By Shigeo Katsu - President, Ilesanmi Adesida - Provost, Loretta O'Donnell - Vice Provost, Aliya Kaimoldinova - Head, Global Relations
Nazarbayev University, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan
Reprinted from: IAU (International Association of Universities) Horizons, May 2022
Where to start?
The COVID-19 pandemic that erupted globally some two years ago has wrought havoc on the higher education (HE) landscape and forced sudden and far-reaching changes. It is often said that universities are conservative institutions that deeply resist change, but yet from time to time do come up with radical ideas. Maybe this is one of those times that usher in real changes. What are some of the changes HE has experienced?
Some changes HE grappled with included (by no means exhaustive):
What will Higher Education X.0 look like?
Post-COVID higher education cannot and will not be simply a return to the pre-COVID world. HEIs must draw lessons from the above and countless other experiences to ensure their survival in a VUCA world (more volatile, unpredictable, complex, and ambiguous). Whether the outcome of the reflections will be called HE2.0 or 4.0 or something else is not really important, but the underlying principles and path-determining elements are.
So, what are some of the signposts?
HEIs need to be seen as communities: if it takes a village to raise a child, it takes the entire University to educate a student, and it takes a network of collaborative Universities to educate a global society. Student-centered learning models, fostering social interaction, and serving as the locus for civic debate and intellectual exploration are essential for HEIs to impart value. Integrity and intellectual curiosity have proven to be elemental, universal, and timeless, and are the glue to hold the HEI community together during difficult times. Knowledge creation and dissemination must accelerate and at the same time be more creative than ever before, stretching across disciplines, generations, and geographic boundaries. The ability to reframe problems to create opportunities, especially in a VUCA world, will be a critical hallmark of success for HEIs.
By Dr. Pooja Singh
The educationists today have more on their plates than they could ask for. Up till the pandemic, counselors still had the responsibility of keeping themselves abreast of the latest trends, but after two years of lockdown in which everything was online, the whole scenario changed and there has been more to learn than before. The global economy as well as career trends have changed.
From STEM to STEAM, from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0, the metaverse, blockchain and advances in every field imaginable. To top it, there are careers (the rhetorical ones) that have disappeared from the current job market. In all, the voice of industry has tremendous tribulations and as educationists we are trying to keep our students in alignment with the needs of the market. The pandemic has massively affected the education, training and employment of young people, making it difficult for them to find decent work* and “raising the bar” on their employability.
The Changing Face of Industry
The online interface transformed the needs of Industry. The magnitude of the changes was humongous. To help children adapt to it will be time consuming and will require immense immersion in the new reality. According to recent trends reports of the International Labor Organization (ILO), there’s a job gap of a staggering 52 million jobs and youth unemployment will double in some areas. Data indicates that more men will find employment in comparison to women. These figures sound all the more astounding.
By 2030, jobs in the service sector are expected to increase to 49% in comparison to 29% in agriculture and 22% in industry. Sustainability is another major concern and is promising to cater to the youth of today. The Sustainable Development Goals were established in 2015 and were expected to be achieved by 2030. With youth lacking employability skills and proper education these goals may be in jeopardy.
Industry experts' grave concern is that graduates lack skills to manage their careers. The people around them also lack the ability to negotiate the labor market. Another profound concern is that basic technical skills these days include coding, programming, data handling and analysis. These are areas in which youth are generally not proficient.
Many people believe that the graduates who have already interned are in a much better space as compared to others. The Pandemic has had a great toll on student development. Employers are looking for people who can keep pace with their work setting, communicate effectively and possess the required technical skills.
Changing Employability Norms
Apart from what the industry demands, employees have set themselves some new norms post-pandemic. Most of the news channels have commented on a massive resignation going on. People do not want to move back to office spaces. These 2 years of lockdown with ample use of online work has created a dramatic shift in the expectations of the employees. What China experienced early on was call “lying flat,” the Global economy is currently calling “The Big Quit.” It appears to be caused by expectations of employees who do not want to work any more hours is specified in the offer letter.
According to Mercer, before the pandemic, executives believed only 45% of the workforce could adapt to the new world of work. Of course, COVID-19 has now shattered that belief. Today, over 90% of employers say productivity has stayed the same or improved with employees working remotely. This has encouraged flexible working hours. A “pro-health” environment can work wonders for employee well-being and enhanced work commitment and also it can attract the best talent. The organizations need to revamp their working conditions.
Skills for 21st Century
In this VUCA world, the skills needed have also transformed. Educationists are trying to revise their teaching in cognizance that new skills increase students’ chances of a better college experience, career, and life. These skills prepare them for a career that does not yet exist or a career that has just emerged. A plethora of information is available online on various social media channels which has changed the way people think and communicate. Though communication skills, problem solving skills and working in groups or teams have always been on top of list of required skills for any industry, the culture today has added many other important skills for navigating within modern industries.
Framework of 21st Century Skills
The framework of 21st century skills was created by Partnership for 21st Century Learning. It focuses on the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in work, life, and citizenship in today's world. These skills have been divided into 3 main areas.
The majority of industries today are seeking employees who stand tall on these skills, making employees productive for their organizations.
