Vocational Wellness

Vocational wellness is the ability to balance life with a satisfying vocation that aligns with our skills and values, and challenges us in an effort to recognize the importance of satisfaction, enrichment, and meaning through our work. Our desire to contribute in our careers to enact positive impacts on the organizations we operate within, our colleagues/professional relationships, and to our society. Also includes volunteerism and hobbies/interests to which one dedicates significant time and resources that provide fulfillment, meaning or purpose, but may not provide income.

Vocational wellness includes, but is not limited to:

  • Education/training
  • Building relationships with peers/colleagues
  • Contributing towards goal fulfillment
  • Exploring opportunities to learn and be challenged
  • Feeding a sense of purpose and meaning
  • Enjoying your field of study/career
  • Volunteerism/social contributions
  • Feeling a sense of value from instructors/supervisors/managers
  • Meaningful work/employment

Tips On Managing Vocational Wellness

  1. Team building activities with your peers/co-workers: from building trust with co-workers/peers to encouraging collaboration and promoting healthy work culture, team building activities can help foster a positive work environment (Indeed). Team building activities can also help create connections between groups of people who may never or rarely contact each other, such as two different departments or people who are remote versus in-person. Some examples of team building activities can include trivia nights, retreats, doing some volunteering activities, and potlucks.
  2. Seek career development advice: the University of Waterloo offers career development advice through the Centre for Career Action for both students and employee members. Services include, but are not limited to, mock interviews, resumé reviews, work searching, career planning, and cover letter reviews. Alumni are also entitled to three (3) free career advice appointments, with a $40 fee for every appointment afterwards. For more information on career counselling at the university, visit the Centre for Career Action here.
  3. Do some volunteering: volunteering activities can help with learning new skills, sharpening current ones, and forming relationships with new people from different professions. Volunteer activities can also help boost a resumé with more work experience and demonstrating taking initiative (World Vision). For information on volunteering opportunities, visit the Centre for Career Action here.
  4. Take classes or certification programs: taking classes or certification programs can help expand your skillset and provide you the necessary knowledge to work in certain positions (for example, first aid certification, data analysis classes, food and beverage handling certification). Classes and certifications can be taken online or in person. The University of Waterloo offers online certificates through programs such as WatSpeed, providing you with tools and techniques to help achieve personal or career goals. There are no admission requirements and are not time sensitive.
  5. Achieve work-life balance: an unhealthy work-life balance can include overworking, neglecting personal life and care, and burnout. This can lead to physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion on top of strained interpersonal relationships with people who matter to you, such as friends and family (BetterUp). Some ways to achieve work-life balance include delegating responsibilities when possible, disconnecting from work from personal life, setting realistic goals and expectations, and taking time to support self-care such as adequate sleep and eating properly (CAMH).


Looking to enhance your vocational wellness? Below are some resources both on and off campus, as well as general information related to vocational wellness.

On campus resources Off-campus resources

Supports and Resources for Co-op

Centre for Career Action

Psychological Health and Safety Standards in the Work Place

Resources and workshops for undergrad students (interviewing, resumes, job search and more)

Grad Student Resources

Career Planning Session (book individual appointment through WaterlooWorks)

Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association (WUSA) – 400 clubs for volunteer opportunities

MME or ECE Wellness Committee (Email Engwellness@uwaterloo.ca)

Volunteer Centre

Canadian Careers

Job Bank (Government of Canada)

Employment Ontario

The Working Centre (Kitchener)

Region of Waterloo Employment Support

Psychological Health and Safety Standards in the Work Place

Mental Health Commission of Canada (Workplace Health)

Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace

Guarding Minds at Work