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Minnesota Career Development Association

MCDA 2011 Fall Newsletter

September 23rd, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Inside this issue:

  • The President’s Corner
  • MCDA Board Members
  • News for NCDA
  • MCDA Fall Event
  • My Top Five Career Assessments
  • Member Spotlight
  • Book Review
  • SIG Spotlight
  • Welcome New Members

The President’s Corner by Janet Pribyl

Hello and welcome to the beginning of what is shaping up to be another great year for the Minnesota Career Development Association. I am excited about the possibilities as I embark on my year as President.

I look back fondly on my years as a young professional. Oh, how I looked forward to the yearly MCDA conferences where I eagerly connected with others who were like me, was exposed to a multitude of new ideas, and learned necessary skills to use in my development as a professional in the field. I’ve come a long way since then, and so has this incredibly wonderful and vibrant organization!

Thank you to all the wonderful candidates who ran for positions on the MCDA Board of Trustees this past summer. It was an unusual year, with a number of resignations from The Board to be filled as well as the usual number of regular term positions. We had a very well-qualified representative pool of candidates and voting for just a few was hard. I am happy to report that we have an excellent Board for the coming year and I am truly excited about the energy, ideas, and action already coming from the new Board.

Planning is under way for the major events which MCDA hosts throughout the year.  The Fall Event, a presentation by SagePresence, will take place on Thursday, November 3 at the Ridgedale Library in Minnetonka. The Winter Event is tentatively scheduled for March 1 and will be finalized soon. The Spring Conference, scheduled for April 19 and 20, will, once again, prove to be an extraordinary event with the keynote speaker and one of the PDI’s already set. Save all the dates on your calendar now!

 The National Career Development Association conference in San Antonio, Texas, this summer was a great opportunity to connect with colleagues from across the country and the world. Despite being teased about the temperatures in Minneapolis and San Antonio being the same (!!) and the impending Minnesota state shutdown looming large, I managed to attend a number of sessions that truly inspired me. I’ll be sharing more with the Board as the year progresses.

As President, one of my priorities will be to focus some of the Board’s energy towards making MCDA programming more accessible to all of our membership. Coming from Duluth, I find it difficult to attend many of the happenings in the Twin Cities area and wish there were alternatives to in-person attendance. I want to pursue the possibilities of using technology to open the monthly roundtables and other events to those who live some distance from the events.

I am truly humbled by the honor to serve as your President and look excitedly toward the new year of possibilities. Please feel free to contact me, or any of the members of the Board of Trustees, with suggestions, ideas, or even complaints, as we embark on the year.  Thank you!

2011-2012 MCDA Board of Trustees by Irene Rossman

Congratulations to the newly elected MCDA Board Members!!  We are delighted to announce the following individuals as part of our 2011-2012 MCDA Board of Trustees:

John Merladet, newly elected Treasurer and member of Executive Board
Shonda Allen, newly elected board member
Ben Hansen, newly elected board member
Cindy Hinderks, newly elected board member
Sue Holm, newly elected board member
Janine Papenfuss, newly elected board member
Jennifer Rosand, newly elected board member
Shelby Strong, newly elected board member
Kathy Ward, newly elected board member

In addition to our newly elected board members, the 2011-2012 MCDA Board of Trustees include:

Janet Pribyl, President and member of Executive Board
Shelley Jensen-Decker, President-Elect and member of Executive Board
Carmen Croonquist, Past President and member of Executive Board
Darren Kaltved, Secretary and member of Executive Board
Marie Carter Brooks, board member
Lisa Cook, board member
Mary Dwyer, board member
Denise Felder, board member
Mike Haugen, board member
Suzie Karsnia, board member
Irene Rossman, board member
Kate Southwick, board member

All MCDA members are welcome to attend the monthly MCDA board meetings. Meeting dates and times will be posted on the MCDA website.

News from NCDA by Paul Timmins

Okay, we’re obviously both fans of the Minnesota Career Development Association, or I wouldn’t be writing this article and you wouldn’t be reading it.

