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Minnesota Career Development Association

MCDA Newsletter for February/March


Download the February/March (Vol. 7) Newsletter


President’s Corner

Hello Career Development Colleagues,

I believe MCDA offers many benefits to our members and community.  One of the most valuable – as we heard from the strategic plan feedback – is our annual conference.  This year’s PDI and conference is coming up soon on April 27th and 28th, and I want to encourage you to be there!  The conference co-chairs and committee are working hard to offer stimulating topics again this year.

In the past I’ve always been glad I took time to attend the conference, for three reasons:

  • I’ve gained new or additional knowledge to enhance my professional development
  • I connected with talented career development professionals (and had fun!)
  • I came away re-energized and more excited to serve my clients each day

Could you benefit from any of these?  If so, I hope you’ll register today.  We offer an exceptional conference experience which embodies my theme for the year of “Strengthening Career Professionals to Serve Others”.  I hope you’ll take this opportunity to strengthen your own professional development.  See you soon!

Kim Marrone
President 2016-2017

April Lunch N’ Learn

Have you ever wondered why working with recruiters can be challenging or frustrating? Why do they respond quickly at times and then nothing but silence at other times?

What are the key drivers to working effectively with recruiters? It doesn’t need to be a frustrating experience if you understand what recruiters want and how they manage their openings. What is the difference between ‘3rd Party’ Recruiters and ‘Corporate’ Recruiters?

Tune in for this Lunch and Learn session hosted by Tom Colosimo from the Minnesota Career Development Association.

Tom has 6 years of ‘3rd Party’ Recruiting experience and has been working in contract ‘Corporate’ Recruiting roles over the past 8 months.  He has seen the inner workings of the activities of recruiters, first hand.  Tom has presented on this topic at numerous events over the past four years with great response and engaging sessions. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to learn the methods on how to work with recruiters.

2017 Minnesota Careers Conference

CAREER EVOLUTION: Increasing “Fit-agility”

Register before April 14th to get the EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT!

You are planning to register and haven’t taken the time.

Get if off your mind and get a discount too!

Register at:

New Venue for 2017

This year the conference will be held at the New Brighton Community Center with lots of space to relax, spend time with colleagues, visit sponsors and learn new techniques and innovative approaches to bring back to your clients.

Professional Development Institute (PDI)

The conference begins on Thursday, April 27th with a half-day PDI by nationally certified Global Development Facilitator and Instructor, Jim Peacock. Jim will discuss:

“Moving Clients from ‘Stuck’ to ‘Action’:

Two approaches for successful career transition

Jim will take us through Schlossberg’s Transition Theory and the four factors that affect one’s ability to cope with transition: Situation, Self, Support, Strategies (4 S’s). He will introduce us to the Change and Choice Wheel, a tool to help clients through their career transition process.


Present the “Happenstance Theory” as a way to coach clients in creating unplanned events to explore and discover new occupations – what Jim calls, “intentional serendipity.”

Keynote, Breakouts and Networking Social

On Friday, April 28th, you will hear a dynamic keynote from DeAnna Murphy, author, speaker, and master facilitator of transformational learning.  DeAnna will address the topic of Career Evolution: Increasing “Fit-agility.  You will be inspired by her message and her interactive approach to helping clients find their career fit.

DeAnna will use an Appreciative Inquiry approach to show how clients can access their own success patterns, strengths and inner resources to get unstuck and find a new way forward. 

Breakout Sessions and Networking Social

The day-long conference will include breakout sessions led by professionals on a variety of career-related subjects, and end with a Networking Social to connect with colleagues, enjoy refreshments, and an opportunity to win door prizes!

Quantity vs. Quality: How to Approach Dating and Interviewing

By Darren Kaltvedt, M.Ed.

When it comes to which is better – quantity or quality, your answer might be – it depends. It depends on what exactly we’re talking about, and in what context too. For example, would you rather have gone on 50 average dates, or 1 date that was far better than any other date you’ve ever been on before?

