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Work experience

Sep 1998Present

Founder: Principal Career and Business Performance Coach


Provide career and business consulting and coaching to professionals seeking to enhance their careers and entrepreneurs seeking to improve their business performances

Delivered ongoing performance assessment, management  and coaching to professionals at different levels of employment including senior management and executive clients in industries including business, government, technology and not-for-profit sectors. 

Demonstrated expertise in identifying and building individual professional brands. Provided expert consultation on the development of social media strategies for brand deployment and network engagement. 

Expert resume and portfolio writer, job search strategist and interview coach who knows how to move clients forward and support them along the way.

Provide individual assessment and coaching using tools including the MBTI, Typefocus, Career-leader and Emotional Intelligence (EQ-i) to assist in career selection and career and relationship management. 

Created and managed social media accounts: Facebook, Blog, Youtube, Linkedin and Twitter

A reputation among clients as an outstanding coach who facilitates great insights and provides ongoing support and guidance. Described by clients as 'wonderful' and 'amazing' and at the 'top' of my profession.


Outplacement Career | Job Coach


Provide a full range of job and career coaching outplacement services to job seekers in transition. 

Specialize in academic, research, science and professional job seekers


Career/Lifestyle coach and writer

Latin Business Today

Contributing writer on a range of topics including lifestyle, psychology, business, social networking, recruiting, workplace performance.



HR Insider

Contributing freelance writer on Human Resources and Career topics

Aug 2009Present

Social Media Consultant


Provided social media consultation, support and strategy to 100's of individuals and organizations seeking to better understand and engage on social media. Developed education, training and policy materials. 

Consulted on the development of internal social media channels and external engagement options. Offered guidance on Brand development and articulation. 

Advised and educated a successfully re-elected political candidate on various social media options and strategies. Provided social media strategies and technical support prior to and during the election cycle

Built and consulted on the building of social media profiles and channels including creating wordpress blogs, websites, twitter accounts, facebook groups and business pages and Linkedin Groups

Wrangled bloggers, community engagers and contributors to support discussions and information gathering and dissemination across different social media channels. 

I offer an understanding of the psychology and emotionally intelligent use of social media to help manage the day to day stress and challenge of ongoing social media performance. 

Mar 20112014

Social Media Coordinator/Facilitator

Not-For-Profit Sports Organization

An international Sports Organization leading the development and promotion of  sport internationally. 

Provide guidance and strategy on the development of social media community building, awareness and engagement. Delivered education and training on the effective use of key social media channels and identifying best ROI opportunities for SM.Developed and coordinated the communication and community building activities of social media channels including twitter, blog and Linkedin and website management. Assistance in building a communications plan for 2011 and the push to the 2012 Paralympics

Jan 20122014

Career Performance Leader


Careeradex is a start-up currently in beta. Careeradex offers a series of career performance tools to facilitate positive career transitions and support effective career performance for individual career seekers. 

A full cycle career service provider that provides recruitment, outplacement and onboarding services to support organizations.

Currently I am working on the ongoing development of the Careeradex Career Management System tm  (CMS) training content and an array of services delivered to individual member clients

Jan 1998Present

Trainer/Social Media Trainer

The Training Edge

Provided consulting and targeted training development to small organizations, not-for-profits and government offices in areas of team building, leadership, change management, communications, personal development, time management

Developed a series of corporate organizational development training workshops designed to include a model of understanding individual personality and style differences (based on the work of Jung incorporating  "True Color tm' and MBTI assessments). 

Consulted with management to identify organizational training needs and gaps and craft tailored training sessions relevant to the organizational culture and needs. Solid ability to help articulate strategies and visions. 

Successfully balanced high energy training engagement with credibility and professionalism to create fun, memorable and effective training initiatives. A subscriber to the 'Edutainment' model of training.  Clients feedback includes 'Smart and fun', 'Wow, Tara really knows her stuff', 'Tara really gets me'. 

An outstanding developer, trainer and facilitator with solid insights and instincts.

Jan 20002010

Career Consultant Coordinator

Public University, Canada

Lead the strategic development and delivery of leading edge programs and services for university students, alumni and other internal and external university partners.

