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The MCDA Wellspring April, 2015


News from MCDA

News and updates from recent MCDA 

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What Keeps Employers Up at Night?  

Learn what American Red Cross recruiter Adrienne Alberts shared at our recent Skillbuilder event! 

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  • MCDA Conference - April 23 & 24
  • MCA DSM 5 Event - April 11
  • MCDA Skillbuilder -- June 11
  • NCDA CONFERENCE - June 29-July 2

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Feature Article: 

Transitioning to Retirement: Are YOU One of the Shoemaker’s Kids?

By Johari M. Rashad, Ph.D., CEO/Principal, JMR Training Solutions, LLCb

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MCDA Needs Your Help

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Nominations For Elections

Deadline – April 30, 2015

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MCDA Offers Online Classes for CEU’s


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News and Updates from MCDA
Greetings from the board of the Maryland Career Development Association!

As we all prepare for the upcoming  MCDA Annual Conference, we take a moment to reflect on some events and activities we've enjoyed so far this year.  In November, Marcia Hall led our members in a lively, engaging networking workshop. Our seasoned career coaches and counselors all learned something new about how to approach networking situations.   We put our skills to work the next month during our Holiday Extravaganza at the Columbia Ale House, where two dozen of our members found that while it was an "icy mix" outside, it was a mix of warm and fun people inside.  

MCDA members have been building our skills in 2015!  In January, Karen Chopra engaged us in an interactive exploration of boundaries. Through active discussion, we learned how to identify issues that are routed in poor boundary setting, and how to guide our clients through the process of setting firm boundaries.  In February, recruiter Adrienne Alberts provided us with an insider's view of "What Keeps Employers Up at Night." If you couldn't attend the workshop, you can read about it in this newsletter. 

In keeping with our conference theme of change, be sure to read MCDA member Johari Rashad's article on transitioning to retirement, -- where Johari challenges you to consider are you practicing what you preach? 

MCDA's fiscal year ends June 30, which means it is recruiting season for MCDA officers. We hope you'll consider joining our board.  Nominations due April 30 see the article in this newsletter for more details. 

MCDA would like to take a moment to thank Bruce Wahlgren of the Workforce Excellent Group for his incredible work to organize our upcoming conference.  Bruce has led the team in putting this together and has created a conference that offers excellent opportunities for learning and connecting.  Thank you, Bruce! 

We look forward to seeing you at the conference!

The MCDA Officers
Carolyn Owens, President
Sue Gordon, President-Elect
Maria Schaeffer, Treasurer
Rebecca Benner, Secretary 

MCDA Events


As you may know, we are holding our Annual Conference on the evening of Thursday, April 23 and all day on Friday, April 24, 2015 at the Doubletree Hotel in Columbia, Maryland. This year’s theme is "Tradition vs. Innovation: Developing Career Pathways in a Rapidly Changing World"   The conference starts Thursday evening with an optional session that includes dinner and a keynote presentation by Seth Hayden on career transition considerations for veterans.

We kick-off Friday with a keynote presentation by Mark Danaher, president of NCDA (National Career Development Association), followed by a full day of 12 different workshops from which to choose. Continental breakfast and lunch is included. 


MCA April Event on the DSM-V 

The Maryland Counseling Association is sponsoring a workshop on the DSM-V. The purpose of this workshop is to integrate information regarding DSM-5 using a case study approach. New and frequently used diagnoses such as major depressive disorder, disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD), bi-polar disorder, trauma and anxiety disorders will be discussed. 

Carman S. Gill, PhD., LPC, NCC, ACS– Dr. Gill is Immediate Past President of the Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and Reli- gious Values in Counseling (ASERVIC) and Associate Professor at Florida Atlanta University. She is a co-author of the DSM-5 Learning Companion, an ACA publication, and has served as a member of the DSM 5 taskforce for ACA.  




The National Career Development Association (NCDA) Annual Conference is holding its Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado, June 29-July 2.  This year is the theme is "Reimagining Life's Possibilities: Celebrating First Jobs through Encore Careers."  For more details go to http://www.ncda.org/aws/NCDA/pt/sp/conference_home


Skillbuilder: Building your Linkedin and Social Media Skills 

Attend professional development, hands on workshop, where you will:

  • Learn key elements of a professional LinkedIn Profile
  • Learn how to maximize the power of LinkedIn to find jobs and build your professional network
  • Identify how to use other social media tools, such as Twitter
  • Earn CEU’s

Thursday, June 11 - 9:00 am – Noon

Presented By:  Sue Gordon, MS, NCC, MCDA President Elect and Paula Brand, MCDA Past President (2013) 

Host Site:  Chesapeake College, Wye Mills, MD- just 15 minutes from the bridge

Continental Breakfast and Coffee Break Included

Questions?Contact Sue Gordon at MCDA.Pelect@mdcareers.org


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 MCDA Needs Your Help


MCDA needs your help! We are seeking a Webmaster and other volunteer positions

We are seeking a Webmaster!  If you possess good technical skills and would like to keep our website up to date, please let me know.   MCDA needs more volunteers on committees but also in Chair positions.  Every Committee welcomes new members.  If you are interested in joining or leading a committee, please contact Carolyn Owens at MCDA.President@MDCareers or Sue Gordon at MCDA.PElect@MDCareers.org


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 Check Out MCDA’s Online Classes For CEU's


Greet spring while putting a spring in your step by adding to your skill set. MCDA has been offering online courses to put a bounce in your abilities and update your capabilities. The three online courses are Occupational Information for the Career Advisor, Hidden Gems, and Working in the Green Economy. Successful completion of these courses earns you CEU clock hours for your recertification and professional development. Sign up at www.mdcareers.org by clicking on “Professional Dev” and then select the course you want to take.  Keep watching our website and newsletter because we hope to offer you more of these types of professional development opportunities in the near future.


