July 29, 2022 | Quebec
Speaking with Janna P., there is a sense of optimism about her future.
It wasn’t long ago that she was still working as a massage therapist, a role she’d been involved with since she was 19. After working with more than 70,000 clients, it was starting to take a physical toll on her. When the pandemic started, it seemed the perfect chance for a change for Janna.
As a survivor of addiction herself, Janna felt drawn to CDI College’s Addictions and Community Services Worker program. She wanted to support other women who were struggling with addiction in their lives. She wanted to help others thrive in the same way she had.
The path hasn’t always been easy. While her education had largely been smooth, the journey post-graduation has presented her with challenges.
Landing Her First Job
After graduating from the program in February, Janna found work quickly. She found herself working at a wonderful care home helping people with mental development issues.
It took only a short period of time to move from graduation to meeting her goals of finding a job in the field. “Jobs are abundant, but finding the right role can take perseverance,” she said. “It takes patience to find the role that’s right, but it’s out there.”
While she finds the work highly rewarding, the biggest challenge is the rate of pay for these kinds of jobs in Saskatchewan. The challenges around pay are only exacerbated by the rising costs of living, especially fuel for commutes.
Still, she remains positive. Janna knows that her current situation is temporary, and big changes are on the horizon.
Moving onto her Dream
Janna recently accepted a new position as an addictions counsellor with a private rehab facility in Manitoba. She describes the position as her dream job. It’s a role that will allow her to accomplish her goals of helping people not only recover, but thrive on the other side of their addictions.
She recommends that graduates to take risks when they’re looking for jobs. “Apply even if you think you don’t qualify,” she said. “It’s amazing how many people out there are willing to help.”
Janna found success with employers, and discovered them to be incredibly supportive. She was encouraged to pursue the job, and sure enough—it was hers.
The Best is Yet to Come
Janna is aware of how draining working in addictions counselling can be, but she has a strength and a passion that help her overcome. She also credits CDI College for giving her the training and confidence. “I was scared to go back to school, but my teachers were gracious and kind,” she said. “It was really empowering after making a career switch after so many years”.
Her passion for helping people is evident. Her mantra of being a thriver and survivor is inspiring in an industry that helps people face their struggle with addiction. There have been big changes for Janna over the last several years, but when she talks about her commitment, it’s clear she’s found her calling in educating and helping other people.
“I think the most rewarding is yet to come,” she said.