Brick walls. Large. Impervious. Thick. Formidable. Fearsome. They happen in our relationships, with our kids, with our physical health, with our mental health. They happen with our work.

Sometimes they happen all at once, without warning. Other times they sneak up on us, ignored until the wall is so big we are immobilized.

Beverly Bayley is in the brick wall business.

She meets people who have been sidelined by the work part of their lives. Or, people who can't figure out what work they want to do. Or, people who don't know what their skills are.

Our community is full of people who have been working solidly for many years, confident in their skills and expecting more of the same. And overnight, with a business closure, or a takeover by another corporation, or a need to completely restructure in order to survive, people with long term
initiative find themselves holding a Record of Employment heading for the federal employment office. They enter a world that's built of a brick wall, where numbers and weeks, and outsourced services translate to strange words and confusion.

If the person is in their 50's or 60's, the brick wall is absolutely riddled with fear. They may have kids in university or college, they may have car payments and house payments and a pension plan that doesn't kick in for years yet.

Bev Bayley takes that person by the hand and with her head and her heart, she breaks down bricks. She helps people discover their true talents and enthusiasms. She helps them dig from the fertile soil that is their life, unearthing their greatest attributes. She may suggest they take advantage of services offered through government, but often people want to work privately, quietly, out of the glare of a public group session.

Bev is self employed. From her second floor office at 140 Dunlop E, she offers Choices Career Consulting. Whether it's by a career search package, or services by the hour, Bev offers private consulting career services.

Bev works with young people, too. Often brought their by their parents, young people can be overwhelmed with their inability to make a decision. Our school system demands that, at 15 years old, they select courses that take them into specific career areas. It's stressful for parents; for young people it can be immobilizing.

Bev sees young people who have graduated from college or university. They may have a degree or a diploma and a big student loan and still don't know what they want to do. They have huge anxiety around this. That can force self esteem to plummet.

She sees moms who have been at home raising kids and for whom the world of work has just passed by. She helps that person find the value from her at-home time. She helps with selecting a career area, doing a resume, finding a job. She helps with the decision to return to school, finding transcripts, going through the application process.

"It's a big step for a stay at home mom to get her first interview," says Bev. Clothes, makeup, what's appropriate, what's expected... many women need a true makeover as they head back out to the world of paid employment... they need to get their self esteem back and to get in touch
with that basket of incredible skills they have to offer.

Bev uses an exercise called ³Pride Stories² which help people answer challenging questions during a job interview.

Bev approaches her clients with four steps.

First is self discovery. She helps people look at their values, skills, interests, beliefs, personality and aptitudes).

Second is exploration. She helps them investigate different occupational 'clusters' and offers assessments that help with exploration. She shows people how to explore the internet for terrific information.

Third is goal setting. She encourages her clients to make small goals, each attainable and each causing forward growth.

Fourth step is action. Making a decision and acting on it.

Bev is helping people to deal with one of the most crucial aspects of their lives... figuring out what work to do.

Her career package, at $475, is likely one of the best decision-making bargains on the planet, given that so many people end up doing work they hate, or hating work they do.

Bev helps people challenge school and workplace messages that are negative and that often define us to ourselves. She looks for opportunity and helps people be resourceful.

Bev herself left her comfort zone as a pharmacy technician, a job that she performed well in three different hospitals. She explored her overwhelming desire to change what she was doing and move into a different field. For the past five years Bev has been readying herself to work in private
practice... a degree in educational psychology. Post grad work in career development. Certification in a number of assessments. Training in how to set up and operate a private practice.

By meeting and climbing her own brick wall, Bev Bayley is well equipped to help others do the same. She removes the chinking around one brick and lets her clients look through. She helps them identify choices. She helps them move towards those choices. How fortunate are her clients that Bev had the courage to make change.

Thanks, Bev.

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