If you believe in love at first sight, know yourself well and what you want…you might just go with the one. However, if you don’t know yourself or what you’re truly looking for in that special someone…then you might decide on 50 dates. Let’s be honest…going on 50 dates can be damaging to the bank account. I recently watched a news story about a woman whose goal was to go on 52 dates in 52 weeks. What happens if she meets her prince charming on date 1? What she forgo the remaining 51 dates? Would she even know what her prince charming would look like or act like? Chances are she is more interested in quantity vs. quality, and might not exactly know what she wants or is looking for. The moral of the story is that knowing who you are and what you’re looking for is the key variable to achieving your goals.

Quality is Most Important:

And that totally makes sense. We only want to read things that are worth our time and are useful, moving, noteworthy, unique, relevant, well thought out, etc. – especially when it’s the kind of information that’s supposed to help us improve some aspect of our personal or professional lives. The same is not only true when it comes to dating, but is also true when it comes to interviewing for employment opportunities. Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different outcomes.” Here are a few tips/suggestions to help you develop a higher quality experience…both when it comes to dating and interviewing:

  1. Know Yourself: Assessing one’s values, strengths, weaknesses, passions, attributes and skills will develop greater self-awareness and help clarify your goals. Accept who you are rather than who you think others want you to be. Having self-confidence is one of the most important aspects to any situation. For instance, most people are reluctant to support an initiative/proposal that is being pitched by someone who is scared, fumbling or over apologetic. However, these same people will be more persuaded by someone who speaks clearly, who holds his or her head high, who answers questions assuredly, and who readily admits if they do not know something.
  2. Know What You Want: Assess what values and characteristics in a company/person are most important to you; which ones are you okay with overlooking if not on your list? What personal or professional goals do you have for yourself and how will the company/person help you achieve them? The process of setting goals is a powerful process that gives you long term vision and short-term motivation. By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you know where and how to focus your efforts. When it comes to dating, both people usually try to get a sense of why the other person is there. Do they want to hook-up, meet a new friend, or have a long-term relationship? As for the interview, employers are wondering the same thing…well, more so why you are applying for the position. Are you looking for a short-term/part-time position, or are you looking for something more long-term? Either way, make sure that you approach both situations honestly and with clarity – this will help reassure them that you are there for the right reasons!
  3. Do You Complement Each Other?While knowing yourself and what you want is one thing, it is also important to know them. When it comes to dating, this is what we call the Q and A session. Start off with the question “tell me a little about yourself.” Assess what information they share about themselves; is it consistent with their online profile, or does it compliment what you are looking for? If they start spouting off everything on their Facebook profile…they are probably a stalker and might make you cringe. However, they may instead speak to their values and lifestyle requirements; using creative ways to truly show their inner-self. When it comes to the interview – it is expected that you research the company extensively. This doesn’t mean memorizing their “about us” page (you don’t want to be the creepy Facebook person), but instead research news articles from credible sources or network with professionals who have a more direct connection to the company -this will provide you with a deeper understanding of the company. For most interviews you will be asked a question related to “why us.” I recommend identifying at least three attributes about the company that specifically attract you to them. The more the attributes have depth, the better the response.
  4. Are You Applying Elsewhere (Dating Other People)? Picture yourself on a date with someone that you come to find out has been on 50 dates prior to the one you are currently on. What perception does that create? Are you just another number? Why haven’t they had any success and can they explain why? Unless you are on “The Bachelor”, dating multiple people might not be the best approach. Remember, there are many out there who would be interested in dating only you! As for the interview – you can almost be guaranteed to be asked this question. While some may seem to be honest, I suggest that only mentioning (if applicable) interviews which are with companies of a competitive nature. The employer wants someone who is focused on their career aspirations and knows what they want and when they find it. By going on an interview, you have indicated that you strongly feel you are an ideal fit within their organization…and know why. Approaching an interview with the idea that you just need a job is not the best approach. Like in dating, there are many others out there who would love the opportunity to be in your situation solely because of how much they would love to work with that company. Thus, be selective on who you go on date 2 with (or interview with).

