USA Country Director:
Losing a Dear Friend of Career Development
Many fondly remember Martha Russell's warm smile, kind heart and great commitment to APCDA. Martha served as our Bylaws and Policies Director when we first prepared our Policies Manual. Sadly, Martha passed recently and condolences may be sent to Harry Russell, PO Box 2647, Battle Ground, WA 98604. Martha served in many leadership positions within NCDA and ACA and was NCDA President in 2005-06. Martha provided rich consulting and wonderful insights about adult development, career transitions, and how to honor others.
Global Pathways Institute
Bill Symonds, Global Pathways Institute Director http://globalpathwaysinstitute.org, continues to help establish a Coalition for Career Development with a very strong advisory committee to build on his great work at Harvard and the Pathways to Prosperity report https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/14/07/pathways-prosperity-releases-new-reports. One new outcome is a series of national initiatives including the development of a proposal to field test an NCDA developed curriculum for training Career Development Advisors for schools. A series of symposiums held with the Western Governors Association have led to expanded enthusiasm for career development in schools which stems from this Institute and collaboration across many organizations.
Good Jobs that Pay Without a BA
This new study https://goodjobsdata.org from the Center on Education and the Workforce shows that between 1991 and 2015 most states gained good jobs that pay without a BA and nearly half of all states added good jobs in blue-collar industries. The rise of skilled-service industries, such as financial services and health services, has also added good jobs. Strengthening the connection between school and work is crucial to preparing workers for the demands of good jobs in the new economy. This trend is one to watch across the globe.
NCDA Global Conference in Phoenix
Plan on attending the June 21-23, 2018 conference and explore PDI's as well at https://ncda.org/aws/NCDA/pt/sp/conference_home
The United States continues to experience low unemployment, high underemployment and increasing income inequality during a time of unclear direction from the national leadership within government. Discussion of apprenticeship and entrepreneurship remains high while higher education's career services and our federal newly named 'American Job Centers,' explore new ways of increasing engagement with employers.
NCDA continues to show leadership with a new commitment to certifying career services providers (https://www.ncda.org/aws/NCDA/pt/sp/credentials). The following credentials are now available:
Certified Career Services Provider™ (CCSP) -- a credential for individuals from an array of backgrounds, to deliver services and demonstrate core competency in the field of career services.
Certified Master of Career Services™ (CMCS) - a new professional credential intended to recognize the contributions of non-counselors who have mastered a variety of roles within the field of career services.
Certified Career Counselor ™ (CCC) - the new standard of professional excellence for individuals trained as counselors, who will specialize in the delivery of career counseling services.
Certified Clinical Supervisor of Career Counseling™ (CCSCC) - a new professional credential to recognize the contributions of individuals who serve as clinical supervisors to career counselors and other practitioners who provide career services.
Certified Career Counselor Educator™ (CCCE) - a new professional credential intended to recognize the contributions of individuals whose primary focus is on the training of new counselors who will specialize in the field of career counseling.
To find out more about the NCDA credentialing process, consider connecting to NCDA's Introduction to Credentialing, and reviewing the short video provided to establish a credentialing application request.
Non-government research and reports continue to bring public attention to the state of affairs in US career development and the transition from learning to work. Jeff Selingo, a former writer for the Chronicle of Higher Education, is leading an effort to evaluate the college going experience with a particular interest in career development. His work (a three part series soon to be fully released) is highlighted within the following hyperlink, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/future-work-what-means-higher-education-jeff-selingo/.
The Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University lead by Tony Carnavale, a leading labor market economist, has recently reported on Career Pathways: Five Ways to Connect College and Careers.
He reports on a number of states that have started to leverage integrated education and workforce data by developing publicly available information tools in the following five areas:
As the US Country Director to ACPDA, I spend considerable time scouting for new ideas, career interventions that are changing practice, and new ways to spread career innovation across the world. Eight ideas follow the announcement of the passing of Dick Bolles. Each issue suggests ideas critical to the status of career development within the United States.