A Case Study
As per Indeed (a job seeking platform), the topmost transferable job skills for any industry or profession are:
It is a well-known fact that there is soaring unemployment and youth today, despite having fancy degrees, are still unable to get a job. The widening skill gap has triggered the onset of industrial training campaigns in which companies train these youth for a year or two and then employ them in their own organization. Companies like HCL and Infosys, and many others, have adopted this strategy. As per Mr. Naveen Sharma, CEO, Everdata, a data center in Jaipur, “Students today are lacking the basic skills. Though they come armed with decent degrees, they fall short of the most required skills to be industry ready. Hence, we provide our own set of training to this young generation so that they can adapt, adjust and also be productive for our company. As far as universities are concerned, they are academic institutions that should be preparing students for employment by supplying them with key skills and a real, practical insight into the world of work.”
To embed the right kind of people in the right kind of jobs, industrialists should now step forward and work together with educators to invest in the graduate development programs affirming the growth of individuals with strong future driven skillset.
Dr. Pooja Singh works as a Counselor in Saint Edmund's School, Jaipur, India. She has a doctorate degree in Commerce and has worked as an ELT trainer because of her passion for language. She has been in the Education fraternity for the past 19 years and believes she has evolved with the changes in the field and also looks forward to growing with it. She is a blogger, podcaster, and YouTuber. She is a counsellor by choice. She is a student enthusiast and has a penchant for working for the upliftment of the student community
Return On Investment for Career Services
Many APCDA members work in a non-profit or social enterprise environment where doing good for others is its own reward. Our clients tell us how much our work means to them. That feels good. We know we are making the world a better place. Why should we take the time and effort to measure our success?
In business, an important term is “Return On Investment” (ROI). It means that we compare the cost of our work (salaries, facilities, computers, etc.) to the value they create and determine if the cost is providing a good return given the amount that has been invested. Often, in our field, returns are not easy to measure in hard currency. If we compare the cost if running an employment agency with the taxes paid by employed people who we helped to find jobs, that may convince government agencies that an employment agency is a valuable service. But how does a high school convince the school administrators to spend money on career counseling? How does a university career center convince the administration to spend money on a career center? How do private career counselors convince clients to pay for their services? Often, those services which do not have evidence of ROI get cut when budgets are tight.
On September 15/16, the webinar “Measuring the Value of Career Services” will help us find ways to gather this valuable data. The data measuring our success can be used to convince others to fund our services and can also be used by us to determine which services are most successful and which services might need improvement. The exciting thing about this type of data is that it has tremendous value in guiding our efforts as well as convincing others or our value. Collecting this data can be one of the most beneficial parts of our work, helping us to understand our strengths, helping clients to value our services, and helping administrators to enthusiastically keep us funded.
It takes time and effort to collect this data. Come to this webinar to find out why this time and effort may be the most valuable use of your time and may provide unimaginable paybacks.
By Roy Lee
If you have a passion for understanding human behaviour and an interest in applying that knowledge in a legal setting, criminal psychology might be the career for you.
Psychology is an exciting career in its own right. But paired with a study of criminology and an application in potentially high-leverage situations in the courts, criminal psychology has the potential to be a thrilling job.
Photo courtesy of Phoenix Waters Productions
However, being a criminal psychologist isn’t all good, all the time. Like any other job, there are benefits and detriments that must be considered before making a career choice.
Use this guide to the pros and cons of criminal psychology to develop a better understanding of this field and what might be expected of you.
Pros of Being a Criminal Psychologist
You Can Specialize
As a criminal psychologist, you have the opportunity to specialize in a niche area. For example, some criminal psychologists work exclusively as jury consultants. This role revolves around helping shape the makeup of a jury for the prosecution or defense, depending on which side has contracted you for your services.
As another example, you might specialize in profiling. As a profiler, you’ll work with law enforcement agencies to help identify possible characteristics of an unknown, yet wanted individual.
There are many other areas in which you can become a niche expert. Criminal psychologists might concentrate in:
Furthermore, some criminal psychologists work in education settings, such as teaching courses at colleges or universities.
Criminal Psychology Services are Likely to Remain in Demand
Psychologists that specialize in criminology are currently in high demand. There’s a strong likelihood that this will continue in the coming years.
There are two reasons for this: continued crime rates and a growing desire to better understand criminal behavior.
First, as long as there’s crime, there is a need for criminal psychologists. While some cases are easier than others to solve, police forces need help from time to time to solve more complex cases. Criminal psychologists can fill that need and help shed light on who might have committed a crime.
Second, there’s an incredible interest in human behavior and a desire of those in policing to better understand why people behave the way they do. Criminal psychologists have the unique training and skills to assist police agencies in learning more about the human condition.
While crime is certainly not a good thing, wanting to enhance the understanding of criminals and their behavior is definitely a step in the right direction. With better understanding comes improved policing, more appropriate sentencing, and a commitment to addressing mental health issues among people accused and convicted of crimes.
This is an Exciting Field
One of the best parts of this job is that it’s so exciting. You might be involved in a high-profile court case, interview notorious criminals, or help police identify a subject, and that might all occur in the span of a few weeks!
While not every day involves high-profile work, criminal psychology offers a lot of variety to keep you busy. No two days on the job will be the same!
