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Minnesota Career Development Association

MCDA 2010 Summer Newsletter

Inside this issue:

  • The President’s Corner
  • Do You Know Your Brand?  If not, Let’s Figure It Out Together!
  • Congrats to Our Award Recipients
  • Thank You to Retiring Board Members
  • MCDA Mentorship Program Update
  • Have your Client Sing Your Praises; Then Spread the Word
  • Book Review – The Lonely American
  • An Inside View from the Millennial Generation
  • SIG Spotlight
  • Board Highlights
  • Welcome New Members

The President’s Corner by Irene Rossman

Our MCDA year is winding down and what a year it has been!! The Fall and Winter Events and the Spring Conference were extremely well received and the feedback validates that MCDA is offering compelling, current, and vital information to our career community.

Special thanks to Mike Haugen and the Spring Conference Committee including Robin Stubbelfield, Liz Brenner, Mary Dwyer, Candace Williams, Ali Miesen, Kim Marrone, Marie Carter Brooks, Angie Schmidt Whitney, Carmen Croonquist, Alyssa Maples, Simona Leanos-Casas, Jenna Schnell, Janet Pelto, Mark Struthers, Jessica Ayub, Melody Kruzic, Vic Massaglia, Nancy White, Rachel Rask, Jennifer Williams, Laura Wiese, Lisa Carlson, and Lois Vogt for doing such a fantastic job!!

During our events and conferences this year, I was struck by how technology and change have impacted the career profession. LinkedIn has become a hiring tool for recruiting, clients are joining LinkedIn and Facebook, and are tweeting, blogging, creating personal websites, and communicating their brands in every way imaginable. It’s a bit overwhelming, to say the least!  How do we keep up with all of this change? I believe this is one of the greatest challenges for career professionals.

The changes in technology and in job search are humbling reminders of what our clients experience and how scary change can be for everyone. The good news is that we are not alone.  As a career community and through organizations such as MCDA, we can educate each other and offer the newest and most relevant information with our events, conferences, roundtable discussions, and daily connections. Embracing change can be frightening and exhilarating at the same time. As we examine and reevaluate our own career paths, it is wise to continue to grow and develop individually. Change is inevitable and “the only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance” (Alan Watts).

This is my last President’s Corner article as I will be turning the gavel over to Carmen Croonquist. We are so fortunate to have Carmen as our incoming president. Her experience and dedication to the career development field are legendary. Carmen will represent MCDA and will also be a presenter at the National Career Development Association Conference this July in San Francisco.

Thanks to all of you for allowing me to serve as President of MCDA. This has been an opportunity of a lifetime, and I have appreciated the continued support of our board, sponsors and members.

The MCDA roundtables and mentorship program will continue through the summer months. Thanks again, everyone, for making the 2009-2010 MCDA year so successful and memorable.

Irene Rossman, MCDA President 2009-2010

Do You Know Your Brand?  If not, Let’s Figure It Out Together!  By Bridget Kenadjian

This year’s MCDA Conference opened up with a keynote address from William Arruda, branding guru and the author of Career Distinction.  I don’t know about you, but when I think of the word “brand” I picture a cow experiencing a rather painful procedure in an unmentionable spot so that the animal can be identified as belonging to its owner!  This is not an appealing word to me.

However, according to Arruda, and based on practical observation, I think we would all agree that the world of work has changed drastically.  Longevity and loyalty in the office rarely exist anymore, so in order to be successful in a career, people need a reputation or a “brand.”  A “brand” is a promise that can be delivered every time, and it is the value that you bring to your target audience.  Brands are not some fake marketing approach used to convince an employer that you are what they want, but each person’s “brand” should be a genuine, true expression of self.

Brands are not created, they are uncovered, according to Mr. Arruda. So how does one uncover one’s brand?  For those who were at the conference, our guest speaker gave us a password to utilize his 360 Reach branding assessment to begin the process.  In the next few weeks, if not already, you will probably be receiving requests from your colleagues to fill out 360 Reach assessments (a 10 minute process) to give feedback regarding the key strengths you observe in the person asking you to do the assessment.  All the feedback will anonymously be collected and included in a report for that person, which will help him/her to discover the qualities that others consistently observe – the brand!  This is the first step in the three-step branding process.

