The third edition of PowerSkills, a free virtual career summit, hosted by the School of Continuing Studies (SCS), is taking place from August 4 to 7, under the theme Lives Transformed: Our Post-Pandemic Era, and features more than 65 interactive sessions and more than 120 presenters from a wide variety of fields and industries.
PowerSkills is an initiative of the Career Advising and Transition Services (CATS), whose mandate is to equip professionals with lifelong career management skills and the tools to thrive in the current and future labour markets. CATS created PowerSkills in 2020 as a response to the growing importance of soft skills in the job market, evolving career needs, as well as challenges posed by the pandemic.
Soft skills are empowering
Many studies have shown that organizations are seeking employees who possess attributes like empathy, resilience, mindfulness, adaptability, effective communication and emotional intelligence – so “soft” hardly seems like the right descriptor for these powerful skills. According to Deloitte’s Soft Skills Business Success report, by 2030 two thirds of all jobs will be soft skill-intensive, and the current demand for soft skills exceeds supply by 45 percent.
With all of this in mind, PowerSkills was born. The title emphasizes that the word “soft” is a misnomer. In fact, acquisition of these skills empowers professionals to be future-ready and allows them to take important steps in their careers.
“The McGill School of Continuing Studies is committed to providing our learners with the resources needed to upskill, reskill, and co-skill, and continue to contribute actively to our communities and personal wellbeing,” says Carola Weil, Dean of Continuing Studies at McGill. “Our goal is to offer our students and alumni, as well as the larger community, relevant, timely, and motivational professional guidance to help them thrive in a post-pandemic workplace.”
The first two editions of PowerSkills (August 2020 and January 2021) attracted more than 4,000 participants from 50+ countries who attended 120+ interactive workshops, webinars, interviews, café chats, and panel discussions, featuring best-selling authors, TedX speakers, global thought leaders, world-class experts, business innovators, professional athletes and changemakers.
This year’s keynote speakers include:
- Star Bobatoon, award-winning speaker
- Benoit Chalifoux, international speaker on soft skills
- Déborah Cherenfant, president of the Young Chamber of Commerce of Montreal
- Joyce Fuerza, TV host, producer and filmmaker
- John Gradek, McGill’s own expert on aviation and aerospace industry
- Samantha Kris, TEDx speaker and best-selling author
- Elias Makos, CJAD radio host
Not just for jobseekers
COVID-19 changed the way we work and collaborate, and as we prepare to enter the post-pandemic workplace, we must adapt once again. In a recent article, The heart of resilient leadership: Responding to COVID-19, Deloitte states the importance of resilient leadership to help organizations recover after the pandemic and says that “clarity of thinking, communications, and decision-making will be at a premium.”
“Developed during the pandemic, PowerSkills was aligned with the idea of ‘we are all in this together’ and the heart of the event focuses on the importance of democratizing education at a time when it is most needed,” says Rosalia Felice, Manager of Career Advising and Transition Services at SCS.
Rosalia adds that PowerSkills is open to everyone and is valuable for people at any stage of their career, whether they’re an undergraduate or a graduate student, a recent graduate, or a professional who is transitioning into a new career or accelerating their current one.
The third edition of PowerSkills includes interactive networking activities, a games night, a mixology session and yoga and wellness breaks. This latest edition has been awarded Virtual Sustainable Event certification by the McGill Sustainable Events program and is an official McGill Bicentennial event.
Check out the full lineup of PowerSkills speakers and register today!