Cons of Being a Criminal Psychologist
Niche Specialties Might Restrict Employment Opportunities
While the opportunity to specialize is one of the pros mentioned above, it can be a double-edged sword. Once you specialize, you might restrict your employment options to a degree.
Say, for example, that your specialty is conducting mental health assessments of people standing trial. As there’s a need for such services, you can build a strong career. However, what if that need decreases? Even if there’s a reduction in one or two assessments a month, it can have a significant impact on your income.
That being the case, it might be prudent to specialize in a couple of areas of criminal psychology, that way you have a better opportunity for consistent work. In addition to providing mental health assessments, you might also teach at a university or work as a jury consultant.
This Job Requires a Lot of Schooling
If you want to be a criminal psychologist, you’ll need a master’s degree at a minimum. You’ll have better employment opportunities if you have a doctoral degree.
Usually, a master’s degree takes a couple of years to complete after undergraduate studies. A PhD might be another three to five years on top of that. When all is said and done, you can spend the better part of a decade at university.
Your education doesn’t end there, though. Many criminal psychologists work under the tutelage of more experienced criminal psychologists. Be it a practicum, internship, work study, or some other work experience, you will put in long hours working in a junior position, and likely for little or no money. After you graduate, post-graduate or post-doctoral studies might also be required.
What do you say when someone asks YOU for career advice, and possibly resources? Harvard Publishing has an answer! Professor Ralph Jagodka wrote a powerful article containing several amazing resources and answers to 7 key questions about seeking career opportunities that would help anyone looking to help others or even themselves. It can be found at https://hbsp.harvard.edu/inspiring-minds/what-to-do-when-students-ask-you-for-career-advice.
If you are wondering why some folks are applying to 100’s (yes hundreds) of jobs online and getting 0 responses or offers, check out the 2022 Job Stats found at https://zety.com/blog/job-search-statistics. Highlights include “Less than 1% of candidates who apply for jobs through job boards and career sites are offered the position.” Also, “70% (according to Forbes) and 85% (according to LinkedIn) of jobs are NOT posted online.” This reinforces the NEED to effectively network – which is one of the reasons I wrote the book on LinkedIn !
Get news from Scott Dell directly at https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8952287/
Conversations Do Matter!
By Tam Nguyen
This week passed with a couple of noteworthy conversations we had at APCDA as well as CERIC.
2 Conversations Matter events at APCDA – a great chance for professionals, practitioners, and researchers… in the career development field to get to know each other at a deeper level, to share personal stories and aspirations. We learn about our work. We share our mission. We hold each other accountable. It’s truly inspiring to see such a connected community we have at APCDA no matter how different our cultures, backgrounds and experience might be.
2 webinars on a very hot topic at CERIC: Building a bridge between employers and CDPs. Over 960 professionals attending proved how important we all know this relationship is. Both sides are sharing the same mission to make this world of work better. Yet somehow we all face challenges and opportunities when it comes to communicating with each other. A bridge can start with a conversation like this – the first step to creating a compound effect on career development and career wellbeing for all.
Conversation is our channel to learn, to connect, and to grow. It is social support that helps build the authentic connection we’re all craving. Technology facilitates conversation, at the same time makes it harder for a truly authentic connection to be nurtured. Yet if we choose the right community, we have the ability to trust, understand and support each other.
APCDA is building such a community for members from over 30 countries and our May 2022 conference is the best way to learn through conversations. Below are some conversation tips for first-time conference attendees to make the most out of it and bring home memorable moments:
"Sometimes the greatest adventure is simply a conversation." - Amadeus Wolfe
I wish you all a great experience and a successful conference this week.
by Sharon Redd
For anyone looking to move forward constructively in their career, finding a mentor should be a top priority. Mentors can help to improve your knowledge of your industry, identify goals, iron out bad habits and make the right choices but finding the right people is not always easy - here are some factors to consider.
Mentors provide a number of key benefits that can provide long-term benefits for you in your career. The first of these relates to self-awareness - with experience in the same field, a mentor can view your work approach with objectivity and find areas for improvement that were otherwise unbeknownst to you. They can also help you to set and work towards the right goals that will result in your advancement. Best of all, someone of an elite status within the industry is likely to possess key, niche knowledge that is unavailable to others.
Receiving the endorsement of someone with high status within your industry can be invaluable - mentors who are in leadership positions may be able to accredit your accomplishments and vouch for you when the time comes for a promotion.
Ideally, you want a mentor who has followed and succeeded in a similar career path to your own. Finding this individual has been made easier by the advent of social media - Linkedin, for example, allows you to look at the career history of others so that you can gauge whether they’re an apt choice. There are also online platforms that streamline the process and link individuals from communities, helping you to network and find seasoned professionals.
Beyond their professional history and reputation, you also want to find someone who has enough time on their hands to communicate regularly and who is located near enough that you can meet at a moment’s notice. Sometimes, even with similar professional backgrounds, a mentor and mentee don’t connect as people - it’s important that you find someone who you identify with in terms of personal values.
