Meet Wayne Pagani

Article written by Cathy Milton for Career Professionals of Canada

Wayne Pagani - Awards of Excellence 2008Should you ever be fortunate enough to meet Wayne Pagani and sit down for a chat together, you’ll want to set some time aside. It will be time well invested as Wayne has very compelling stories to tell about his career path and how it led to his current successful business.

Through the stories, what shines out is Wayne’s fundamental desire to help people.

Wayne’s firm, W.P. Consulting & Associates, is a comprehensive career transition management service based in Canada’s capital, Ottawa. The firm’s focus is on empowering clients by providing them with the resources, connections, and opportunities they require in order to realize their career aspirations. A holistic approach is applied to career, employment, interview, and résumé strategy – taking the whole person into consideration – with the goal of achieving work/life integration. What differentiates Wayne is his ability to provide creative insight and potent techniques to increase the marketability of his clients in today’s competitive market.

Career History

Wayne is approaching 18 years in career and employment services, after a 14 year career in the transport industry. Having gone through his own career transition into various management roles, Wayne says,

“I get where my clients are coming from, and can empathize with people who are either stuck in their careers or simply frustrated with being unemployed.”

Working with Ex-Offenders

Wayne experienced his ah-ha moment while working with ex-offenders. He recognized the relationship between recidivism and lack of career/employment planning. He recalls,

“What ultimately got me started in employment was an opportunity to lead an intensive return-to-work employment integration program for ex-offenders. This was such a richly rewarding experience that I fell in love with the idea of helping people in all walks of life navigate the career landscape.”

During his time running the return-to-work program, Wayne’s clients were returning to the community after being released from federal prisons. These clients carried reputations for being institutionalized and were earmarked for a return to crime. As Wayne got to know these individuals, though, they revealed a real desire to change their lives for the better. He realized that they just needed direction, guidance, support, resources, and someone to believe in them.

One client, upon completing his first-ever résumé, looked at the résumé, then looked at Wayne, and said: “I would hire me, and the best part is that all of this is true!” Shortly thereafter, he went on to secure and maintain employment.

Another, who demonstrated a strong passion for helping others – particularly other ex-offenders and troubled youth – persevered to get established in the employment field. As a result, when it was time for Wayne to move on, he recommended that this client take over the return-to-work program.

Working with Six-Figure Professionals

Over the years, there have been many memorable and successful client engagements, including some in his role as senior consultant at Graham Management Group. Wayne found it highly gratifying to guide six-figure executives as they defined and articulated their value propositions into clear, concise, self-marketing messages. Afterwards, Wayne says that he felt privileged to observe the progress of their careers.

One such client stands out because of how quickly he applied the concepts. He was rewarded with immediate results, accepting an executive role with Ontario’s Centres of Excellence. The client’s testimonial sums up his experience and his gratitude:

“The investment of time and money I made in hiring Graham Management Group and Wayne is one of the best in my life time. The effectiveness of their work and advice are amazing. Moreover, it is a genuine pleasure to work with Wayne.”

Clearly, the part of Wayne’s work that he enjoys the most is the interaction with people from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and areas of expertise. He thrives on helping them by connecting them with the people, resources, and information they need to create effective return-to-work strategies. To use his own word, Wayne finds this work “exhilarating”.

Association with Career Professionals of Canada

In 2006, while he was Team Lead in a practice firm program, Wayne and a colleague conducted some research on avenues for professional development and training for the team.  At the time, he was also operating a part-time subcontracting service and was looking forward to developing his practice into a more full-time operation. As a result of that research, Wayne joined CPC.

Wayne was hooked, simply by CPC’s grass-roots approach to bringing career professionals together. He gathered new contacts across Canada, enjoyed peer-to-peer support via discussion groups, learned the latest trends and techniques in the field though news forums, and gained access to contract and media opportunities. Soon, he was part of a small team of members representing the association at the Toronto National Career Exhibition, participating in day-long presentations. He completed his first set of certifications within his first year of membership. Since that time, Wayne has deservedly gained industry recognition by winning multiple awards.

Wayne feels privileged to serve the association led by Sharon Graham.

“I hold Sharon in high esteem for her remarkable dedication and unselfish services to the industry and career professionals across the country. As a result, I try to give back in whatever way I can.”

Currently, he is:

  • Senior Advisor for CPC
  • National Certification Chair for all four certifications
  • Active assessor for all four certifications
  • CPC Ambassador in Ottawa and co-chair of the Ambassador program

As if that’s not enough, Wayne performs many other vital activities in support of CPC. He has:

  • Presented to community groups on several occasions on behalf of CPC
  • Grown the membership in Ottawa and parts of Western Quebec
  • Facilitated tele-networking sessions
  • Acted as judge in the annual CPC Awards of Excellence
  • Hosted local meet-ups including during the Cannexus conference held in Ottawa
  • Co-facilitated workshops / presentations with Sharon at industry conferences
  • Acted as mentor in the CPC mentoring program and made himself available to new members – or those considering membership – to discuss his experience with CPC

Maintaining Balance

There is no doubt that Wayne is an extremely busy man, but he knows the importance of balance. Recall the holistic approach his firm takes with clients in order to help them achieve the goal of work/life integration. This is also the approach that Wayne personally strives to be faithful to.

Wayne Pagani

To relax and recharge, Wayne makes time for activities he really enjoys such as yoga, meditation, reading, taking nature hikes, and kayaking. His family is extremely important to him, and Wayne delights in sharing some of these activities with them.

Wayne Pagani and family

Advice to New Career Professionals

Wayne is well positioned, after almost 18 years in the industry, to offer the following sound advice:

“Take your time. Most of us come into this field because we have a passion for helping others, and just remember that we can’t want it more than our clients. When the motivation and effort of any practitioner is greater than that of their clients on a regular basis, it’s a recipe for burn out.”

He advises new career practitioners to reach out to other professionals and conduct due diligence around best practices. Wayne says,

“CPC is a great place to do this and, along the way, seek out a mentor to support you in your own career development.”

Wayne also encourages professionals to attend industry conferences, CPC tele-networking sessions, and other events to stay current and stay connected.

“Essentially you will get out of your CPC experience what you put into it.”