Choosing a career counsellor or career coach can be a confusing and daunting experience. There are a number of reasons that Dr. MacDonald would be a great fit for all of your career counselling and career coaching needs. These are a few reasons to consider before scheduling an appointment:


Personal Experience with a Wrong Career Choice


Dr. MacDonald knows what it’s like to be in the wrong career and what it’s like to be in the right career, and she finds that it is a night and day difference. She wants to help her clients to be as passionate about their work as she is, so never wants to retire, as her work is so fulfilling.


Relevant Education


Dr. MacDonald has a unique mix of education, including a business degree where she majored in human resources. Her research in her Masters and PhD degrees has focused on international career transitions, with Canadians who have worked in 92 countries around the world.


Relevant Experience


Most of Dr. MacDonald’s training was in the counselling centre at the University of Calgary. She worked with many prospective students, helping them choose post-secondary programs to best fit their personalities and interests.


Extensive Industry Experience


She has worked in a number of industries for many years, and continues to consult to organizations regularly. Dr. MacDonald has been employed in the oil and gas industry, the financial sector, the hospitality industry, the recruiting field, the transportation field, and with Alberta Health Services.


University Teaching Experience


In the past Dr. MacDonald worked part-time at four different universities, and she has taught hundreds of students career theory and how to become career counsellors. She no longer teaches, given she is so busy with her private practice.


Referrals from Satisfied Clients


Much of Dr. MacDonald’s clients are referrals from clients that have been very pleased with her career counselling services. She has referrals from friends, families, neighbours and colleagues. Dr. MacDonald has even done career testing with entire families, including parents and all their children!


Extensive Career Assessments


Dr. MacDonald has completed thousands of assessments with clients ranging from the age of 14 to 74. Her interpretation of career assessments are geared exactly to each individual client, so people find this to be a very positive, enlightening, and empowering experience.


Changing an Education Route or Career Path


Change is not easy, even when it is a positive, desired, and needed change. You may not be happy where you are at, but the uncertainty of making a change can be a scary proposition. Dr. MacDonald’s extensive experience can put your mind at ease, helping you better understand what is not working for you and what might be a better fit for you and your life.


Cost of Post-Secondary Education


Current research by Statistics Canada finds the average cost of a four degree in Canada starting in 2022 is approximately $100,000 for students in residence, or $40,000 for students living at home (a nationwide average across all programs) (Statistics Canada, 2022). This does not include textbooks, which can cost thousands of dollars for a four-year degree. There is also the cost of investing a lot of time and energy in a program that is not right for you.


How Do I get started?


If you have ever considered educational counselling, career counselling or career coaching, or would like more information, please give Dr. MacDonald a call today. Counselling is offered both in person and virtually.




Statistics Canada, (2022). Tuition fees for degree programs, 2022/2023.







Do you ever wonder if you might be suffering from burnout? Current statistics suggest that 35% of Canadians are burned out (Wilson, 2022). Some careers are even at greater risk: Nurses and other healthcare workers report a 66% rate of burnout, mental health professionals weigh in at 61%, transportation, finance and legal professionals are around 40%, and first responders and educators are not far behind (Wilson). If you are burned out, you are not alone.


Burnout has a number of signs and symptoms, which can include the following:


  • Feeling run down and drained of physical or emotional energy
  • Negative thoughts about your job or feeling disengaged from your work
  • Decreased patience, and increased irritability or frustration
  • Feeling misunderstood and unappreciated at work
  • Feeling unproductive, with a lot of pressure to perform
  • Not getting what you want from your work
  • Feeling like you might be in the wrong organization or wrong profession
  • Organizational politics or bureaucracy seem to interfere with doing a good job
  • Insomnia, weight gain or loss, anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress
  • Cynicism and feeling overwhelmed with your workload
  • Physical illnesses and decreased immune functioning
  • Lacking time to do a good quality job or unable to plan your workload
  • Working more hours than humanly possible


There are five stages of burnout, ranging from no sign, mild, moderate, severe and very severe risk of burnout (Fontes, 2020).  While the diagnosis of Occupational Burnout is not in the current DSM 5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association), it is being seriously considered as an addition to the 6th edition. Burnout became an officially recognized diagnosis by the World Health Association in 2018, and was originally recognized in the 1970s by American psychologist Dr. Herbert Freudenberger (Fontes). It is characterized by three broad categories: 1) physical and mental exhaustion; 2) increased disengagement from one’s job, and/or feelings of negativity or cynicism related to one’s work; and 3) reduced productivity and professional efficacy.


Why is career counselling for burnout so important?


It is a slippery slope when going from stress in to burnout, and it generally takes people many years to develop occupational burnout. It is often the result of working too many hours, working in the wrong profession, or for an organization that doesn’t support their employees well. Burnout can have some significant physical, psychological and emotional consequences, which can negatively impact your quality of life and ability to function. It is important to be proactive about dealing with burnout, so you can get back on track with your life.


How many sessions does career counselling usually take?


Typically 3-4 hours and 4 tests work really well for most people.  Some people may benefit from more sessions if they require further clarity with their career decisions, if they are looking at various educational routes, or need to overcome any obstacles standing in their way for their career success.


What about addressing burnout in counselling?


This is generally a good idea and beneficial for most people. For some people, making the necessary changes to their career can help alleviate burnout and give them hope for a more positive future. For other people, additional counselling sessions to address and overcome burnout are needed for their recovery. This would be determined in an individual basis.


How much does career counselling cost?


Testing is $100 each, and fees are $220 an hour. It is truly a great investment in your future and in your life.


What types of payment do you take? Are costs covered by insurance?


You may pay by cash, cheque, credit, debit, or e-transfer. A receipt is issued for reimbursement through your extended medical plan or health spending account or your partner’s plan.  It is also a tax-deductible medical receipt on your income tax return.