The first and most important thing to consider when approaching others for mentorship is that securing a mentor is a privilege and not an entitlement. Successful professionals usually get where they are because they work hard and, for this reason, may not be able to share much of their time. To make your approach, remember to always be cordial and patient and avoid any pushiness. It will help if you have identified your career aspirations in a formal, structured manner with a plan of action for how to achieve your goals. You can use a free resume builder to refine your resume before meeting (these often have a library of professionally designed templates and allow you to add your own copy, photos, colors, and images).
You should also aim to convey your expectations for the mentorship, including how often you’d hope to meet the person and the skills that you’d like them to help you develop. With transparency, you can avoid any unmet expectations and determine whether this is the right partnership for you both in the long term.
The right mentor can often prove to be invaluable and it’s important to put time and effort into constructing meaningful relationships early on in your career. With the right network of experienced professionals, you’ll have access to more opportunities, exclusive knowledge, and support as you navigate the trickier decisions along the way.
APCDA connects career development professionals who work in or are interested in the Asia Pacific region and provides a global forum for sharing career development ideas, research, and techniques that are effective in the Asia Pacific region. Join our upcoming Member Mentoring Webinar “Cultural and the Ethics of Providing Career Services” on June 13/14, 2022. More to come, subscribe to APCDA’s newsletter to stay updated: www.asiapacificcda.org
Image by Pexels
Sharon Redd created Live All the Way to help others live life to the ABSOLUTE FULLEST. She believes life all the way is a life with all the toppings! It’s ordering guacamole and queso at the restaurant. It’s wearing those bright pink shoes, no matter what anyone else thinks. It’s using your formal china for every meal and hugging your friends every time you see them. It’s eating ice cream for breakfast and so much more. Her goal, each and every day, is to live all the way and her mission is to help others do the same.
by Elena Stewart
Capital For Your Cash Conundrum
If you find yourself struggling for cash, as many new entrepreneurs do, you have options. A few of these include:
The old saying, “It takes money to make money,” remains as true today as ever. Unfortunately, you may not always be prepared for the ways that you’ll have to spend. A good rule of thumb is to always expect the unexpected and know where your resources are at all times.
Elena Stewart is a certified life coach specializing in the teachings of Brené Brown, Danielle LaPorte, and Marie Forleo. Through one-on-one coaching sessions and career mentoring, she helps women (and men!) like yourself jumpstart their careers. Are you ready to reach your full potential? If so, I’d love to hear from you! email@example.com
What Can APCDA Do for You?
By Han Kok Kwang, Bestselling Author,
1st Legacy Partner Lifetime Member of APCDA,
& 1st NCDA Master Trainer in Asia
I first heard about APCDA in mid-2013. They just had their first Conference in Seoul, South Korea in April and I missed it. As a pioneer career practitioner in Singapore, no way I was going to miss it a second time.
The next Conference would be in Hawaii in 2014. I booked my ticket early but I had no clue what to expect!
On my flight to Hawaii, the #1 question on my mind: “What can APCDA do for me?”
On the flight back, I was a changed person.
I saw the people behind the association up close. I had so much fun interacting with and learning from them. They really care about people and career development. If you don’t know who they are, please go check out APCDA’s history!
At the conference, I had the privilege of meeting the giants of the industry, like John Krumboltz (Happenstance Theory), JoAnn Bowlsbey (DISCOVER software), Richard Bolles (What colour is your parachute?), and Richard Knowdell (Knowdell card sorts), just to name a few. Though they have passed on, their legacy lives on.
I also met fellow practitioners from so many places, like the US, China, Japan, Canada, Taiwan, Macau, Philippines, Korea, etc… They were a really fun bunch, especially “off Conference”!
Coming from a super-efficient and results driven place like Singapore, it was a life changing experience. It was where you were treated as a human being, not a human doing. You are defined by your human qualities, not grades, position or station in life. Their sincere belief in your potential makes you feel that impossible is really nothing! I even had someone asking me, “Why do Singaporeans work so hard?”
It was a major paradigm shift. You have to experience it to feel it! By the end of the Conference in Hawaii, it is no longer about what APCDA can do for me.
Instead, it is what I can do for APCDA?
Knowing that they were a “start-up” where resources were tight, that’s one reason why I signed up to be the 1st legacy partner lifetime member of APCDA.
I also continued to partake in the annual APCDA conferences where possible, be it as a speaker, panellist or PDI instructor:
2016 – Taipei, Taiwan
2018 – Beijing, China
2019 – Ho hi Minh City, Vietnam
2021 - Virtual
John F. Kennedy said, “For of those to whom much is given, much is required.”
I’m privileged to have met the wonderful folks at APCDA. In the process, I have grown to be a much better career professional. I know I can count on them for whatever challenges that come my way, and vice versa.
Thus, I’m donating 100% of the proceeds from the sale of my new book, “No Job? No Sweat!” in April 2022 to support APCDA scholarships.
I’m doing this because what we do in life echoes in eternity. Whatever you give will return to you multi-fold, as long as it is unconditional giving. In case you are wondering why I am doing this, I’ve actually done this a few times. I have donated over $110,000 (with Government fund matching) to charitable causes in Singapore through my book sales. This is one of the secrets of the tycoons who seemed to get richer every year because givers gain.
