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Minnesota Career Development Association

President’s Message – National Career Development Month

November 6th, 2017 Leave a comment Go to comments

Hello MCDA Members and other Career Professionals,

As this year’s president of the Minnesota Career Development Association, I’d like to welcome you National Career Development Month; and encourage you to engage, renew or re-energize in career development — be it your students/clients or your own.

Let me explain …

Those who know me know that I am an unapologetic geek. I mainly geek out in two areas:

1. science-fiction/fantasy pop culture; and
2. encouraging everyday people to make informed career decisions that impact their lives and communities.

I’m weird. I know. Today I’m going to let my Freak Flag fly!

Usually my two passions don’t intersect. But as I thought about what I want for MCDA members, and the students and job seekers we serve, one word kept popping into my mind: Engage.

One of my favorite sci-fi franchises is Star Trek, specifically The Next Generation TV show from the early 1990s. When the captain of the starship Enterprise, Jean-Luc Picard, gives the order to move at warp speed, he says a simple but forceful command: Engage.

For National Career Development Month, and for the rest of 2017 and 2018, I challenge (not command) all career professionals to engage in your own career development.

1. Engage in our professional association.

November is Career Development MonthMCDA is ripe with opportunities for you to connect with other members, and help our organization to be relevant and useful for all. Volunteering for MCDA allow you to strengthen your professional skills, expand your network, and increase your capacity to help your students or job seekers.

Our Spring Conference Committee is currently looking for people with varied skills and interests to plan our annual conference. You can contact Committee Chair Heidi Stay at to learn more about opportunities to get involved.

2. Engage in your professional development.

One cannot pour from an empty cup. Take time this year to learn about a new career development theory or model. Get involved in your region’s career pathway initiatives. Job shadow or do an informational interview with a colleague working in a work setting different from yours.

You’re invited to join any and all MCDA RoundTable informal discussions that take place most months:

This week is our annual Fall Event at Bad Weather Brewery — with a twist. Our own Paul Timmins, current president of the National Career Development Association, will lead a workshop on “Future-Proof YOUR Career in the Changing World of Work: An Innovation Workshop for Career Professionals.” The twist is a networking social immediately following the afternoon workshop. Click here to register:

3. Engage your students and clients in their own career development.

Jean Luc Picard "Don't just wish for a greart 2017, make it so." Star Trek Next GenerationIt’s easy to get overwhelmed by the requirements our employers give us for working with students and job seekers. We might only work with a client for a short time, but there are opportunities to help them achieve their long-term career goals. What resources and insights can you provide to encourage job seekers to engage in their own career management?

MCDA is reviewing the resources we provide job seekers on our website: If you have suggestions for website content, let me know at I’d love to talk with you about new ideas for engaging students and job seekers.

Finally, you are invited to use social media engage with your fellow MCDA members and other career professionals on Twitter (@mn_mcda) and on LinkedIn. (Insider tip: Our LinkedIn group is where career development job openings are posted.)

I look forward to connecting with each of you online and in person over the next year. In the meantime, think of ways to engage during this National Career Development Month and beyond.

Live Long and Prosper,

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