What are the tests used for career counselling?


The four tests used are a career personality, career interests, career values, and career conflict scales. These assessments have high validity and reliability, and provide a wealth of information for the career counselling process. These tests are only available to professionals that are specifically trained and certified as career counsellors.


What does career counselling provide for you?


Career counselling opens up the world of work to possibilities that you’ve maybe never considered. Or it can validate and confirm why the career you are in is not right for you, and you can discover other options that are a better fit for your life and happiness. The knowledge you gain from career counselling can help you overcome any obstacles you may encounter as you pursue your dreams. Career counselling can help explain your situation, with solid rational why you are experiencing burnout, and what is going to fit better for you and your life. It can be truly a positive experience when you are going through such a negative time in your life.




American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.).


Fontes, F. (2020). Herbert J. Freudenberger and the making of burnout as a psycholpathological syndrome.


Plasencia. J. (2021). 13 Early signs of burnout.


The World Health Organization. (2019). Burnout-out an “occupational phenomenon”: International Classification of Diseases.


Wilson, J. (2022) Over 1 in 3 Canadians report burnout.



You’ve worked hard for your education since kindergarten, and you’re now in high school or you’ve just graduated. Your life up until now was pretty much laid out for you. And now what happens after grade 12? There is an endless list of possibilities, given there are over 15,000 educational programs in Canada (EduCanada 2021), and literally tens of thousands of careers to choose from. Where do you even begin?


Why is career counselling during high school so important?

You are at the ideal stage in life to benefit from career counselling. This is likely the biggest decision you will make at this time of your life, and at such a relatively young age. Career counselling increases your self-awareness, so you are making this decision with courage and confidence, which is backed by the solid rationale and information that comes from this process. You want to get your life off to the right start in the right direction, and career counselling certainly helps with this complex decision.


Have you had a negative experience with career testing or career planning at school?

I often hear this complaint, and it is one of the reasons that students are reluctant to come for career counselling. One student said she was told to become a garbage collector. Another student was told to become a school bus driver. It’s not these are necessarily bad choices, they were just poor options for these students. People are always pleasantly surprised to see how accurate my interpretation of their reports can be. The reason is I have years of experience with career counselling, I am passionate about what I do, and I am committed to helping people find the right education and career path.


How has the world of work changed in the past few decades?

The world of work has changed so rapidly recently, and as a result there are many jobs that have become obsolete, and many new jobs that have been created. Many new careers are the result of changes in technology, globalization, and Canadian demographics, as well as changes in legislation. And to make the world of work more complex than ever before, we’ve now had a pandemic that has compromised many career alternatives. It is believed that the majority of jobs that young people will hold over their lifetime haven’t even been invented yet (Mekouar, 2019). This means that choosing a career is more challenging than ever before.


What can happen to high school students who don’t do career counselling?

For some students, they select the right education and career, and they do just fine. For others, there is a lot of self-doubt or wondering if they’ve chosen wisely. Some students can start to question their own decision-making abilities, and self-esteem often drops. And some students can end up wasting a lot of time, energy and money pursuing an education or career path that isn’t suitable for them. This can result in a lot of needless stress, anxiety, and regret, and having to start this process all over again, often in their 30s.


How many sessions does career counselling usually take?

Typically 3-4 hours and 4 tests work really well for most students. Some people may benefit from more sessions if they require further clarity with their career decision, if they are looking at various educational routes, or need to overcome any obstacles standing in their way of their career success.



How do I get started?

Please call or email to begin your career counselling journey!



EduCanada, (2021). A world of possibilities

Mekouar, D. (2019). Most of 2030’s jobs haven’t been invented yet


Most likely people don’t equate work and happiness. Yet the truth of the matter is that these are not mutually exclusive, you can actually achieve happiness, fulfillment and even joy through the work that you do.  If this seems a bit unrealistic, it actually can be more easily achievable than most people think.

What Does Work Have to Do with our Happiness?

Dr. Martin Seligman has studied happiness for decades, and he’s figured out it come down to three factors (2002):

  1. When we are involved in tasks and activities that we find personally meaningful, then
  2. We will be fully engaged and motivated by those tasks and activities, and,
  3. We can also find happiness in the pursuit of pleasurable activities.

What is interesting is the third factor, I call it the “fun factor”, actually accounts for the least amount of our happiness, and the first two factors account for the largest proportion of our happiness.  This is why the work that we do makes up for such a big part of our contentment and life satisfaction, as that the work we do is highly correlated to our happiness and well-being.

Do You Have a Job, a Career, or a Calling?

What is the difference? Typically Seligman (2002) has found that a job supports our lifestyle. A job provides a pay cheque which generates money to pay our bills. A career generally has a path or career trajectory, where we start in a junior role, and over time advance to more senior roles, with greater responsibilities and higher income. A calling is usually work that holds great meaning, and has a bigger picture focus, where we often make a difference in people’s lives and in the world.

What Kind of Life Do You Want Your Job to Provide?

There are three types of lives according to Seligman (2002), the pleasant life, the good life, and the meaningful life.

  1. The pleasant life is the pursuit of enjoyment, contentment, leisure and satisfaction.
  2. The good life uses our unique strengths, skills and competencies to gain fulfillment and satisfaction through work or other roles in our lives.
  3. The meaningful life uses our knowledge, experiences and virtues to be of service to people and society.

Have you ever given consideration to the strengths, gifts and talents that you have to offer? What about thinking about your interests and values, and how you may give these back through the work that you do, while gaining a lot of contentment and satisfaction in your life? If you feel there is a disconnect between your work and what you want your work to provide for your life, please call or email for a consultation.


Seligman, M.E.P.  (2002) Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realise your Potential for Lasting Fulfilment. New York: The Free Press.