ENFIELD — It’s a familiar feeling. The time has come to take the next step and answer the penultimate question: ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ The only thing is, you’re not sure.
Enter Chantal Brine, a founding partner of En Point, career strategist, people person and advocate.
Originally form Bermuda, she made Atlantic Canada, specifically Nova Scotia, her home 10 years ago.
“I can vividly remember sitting in the [Halifax] Public Gardens. I was still attending St. Mary’s University and I was offered a position with the government of Nova Scotia to work in a field similar to the human resources certificate I was working towards.
“At the time I was on the phone with my parents back in Bermuda and talked about the opportunity. Then I said, ‘I think I’m staying,’ not only letting them know that I wouldn’t be returning home at the end of the school year, but confirming it within that I was about to make Nova Scotia my home.”
Now she helps student athletes, international students, and other younger aged adults (19 to about 29) find their way when and if they question the path they’re on or uncertain about what direction to go in.
Brine speaks from experience when she tries to help En Point clients find ‘their thing.’
Before En Point she worked for a North American tech company where she worked as a consultant, working in payroll, HR, compliance and performance reviews for four years. At the tail end of her tenure, she realized she wasn’t excited or connected to the work she was doing.
“Fridays were excited and Monday’s weren’t. It was the impetus of ‘this isn’t really what I want to do’ and then working through an 18-month process of figuring out exactly what I wanted to do was,” Brine explained.
Helping her through the process was a co-worker and mentor.
“They asked me what I was passionate about. So, I started volunteering again. It became very clear that helping people was ‘my thing’.”
Ultimately, she discovered that working with young professionals was what she was passionate about.
After leaving her job at the tech company, Brine went on to work at Venor in 2015, a consulting company that other companies went to when they needed guidance or help in finding workers.
“We didn’t touch anyone in the younger age group. So, the partners asked, ‘what can we do to close the gap’ and that was the genesis of En Point.”
Work authentic to the person
Flashforward to present day and Brine constantly asks, ‘where is the disconnect’ that is keeping individuals from working in the realm of what they want to do.
“How do you actually figure it out?” she asked with a chuckle.
Brine said it’s about being connected with what drives an individual. This includes mainly working with student athletes and international students.
“We may have a student athlete who thought they were going to be world class since they were four years old. But what happens if they don’t have that opportunity? Well they’re passionate about something, so what is that thing, and where can you find a career that involves it? Sometimes it’s about shifting a view point.
“It’s not a one-time solution. It’s a process and a journey. So how can we rewire our career, starting with the disconnect.”
Structured career coaching and strategizing
The first thing Brine and other workers at En Point will do is work with a client through a structured process that includes reflection time, brain storming and a career kickstarter process.
“We’ll ask people what are their passions, motivations, values and why, what kind of environment they want to work in (an office, community, etc.), what service or product do they want created and what change they want to see.”
Then after asking the serious questions clients and coaches work together on core components like communication skills, relationship building, networking and confidence.
“It’s not about the tools, but what they surface.”
Importance of mentorship
Brine said she is a huge believer in the power of mentorship.
“It helps with all of the core components, while building a relationship with a client or partner. It allows a person to be vulnerable and give back at the same time to the relationship.”
Her firsthand experience at with a co-worker at the tech company is the perfect example.
Through working with that person, she rediscovered her passion.
“Looking back, I see that I was tired – but I’m an energetic person. I didn’t notice those shifts until I had that ‘aha’ moment and figured out that what I was doing wasn’t what I wanted.”
Now she can’t turn her passion to help others off.
“It’s 24-7. This is what drives me. I am me, I’m not faking it anymore and I’m ready and rearing to go.
“Each and everyone have within us the potential to be super connected to the things we spend the majority of our lives doing, if you’re wiling to put in the work. There’s such power in when you do.”
She added, “Be brave enough and believe in yourself to know if you’re doing something that doesn’t feel authentic to you 90 per cent of the time. And take that step and look without your network for guidance.”
It’s that mentality that has led her to the one thing she is certain of.
“I will never again do something that I do not love – on a nine to five basis.”
“When you support women everyone rises together”
In honour of International Women’s Day and the 2019 theme of #BalanceforBetter our entire edition has been crafted by women, about women and for women in Atlantic Canada.
In the meantime, we’re also making a commitment to diversity and gender equality in this publication. Whether it’s through the writers we hire, the people we interview or artists we collaborate with, diversity and equality remains an integral part of the stories we tell and who gets to tell them.
As Gloria Steinem, world-renowned feminist, journalist and activist once explained, “The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”