Developed and provided a full range of career consulting services to clients including individual consultation meetings, group facilitation and e-communications. Topics including career discovery, social media, branding, applying for further education, career profile building, job searching, workplace management and career actualization strategies. 

Conducted numerous professional development training sessions for other university staff and departments and student organizations on topics including leadership, self-awareness, communication skills and team work.  

Researched, designed and delivered 1000's of hours of workshops, training sessions and events including: employment preparation workshops, career development workshops and many special targeted programs and events. 

Created education and training materials incorporating written and multi-media content. Effectively wrote and produced training materials for print, web and video including: the Resume, Job Search and Interview Guidebooks, Career Development, Informational Interviewing and Transferable Skills booklets and more. 

Spearheaded the development of departmental social media strategies, policies and engagement including twitter, linkedin, youtube and mobile application communications. Successfully engaged students, alumni, and other internal and external partners. Provided consultation and education on social media options and strategies. 

Championed and lead the development and implementation of the 'RBC Career Transition Program for Student's with Disabilities'

Created and implemented a series of programs and initiatives including: the Graduate and Professional Student program, the Career Immersion program and the Career Mentor Connections program. 

Client comments include 'Tara is a Rock Star' and Tara is 'Awesome. Frequently requested by clients based on word of mouth referral and by other departments to deliver presentations and provide training to their own staff.

Recognized with the annual University "Merit Award' on several occasions.


Master of Arts

University of Guelph

Bachelor of Arts

University of Winnipeg


Emotional Intelligence Certification

 Certification in the use and interpretation of the EQ-i - Emotion Quotient, emotional intelligence tool. An excellent tool used to provide clients with personal insights designed to identify personal strengths and blind spots to facilitate enhanced performance. 

Personality Assessment
Qualified and experienced in the delivery, assessment and interpretation of Jungian Type using the MBTI and the Typefocus instruments with individuals and groups.  In-depth ability to interpret type assessments to facilitate change and decision making in career planners and career changers
Individual Assessment
Particular skills in delivering individual career and personality assessments. In-depth knowledge and understanding in the area of Type assessment (MBTI and Typefocus). 
Program Development

Identify, research and create training programs related to career development and management for individuals and organizations

Career Consulting
Consult with individuals, groups and organizations to provide targeted career consulting services


“When I create new enrichment programs for corporations, organizations, education, associations, and individuals, I select top industry professionals to challenge my ideas, concepts, models, strategies, and processes. Tara is one of those industry professionals whose opinions and feedback I value and have come to rely on'

Author Jay Block

“Tara is an individual who will exceed your expectations while making work enjoyable. She is personable, listens well and is eager to please. It is always a pleasure to associate with one who portrays the qualities that Tara does'  Bill Lins

“Tara is a visionary leader with a relentless focus on continuously improving the quality and delivery of service'  

Keturah Leonforde,  Katalist Consulting Group 

'Tara is personable, friendly and knowledgeable - she is a great resource and I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for career guidance'.

Jason Shim,

Community Content Producer, The Centre for International Governance Innovation

[Tara] she is very skilled in workshop development and delivery. Her content is relevant, and supported with tangible examples. She has the ability to engage her audience quickly, varying her approach in line with their needs, and prompting questions that show a receptiveness to the points or issues she addresses.” 

 Helen Davies, Consultant at Talent2


Neuropsychology and the ability of the brain to re-write it's pathways

Understanding and Building Social Media Engagement. Combing the work of Malcolm Gladwel's writing (especially the 'Tipping Point') , the writings of Don Tapscott (Wikinomic: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything and 'Grown Up Digital and most recently Marcowikinomics: rebooting business and the world) with extensive reading on the psychology of Social Media engagement.

Emergent learning theory, pedagogy  and multiple intelligences: the implication of the fusion of constructivism theory and connectivism theory (within the realm of the 'Unplanned Happenstance' framework)

The development and influence of Social Media for individuals and organizations. 

