics, personality types that mesh and clash, communication styles, and building skills for the future. You can actually feel the energy and passion exuding from her.
Sutherland recently joined Veritus Disability & Career Management Inc, one of Manitoba’s leading career management industry providers, after employment facilitator roles with Manitoba Start and the Winnipeg Transition Centre, and years of self-employment.
“After owing my own business for many years, I moved in to the employment services sector,” says Sutherland. “I have been able to apply my love of relationship building to support individuals from all walks of life and cultural contexts to achieve meaningful employment. Promoting understanding of the expectations of the Canadian workplace for those trying to find their place in it is a passion of mine.”
Since 2006, Veritus, located in northeast Winnipeg, has supported individuals facing challenges in finding employment, and in particular, those returning to the workforce after cases of illness or disability.
“If a person has sustained a life-changing injury at work, been in an accident, or experienced a long-term illness that has prevented them from participating in the workforce, our team may actually be supporting the individual, the employer, and the insurance company,” says Veritus owner Tracy Ducharme. “Our role is to help individuals build confidence, address skill deficiencies, and make a successful return to work in whatever capacity that looks like, including by identifying alternate career possibilities.”
But Ducharme says that over the last five years, the company received many inquiries from individuals looking to change careers, whether by choice or by way of organizational restructuring that had left them jobless. Ducharme saw an opportunity to fill a void in the market and began considering how to add broader career management services into her suite of offerings. In January 2019, in came Sutherland.
“The working world is changing rapidly and it can be a tough process to respond to that change,” says Sutherland. “Employees are experiencing disruptions due to technology, they’re facing evolving responsibilities, new skill requirements, lay-offs, and there are overall shifting approaches to work and life. The bottom line is that we must be agile, and we are very likely to change careers multiple times throughout our working years.”
“When it comes to career planning, my work is about assisting clients to identify their career ‘sweet spot’: the intersection between their unique interests, abilities, personality and work style,” says Sutherland. “We then use this understanding as an overlay to explore the occupational options that are a good fit.”
For their non-profit and corporate clients, Veritus develops and facilitates workshops customized to build capacity in employees and improve the workplace.
“Maybe you’re a technology company, and you’re struggling with retention. Maybe your leadership team isn’t communicating well. Or maybe your manufacturing operation would like to be accessing more talent from within by encouraging existing employees to apply for opportunities to move up, but they are lacking in key skill sets,” says Sutherland. “We can design customized facilitation and workshops to help your organization achieve its goals.”
Veritus also offers Myers – Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) psychometric assessment workshops, a tool used to enhance communication, understand different work styles, and appreciate the unique strengths each person brings, increasing productivity and enhancing corporate culture. Staff members are also certified in The Strong Interest Inventory® and the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB®).
As a socially responsible company, Veritus has established a partnership with Siloam Mission, offering career coaching services to the community members they serve, helping them to see potential pathways back to meaningful employment.
“As an individual who has changed careers a few times already, I know how difficult and demoralizing the process can be. My personal vision is to provide high-quality services that help individuals open doors to change and opportunity, while also helping organizations in Manitoba assess and address internal issues that may be holding them back from efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Having the right team in place is pure magic.”