So what is the branding process?  The first step is to “extract” your brand or your unique value, in part by using William’s assessment tool. There are many other career and personal assessment tools which we have all used that can help us to uncover our own brands.  The second step is to “express” your brand in everything that you do.  This can be done through the marketing and communication tools you use (e.g. resumes, emails, LinkedIn, Face book, Twitter, writing, telephone, presentations, instant messages, blogs, etc.).  You can express your brand through the activities you get involved with, the groups you join, and even through the books you read. The final step is to “exude” your brand.  This is “to be” your brand.  This might include your professional appearance, your networks, your actions, the tools you use, your letterhead, colors you choose on the promotions you do, or even the look of your office space.

The inviting piece of all of this is that one focuses on maximizing his/her own strengths, rather than on trying to improve weaknesses.  It is easier to be who we are than to pretend we are something that we are truly not!  There is something very freeing about this.  In conclusion, I found myself moving from being a skeptic of the process to realizing the value of it for my own career and that of my clients.  In the weeks to come, let’s help one another uncover the qualities that make us unique and valuable individuals both at work and in life.  By doing so, our lives will ultimately be more fulfilling, and we will most likely find ourselves moving in directions that are more in line with our true calling.

Congrats to Our Award Recipients by Kim Marrone

I don’t think we can ever say it enough – we have a ton of career development talent here in the MCDA organization!  Just to further prove that point, let me share with you the awards that were presented to a few of our colleagues at the Careers Conference held in April.  Please take a moment and congratulate these very-deserving leaders if you haven’t already done so.

Kai Takatsuka – Received the Sunny Hansen Graduate Student Award, and was nominated by Christopher Buckley.

Candace Williams – Received the Sunny Hansen Graduate Student Award, and was nominated by Mary Dwyer and Angie Schmidt Whitney.

Janet Pelto – Received the Jules Kerlan Outstanding Achievement Award, and was nominated by Vic Massaglia and Paul Timmins.

Nancy Branton – Received the Jules Kerlan Outstanding Achievement Award, and was nominated by Carmen Croonquist.

Denise Felder – Received the Marty Dockman Merit Award, and was nominated by Barb LaPorte, Bridget Kenadjian, Erin Reichelt and Scott Simpson.

Thank You to Retiring Board Members by Susan Allen

“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart” ~Elizabeth Andrew

The MCDA Board of Trustees is made up of career practitioners from diverse settings.  Each gives time, talent and commitment to help make MCDA a successful organization.  As the 2009 – 2010 fiscal year comes to a close, we would like to recognize board members completing their three year term of service.

With sincere gratitude we would like to thank:

  • Bill Baldus, Career Counselor Metropolitan State University
  • Denise Felder, MnCareers Editor, iSeek Solutions & CareerOneStop
  • Bridget Kenadjian, Private Consultant
  • Barb Laporte, Assistant Director/Career Counselor University of MN School of Public Health
  • Scott Simpson, Career Consultant, Health Careers Center University of MN
  • Paul Timmins, Career Services Director Career and Community Leaning Center University of MN

In addition to your volunteer work on the board, some of you held officer positions and each of you served as a subcommittee member.  Your contributions have been instrumental in helping MCDA achieve its goals during your tenure.  We are grateful for your energy, enthusiasm and dedication.

On behalf of the Minnesota Career Development Association, please accept our best wishes and deepest thanks.

MCDA Mentorship Program Update by Sarah Oehler

In April, the MCDA Mentorship Program began recruiting both mentors and mentees for the 2010-2011 program.  The MCDA Mentorship program is a very active mentoring program where members serve as mentors and mentees.  Mentoring is an ideal opportunity to learn more about yourself and about the various occupational fields within career development.   Mentors and mentees are asked to invest nine months in the mentoring relationship (mid-July through mid-April) and commit to meeting in person or via phone once per month.  For more information and to receive an application, please visit the MCDA website or contact Sarah Oehler at

A special thanks to Nancy White and Donna Bennett for their tremendous support of the MCDA Mentorship Program and everything they have done for the program these past few years.

Have your Client Sing Your Praises; Then Spread the Word by Diane Autey

When you need to persuade an audience to use your consulting, coaching or career development services, one great way to demonstrate their value is a client or customer success story. The most effective ones are written from the client/customer’s point of view. You can get more mileage out of the story by having it graphically designed to match your company’s brand (i.e. colors, font) and adding a photo or graphics.