Video creation, editing, producing and directing for fun and work

Jazz and listening to Jazz FM 91.1

On-Line Presence

My Website

My Twitter  @careerchatter

On Facebook

What People Are Saying

“Tara introduced me to the broader aspects of social media and encouraged me to read Wikinomics which opened my eyes to possibilities I had no idea existed.” 

"Tara is A Rock Star'

By the way I have been telling the whole department . . . how thoroughly impressed I was with Tara Orchard. Wow, what a resource' 

"Tara's assistance with social media has been invaluable. I rely on her more than she knows'


Are You Sitting on a Social Media Bubble?January 2012

HRinsider (

Authored an article on the reality of social media in the workplace focussed on the importance of identify as a key component of effective social media in the workplace

Guest Blog

The 12 Protean Principles


Part of a team working with Author Jay Block on the development of his new Protean Career Training program

Relax . . . Your Career is a Journey, not a Destination!

Career Options Magazine, Fall 2010

Read the article here

How to Evaluate a Job Offer: What you need to know before saying yes

Interview conducted by TalentEgg, published January 12th, 2010 

Being Smart about Employment, May 2009

Interviewed in the 'Cord' newspaper (Student Newspaper)

'How To Effectively Volunteer'

Featured in JobPostings Magazine (originially published in 2008, reprinted in 2009)

University Publications

The Academic Job Search Guidebook

Job Search Techniques Guidebook

Interview Techniques Guidebook

Resume/Letter Writing Guidebook


Successful Career Performance and Transition Consultant, Organizational Trainer

and Social Media Networking Strategist with a focus on  facilitating insight, developing

strategies and promoting change for individuals and organizations


Committed to promoting COLLABORATIVE INNOVATION within the field of career management and organizational development. 

Regarded as skilled STRATEGIST and LEADING EDGE creator of CAREER DEVELOPMENT and MANAGEMENT programs and services.  A demonstrated ability to leverage technology and social media and understand emerging theories and trends to ensure the development of high quality programs and services and communications strategies.  

Highly developed repertoire of career and organizational development deliverables which encompass a wide breadth of topics designed to move individuals and teams forward.

Career Coaching

Outstanding reputation as a career and performance coach with a superior ability to assess situations and people, provide support and guidance and create opportunities for change. 

Organizational Trainer

Creative designer of training and educational materials and programs with a flare for presenting, writing and producing content.

Articulate, dynamic communicator and speaker who can pull ideas and visions together and facilitate an understanding of these ideas to different audiences and through different channels

Social Media Network Strategist

In-depth understanding of the nature of social media communications, engagement and relationship building. Able to make social media less daunting to individuals and organizations. Demonstrated skills in providing effective strategic assessment of social media options and facilitate the effective use of social media channels. 










Qualifications and Training

Typefocus Certification, 2011

Clarifying Personality Type: The why, What and How of getting clients to best-fit Type, Typelabs, 2010

AODA Training (Accessibility for Ontarians for Disability Act) 2010

EmotionalQuotient Inventory EQ-i (Emotional Intelligence), Mulit-Health Systems, 2009

Career-Leader Certification, Career-Leader, 2008

Multiple-Intelligences Theory, Assessment Training, 2002

Strong Interest Inventory Certification, CLS, 1999

Diversity Awareness Training, County of Wellington, 1998

True Colours (tm), Trainers-to-Go, 1998

Myers Briggs Type Indictor, 1993

Professional Presentations

Get LinkedIn, 2013

Presentation delivered to the University Of Guelph

Developing Your Professional Brand, 2013

Presented to former Blackberry employees on behalf of Communitech Tech Jobs Connex

Social Networking for Career Professionals, 2013

Telenetworking session delivered on behalf of the Career Professionals of Canada

LinkedIn for your Co-op and Career Center, 2013

Seneca College

Branding, LInkedIn and Social Networking for Career Building, 2013

Delivered to HR students and grads on behalf of the Grand River HRPA

LinkedIn Job Searching, 2013

Global Skills Conference, Kitchener, Ontario

Social Media Job Searching, 2013

Presented to former Blackberry employees on behalf of Communitech Tech Jobs Connex

Managing Social Media for your EmployeesFebruary, 2012

Webinar for Bongarde

Delivered a 90 minute webinar on the topic of the challenges of employee social media use and information on the effective development of social media policies in the workplace.