But I’m writing today about our affiliate/parent organization, the National Career Development Association (NCDA). If you’re more familiar with MCDA than you are with the national association, you’re not alone.  But NCDA has some exciting things cooking!

This year’s NCDA conference was in San Antonio, earlier this summer.  I took pictures at the Alamo, walked on the Riverwalk, and I shared a cab ride with Denise Felder, Janet Pribyl, and the lead singer from a really loud band that I hope to never hear again (he played some of his “music” for us).

And the conference was good, too.

I’ve attended several NCDA conferences in the past, and this year’s was no different:  Nearly 1000 professionals from across the United States (48 states) — and several other countries around the globe — were there networking and sharing best practices.  I was particularly struck by just how many legends in the field of career development were there, mingling with all of the rest of us. From Minnesota’s own Sunny Hansen to other experts like John Krumboltz, Spencer Niles, Mark Pope — these are the people who have written the career counseling textbooks we’ve all read!

My perspective on NCDA has changed a bit: After several years as a member, I was recently elected to a term as Midwest Region Trustee on the group’s Board of Directors.  In this capacity, one of my responsibilities is to promote NCDA connections with state chapters like ours. I’d be happy to talk with any of you about either organization.

Honestly, it would be great to see more Minnesotans connected with NCDA. For those of you who are looking for ways to get involved, here are two things to think about:

  • The NCDA Leadership Academy is an experiential, two-year program that gives participants the chance to work closely with career development thought leaders on projects that can impact the career development profession. Previous participants have worked on projects to deliver career counseling to underrepresented groups, grow state career development associations, and promote the career development profession. Members receive a stipend to support their attendance for two years at the NCDA annual conference, and many alumni of the program have gone on to leadership positions in NCDA and throughout the career development world.  Applications are now available at
  • Next year’s NCDA Conference will be in Atlanta, GA from June 21-23, 2012. Proposals are now being accepted for conference presentations — the deadline is October 3.  See for more information.

Finally, it’s a particularly exciting time to get involved with NCDA because 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of our founding. The centennial celebration should mark a great time to reflect on where our profession has been, and where we’ll go in the future.

If you are interested in connecting with NCDA but need more information or a little encouragement, let me know. And, watch out: I’ll be trying to promote Minnesotans’ involvement in NCDA in the next few years. We have a lot to offer!

The MCDA Fall Event:  Winning Presence for Career Development

 There is a common denominator in the experience of career counselors working with their most challenging clients, and in the experience of their clients looking to present themselves when they network and interview.

That common denominator is a sense of risk. We are presenting ourselves and our ideas to an audience we want to inspire into action. Success or failure seems entirely determined by our performance in the moment, and with that sense comes natural barriers to our performance: We feel anxious and uncomfortable, we don’t know what to say or how to say it, and it very often seems like we’re trying to sell something to someone who may not want to buy.

Join us Thursday, November 3 for a presentation by Pete Machalek of SagePresence addressing all of these challenges in one fell swoop. As a filmmaker who has transferred his skills from the film set to the business world, Pete brings his expertise in message design and performance to show you how to master your role and win over audiences in even the most challenging moments.

By the end of this inspiring session, you will know how to:

  • Forge meaningful connections with your clients – even in times of stress and frustration – creating an opportunity for productive communication
  • Lead efficient conversations that will help you provide exactly what your clients need to elevate them to their next success
  • Help your clients network more productively and interview more effectively

 Join us at the MCDA Fall Event:
  Thursday, Nov 3, 2011
Location:  Ridgedale Library; (12601 Ridgedale Drive Minnetonka, MN)
Time:  12:30-1:00 Registration with presentation from 1:00-4:30

Thanks to Workplace Coach Institute

WCI was one of the sponsors for the Career Development conference last May, and is a locally-founded organization.  Workplace Coach InstituteSM, Inc. is dedicated to bringing a system of humanity and civility back into the global workplace. Co-founded by Nancy Branton, PCC and Cynthia Kivland, MCC, the company offers ICF, NBCC and Board Certified Coach approved certifications, along with corporate coaching or consulting, and career, leadership and HR training and assessment certifications. For more information, check out their website: .