By knowing yourself, knowing what you want, where there are bridges between you and them, and knowing who they are will result in an overall quality dating and interviewing experience. Let’s be real, dating and interviewing have a lot in common – especially when it comes to determining if you are a right fit for each other. Good luck!

Introducing you to one of our MCDA volunteers…

Meet Lisa Ash!

I worked for an employee engagement company as an Accounts Manager since 1999. Some years ago, I became interested in career development which led me to go back to school to obtain my M.A. in Human Development with an emphasis on career counseling and advising. I look forward to graduating this fall, and hope to find a job either in higher education or working with women transitioning back to the workforce after a career break.

A number of years ago, I decided to switch to part-time employment to spend more time with my children. As the children grew older, I thought about returning to work full-time. As I began to reevaluate my own career path, I realized that I wanted to do something different. I wanted to find a fulfilling career that would blend my natural talents with my interests. My personal experience led me to become particularly interested in working with other women like myself who had taken a career break. I realized that these women faced a number of unique challenges as they navigated their return to the workforce and I wanted to help them, so I co-founded an organization aimed at helping women build connections and skills to enable them to transition back to paid employment.

I have been a member of MCDA for 3 years. For the last two years, I have worked on the MCDA’s Spring Conference Committee as co-chair of the Registrations Committee, which has been a wonderful way for me to combine my project-management skills with my interest in career development. Being a member and volunteer has provided me with many networking and learning opportunities such as MCDA’s round tables and educational workshops where I have met new people and connected with others in the career development field. I would highly recommend joining the MCDA if you are new to the field. It has helped me arrange several informational interviews with the connections I’ve made through this professional organization.

Winter Event

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words! “Designing Your Life” Career Ideas Festival was this year’s MCDA Winter Event, co-sponsored by Minnesota Career Development Association. The half-day event on Friday, March 10, included a hands-on workshop by Life Design Lab co-founder Dave Evans. For more photos, go to:

MCDA March RoundTable Recap        

Eight MCDA members met at the Davanni’s in Roseville on March 15th for a lively roundtable discussion on the topic of Reimagining Mentoring: Building Your Own Board of Advisors.The discussion was led by Sharon Balke and Gordon Helle from the Capella University Career Center.

The premise of the discussion was that mentoring doesn’t necessarily have to take the form of a formal, one-on-one relationship. The group explored the idea that intentionally developing a variety of less formal mentoring relationships and surrounding yourself with a personal “Board of Advisors” can be even more impactful to your professional development.

One individual, regardless of how accomplished and experienced, usually can’t fill every role you may need in a mentor (e.g., Role Model, Navigator, Connector, Advocate, Confidant). The less formal “Board of Advisors” approach to mentoring can feel less daunting to initiate, removes the pressure trying to find the one “perfect mentor” (the myth of the “superhero”) and allows you to seek out a variety of mentors to fill different roles. Another analogy for this approach is that of a “Spice Rack”. Finally, the group discussed strategies for establishing and maintaining mentoring relationships.

MCDA Members Encouraged to Use LinkedIn 

Recently the MCDA LinkedIn group became an open group that accepts any LinkedIn members. We made this change for our group to be found more easily when searching for groups, to increase awareness of MCDA, and to expand the impact in our community.

With this change, we’d like to encourage MCDA members to actively connect with each other and other career professionals. Some of the ways to participate within the MCDA moderated LinkedIn group are:

  • Share job postings with other career development professionals
  • Network with individual members of the group
  • Read or participate in group discussions – become a thought leader!
  • Ask the group for advice or information

Already a member of LinkedIn? Search “Minnesota Career Development Association” to find and join our group. Not an (active) member of LinkedIn? Remember that you can use this powerful social networking tool free of charge in your professional development: “10 Reasons Why ALL Professionals Should Use LinkedIn.”

Newsletter Editors

We would love to hear from you and welcome your contributions!

Bushra Rizvi, GCDF

Lesley Farnham, M.A.









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