You may not know it now but your contribution can really make a difference to those who need it. Simply check out the testimonials of those who have benefited from APCDA’s scholarships.
Talent may be equally distributed but opportunity is not. You now have the power to provide the opportunity. Pay it forward and help a fellow career practitioner today. All of us have a strong affinity for people. That’s why we are in this helping industry.
Donate generously today and be informed on the latest know-how on the future of work in my new book, so that you can empower yourself, your students and your clients.
Ask not what APCDA can do for you.
Why Career Decision-making is so Hard
By Tam Nguyen
Last week CERIC and OnelifeTools launched a new tool where Experiential Learning, Career Development, and Reflective Practice blend nicely together. This new site offers tremendous help to practitioners on our journey of learning and helping.
You can find the link to Wayfinder here: https://ceric.ca/wayfinder
Today I would like to pick my favorite tool I got from Wayfinder: Career decision-making difficulties questionnaires CDDQ (huji.ac.il)
Why it’s important to understand why
We can’t untangle the knot without checking tight clumps. We can’t help our clients to make their decision if we don’t understand what stands in the way.
In one of the discussions with my clients, a young woman shared her stress working in a toxic environment and not knowing what to do next. She shared the pressure of making the right decision, the heaviness, anxiety, and fear she is having. Going deeper, it turned out she did have a solid idea of what she would like to do next, the only thing that blocks her way is the fear of judgment from her parents and society about leaving a government job.
Another client shared that the transition was extremely difficult for them because they have no connections or experience in the new industry, and they worry if they can fit in with their current skills.
One was simply a perfectionist and would love to procrastinate the decision-making until a full picture was painted.
For each of those clients, the approaches will and should be different.
And the tool from CDDQ.org will surely help practitioners to identify which difficulties the client is having so that we can tailor our approach.
The questionnaire is designed to identify the cause of career decision-making difficulties. Then feedback and recommendations are provided. The tool categorizes causes into 3 main groups:
Within each main group, sub-groups are introduced based on if the issue is internal or external: should we help clients go over the self-discovery process, or should we focus more on guiding them toward resources and information? That question will be answered.
Let’s go into detail for each sub-group:
Lack of readiness due to lack of motivation
The client is not willing to make the decision now. If you are a fan of Daniel Pink’s “Drive” book, you would recall that lack of motivation stems from a lack of one of 3 things: autonomy, mastery, and a sense of purpose (I have a brief summary here)
Do clients feel like they have a choice and freedom to make their own decision? Do they feel trapped - that if they make the decision now, they can’t change later? Do they clearly see a purpose for making a decision about their career?
Lack of readiness due to general indecisiveness
Why are they hesitant? Is there any fear that blocks them from believing in their choice? Do they need support and affirmation from others to be certain about their decision?
Finance is also a big factor that often causes hesitance. If it’s the case, help clients to get prepared for what they fear. We have an article by Tuan Anh Le on how to do it here.
Lack of readiness due to limiting beliefs
Do they believe that they have to live with their decision for the rest of their life? Do they believe that passion is the only factor of an ideal career?
As a career practitioner, simply ask them to go deeper. Listen to their response to fully understand - not to find a solution – but to create a safe space for clients to share their thoughts and for us to learn what our clients truly believe without any judgment.
Lack of information about the decision-making process, occupations, and additional resources
This is where a career development practitioner can help to guide clients toward reliable resources and information. Our job here is to help them sort out only information that’s useful for them and not make them feel overwhelmed with too much information. Too much information can cause the decision-making to be much harder than it already is.
Help them to understand the process of making a decision, to organize information, and to reach a conclusion in a step-by-step manor.
Lack of information about the self
Do clients really know what they want? Are they aware of their interest, aptitude, skills…? This is usually the core of current career development services. With so many tools, assessments and approaches developed solely for this, it definitely plays a significant role in our guidance process. However, from what we have seen so far in this article, assuming that this is the only challenge clients have and ignoring the rest will potentially derail us from the help our clients actually need.
Inconsistent information due to unreliable information
It could be self-knowledge, could be industry and occupation knowledge. Our job is to point out the contradictions or gaps if there are any.
Do clients view themselves the way their colleagues, their friends view them? Do they have accurate information about what is required to get into that industry? Perhaps the client loves using a certain skill, but they believe they are not good at it. Is that belief true?
Inconsistent information due to internal conflicts
Do clients have multiple values that clash with each other? Do clients have a set of criteria that are seemingly impossible to fulfill? Help them to sort out “must-have” and “nice to have.” It’s important also to remind them to have an open mind and remain flexible.
Inconsistent information due to external conflicts
Do the desires of the client conflict with what their parents want? This can be a source of stress. How about their own definition of success versus society’s definition? Is what they think different from what their peers think?
To sum up, I think it’s important to always listen wholeheartedly and be culturally sensitive.
When we take time to learn about our clients’ backgrounds, we understand what’s most important and should be taken into account in their decision-making process. Only then do we know better how to help.
On another note, News Committee is launching “Story Hub” - where we share life narratives, either from our personal experience or professional experience, and discuss how the interplay of cultures, backgrounds, etc. shapes our professional careers.