#UnjobsearchKW                                                                                                                                   November, 2011

The Working Centre

Presented to job seekers on the topic of using twitter to facilitate career, industry and organizational research to support network building, wikinomics endeavors and job searching.

Brand Building for Your Career                                                                                                             November, 2011

University Students Marketing Association

Presented to a group of students on the topic of the importance of developing and showcasing a professional brand. 

Building A Career Centre Internship Program                                                                               June, 2011


Webinar presented to Career Centres across Canada and the US on the topic of creating and setting up a Career Centre volunteer/Internship program. 

Social Media 4 Your Organization                                                                                              April, 2011

Not-for-protis Board of Directors

Introduction and training on social media options for not-for-profit organizations

Social Media Engagement  and Your Professional Brand                                                October, 2010

Communications Department, Ontario University

Education session delivered to a class of communications students focussed on leveraging social media and individual brand development for a career within the communications field

Social Media for Career Building

University Toronto Campus Speaker Series                                                                                 October, 2010

'Job seekers and career professionals can leverage the latest social media tools and trends to Discover, Build and Actualize their Careers'.

Type Training and Team Building                                                                                           September 2010

Leadership Centre Staff

1 hour introductory session exploring personality type in an organizational setting. 

Promote Me: How A Professional Brand and Social Media Engagement can help Advance Your Career

                                                                                                                                                                June, 2010

University Campus Toronto Speaker Series

'Being able to articulate your professional focus is an important component of successful career development.

Learn about key components in developing a solid Professional Brand'

Social Media Strategies Discussion                                                                                               June, 2010

University wide half-day event

Panelist and featured speaker discussion strategies and options for social media engagement for campus.

Career Professionals 2.0: Re-building our Professional Brand                                           April, 2010

Interuniversity forum 2010  'Growing Together Professionally'

In a world of instant information and a plethora of 'career experts' how can we ensure our relevance as career professionals for our clients and within our university career centres?

Social Media Strategies for Engagement                                                                                   April, 2010

Interuniversity Forum 2010 'Growing Together Professionally'

Presented and lead a round table discussion on the use of social media strategies for career professionals in a post-secondary environment. 

Leveraging  Linkedin as a Social Media Engagement Tool in Your Career Centre                    April, 2010    

Webinar presenter and panelist.  Brainstorm Consulting.  

Presented to Colleges and Universities from Canada and the US. 

How can you leverage Linkedin to engage students, alumni and other partners within your career centre? Developing strategies to integrate linkedin to engage your target communities. 

Leveraging Social Media and Your Professional Brand in your Job Search                         February, 2010

Careers in Communications Event 

Sponsored by IABC, GrandValley Chapter and the Student Communications Club

How can communications students and professionals increase their ability to obtain their preferred jobs in a tough economy? By developing and marketing their Authentic Professional Brand using Social Media to demonstrate their professional brand and acumen. 

Emerging Learning Theory in Career Development:                                                              January 2010

 Engaging Students in the Career Development Process

Delivered to High School Guidance Counsellors as a part of a Professional Development training session

Understanding the implications of emerging learning theory as it pertains to the opportunity  to engage career seekers in more effective career development activities. Re-evaluating 'old' career theories in light of the new opportunities presented by technology. 

Building Your Professional Brand                                                                                                       January 2010

Presented to students/alumni at an Ontario University.

Building an authentic professional brand requires understanding the unique contributions you can make to a team/job/client.  'Your Brand  is  . . . 'The Public Image of your Career Focus, Contribution and Reputation as presented by you and perceived by others. As conveyed through a combination of a series ofBrand Statements and your Public Image'.

'Marketing YourSkills to Employers' For Teachers Education Candidates                               November 2009

Presented to students within the Faculty of Education at an Ontario University.

The focus was on developing a professional identify and building a professional brand for transition into a professional career. Topics covered brand development and resume and interview skills preparation.