My Top Five Career Assessments by Nancy Branton

After coaching numerous clients to make a career transition, I found that career assessments are an integral part of that process. Armed with their assessment results, career transitioners can evaluate their current career and make wise decisions to prepare for their next career.

I recommend five assessments to use with career transitioning clients to help them uncover what’s most important to them for their next career. They are:

  1. Golden Personality Type Profiler (GPTP) or Myers Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®);
  2. Career Liftoff ® Interest Inventory (CLII);
  3. SkillScan™ Career Driver;
  4. O*NET™ Work Importance Profiler™; and,
  5. Page Work Behavior Inventory (PWBI).

Both the GPTP and the MBTI® are based on Jung’s Theory of Psychological Type, and are excellent and reasonably priced assessments to administer to career transitioning clients to learn about their personality type preferences.  Based on their preferences, career transitioners find out their four-letter personality type, which is one of sixteen possible types. The Golden Personality Type Profiler has an additional scale: Tense—Calm, which shows how they tend to react to stress. After they know their personality type, they can learn more about whom they are, the careers that best fit their personality, and what aspects of the social work environment will fit them best.

The Career Liftoff ® Interest Inventory is an inexpensive assessment to administer to career transitioners. The CLII gives them their highest Holland Themes, top occupational interest scales (OIS), and occupations that link to their OIS’s. As they view their top six OIS’s, they can brainstorm possible new directions for their career. Using O*NET® Online, they can compare their highest scoring Holland themes with occupations’ highest Holland themes to determine which careers are a good match.

The SkillScan™ Career Driver is an inexpensive assessment to assist career transitioners in understanding their current skill sets and occupations that link to them, skills they’re motivated to use, and their highest priority skills to develop for the future.  Additionally, they gain knowledge and tools to link their skill results with their Holland-based interests and their four-letter personality type; doing so enhances their understanding of their multifaceted selves.

Often clients are unaware of their career values. The O*NET® Work Importance Profiler™, a free online assessment, helps them become aware of their highest career values and the needs that underlie them.  With that information, career transitioners can compare their highest career values with those of various occupations in O*NET® Online.

The Page Work Behavior Inventory measures your clients’ work styles, leadership style, selling style, and more. Using O*NET® Online, they can compare their highest scoring work styles with occupations’ highest work styles to determine if various careers are a good match.

In summary, administering and interpreting these five assessments to career transitioners will help them fully understand their personality, interests, work styles, career values, and motivated skills. Then, they can establish a career direction that is most satisfying and motivating for them.

Member Spotlight – Sally Power

Editor: Sally, you’ve been involved in career development for quite awhile.  Tell us how it all began for you.

Sally:  My interest in helping people have more successful careers really started in the mid-1980s. At that time I was putting together a new course called Management: Challenges and Purpose (which became the beginning course for all MBA students for almost twenty years). The students in that course had time to reflect on management, the future, their personal strengths and weaknesses, and their values so that they could write a “personal growth statement” about what they wanted to do professionally and how they could achieve those goals. It was a great experience for me and taught me how important it is that individuals build their career aspirations both on who they are as a person and on what they see in the world that needs doing.

Editor:  At what point did you find yourself getting more actively involved in career development?

Sally:  In the mid 1990s, I had personally come to a turning point in my career. I had thought for a long time that I would eventually become a college administrator but when I had an opportunity to do some of that, I found that it was not personally rewarding. That led me to spend some quality time reviewing what I wanted to do next with the help of a career counselor. The upshot of that process was my articulation of my next goal as becoming an expert in some particular subject area. My next problem was – what would be the area?

Editor:  That’s exciting! You’ve been through your own career transition.  What happened next?