More details can be found here.
by Tuan Anh Le
In career guidance, we often talk a lot about discovering strengths, passions, life values, and so on. The subject of money is rarely mentioned or discussed in a very confusing and complicated way. In fact, an individual who is strong in personal finance management skills can feel much more secure in career guidance, thereby spending more time exploring other topics. In this article, I want to share some personal finance basics so that career professionals can understand and talk to their clients about the topic.
When it comes to personal finance, there are a lot of complicated terms and keywords like 401(k), credit, and mortgage - but everyone can start learning about personal finance by understanding these three simple steps.
STEP 1: UNDERSTANDING
Ask questions and keep a record of spending
First, a person needs to understand his financial situation. You need to be able to answer questions like:
Then a person needs to know how much money he spent yesterday, on what. How much money did I spend last week? How much money did I spend last month, how much did I spend last year? We certainly cannot remember the details of each item without taking notes. So where are you recording your money right now? Currently, I am making daily spending records through the MoneyLover application, every time I spend a certain amount, I open this application to enter it.
Taking notes with an application is more convenient than using your brain to remember. The convenience here is that at the end of the week or month, looking back, you will know which items you have spent, how many times spent on that item – all these things are recorded. Automation is very convenient. For example, when I look at a year ago, I see 60 spending items for KFC, 50 spending items for Texas Chicken - so I guess I ate 2 fried chicken meals a week on average, that's why my doctor told me that my blood fat is a bit high.
When recording expenditures, there are also records of revenues. If you are a regular employee, you are likely to have only 1 fixed monthly income from the company. The question you might ask here is, are you satisfied with that income now? If not, what do you do next to increase this number? Suggest to the company to increase the salary, or do some other jobs to get more income (in the latter part of the article I will talk more about some of these jobs I am doing).
Plan your spending
Once you've gotten into the habit of recording your spending for about 3 months, you can start planning your next month's spending. People are busy talking about getting rich and investing, but in fact, the first thing you should do is keep the money you have. A month you spend less than you earn, so is progress on the path to getting rich.
If, after looking at your recent spending months, you feel fine, keep spending. However, I guess most, like me, will find that they spend too much and waste too much. So the goal is that, next month, to spend less and save more. This is a good goal, but many people set the wrong goals. For example, if, for the past 3 months, you have spent 20 million each month, this month you could decide to only spend 10 million - that is not feasible. The most feasible path is to gradually decrease month by month, somewhere around 10-20% per month is very good. Last month you spent 20 million, this month determined to spend 18-19 million, so you are successful.
When planning your spending, you need to list all the potential expenditures and estimate how the money will be spent in the next month. For example, here are the bills I usually pay each month, which you can refer to for yourself:
The above are the basic categories. There are other categories you might list, or combine.
Once you've determined that you have a fixed amount of money each month, you can think of a few rules for how to divide it up accordingly. There are two easiest principles you can refer to.
I have a rule of thumb if you to rent a house, which is not to spend more than 30% of what I earn each month on housing. For example, if you earn 1500$ a month, you can spend up to 500$ on housing – this is a common principle in the context of personal finance.
When you have planned a 1-month spending plan according to the items above, you can break it down into weeks. A month has 4-5 weeks. Set a fixed day every week and take 30 minutes to review whether you have followed the plan correctly. If there are any areas where you have overspent, see if those areas can be reduced next week.
Once you understand and know how to plan according to the plan above, the next step is to plan on saving. As I said once above, we just have to worry about investing in what we do, getting rich in the other - but don't forget the generations of our grandparents and parents who know how to save money to buy a house, a car, and raise a family. So, in my opinion, before investing, know how to save. There are some saving principles that I am currently following and want to share with you.
If you've already made money and don't have either of the above funds, start by saving enough for those two funds and postpone enjoyment spending until you have built up those two funds.
3/ INCREASE YOUR INCOME
Investing, I'm still learning, but I'm very familiar with having a lot of income sources. I myself am a person with many income sources. I want to share with you some guidelines for income that, no matter what profession you work in, you can use.
Above is a little sharing of personal experiences to help readers better improve money matters. Good luck.
Mr. LÊ TUẤN ANH, Career Consultant & Educator, is one of the first-generation career professionals in Vietnam. He is the author of 3 bestselling books on career and personal development topics. His strength is to use social media to interact and convey career messages to students. He currently manages the community of more than 100,000 vocational students on Facebook. You can reach Tuan Anh at firstname.lastname@example.org
On March 22/23. 2022, PilotCity CEO Derick Lee and six panelists from the program provided a dynamic online seminar for APCDA members: High-School Youth Building Projects to Win Internships.
We want to thank the members of the PilotCity team and APCDA participants from all over the world for attending the webinar. Derick, a trained architect/entrepreneur, found what career specialist Jane Horan calls his "Genius Zone" by starting PilotCity and innovating the fabric of San Leandro, California – his hometown.
Returning to his roots after college and a work-stint in placing USA university-bound international students into job-shadow programs in the USA, Derick Lee could see how the flow of talent out of his city of approximately 90,000 people led to stagnation. So, he set out to solve one of the most challenging problems of the small San Francisco Bay Area city near Silicon Valley by focusing on youth employment. One webinar participant chatted in agreement,
“ My school district spends $130,000 US on one student’s education. After spending this amount of money and resources, we send them away to colleges. We then hope they come back, which they do not.”
