Pavel Golovkin/The Associated Press

This is the weekly Careers newsletter.

Déjà Leonard is a copywriter and freelance journalist based in Calgary.

While the Canadian men’s national soccer team left the FIFA World Cup tournament with no wins, there is a lot we can all learn from the team and its impact, according to two career coaches.

Alan Kearns, managing partner and founder of Career Joy, and Shirin Khamisa, founder and practice leader at Careers by Design, share insight into how we can apply the experiences of these athletes to our everyday jobs.

Don’t underestimate the power of setting an example

Stephen Eustáquio from Leamington, Ont., had an article written about him and how he is inspiring younger players and bringing pride to his community. Eustáquio has had family and friends following his journey since he started playing the sport, and they said his dedication is something they remember about him.

“Just by being ourselves, using our own gifts and being aligned with our purpose, we inspire other people,” Ms. Khamisa said.

She said that regardless of age, people learn by watching others.

She added that representation is also important in this case. Team Canada, like many workplaces, is composed of a diverse set of individuals. You can give others the opportunity to see people from a similar walk of life excel, which means they can too.

“A lot of people who are contributing to a larger cause in an organization don’t know the impact that they’re having on so many people,” Ms. Khamisa said

Impressions – and resilience – count

This year was only the second time the Canadian team qualified for the World Cup. Despite the losses, it was an opportunity to show the world their character before Canada co-hosts the World Cup in 2026.

“All kinds of opportunities can come to you, personally and professionally, as a result of being on a bigger stage,” Mr. Kearns said.

He said how the players react to a loss or things not going their way is important.

“One of the great observations I’ve had in my own team [at work] is watching what happens when things don’t go their way … that’s when you really see who the true person is,” he said.

Ms. Khamisa said that the incredible resilience the team showed can apply to anyone’s career.

“No one ever got the gold medal or to the World Cup without having games that they lost or having really missed the mark,” she said. “The same goes for all of us.”

Find your way of giving back

Alphonso Davies, who scored the first goal for Canada at the World Cup, tweeted about how Canada welcomed his family as immigrants, and that he would be giving back by donating his World Cup earnings to charity.

“I don’t know anyone who’s deeply fulfilled just by their paycheque,” Mr. Kearns said, adding that there are plenty of ways to give back and find that fulfillment that doesn’t cost much.

Ms. Khamisa outlined that she sees three main ways people typically find meaning. If you value sharing knowledge, you can try mentoring. If relationships are important to you, something like writing LinkedIn reviews or putting in a good word for others goes a long way. Lastly, if you like organizing groups, you can bring people together using networking events.

Mr. Kearns says it’s important to recognize that our success doesn’t happen independently of others, and that’s why paying it forward is key.

“It takes a community to raise a soccer player and it takes a community to raise your career,” he said.

What I’m reading around the web

  • Each year Merriam-Webster dictionary announces a word of the year, and it typically correlates with a single event that drives more people to use it and become curious. Find out why this year’s word – gaslighting – is different.
  • No one likes a one-sided conversation, but, as this NPR story reports, people love when you ask them questions. In fact, they like you more if you do, especially when it’s a follow-up question. It shows you’re not only interested, but also attentive and responsive to what they’re saying.
  • Access to fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as food deserts, play a large role in the food insecurity that many people around the globe face. Read how one Chicago nonprofit is changing food-bank use by delivering fresh produce to those who need it most.
  • How much is climate inaction costing us? One report written about in The Tyee shows that in British Columbia in 2021, heat, fire and floods cost the economy $10.6-billion to $17.1-billion. The report also shows how many of these extreme weather events, and the damage they caused, exacerbate the challenge even more.

Have feedback for this newsletter? You can send us a note here.