Dick Bolles, Career Giant, Even Larger Person
First, we all mourn the loss of Dick Bolles http://www.jobhuntersbible.com/. Dick donated his time to be APCDA's very first keynote speaker at our inaugural conference in Seoul, and he generously joined us again in Hawaii the following year. We loved spending time with him and his beloved wife Marci. This precious time together allowed him to touch, honor and enlighten so many APCDA members. His ideas pushed us all to find the best in each other.
Dick, known worldwide for his iconic What Color is Your Parachute https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/01/business/richard-bolles-dead-what-color-is-your-parachute.html, was so much more than an author. In my eyes he re-directed career development in the late 1970’s and early 80’s by moving career development from a placement model to a positivity model. He and his process freed people to reflect upon that which they wanted to do based upon a self-inventory of past achievements. His creative flower became a template for all practitioners to use as a way to understand the holistic nature of one’s life planning process. Fortunate to be one of his early students, my flower from 1982-3 appears in all recent additions of his annual book. Dick Knowdell and I had the pleasure to join Bobbi Floyd, friends and family at Dick Bolles 90th birthday on March 19th.
|Rich Feller, Dick Bolles, and Dick Knowdell|
His remarkable life is reviewed in this New York Times article https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/01/business/richard-bolles-dead-what-color-is-your-parachute.html
8 Ideas Useful to Understanding Career Development within the US.
“ . . . share stories, insights and the gift of collaboration. From there, doors, ears and eyes open wide for those engaged in career development.”
Coordinating invitations to keynote at Singapore’s Adult Learning Symposium, present to India’s Career Development Association, and planning a study-tour through India opens one’s eyes and generates experiences to be shared. As NCDA’s Past-President, having consulted on six continents, and now Professor Emeritus of Counseling and Career Development, it’s gratifying to give back to different countries/regions and APCDA friends working to advance career development. This article reviews a recent experience of growing and giving with the help of APCDA friends.
Meeting Ramu Kodiappan, a Critical Connection
Keynote by Rich Feller at the Future of Work, Future of Learning Conference in Singapore (Nov. 4, 2016)
A full room eagerly learned of GM’s career development efforts and how to use narrative assessment within the Who You Are Matters! board game and Online Storyteller (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucGFcaAuVwo ). Singapore’s excitement and expanding commitment to career development programs to support youth and adult transitions is exemplary. Mobilizing a national effort to address the needs for future skills within Singapore is a remarkable case study.
Abundanz Consulting Offers “On-the-Ground” Insights
While attending Singapore’s very welcoming, informative and high-tech conference, I was fortunate to share notes and dinner with Tim Hsi of Abundanz Consulting, one of two practicing Master Trainers for the Global Career Development Facilitator (Singapore) program. Tim is also the lead trainer in Asia for our shared mentor Dick Knowdell’s Job & Career Transition/Development Coach training and certification program. Amy Lew, Tim’s partner, and Francis Yiu, their colleague, shared rich insights about talent development, retention consultancy, and training services to help private organizations. They also offered a wise lens to providing Career Coaching Services within the Asian Pacific region.
Future-Ready Graduates at National University of Singapore
Gregor Lange and Crystal Lim Leahy discussing their Roots & Wings program with colleagues
The work done by Crystal Lim Leahy (Director) and Gregor Lange of the Centre for Future-ready Graduates, National University of Singapore(NUS) (see http://nus.edu.sg/cfg/) offered an advanced view of ways to engage students through their Roots & Wings program, a groundbreaking foundational life skills module.This program forms an essential and distinctive part of the NUS education that equips students with a set of essential, broad-based life skills regardless of future opportunities.
his program Inspired dialogues about positive psychology, mindfulness, aptitudes and demonstration of the Who You Are Matters! game created a professional connection I’m eager to advance. As I write this, I’m arranging a Colorado higher education study-tour for this talented team from NUS.