The Academic Job Search and CV (using Social Media for your Academic Career)             November, 2009

Presented to Graduate Students at Career Development Day.

Covering the topics of preparing to search for a job in Academia. The focus was on professional brand development as it pertains to establishing a reputation within the professional academic establishment, job search techniques and the development of effective academic CV's.

Self-Awareness, Leadership and Career Planning                                                                       September, 2009

Leadership Summit  Ontario University

Conference presentation introducing the 5 steps in the career planning process with a focus on self-awareness and leadership as key components of successful career planning and career management. 

Introduction to the EQ-i (Emotion Quotient, Emotional Intelligence)                                         August, 2009

Career Development Staff Annual Retreat

A 1 hour introductary session exploring the factors of emotional intelligence

Working Together to Enhance the Career Transition for Students with Disabilities                         June, 2009

CACUSS (Canadian Association of Colleges and University Student Services)

Conference presentation focussed on how student services departments can work together to provide effective career development and career tranistion experiences to students with disabilities. A focus on the components of the RBC Career Transition program for Students with Disabilities being implemented at the Laurier Career Centre.

Social Media is the Message: Web2.0 for job seekers                                                                 May, 2009

In partnership with Brainstorm Consulting

A one hour webinar presented to university and college career professionals in Canada and the US on the topic of social media and it's effective use by Career Centres

Considering an International Career in Human Services: Careers in the UN and NGO's          March, 2009

                                                                                                                                                                      November, 2008

Ontario University

An interactive session developed to provide career guidance insights to individuals considering careers in international human services.  Read a review here

Career Theory in Application                                                                                                       March, 2009

Toronto Catholic District School Board:  Curruculm and Accountability Department

A 3 hour session discussing the theory behind career development and the application of career theory to the delivery of early career development information.

Academic Job Search and Interviewing                                                                                           November, 2008

Department of Graduate Studies,

1 hour session outlining the steps involved in seeking and interviewing for a job in academia

Improving the Career Transition for Students With Disabilities

OSCA (Ontario School Counsellors Association)                                                                          November 2008        

CANNEXUS (Montreal)                                                                                                                       April, 2008                                                                                                                        

A 1 hour session highlighting the research behind Laurier's new Career Transtion Program and outlining the steps involved in developing and implementing this program. How do we ensure students with disabilities are engaged fully in the career development process during their time as students. 

Type Training: Know Yourself and Working with Others                                                         November, 2007

Information Technology Department Annual Retreat

A 2  hour session introducing and confirming personality type and using personality type for team building. An exploration of the difference and similarities between personality types including activities designed to facilitate improved communications between different personality types in the work place. 

Volunteer Highlights

Advisory Board Member2013, 2014

Career Professionals of Canada

Coordinator: Career Mentor Program  2012

Career Professionals of Canada

Social Media Enthusiasts of Waterloo Region                                                                                2011

Member of the group meeting to discuss all things social media

AODA Committee Member                                                                                                                  2008 -2010    AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act)

    Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario

    Advisory committee for the implementation of AODA Legislation at Laurier

    Working Committees:

    -Customer Services Policy Sub-Committee

   - Employment Standards  Sub-Committee

    -"Best Practices'  Sub-Committee 


Committee Member                                                                                                                            2002 - 2005

    Canadian Centre for Disability Studies, Winnipeg, Manitoba

    Research Study - Students with Disabilities: Transition from Post-Secondary Education to Work Phase one        and Phase two    Reserach project to examine the transition experiences from university and college students with            disabilities as they entre the workforce.


Board of Directors Member                                                                                                                1995 - 2001

    President/Past President                                                                                                                1997 - 2001

    Community Liaiason                                                                                                                        1996 - 1997

    DPPA Community Association, Ontario

    Spearheaded the professionalization of the not-for-profit association with over $150,000 in revenues     annually    Lead the development of board of Directors policies and procedures.

    Oversaw the implementation of  several large projects including a capital build project. 


Assistant Basketball Coach                                                                                                                   1998-2000

    University of Guelph Women's Basketball team, Guelph, Ontario