Interview the client to learn their perspective of what they were struggling with, what their objectives were, what you recommended and the results. When writing the story, resist the temptation to explain the sequence of events from your perspective. Instead, use client/customer quotes to explain what happened and why the process was so effective. Let the client/customer sing your praises and reveal the measurable results they achieved.

Once the draft is final, hire a graphic designer to develop a one-page collateral piece using your corporate colors and a photo or graphic. Save the design as a PDF (portable document format) and have it digitally printed. Use the success story to promote your business. Here’s how:

  • Email the PDF to prospects as an example of your work. Include a statement about how the story relates to the prospect’s business.
  • Post the PDF on your website (visitors can open and print the PDF).
  • Add a hotlink to the PDF in your email signature.
  • Post a link on LinkedIn under Network Updates.
  • Post a link on Twitter.
  • Insert the printed success story in marketing folders or place a pile on the information table at networking events and association meetings.

The more ways you can help people understand what it’s like to work with you and the results you have achieved for your customers, the easier your sales job will be.

Diane Autey is president of Projects Done Write, a professional business writing firm that excels at telling company stories. Contact Diane at 612-716-7642 or

Book Review – The Lonely American by Dr. Jacqueline Olds, MD and Richard S. Schwartz, MD. Written by Lisa Cook

As this selection isn’t your typical career development book, I’d like to explain why I chose it.  I received an invitation to hear Dr. Jacqueline Olds speak at the University of Minnesota about the problem of increasing loneliness in our society, an issue she details in this book.  As many of our clients face increased social isolation when they lose their jobs and their connections to coworkers, I think other career development professionals might find this information useful in talking to clients who lose touch with social connections because of job loss, relocation, retirement, or other reasons.

Several statistics boldly stand out.  The 2000 Census found that 1 out of 4 households consist of only one person.  This figure has been steadily increasing since 1940 when it was only about 7%.  The General Social Survey (GSS) led by Duke University researcher Miller McPherson found that between 1985 and 2004, the number of people with whom the average American discussed “important matters” dropped from 3 to 2.  In 2004, nearly 25% reported they talked to no one about important matters.   (The Lonely American, p. 2)

Dr. Olds writes: “There is now a clear consensus among medical researchers that social connections have a powerful impact on health.  Socially connected people live longer, respond better to stress, have more robust immune systems, and do better at fighting a variety of specific illnesses.  These medical benefits derive directly from the social connection itself, not just from lifestyle improvements such as better diet, more exercise, and better medical care…”

Most career counselors are not licensed therapists, so if a client is suffering from depression (often a symptom of social isolation), we need to refer them to a mental health professional.  However, we may be helping our clients a great deal just by serving as perhaps the sole person whom they can talk to about what truly matters to them.

Below is a list of the effects of social exclusion.  You may find this list useful in working with clients and recognizing when they may need a referral for mental health counseling: (The Lonely American, pp. 72-73)

1)       Social exclusion makes people more aggressive.

2)       It causes self-defeating behavior such as unhealthy choices with regards to eating, exercise and other habits.

3)       Social exclusion reduces intelligent thought and performance on complex cognitive tasks.

4)       It leads to a state of mind that “avoids meaningful thought, emotion and self-awareness, and is characterized by lethargy and altered time flow.”

5)       It leads people to quit sooner on frustrating tasks.

The bottom line is we’re social animals and we perform better in the company of other people who witness our lives and know our histories.  Positive psychology books all agree that our social connections are the pillars of happiness, above money, success, and any other single factor.  After our basic needs are met, love and belonging rank highest on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

As career development professionals, we may serve an increasingly important role with clients facing long-term unemployment and more time alone.  Perhaps the most valuable things we can offer them are a kind and empathetic ear, a reminder of how valuable they are to others, and encouragement to stay socially engaged with others even when it may seem more difficult to do so.  Their social ties may be much more important than they realize to their long-term mental and physical health.

An Inside View from the Millennial Generation by Laura Wiese and Simona Leanos

The Minnesota Career Development Association (MCDA) offers monthly RoundTable meetings that focus on selected career development topics to help us become better practitioners. RoundTables also serve as a time to network with colleagues working in a variety of sectors.  The March RoundTable topic and discussion was titled, “An Inside View from the Millennial Generation”. This Roundtable specifically focused on the Millennial generation. Laura and Simona are part of their Millennial generation, so their inside view was examined.