Next Stop: Bangalore and Christ University
On our way to Delhi, via Bangalore to visit friends (former HP employees in Fort Collins, CO), we sent inquiries to universities offering to provide conversation, consult and collaboration around career development initiatives. With good fortune, Christ University’s Tony Sam George, Chair of Psychology, invited me to present “My Approach to Career Development and Counseling” to his counseling graduate students and faculty. A demonstration of various Knowdell Card Sorts, a review of narrative assessment, and an overview of top career textbooks allowed us to engage in remarkable discussions about training counselors seeking more career development content.
Building on India CDA Friendships
|Narender Chadha has long been recognized in the US as a remarkable mentor and leader to those growing career development programs and research. Contacting Dr. Chadha to offer my services to ICDA http://www.icda.in/ while in Delhi, he and colleague Dr. Vandana Gambhir Chopra opened their doors for me to listen, look and learn about the opportunities and complexities of delivering career development in India. Vandana created a remarkable day to meet with her colleagues and to present “Career Development for a Lifetime of Transitions” to students at Manav Rachna International University.
Rich and Barb Feller connecting with Manav Rachna International University leaders and faculty.
Vandana also arranged a delightful evening seminar at the Bikaji Cama Place where I was fortunate to lead two groups of career development experts in the Who You Are Matters! game. The group’s very strong interest was heartwarming.
Nine Day Golden Triangle Tour of India
Longing to visit India, my partner Barb and I were fortunate to complete a study-tour of Delhi, Jaipar, Agra, and Gurgaon. Humbled by the energy, vibrancy and size of India, I’m reminded of the gifts, challenges, and good humor of its 1.4B habitants. The range of educational settings, diversity of aspirations, and eagerness to find opportunities for learning inspired us greatly.
Reflections of Building New Career Development Friendships
After any such travel and learning opportunity, one is reminded not to suggest they really know a country. Quick visits, short conversations, over-generalizations and limited capacity to resist one’s history all challenge a weary traveler. Yet, I’m once again affirmed that we have much to learn and offer anytime we visit another culture and connect with local colleagues.
I was struck by how willing our APCDA colleagues are to welcome speakers within their institutions and organizations. And, I look forward to future visits knowing that one only has to use social media to find career development colleagues around the world who are willing to “invite and learn” with you. Once identified, it seems wise to offer one’s services to share stories, insights and the gift of collaboration. From there, doors, ears and eyes open wide for those engaged in career development. No one is smart enough, wise enough or young enough to address talent and opportunity issues alone. And, as tensions of nationalism versus globalization grow, voices are needed to share the power of career development and dedication to developing people, human resources, and opportunities in order to learn and work though a lifetime of transitions. Building friends within the APCDA community is an opportunity I wish for all.
The NCDA Global Career Development Conference was held in Chicago, Illinois, USA, June 30-July 2, 2016. The conference program offered a broad range of session topics and research related to best practices and resources to provide innovative, culturally relevant career development services to clients around the world.
The conference also offered Constituency Group meetings, a Cyber cafe, a First Timer's Meeting, as well as the NCDA party for networking and dancing at Red, White and Boom! The kick-off for the conference was the International Guest Reception sponsored by Kuder, Inc. More than 90 guests representing 24 countries/regions were present for celebration and networking!
The APCDA membership meeting was held on the opening night prior to the International Reception. Marilyn Maze provided an overview of APCDA activities and international conference highlights. Attendees then had an opportunity to discuss what they hoped to learn at this year's conference as well as any other issues in their country/region impacting career development services. Minutes of that membership meeting are available upon request through Secretary@AsiaPacificCDA.org.
APCDA members were very active and very visible during the conference. Special congratulations go to our Executive Director, Marilyn Maze. She was the recipient of the NCDA Presidential Award for her service as NCDA Treasurer as well as Chairperson of the Credentialing Task Force. Congratulations also go to APCDA Past President, Dr. Shelly Tien. She received the NCDA International Practitioner of the Year Award.