The six panelists included students Areeba Asaduzzaman and Eric Xie, two program alumni currently working for PilotCity. They each discussed their projects in the group “digital internships” inside significant companies and how they grew from that experience. The students hosted the discussion by asking provocative questions of the employers and teachers.
Industry executives James Gardner from Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and Peter Tatischev, formerly from Uber and now working for Disney, provided detailed insights about their first reservations on hiring high schoolers. Although, at first, they both had doubts about managing the students' work-based internships, but they found that teachers provided terrific results interpreting the companies' requirements prior to the start of the project. After interfacing with local teachers to help guide the students, teachers provided project-based learning experiences in the classroom. This offered students new perspectives on what the companies needed to accomplish and motivated them to create solutions. Another example that makes PilotCity’s program work for employers is their efficient digital methodology of recruiting groups of students to match employer projects. This method streamlines and eliminates the traditional individual resume and hiring process.
The students asked the two panelist educators, Jason Eber from Antioch High School, and Kristin Berbawy from Fremont High School, to explain how the PilotCity program works in their high school classrooms to help students prepare for the work-based internships. Both teachers confirmed the power of working directly with the companies. For example, Ms. Berbawy remarked that the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory brought real-life science problems into her engineering classroom. Executives came to schools to give lectures and talk about the skills needed in the workforce. While she had to accept the chaotic environment since students worked on different projects, the interaction with industry folks before the project begins gave the students a sense of purpose. And in the case of Uber, the transportation projects led to unique solutions the students produced proved to be valid for businesses outside of the taxi services.
Mr. Eber hoped that many more of his students from economically challenged homes could get even more help from local industries because they were desperate to find meaningful work. The public school system transformed many students by increasing motivation for group internships that faced real-world problems. Although lacking confidence at first, many students begin to feel inspired to learn skills like taking risks, collaborating with others on a meaningful project, and talking directly to industry executives.
The challenges among all six panelists included students learning to communicate with each other. For example, some students had very fixed mindsets with difficulties accepting criticism or even comments about their work, which leads to conflict and, hopefully, self-growth. Additionally, the key employers had to learn how to plan and manage the internship process; with extended deadlines, employers found they could give the student group the same pressure as they usually would with full-time employees and keep elevating expectations.
In summary, PilotCity helps fuel meaningful, digital internships through students learning to communicate with each other and having opportunities to talk with adults such as crucial employers. Additionally, employers collaborate with teachers to create more extended deadlines for projects, giving the student group pressure. Students showed their absolute commitment and skills when doing their work – they made sure to get the job done and exceeded expectations. And finally, employers do more projects with PilotCity once as they understand how smart, willing, and ready high school students are for the new frontiers of the unknown, post-COVID workforce.
Derick ended the online seminar with a lively demonstration of his onboarding flow-chart showing a range of all projects, how companies can sign up for a digital internship project and how interns can access that information and apply. One Webinar participant asked,
“Is PilotCity open for only US students?”
PilotoCity is open to working with APCDA members to see how these services can help in other countries. The employment services are ideal for high school, vocational education, and college students. If interested, please contact PiltoCity and Derick Lee directly at:
Career Satisfaction for Multi-passionate People
By Tam Nguyen
As a multi-passionate person myself and working with multi-passionate clients who struggle to achieve fulfillment at work, I started to collect all pieces and put together what I have learned to help them happier with their careers.
What is a multi-passionate person?
Multi-passionate personality is more common than ever before, however the term is quite misleading. It doesn’t mean the person has a lot of passions, rather it describes people juggling with some different interests, often unrelated. They have a wide range of interests, skills and usually have trouble settling down with just one. It’s the main reason why others might label them as confused, lack of commitment, indecisive.
Why do multi-passionate people struggle with choosing a career?
It’s quite hard for someone non multi-passionate to understand people who experience that. Outsiders might say “Lucky you, you have many options to choose from. Just commit with one and stop using it as an excuse for procrastination”. It’s unfortunately not that simple.
The paradox of choice you might know. Professor of psychology Barry Schwartz named two consequences when people have many options “paralysis instead of liberation- with so many options to choose from, people find it very difficult to choose at all; unsatisfaction and regret of the choice being made – what if the one I didn’t choose is better?”
When you have 6 jams and 24 jams to try and buy, which case do you think people will actually buy the product after trying? A famous jam study from Professor Sheena Iyengar Columbia Business School suggested that in the first case, 13% of shoppers will end up buying a jam; the second scenario only 3%. Just to be clear I’m not trying to compare between buying a jam vs choosing a career, but I hope you get my point. When people have many interests, choosing just one might make them feel like they have to give up the rest.
Indeed, they quite struggle to set up a proper career path and build commitment around it just because juggling different interests is usually what brings them joy and a sense of fulfillment. It’s what they value in their life and potentially career.
Society is part of the struggle as well when optimization means a specialist nowadays is more appreciated than a generalist. The lack of cross-department tasks, unfortunately, kills creativity and exposure space for multi-passionate people, leading to their confusion of value they can contribute and career dissatisfaction.