The following is a summary of the discussion that occurred at the RoundTable:

Currently, there are four different generations in the workforce, each of which offers certain traits and assets that have the potential for creating great tension and clashes, as well as opportunities. The four generations include:

  1. Traditionalists- born before 1946 (age 63+) –75 million (26%)
  2. Baby Boomers- born 1946-1964 (ages 46-64) — 80 million (29%)
  3. Generation X- born 1965-1980 (ages 30-45) — 46 million (16%)
  4. Millennials- born 1981-1999 (ages 11-29) — 80 million (29%)

There are several characteristics that typically define the Millennial generation. During the RoundTable discussion, Laura and Simona presented several of the characteristics and explained whether or not they agree or disagree.

First, it has been said that Millennials have a stong sense of entitlement. We concluded that this is because Millennials were told they could be anything they wanted to be when they were growing up. Also, Millennials grew up with the expectation that they would get rewarded for just showing up. For example, a child receives a trophy for participating on a soccer team even if the team came in last place. Finally, a 60 Minutes video titled, “The Millennials Are Coming” alluded to the fact that the show Mr.Rogers Neighborhood is partly responsible for this because he was constantly telling children that they are special and their parents ran with that.

Next, we discussed how the Millennial generation loves to get feedback on their performance. Along with this, Millennials like to make sure their parents know when they do a good job. They can’t wait to show their parents the letter that said they made the dean’s list.

One final characteristic that was discussed was how Millennials are very technologically savvy. Millennials grew up using computers in school, so using technology comes very naturally. Millennials are constantly using some sort of technological device whether it is an iPod, cell phone, or computer. Someone even brought up the point that technology sometimes gets Millennials in trouble because they choose to use it at inappropriate times. Finally, we touched on the idea that many Millennials have taught their parents and grandparents how to use technology.

At the conclusion of the RoundTable, we talked about how generational differences come out in career counseling sessions specifically with Millennials. We discussed a few ideas of how to work with the Millennials such as giving candid, timely feedback, using technology to deliver information, and provide several learning opportunities (specifically leadership development).

Overall, this was an exceptional RoundTable. There was a great turnout and everyone there had something to say. Due to popular demand, look for An Inside View from the Millennial Generation, Part 2!


Core Characteristics of the Millennial Generation

CBS 60 Minutes news story and video “The Millennials Are Coming”

Book by Lynne Lancaster and David Stillman titled When Generations Collide

Lancaster, L.C., & Stillman, David. (2002). When generations collide: Who they are. Why they clash. How to solve the generational puzzle at work. New York: Harper Business

SIG Spotlight – CPAD by Carmen Croonquist

We are truly fortunate to have a vibrant career development community in the Twin Cities, with many options for networking and professional development.  In addition to the events and programs offered by MCDA, another bustling organization is CPAD – which stands for the “Career Planning & Adult Development Network.”  CPAD’s membership is comprised of career development professionals from a wide array of backgrounds.  Membership dues are inexpensive – $10 annually (less than $1 per meeting!) The meetings are typically held the first Friday of each month (we move it back by a week during months where there are holidays) at the Teamsters’ Dislocated Worker Program on University Avenue in Minneapolis.  The first portion of the meeting (7:30 – 8:00 AM) is devoted to networking. The programming portion of the meeting runs from 8:00 – 9:00 AM.  Our speakers present on a variety of topics.  Here’s a list of the speakers and session titles scheduled for the next few months:

May 7th – Pete Machalek from SagePresence: “Storytelling: the Most Important Career-building Skill”
June 4th – Vic Massalgia: “Developing Your Counseling Style”
July 9th – Rachel Vilsack: “The New LMI Occupational Analyzer (now called ‘Job Skills Transfer Assessment’)”

Board Highlights by Bridget Kenadjian

1)      MCDA is looking for a few good men and women!  If you are interested in running for MCDA’s Board of Trustees, email Paul Timmins at for details.  We are looking to fill five Board positions and the Secretary position.  Applications should be in by May 24th.

2)      The MCDA Professional Development Institutes (PDIs) and Annual Conference on April 22-23 were fantastic!  A special thank-you to all our sponsors!

3)      Membership as of mid-April is at a high of 312 members.

4)      The Mentor Program wrap-up dinner was on May 6th.  Look for information on the MCDA Web site or through the listserv about new mentor pairs for 2010-2011.  The program will begin again in July of 2010.