NCDA provides a Leadership Academy to identify and nurture future generations of NCDA leaders. Sungsik Ahn (Korea) was selected to participate in 2016 and Satomi Chudasama (APCDA past president) will participate in 2017. Additional APCDA membership visibility was also demonstrated in the upcoming NCDA elections. Members running for NCDA Leadership positions include: Hyung Joon Yoon (USA via Korea) is running for a second term in the position of Trustee at Large and Brian Hutchison is running for Treasurer.
Finally, many APCDA members were photographed during their workshops or roundtable sessions. Thank you for your active participation and sharing your unique expertise with other NCDA members. See the Presenter Index for more information about their topics or to contact them directly, V3 Globally Connected Sessions. Every year, APCDA members are more active and visible to the NCDA membership in general and for the leadership we bring to global career development. Perhaps just as important, NCDA's annual conference is an opportunity to meet and add friends and colleagues to our international network of professionals.
We are looking forward to seeing members for more in-person networking at the APCDA conference in Manila in May 2017 as well as at next year's NCDA Orlando, Florida, conference in June 2017!!! However, virtually connecting with fellow APCDA members can be done now through LinkedIn or Facebook. Also, please consider submitting an article for our next APCDA newsletter to Newsletter@AsiaPacificCDA.org.
The Challenges of Serving the Career Services Needs of International Students in the US by Julie Neill
One of the most pressing challenges that university career services offices in the US face, particularly those that serve graduate-level students, is the placement of their international students. In recent years, the record increase of international student enrollment has almost completely transformed the demographics of the some American campuses. For example, at three of the universities I have worked at in the metropolitan Washington DC area, close to 90% of the students enrolled in specialized master's degree programs were from China alone.
In late 2015, it was reported that the US experienced the highest rate of growth in international students in 35 years, an increase of 10%, bringing the total population of international students in the US close to 1,000,000. China and India together accounted for 67% of the increase, and students from these two countries constitute nearly 45% of the total number of international students in the US. While China remains the top country of origin of international students in the U.S., India's growth outpaced China's in 2015, with students from India increasing by 29%.
Out of the top 25 countries of origin for international students, 11 of the countries are in Asia. Listed below is the country's ranking and total number of international students from that country in the academic year 2014/15:
* This data was pulled from The Open Doors® report which is published annually by the Institute of International Education in partnership with the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
In addition to some of the cross-cultural communication challenges American career center staff encounter when advising international students, an arguably greater challenge is helping these students find employment in the US upon graduation. While international students are eligible to work in the US for 12 months on a student visa, also known as Optional Practical Training or "OPT" (and those graduating from STEM-related programs, i.e. science, technology, engineering and math, were recently granted an additional two year extension for a total of three years), after their OPT runs out, these students must be sponsored by an employer for an H1-B visa in order to remain in the country. However, finding employers who are willing to sponsor these temporary work visas is incredibly challenging.
One reason is that there is no guarantee that the application of sponsorship will be granted by the US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) since it is a completely random selection process, hence why it is referred to as a lottery system. Thus, the employer is taking a gamble when hiring an international student since they may or may not be able to retain that worker beyond one year if hired. The total number of H-1B visas issued annually is capped at 65,000 with an additional 20,000 set aside for advanced degree holders, i.e. master's degree or higher, bringing the grand total to 85,000 H-1B visas issued each year. With close to 1,000,000 international students in the country, one can quickly see that the numbers simply do not add up.
The great irony is that the vast majority of international students decide to study in the US expressly because they desire to work and remain the US upon graduation. Far more often than not though, students only come to the realization that this might not be logistically feasible far too late in the game. So while career services staff try their best to assist these students with their US-focused job searches, we must also help students figure out a "Plan B" or alternative option. One of these options is inevitably returning to their home country. But of course, the challenge here is that often US universities do not have relationships with employers in students' home countries, although this is now changing. For example, at the University of Maryland's Smith School of Business, staff from Career Services now visit China annually with the express purpose of cultivating relationships with employers there and building recruitment pipelines. Many other schools have also begun to devote resources to similar efforts.