Sally:  I began reading what interested me and at the end of about a year, I had my subject area which was how workforce dynamics were changing and impacting people in midcareer. It was my concern that people already in the workforce were unlikely to have the time or recognize the need to revamp their career management skills. It took quite a while to build my knowledge but I kept at it and finally had an article published in an issue of The Counseling Psychologist. That was followed by my book, The Mid-Career Success Guide which is a self-help book that shows what I believe you need to do and how working people can do this by spending about four hours a month on those activities.

Editor:  Well, your persistence has paid off and you’ve become established in your field.  As you look to the future, what is on your horizon?

Sally:  Recently I have started another transition. My interest in the challenges facing the workforce as it continues to evolve at such a fast pace has continued and grown. And, as I have aged, my recognition that my time is precious has also grown. So, I have just taken the retirement deal at my institution and refocused my life to work as an independent consultant on the impact of workforce changes on career management both for individuals and organizations. Projects of interest to me are why more individuals do not upgrade their career management skills, how the career management skills of contract workers are different from the skills of traditional employees, and how companies can engage their workers in a way that not only improves the company’s performance but also improves the individuals’ career management abilities.

Editor:  Sally, I’d like to mention an accomplishment of yours that is of particular interest to MCDA.  Earlier this year you received the Research Award granted by MCDA to individuals who have made significant contributions to our field in the areas of research and publications.  Your long list of relevant books, articles and papers speak for themselves in support of this honor.  On behalf of the career development community, I thank you for your commitment to leading edge information and thought-provoking research and we look forward to your new topics of interest!

Book Review:   Work at Home Now: The No-Nonsense Guide to Finding Your Perfect Home-based Job, Avoiding Scams, and Making a Great Living by Christine Durst and Michael Haaren

Reviewed by Dina Bergren

Have you worked with clients who need or desire to work from home?  Have you searched for telecommuting jobs only to find questionable ads?  According to Work at Home Now authors, Christine Durst and Michael Haaren, approximately 1 out of 59 “work at home” job postings are legitimate.  This insightful book identifies trustworthy websites for professional telework (i.e. telecommuting) positions, provides online search strategies, and helps prepare individuals for telework success. 

Telework job sites are organized by “type” and include tips from insiders, company information, and position titles.  Job categories include: 

  • Consultants and subject matter experts;
  • Education, teaching, and tutoring;
  • Technical and web-related;
  • Accounting and financial;
  • Translation and linguistic;
  • Writing, editing, and proofreading;
  • And many more!

This book also lists telework-friendly companies that may allow more flexibility and freelance websites where applicants can bid for jobs.

Along with specific companies to target, the authors offer strategies on how to use search phrases and tools to manage a telework job search.  Examples of many search phrases are provided, along with tips on how to use tools such as Google Alerts ( to receive notifications of telecommuting job leads based on defined search criteria.  Strategies for searching niche job banks, large job banks, and job aggregators are also discussed.

Geared toward professionals in a variety of fields, it is packed with insightful tips on researching companies, creating resumes customized for telework, preparing for interviews, and even convincing employers on the benefits of telecommuting.  This book is a refreshing, information-packed resource for those seeking alternative work arrangements.   The authors’ website, called, also has current and updated telework sites.

SIG Spotlight on NCDPA

Northland Career Development Professionals Association (NCDPA) is a professional organization serving career development professionals from Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin, which meets in Duluth.  The group was designed to provide Northland career professionals a local organization that offers the opportunity to network and grow professionally. Members come from diverse positions including career counselors, job developers, life coaches, vocational rehab specialists, and school counselors.  The next meeting is September 29th on the topic “Live Your Strengths: Understanding and Using StrengthsQuest”.  If you’d like more information, please contact Kathy Pykkonen, President, at 715-394-8024 or email

Welcome to New Members

The following members joined MCDA June through August:

CurShonda Allen
Goodwill/Easter Seals

Christopher Feider

Tracy Germ
St. Mary’sUniversity ofMinnesota

Jane Haas

Nicolee Holmgren

Miranda Johnson

Janice Kalin
JLK & Associates

Danielle Lindquist
American Medical Systems

Sheryl Saul
Saint Mary’s University

Don Sletten

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