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Dorchester resident enjoys shaping clients' futures

The following article, by Wendy Spence, appeared in a recent edition of THE SIGNPOST a local Dorchester newspaper


Len Lesser rebounded from a speech impediment and the trauma of failing the first grade and now helps others choose their career paths.

“I think I have a duty to help other people. It's not about the money.”

Lesser, who grew up in London, and now lives in Dorchester, was quiet in his youth. He said he started to gain confidence when he began lifting weights.

At Western, he was a psych major, which he said helped him gain insight throughout his career. He was a business minor, and worked with his father in his jewelry business.

Lesser decided to get into teaching because he realized that there were a lot of diversified occupations students he could help. Of the 16 students in the first class he taught at Lucas, 14 of them had been in jail. One of the methods he used to discipline them was pushups. Any students who mouthed off, disrupted class or were late for class had to do 25; and the same went for Lesser. He said he understood what the kids had gone through.

“I thoroughly enjoyed working with those kids.”

Lesser worked as the head of guidance at Montcalm, Lucas, Laurier, Ross and retired from Saunders secondary school. Although he enjoyed it, he felt that, as a teacher, he didn't have a voice. Lesser found it rewarding to write opinion pieces for local newspapers and to appear as a guest on talk radio programs.

He decided to change his career path to be able to help people choose theirs. Lesser set up an office in London about 20 years ago and started doing career counselling, mostly with young people. Six years ago, he decided to move his practice to an office in his Hamilton Road home, where he's lived for almost 40 years with his wife Ella.

Lesser likes the challenge involved with his work; helping students pick courses, in Grade 11, for example, to help them work towards their post secondary goals. He also enjoys working with people who are changing careers.

“They teach me and I teach them.”

Lesser first meets with the client and interviews them. He gives them a chance to talk about what their life would be like if they either went back five years or forward five years.

“I emphasis strengths and weaknesses,” he explains, pointing out that clients must mention at least five strengths, but no more than three weaknesses.

Lesser leads them through an online strong interest inventory test: almost 300 questions about an individual's interests, activities and personal characteristics. The result is an 18-page summary to help guide a client's choices and decisions.

He says it's amazing. The process sounds like it might be a bit tedious, but Lesser says that's not the case at all.

“A good part of my program is laughter. Young people enjoy it.”

The summation includes the parents, who are given a summary of what he has learned. Everyone receives feedback, which provides a sense of direction.

Lesser posts a new blog, the Lesser Report, weekly at: career-education.ca.

To him, success is a combination of good ability, good work ethics, willpower and the ability to embrace positive change and he loves being able to accompany individuals on their journey.


Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com