One of my main objectives in getting involved in APCDA, aside from my interests in learning more about career development issues globally, is to explore how American universities might partner with career development professionals in Asia to forge mutually beneficial partnerships in order to better serve the needs of international students whether they remain here in the US or return to their home countries. If any APCDA members are interested in further discussion and/or potential collaboration, please feel free to reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Call for Social Justice at Moorpark College: It takes a Village by Danita Redd
"I said to my children, "I'm going to work and do everything that I can do to see that you get a good education. I don't ever want you to forget that there are millions of God's children who will not and cannot get a good education, and I don't want you feeling that you are better than they are. For you will never be what you ought to be until they are what they ought to be."
~Martin Luther King, Jr.
Moorpark College (MC), USA, has a campus wide call for Social Justice that has contributed to its nationwide fourth place ranking for community colleges. Community colleges in the USA provide freshman and sophomore university level work at a low cost. They are great societal equalizers in making sure that the neediest people receive a post-secondary education.
Moorpark College's approach of educating students is reminiscent of the African Proverb, "It takes a Village." Dr. Lori Bennett, Vice President of Student Learning at MC says, "To meet the needs of our students, I believe it truly 'takes a village,' which requires instruction and student services working together to support students in achieving their goals and to support student success."
Moorpark College, our village, has a mission statement that says "Students First" in the opening phrase. For us this means that faculty, staff, administrators, student workers, and student leaders put students' needs first and that all of us have a priority in helping the ones who are most at-risk (disenfranchised and discouraged). From counselors, including career counselors, meeting weekly to implement intrusive strategies, to all job classifications (Administrators, Faculty, Classified, and Student Leaders) receiving professional development, there is assurance across departments and programs that the strategies for helping the most at-risk students are utilized for all students. Campus educational reforms have helped tremendously in our performance. These reforms have included increased intrusiveness in getting students to counseling sessions and providing campus-wide professional development.
Counselors of The Village
All Counseling Faculty, across programs and services meet weekly. All counselors recognize themselves as part of the same group, "Counselors," and take equal ownership of helping students. In fact, counselors are academic department liaisons. We recognize that counselors must be connected to all programs and services to coordinate common goals. Weekly meetings allow for sharing ideas and strategies. The meetings also help in the understanding of what each program and service is doing to assist students and allows for accuracy in direct explanations and referrals.
A unique task of Moorpark College career counselors and other counselors is to serve on hiring and tenure review committees for most classroom faculty across all disciplines. This helps the campus hire and retain people who have a deep commitment to being student-centered educators. Counselors help in the awareness of the campus wide goal of having every classroom professor ask every student, several times throughout their studies, "What is your Major? What is your career goal?"
This allegiance to student-centered educators is most notable at Moorpark College in its work with professional development. The following list has examples from our ongoing training for all employees:
On Course: Founded more than 20 years ago by Skip Downing, it teaches in-class and campus wide strategies for ensuring student retention and success. Two day and four day training sessions, some targeting faculty and administrators, others targeting classified staff, elucidates how each person be they maintenance, office worker, or classroom teacher is responsible for the atmosphere of welcome and safety on our campus. Other strategies target instruction, collaborative learning, and learning styles. The training focus is on how to help our students to take responsibility for their future.
M2C3:The ongoing work on our campus by Drs. Frank Harris, III and J. Luke Wood teaches us strategies to increase African American and Latino male student recruitment and retention. "The Minority Male Community College Collaborative (M2C3) is a project of San Diego State University . . . The goal of the project is to partner with community colleges across the United States to enhance access, achievement, and success among minority male community college students. M2C3's research and practice agenda prioritizes men who have been traditionally underrepresented and underserved in postsecondary education."
Growing Roses in Concrete: Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Ph.D., spent a day training us how education helps heal students from difficult life situations and experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. The entire campus community was part of the training.
Safe Zone: After training, Safe Zone members are given a rainbow designed placard and other items to hang near their desk or office door. It indicates they are allies to Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Gay students and that their work space is free from homophobia, heterosexism, and transphobia talk and behaviors.