Two types of multi-passionate people
A multi-passionate personality can turn a person into either a powerful or confused career designer.
A powerful one is when the person gains self-knowledge. They understand what they are looking for in the job, what’s most important to them, what is need to be met. By doing that they make sure they don’t neglect any hobbies/interests that nurture their souls and their authenticity. A powerful multi-passionate person will know what is the best way to balance all interests and give them room to be nurtured.
A confused person doesn’t realize they have advantages, that they are multipotentialite (another name for multi-passionate people). In other words, they don’t see it as a strength so they never embrace the trait and let it shine. Juggling many interests means their energy can get drained easily, they get distracted often and find it hard to make a commitment. They will unconsciously try out a lot of things at once and give up before any hypothesis has been tested properly. A great lesson from a powerful multi-passionate person, self-knowledge and self-esteem is the key.
A mindset to start designing a satisfying career for multi-passionate people
Strength vs weakness
Once people start to embrace multi-passionate personality as their companion, their strength, it will start serving its role. If they consider it as their enemy, it has no choice to play an evil role it has been assigned.
Multiple lives vs one life
Confused people are so caught up in the idea that we only have one life to live, meaning what we choose today will decide what we do for the rest of our life. Saying it out loud perhaps help them to realize it’s nonsense. A press release by BLS even though limited to a small subset of the population, revealed that individuals held an average of 12.4 jobs from ages 18 to 54. What we do today doesn’t decide what we do 10 years from now. Keep an open mind and instead of just thinking one lifetime, how about multiple lives? We always have a chance to creatively write a new chapter of our life every day.
Life is nonlinear
It’s never a straight line when we describe life. That’s what makes it worth living. It’s okay for us to try, to test and then if we see turning left seems wrong, we stop and be happy that now we know what would be the right direction.
3 ways to achieve career satisfaction as a multi-passionate person
Having experience with quite some multi-passionate clients (myself included), I notice there are 3 ways we can help those people gain a sense of fulfillment:
Umbrella: some interests and hobbies seem unrelated on the surface, but if we help them to think out of the box, dots start to be connected and we might find many cool combinations among those interests. Who knows, people might give birth to innovative ideas for current world challenges, or create a new industry/new position that has not yet been born.
Job and side hustle: they might have jobs that have nothing to do with their interests but help them pay the bill. If the job brings them the security or advancement that’s part of their career values, why not go ahead. But make sure they have time and work-life balance to tap into other interests outside their working schedule. As long as people don’t sacrifice their career values and authenticity, career happiness can still be achieved in this case.
Turn one interest into a passion: To turn one interest into a passion and grow a career with it, people have to make sure they prepare themselves with dedication, devotion, and determination. And never forget to book some time for other interests. Interests feed the souls of multi-passionate people, so avoid neglecting them which can further cause burnout and unfulfillment.
Considering those 3 ways is not an either/or but different strategy. We can help clients try different ways in different stages of their life. But before starting to design appropriate strategies, help clients to learn about themselves first.
I constantly mention the importance of self-knowledge before designing a career and this is no exception. The very first step is to help multi-passionate people gain access to their self-knowledge. A person who values financial stability over creative freedom might find a stable well-paid position, even though it couldn’t provide room to express themselves creatively, still worth pursuing. They can then find an outlet for their creativity outside the office. Or they might talk to their boss to see if they can utilize the current environment to activate their creative stimulation.
There is no one size fits all, but if we take time to attentively listen to clients and help them to listen to themselves, career satisfaction is within reach.
Tam Nguyen, JCDC, JCTC, CLC, is a career and life coach based in Montreal, Canada. She helps professionals going through quarter-life and midlife crisis reclaim their voices, discover their career purpose to lead a meaningful life and career. Find Tam online: Empurpose’s website, LinkedIn.
A composite case study that embeds eight key principles and practices.
A case study with four embedded practices.
Finding well-suited work and the motivation to pursue it.
By Dr. Marty Nemko
"Work is almost the best way to pull oneself out of the depths." –Eleanor Roosevelt
Many people find that well-suited work not only provides money and meaning, but it also heals.
The right work for you
Here are four relatively easy approaches to finding well-suited work:
Gaining the motivation to search with vigor
Especially if you’ve been away from the workforce for a while, fears can build up: Will I fail? Have I lost it? If I go back to work, I’ll have to change so much. Might any of the following help?
No need for drastic action. Just dip your toe in the water: browse the ads, chat with a trusted friend, or write the job description of your dreams. Sometimes, low-risk action is enough to increase your motivation to do more.
Write your resume/LinkedIn profile. It’s easy to think that you bring little to the table. But many of my clients have found that writing their resumé reminds them of their value. That’s because it forces you to think hard about what you’ve done in your previous jobs, school, and volunteer work.
Get a goal partner. Some people do well to have a check-in partner: perhaps a friend who has some goal: to lose weight, stop abusing a substance, or yes, find good work. You might want to check in with each other daily by email, phone, Zoom, or in person.
The Buddha said, “Foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.” That may be a bit extreme but a possible healer for what emotionally ails you is to follow Eleanor Roosevelt's summative advice on work: “It is not more vacation we need — it is more vocation.”