Alaant Spotlight:

Jane H. Canale, SPHR, Associate Exec. Director for HR & Support Services, Schenectady ARC

Alaant Spotlight Jane H. Canale, SPHR, Associate Executive Director for HR & Support Services, Schenectady ARC
+ About the Alaant Spotlight

The Alaant Spotlight features local leaders and businesses to highlight the great work they are doing in our community, sharing their career advice and/or secrets to success—in their own words. They are the people making a powerful impact for good across our region.

What advice can you give to people (millennials, generation Z) just starting out in their career? 

Congratulations and welcome to your career!

You have been dreaming and studying and planning for this moment. Now that it is here, what should you do?  First thing is first; take a breath.  This is an exciting and possibly scary time.  All of those emotions are real, and they are good to help guide you. Outlined are a few tips to help you along the way:

Be open…be open to different ideas and different types of jobs. The average millennial and Gen Z professional will have between 15–20 jobs during their career. That is a lot of experience and opportunity that will take you to places you have yet to even think about.

  • Be patient…career development takes time, and it is usually much longer than we expect.  One step at a time.  

  • Be present…whatever your job, work as if it is the most important job, you will ever have.  Because it is.  Teamwork is only successful if everyone does their part.  

  • Say yes…to new projects, opportunities experiences. Volunteer for a committee or workgroup.  You never know who you will meet or what door might open.  

  • Always look ahead but don’t stop looking back…be searching for the next opportunity but never forget where you started.  Your experience is what builds you. No one gets ahead without the help of others.  Be sure to bring others with you.

  • Evaluate your “why”…why are you following this path and how does it meet your needs. Is it the work/life balance you want, does the culture reflect your values and are you doing work that is meaningful? Knowing your “why” can help you focus as you build your career.

  • Enjoy the journey…very few people retire at the age of 30.  Work is a substantial part of your life.  Make sure you are doing something that you enjoy, and you feel good about your contribution.  

Remember, your career is truly your own personal journey. Make it fun!

About Jane

Two weeks after graduating from the College of Saint Rose, Jane Canale accepted a position at the Schenectady ARC. Little did she know she had found a home. Over the last 30-plus years, Jane has held a number of positions including the first Director of Human Resources for the agency. Currently, Jane is the Associate Executive Director for Human Resources and Support Services. Throughout the time, Jane’s favorite part of her job has been to help other employees develop their career and celebrate the success of both employees and the individuals supported by Schenectady ARC. In addition to her duties at Schenectady ARC, Jane served on the Capital Region JSEC planning committee and as Co-Chair for the Schenectady Area Employer Resource Network. Jane is also a graduate of the American Heart Association’s Better U program and a recipient of the American Heart Association’s Heart 2 Heart Award.

Jane H. Canale, SPHR

Associate Executive Director for HR and Support Services

Schenectady ARC

About Schenectady ARC

Schenectady ARC is a chapter of The ARC New York, Inc., a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities and their families throughout New York State. Schenectady ARC was founded by parents of children with intellectual and other developmental disabilities in 1952, and has been providing an expanding array of supports and services since that time. Today, Schenectady ARC is focused on supporting individuals with a wide variety of options. Using a very person-centered planning process, Schenectady ARC staff work with people (and their family members or other advocates) to find the right combination of supports and services that will help the individual achieve his or her goals and dreams. Schenectady ARC supports individuals seeking employment, residential services, day services, medical or other clinical services, and recreation programs. Schenectady ARC operates programs throughout Schenectady County that offer options and supports for individuals of all ages and all abilities.

Connect with Jane on LinkedIn.

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