Consulting Psychologists Press: All counseling faculty and many classroom faculty completed training for using the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and Strong in understanding students and helping them choose majors. The MBTI has implications not only for major and career selection but for cognition and learning styles.
With a "students first" philosophy and thorough integration of instruction and student services, Moorpark College empowers its diverse community of learners to complete their goals for choosing a major and career, academic transfer to a university, basic skills, and career technical education. As a Moorpark College counselor, I feel empowered and constantly inspired to do a better job due to the campus-wide commitment to "students first" and making the needs of the most at-risk students the top priority. I very much realize I am a member of a progressive educational village. Please feel free to visit our campus year round.
Danita Redd, M.A. has been counseling faculty at Moorpark College, California, USA, for 22.5 years and is the 2014 -2015 recipient of its Academic Senate's Outstanding Faculty of the Year Award. Also, she is the Communications Officer for the California Career Development Association. She specializes in Health Sciences, STEM, and Career Counseling. She is an ambassador for Shared Hope International which, "strives to prevent the conditions that foster sex trafficking, restore victims of sex slavery, and bring justice to vulnerable women and children." She has been an international volunteer since 1981 and has provided supplies to susceptible groups of people in Egypt, Peru, and Mexico. Since 2002, she has provided ongoing service related to education, small business, and career development in Mexico. Professor Redd may be contacted through her STEM and Career Development Website for Students and Colleagues: please click here.
Career Services for Chinese Students at Home and in USA by Ellen Weaver Pacquette
China is currently experiencing the results of the "one child" policy (1979) at the same time that economic growth has created many wealthy parents who can provide for their young adult with ease. The future of these young adults (over 325 million ages 15-29, according to the 11/2010 census) is crucial for China's future, as their career success will provide the leadership for the next generations. Firms such as PAC, New Elite Development Plan, Suzhou Success Partners Consulting and Beisen which are based in China have recognized the need for strong career services and products. For international Chinese students attending universities in the United States, the transition can be daunting. Many international students wish to find a job after graduation, but find considerable obstacles that reduce their viability.
In an effort to assist Chinese international students secure employment after graduation, many US universities offer extensive career services to their international students and international alumni, even extending partnerships with international student offices and organizations. However, resources are always a concern and it may not always be possible to provide the depth of services required by many Chinese international students who are increasing in number every year. As of right now, one in three international students in US colleges and universities are from China. Moreover, Chinese students are attending high school in the US, hoping to increase their chances of entering a US university.
Orion Career Consulting, based in Beijing and in Boston, offers full services to high school students in China through graduate students in the US. As a division of the high tech firm Creative Star Solution, Orion offers both high tech and face-to-face services designed to minimize the impact of the cultural divide for new college graduates. From visa conversions to "Boot Camp" skill immersion to parental pressure on new graduates, Orion's team of high powered and credentialed employer recruiters and career consultants strive to make the hopes of working in the US become a reality.
USA Energized by NCDA Conference by Ellen Weaver Pacquette
For the third year in a row, attendance at the 2015 National Career Development Association (NCDA) Conference topped 1300, with many reporting their enthusiasm for the program offerings and the smooth running of the conference. The conference was held in Denver on June 30-July 2, 2015.
Two very special trainings were offered just before the conference, the popular NCDA Career Development Facilitator Instructor program and the new Clinical Supervision for Career Practitioners. The pre-conference institutes were very well attended, offering timely topics such as the psychology of working and group career counseling.
Many individual sessions and round tables were offered for professionals in higher education, workforce development, and counselor education; often making choice a challenge.
NCDA will offer a Career Practitioner Institute in Vancouver, Canada on October 16, 2015, see ncda.org for details.
Career Development and Technology in the USA by Martha Russell
It's 2015 and some career development practioners across the US are struggling with the impact of technology on the work we do. We are reminded once again of how technological advances demand our attention. Many are pioneers of online resources and social media platforms and we applaud them while at the same time wishing they would slow down till we catch up.
