Translating Your Guiding Experience to the Professional World

As a member of Girl Guides of Canada, you have some incredible experience under your belt! Not only have you built confidence, resourcefulness, courage, and the ability to make a difference, but you’ve tried new things and sought out adventure.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to translate your Guiding experience as a girl or adult member into a professional context. Those without experience in Guiding might not be familiar with terminology like “District Commissioner” or “Chief Commissioner’s Award.” But your Guiding skills and experiences are ones that any employer would be lucky to have. It’s up to you to explain your experience in language anyone can understand!

Here are some ways that you can translate your Guiding experience into the professional world:

Girl Members

“Transferable skills” refer to skills that are not specific to a particular job or position. They are skills that would be applicable in many different contexts. As a current or former girl member of GGC, here are some transferable skills that you’ve likely gained:

  • Curiosity and problem-solving
  • Leadership and self-confidence
  • Ability to seek out and find information and answers
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Working independently
  • Having diverse interests
  • Time management
  • Resilience, dedication, and perseverance (e.g. able to overcome various obstacles)
  • Interpersonal skills and conflict resolution
  • Flexibility and dealing with change
  • Mentorship (i.e. if you’ve had the opportunity to work with younger girls)
  • Communication (e.g. making presentations to your unit, to councils, and if your unit keeps a social media presence)

Based on the programming you’ve participated in, you may also have specific areas of knowledge that would be helpful to jobs in the future, such as:

  • Community service and charity: Applicable to jobs working in the nonprofit sector
  • Environment: Applicable to jobs in conservation or in the scientific fields
  • World issues and international travel: Applicable to jobs in international development, government, and politics
  • Camping and the outdoors: Applicable to jobs in outdoor recreation and conservation
  • Leadership and multi-branch activities: applicable to jobs working with children and youth
  • First aid, body image, etc.: Applicable to health care fields, working in any field interfacing with the public.

As a girl member who participated in Pathfinders or Rangers, you may have also completed an awards program such as the Canada Cord or the Chief Commissioner’s Award. Completing one of these awards programs is an achievement to be proud of, and one that you can include on your resume. For example, earning your Chief Commissioner’s Award demonstrates:

  • Experience working on a long-term project or initiative
  • Strategic thinking and time management
  • Ability to implement and follow through on plans
  • Project management: breaking down a large undertaking into manageable tasks
  • Self-reflection and evaluation
  • Record keeping skills
  • Resourcefulness: finding resources to support you
  • A strong grasp of program areas such as community service, environment and outdoors, creativity and the arts, global awareness, healthy living, or leadership and management.

Unit Guiders & Girl Assistants

As a Unit Guider or Girl Assistant, you have become an expert at planning and delivering child and youth programming. This can be very relevant if you’re looking for a job working with young people or delivering programming – for example, in the educational or nonprofit sectors. In addition, like girls in Guiding, you may have gained expertise in specific knowledge areas like community service or the environment that could be helpful to your career.

You can also speak to some of these transferable skills:

  • Experience working with children and youth
  • Tailoring your approach to different individuals’ needs
  • Public speaking
  • Facilitation and workshop delivery
  • Leadership
  • Mentorship
  • Providing motivation and inspiration
  • Budgeting and financial planning
  • Event planning and execution
  • Teamwork
  • Inter-generational collaboration
  • Time management
  • Organization and prioritization
  • Record keeping
  • Identifying and negotiating with service providers (i.e. campsite rentals, guest presenters)
  • Risk management

Other Adult Positions

If you’ve held other positions in Guiding, you might have some other specialized skills and experiences that are applicable to potential careers. Below are some examples.

Commissioners/ACLs:

  • Administrative experience
  • Customer service
  • Meeting facilitation
  • Coordination and organizational skills
  • Volunteer management and supervision, including monitoring and evaluating performance, recruitment, and retention
  • Mentorship
  • Conflict resolution, diplomacy, and tact
  • Representing diverse stakeholders
  • Strategic planning: short- and long-term
  • Marketing/sales (e.g. through fundraising, membership growth activities, and more)
  • Representing an organization professionally in public and internal situations (public and media relations)
  • Decision-making
  • Change Management

Treasurers:

  • Financial planning and oversight
  • Bookkeeping
  • Record keeping

Council/Board Members:

  • Strategic planning: short- and long-term
  • Risk management
  • Governance
  • Board relations
  • Project management
  • Change management
  • Organizational oversight
  • Legal experience
  • Facility management and ownership (camps etc.)
  • Non-profit management

Advisors and Specialty Volunteers:

  • Program
    • Subject-matter expertise (e.g. arts and STEM)
    • Curriculum development, planning and delivery
    • Strategic program/initiative development
  • Special Events
    • Event planning and evaluation
    • Marketing
    • Budgeting
    • Volunteer management
    • Project management
    • Logistical and people management
  • Training
    • Adult education
    • Presentation skills
    • Curriculum planning and delivery
    • Logistical and people management
  • Camping
    • Outdoor know-how
    • Outdoor rec facilitation
    • Event planning
    • Budgeting
    • Outdoor credentials, i.e. Outdoor First Aid (if applicable)
  • Membership
    • Strategic planning and goal setting
    • Marketing/sales
    • Recruitment and retention