Member Spotlight on Mike Haugen

Editor: Mike, you’ve been very involved in MCDA for a couple years now and yet some people don’t know your background.

Mike: I completed a Masters in the Counseling Student Personnel Psychology (CSPP) Program at the University of Minnesota. I was originally interested in mental health counseling and worked at Fairview as a Psychiatric Associate then interned with the Educational Opportunity Center, TRiO as an education advisor and decided to pursue career counseling.

Editor: It seems like you’ve participated in a number of groups with MCDA.  Please share with us some of the benefits you’ve seen.

Mike: I have really enjoyed the networking opportunities of being involved in MCDA. The Roundtables allow a chance to meet in a smaller group and share best practices. The Spring Conference allows a chance to meet with professionals across a wide range of industries. MCDA helps people keep up with trends and deliver innovative career counseling interventions.

Editor: I’ve heard that you’re an active reader.  Are there any career books that you would recommend to others?

Mike: The Career Counselor’s Handbook by Howard Figler and Richard Bolles because of its practicality. It covers as much as a text book with almost as much depth and is very readable. Other favorites are Ask the Headhunter by Nick Corcodillos, and Free Agent Nation by Daniel Pink.

Editor: Mike, thanks for taking time to share with us about your background.  Even more importantly, we thank you for leading the Careers Conference committee for the most recent conference in April.  It was a smashing success!  Your hard work and commitment brought it all together so everyone could benefit.  That’s one more example of why MCDA is a great organization – it’s because of members like Mike!

Welcome New Members

The following people joined MCDA from February – May 2010:

Trish Allen, HIRED

Sharon Balke, Capella University

Nancy Branton, People Potential Group, INC

Stan Brown, Stan Brown + Associates

Michelle Chevalier, Carlson School of Management

Nancy Cohen, Employment Action Center

Thomas Colosimo, U of St. Thomas

Sarah Covert, University of Minnesota – CEHD

Andrea Critchfield, Career Solutions

Jennifer Cromer, SFN Group/Spherion

Bobbi  Eckes, HIRED

Carol Ellingsberg, Minneapolis Veteran’s Administration Medical Center

Sean Fetterman, Twin Cities Public Television

Vanessa Gerhardson, Central MN Jobs & Training Services

Stephen Glomb, University of Minnesota

Lisa  Harris, Anoka Ramsey Community College

Robert Harris, Inver Hills Community College

Ann Henry, Minnesota Job Partners

Carolyn Herman, HIRED

Cindy Hinderks, East Suburban Resources, Inc.

Katy Hinz, Career Center for Science and Engineering, U of M

Christine Huff, WomenVenture

Barb Hydeen, Commonbond Communities

Steven Jennissen, Central Lakes College

Stacy Jorgenson, DeVry University

Suzie Karsnia, Central Lakes College

John Keenan, Saint Cloud State University

Kelsey Kennedy, Rasmussen College

Megan LaFontaine, University of St. Thomas

Whitney Langenfeld, Minnesota State University, Mankato

Jo Ellen Lundblad, U of M/College of Continuing Education

Susan Merkling, Inver Hills Community College

Ali Miesen, Rasmussen College

Debra Mormile, HIRED

Kristin Morris, St.Paul Public Schools

Jennifer Nagel, Transitioning to self-employment

Janelle Nivens, Capella University

Julie Olson, Workforce Development, Inc.

Charlie Opatz, St. Cloud State University

Karen Philbin, North Hennepin Community College

Ona Pradhan, East Suburban Resources, Inc.

Lucy Reile, University of Minnesota

Mary Rivard, HIRED

Megan Rivera, University of Minnesota, CCSE

Gretchen Rixie, North Hennepin Community College

Shawna  Roemeling, Central MN Jobs & Training Services

Laurie  Roiger, Central MN Jobs & Training Services

Sheryl Saul, St. Mary’s University

Sara Shore, MSB

Jessica Shryack, MCTC

Kathleen Simmons, State of MN – DEED

Kate Simonson, Life Direction Coaching, Inc.

Naomi St.Gregory, Women In Transition

Dina Stender, Cardinal Stritch University

Diana Sukut, DEED-St. Cloud

Marjorie Unger, Lee Hecht Harrison

Robin Veal, Capella University

Carolyn Vinup, Normandale Community College

Mary Walker, Anoka County

Gretchen Wartman, HIRED

Jennifer Williams, Capella University

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