In 2009, the International Symposium on Career Development and Public Policy (http://iccdpp.org) asked the 22 participating countries to explore "Transformational Technology: The digital age as a lens to shape policy, practice and research." The US team described three categories: (1) career information systems (2) professional development systems and (3) social links. The report also identified the lack of attention in the creation of curricula for guiding users in web-based systems as a weakness. Another was the lack of psychometric evidence to support on-line assessments provided to users.
And the technology wave continued to transform the way we operate. Job search resources and career information systems expanded both in the information provided and in the number of sites clients could explore. Computerized testing often replaced pencil and pen assessments with a continued lack of research and evaluation. Often the user is left to interpret the results without input from a career practioner. Employers are using social media sites as tools to learn about job seeking candidates and current employees.
In 2014, NCDA's Career Development magazine devoted the fall issue to the theme of Using Technology and Social Media in Career Development: Plugged In. (Fall 2014, Volume 30, Number 4). The president's article focused on how technology and social media impacts every aspect of life including the shaping of group characteristics and norms for entering college students and young elementary students. Resources were provided to help clients successfully navigate a digital world. Career practionters were encouraged to learn by doing and encouraged to be active members of LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
About Martha Russell
I embrace our work as career development professionals and the role of Career Development and all its complexities. I look forward to our future as our professional identity continues to grow and change. My own is a story of growing and coping with change. My career began by helping adults find work. The emphasis was on employment — matching job seekers with employers. My yearning to empower individuals to make their own informed choices led to a graduate degree in Career Counseling. Additional courses in organization development from the school of business helped me link the counseling and training roles in a meaningful way. Completing my master's degree was a milestone because I was already in my midlife and after having jobs for many years, I now had a career. My work quickly expanded to helping companies train employees to develop skills and manage careers, and then moved onto the focus of downsizing/redundancy, realignment and reshaping the social contract between employer and employee. I next found work in international opportunities and government contracts. Finding organizations that valued the role of development and individual empowerment meant my own career blossomed through two decades of practice.
Now I desire to reframe my work role while continuing to embrace our profession. As Career Development is defined by life roles across the life span, and how we live our later years is changing, we as a profession must embrace that change. As the Country Director of the US, I look forward to sharing information from my perspective as we honor the role Career Development plays in individual lives at every stage.
Career Development in the United States by Martha Russell
Describing Career Development in the United States can be difficult because there is often confusion regarding professional identity and work practices. Some practitioners focus on career during their education and in their work roles (ex: career counselors, GCDFs, career coaches) while others include career as part of other practices (ex: job developers, therapists, school counselors). There are differences in service delivery as well as ways these individuals are licensed or certified. Continuing education and professional training are needed so that services meet the needs of emerging trends. and societal situations can be overwhelming. Through all these challenges, career development is deeply embedded in our culture. Our profession has a rich history, vibrant presence and an exciting future.
It is this past, present and future continuum that Dr. Mark Savickas focused on when he compiled data identifying significant core concepts and practices in the field of career development. His findings were presented during the 2013 National Career Development Association's (NCDA) 100th anniversary. Dr. Savickas identified 10 key ideas that describe the field of career development - Career Counseling, Matching, Career Adaptability, Vocation Guidance, Career Education, Social Justice, Congruence, Career Construction, Career Stages, and Happenstance. Ten Ideas that Changed Career Development contains essays by current practitioners asked to reflect on a specific value. The monograph is available via this link. Each one page essay provides us with information and tools that help practitioners move from the past to the future.
Dr. Spencer Niles (Career Counseling essay) states that shifts in the nature of work have a significant impact on our work. That impact makes a strong case regarding the link between career development and human development and our need to develop theories, training and practices that acknowledge that link. This " . . .evolutionary shift empowers clients to seek their own solutions to their career dilemmas as they define it within their respective cultural contexts."
Ms. Carol Vecchio (Happenstance essay) pointed out that events in life and work often result in uncertainty for individuals. Happenstance provides a foundation for practitioners to help clients navigate the unplanned and uncertain events taking appropriate action along the way rather than making a single career decision. Future US articles will explore how that movement helps clarify our professional identity.