Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between CareerConnect and CareerConnect Canada?

CareerConnect Canada is a program offered by CNIB in partnership with the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), a nonprofit organization that works to enable blind or partially sighted Americans to achieve equality and access.

AFB created CareerConnect to allow job seekers who are blind or partially sighted to connect with successful Mentors in their field who also have vision loss. Mentors then provide practical support and advice to the job seeker.

CareerConnect Canada provides Canadians with vision loss the opportunity to connect with others and participate as either job seekers or Mentors using the AFB CareerConnect platform.

How can I be as safe as possible and protect my privacy when I use the CareeerConnect program?

Here are some safety and privacy tips for participating. These tips also apply to any activity on the Internet:

  • Never share a password with anyone else.
  • Before you enter any information about yourself on a website, be sure you have checked out the site in advance to make sure it is one you trust.
  • If you experience something on a website that makes you uncomfortable, exit the site immediately – and clear your browser’s cache and history.
  • Never send a picture of yourself (or other personal information) to someone by email unless you know the person well.
  • If you ever receive an unwanted or offensive email, do not respond – delete it immediately. If the email is threatening or you are experiencing serious and persistent harassment by email, contact the police.
  • Never give out your credit card number or banking information to anyone you meet online.
  • Never open files or email from someone you don't know.
  • Remember that any information you share about yourself online can be seen by anyone else online.

What should I expect as a job seeker?

As a job seeker in the program, you can expect to benefit from great tips and advice from a Mentor in your field in answer to your career-related questions. The AFB website also offers a recommended reading list and other helpful resources for job seekers. Go to AFB job seekers.

How will I connect with my Mentor?

The program is designed to match Mentors and job seekers online. So your interaction can take place through email and/or online communities and forums.

How often will I connect with my Mentor?

The frequency will depend on your availability and the time your Mentor has available to answer your questions. Please respect your Mentor’s time and bear in mind that your Mentor may have a very busy career, and may be advising other job seekers as well. Ask questions succinctly and gather them into one email wherever possible, rather than sending multiple emails. Mentors are volunteers – please remember to thank them for any advice or information they can give you.

What is the best way to start interacting with my Mentor?

You should introduce yourself to begin with. Explain that you are a job seeker with the CareerConnect Canada program. Briefly summarize your career aspiration and your current level of education and experience related to your career goal.

Then you can start asking your Mentor a few questions that might result in information or advice that would be helpful to you. The following list may help you get started:

  • How did you find this job?
  • How long have you had this job?
  • Where did you receive your training for this job?
  • What jobs did you have before this one?
  • Did you take vocational courses in high school, college or trade school that you recommend I consider?
  • Did you participate in an internship or an apprenticeship?
  • Does your present company offer on-the-job training
  • What is a typical starting salary for this job?
  • What is your typical workday like?
  • How do you get to and from work?
  • How do you perform your job duties?
  • Do you use specialized tools or equipment to perform your job duties?
  • How did you finance the purchase of any specialized equipment you use on the job?
  • Where and from whom did you receive training in how to operate the tools you use to perform your job?
  • What related jobs do you know of that I might want to investigate?
  • What other jobs have you had in your career?
  • What are your current career goals?

Can I have more than one Mentor?

Yes, and we recommend it if you can find more than one Mentor in your desired field. Not only will you benefit from having more than one person’s advice and perspective, but also you will also gain more interaction with Mentors, since the time any one Mentor has to offer you may be limited. Try to target your questions appropriately to a particular Mentor’s field, background and experience.

Can I have Mentors in different fields?

Yes, you can approach a Mentor in more than one field. However, you should only contact Mentors who work in fields you are genuinely interested in exploring. Not only is this respectful of a Mentor’s time, it will also ensure that a Mentor is available for other job seekers who are truly interested in his or her field.

If I'm in Canada, can I contact a Mentor in the U.S.?

Yes, you can contact a U.S.-based Mentor. Since your interaction with your Mentor will take place online, it doesn’t matter where you are both located

What are my responsibilities as a job seeker?

As a job seeker, it is your responsibility to be professional and courteous at all times when communicating with your Mentor. It is also your responsibility to respect your Mentor’s privacy and time.

Where can I find Canadian labour market information to help me to research my field?

Try the following web resources:

Canadian job search sites:

How can I volunteer as a Mentor?

You first need to register. Once you have done so, you become part of the program’s roster of Mentors. At that point, you can expect to be contacted by job seekers from either the U.S. or Canada at any time.

Where can I sign up to be a Mentor?

Go to Become a Mentor or go to the registration form directly.

What qualities make a good Mentor?

A good Mentor is:

  • Authentic– models best practices in his or her field.
  • A good teacher– takes the time to know their job seekers’ strengths and weaknesses, and challenges them to go beyond what they think they can do.
  • Inspirational– a Mentor should inspire job seekers, through their own example of success and through words of encouragement.
  • A good listener– genuinely listens to a job seeker’s concerns and questions and wants to help that person succeed. A Mentor should be familiar with a job seeker’s current projects and activities and should be able to ask how things are going.
  • A believer in lifelong learning– knows there is always more to learn in his or her professional career. A Mentor should be someone who remains open to new ideas and even tries them.

What are my responsibilities as a Mentor?

As a Mentor, you are expected to respond to inquiries from potential job seekers on a timely basis. We also ask that you be open and honest about your working life and how you have achieved success in your career. Most of all, we ask you to be encouraging and supportive to job seekers about their career aspirations.

What is the time commitment, and how quickly should I respond to questions from job seekers?

It depends on your availability and how many requests for advice you receive. There is no minimum requirement – we encourage you to determine the time commitment that works for you.

However, we ask that Mentors respond to queries within 72 hours if at all possible. We recognize that you may not always be able to respond with a complete answer immediately; please at least confirm receipt of the job seeker’s query and indicate when you will be able to provide a more detailed response. If a query falls beyond your area of expertise, please refer the individual to CareerConnect staff. If you anticipate being unable to answer emails for an extended period such as a vacation, we recommend setting up an automated “out of office” greeting providing your planned date of return. 

Can I mentor more than one job seeker?

Certainly. It is up to you how many job seekers you would like to take on, based on the time you have available.

Where can I get more information about being a Mentor?

CareerConnect Mentor Guide.

CareerConnect and CareerConnect Canada are trademarks of the American Foundation for the Blind and are used under license