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Feature Article: Transitioning to Retirement: Are YOU One of the Shoemaker’s Kids?

by Johari M. Rashad, Ph.D., CEO/Principal, JMR Training Solutions, LLC

For those in the career training/development/counseling/coaching business, this is a legitimate question. You know the old saying about the shoemaker’s children always going barefoot? How many of us have trained/counseled/coached others about the importance of planning for career transitions, but don’t follow that advice ourselves? Especially when the transition is a major one like retirement!

We know all the theories, steps, processes, etc., required for making successful career transitions, but do we practice what we preach? I’m willing to bet that a lot of my colleagues were/are scared, confused and foot-dragging when it came/comes to managing your own transition from full-time employment to retirement—even if retirement means starting or expanding your own business.

“Begin with the end in mind” is the philosophy that guided my recent retirement from the Federal Government in May 2014 after a 38-year career. I knew that I liked teaching and I loved helping people to start, navigate and manage their careers in the Federal Government. After carefully thinking about how I could combine my interests, skills, experiences and education to create a retirement life that would be fulfilling and lucrative, I decided that the best options would be to teach at the college level and/or open my own consulting practice. Since most collegiate teaching positions require a doctorate—even for adjunct professors—I enrolled part-time in a doctoral program 30 years before my retirement date and graduated 17 years before I retired. I was prepared when an opportunity to teach at a local college presented itself in 2005. By the time I retired, I had nine years of college teaching experience.

I started my consulting business, JMR Training Solutions, LLC in May 2014, right after my retirement. I continue to teach at the college I started with in 2005 and am currently looking at other adjunct teaching positions. My current “retirement” career seems to be going just as I had hoped—and planned.

Dr. Beverly Kaye once said that “career management is when preparation meets opportunity.” If you’re approaching a career milestone like retirement, advance preparation isn’t just recommended—it’s critical. We say that to our clients all the time, but do we do it? Take a look in the mirror: are YOU one of the shoemaker’s kids?


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Nominations for Elections

Due date for nominations is 4/30/2015

Have you ever considered volunteering with MCDA or running for office? If so, now is the time. We are officially accepting nominations for the following positions:

President-Elect  - description of duties
Treasurer - description of duties

These officers, together with the President, Past President,  and Secretary constitute the Officers of MCDA. In addition, there are numerous benefits and advantages that come with leading a state career development association (CDL) such as acquiring CEUs, professional development and networking opportunities with national leaders of NCDA and ACA. We urge you to join those of us who keep our organization moving forward.

n addition to these officer positions, we are seeking an Awards Committee Chair- this person would assist us in nominating and selecting recipients for our annual awards.

Interested candidates should send the following documentation to the nominations committee at MCDA.president@MDCareers.org.

In addition, if you would like to nominate a member, please forward their name, organization name, title and contact information (email and phone) to the Elections Committee at MCDA.ppresident@MDCareers.org and we will reach out to them.

All nominations must include:

· A professional resume of the proposed nominee.
· A letter from the nominee stating his or her willingness and ability to serve.
· When applicable, a letter from the nominee’s employer recognizing the time and resource commitment involved.

DEADLINE for Nominations: Friday, April 30, 2015

Find position descriptions on the MCDA website at www.mdcareers.org

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What Keeps Employers Up at Night? 

Contributed by Sue Gordon, MS, NCC, LCPC, MCDA President Elect 


“Eighty percent of employee turnover is the result of bad hiring.”  This is one of the many challenges that keep Adrienne Alberts up at night.  Alberts is Director of Operations and Programs in Talent Acquisition  at the American Red Cross, and she recently joined MCDA members to share her insights from “the other side of the desk.”


It’s a challenge to find the right talent at the right time and in the right place.   Increasingly, CEOs find they lack the talent they need to tackle big changes, and they have smaller budgets to find that talent. Technology is constantly changing; skill sets are continually shifting.  At the American Red Cross and other companies nationwide, the needs shift ahead of the development of talent.


For Alberts, the recruitment cycle adheres to a tight timeline.  It begins with meeting hiring managers to determine their needs- what type of employee will be a good fit for the position in question?  Once the position description is developed and agreed upon, she has 30 days to make a hire.  Recruiters such as Alberts are measured on several metrics- the amount of time it takes to fill a position, the to time have the hire “in the seat”, and the cost per hire. Cost per hire includes all activities involved in recruiting, such as travelling or attending a job fair.


Alberts shared a typical recruitment cycle.  Following the needs analysis with the hiring manager,  the cycle includes: sourcing, screening, interviewing, closing, and finally on-boarding.


To source for many types of talent, Alberts prefers to find a “passive candidate.”  Her concern is to find people who are currently succeeding in similar roles. Those individuals aren’t always actively looking and may not have applied through the website – though she does consider those candidates as well.  Ideally, networking leads to a candidate that is currently employed and using the skill set she seeks.  She’ll source these candidates through a variety of means—from traditional, face-to-face networking, referrals from the hiring manager and social media, especially LinkedIn.  A strong online presence—relevant blogs, tweets, etc. may catch her attention.  Alberts is interested in the quality of candidates over the quantity of candidates.  By sourcing candidates from the passive job market, Alberts finds that she has greater quality in her candidate pool.


The screening process takes the search to the next level. What keeps Adrienne up at night at this stage is they key question “is the candidate really going to be a good fit?”   This phase includes that initial resume review- Alberts found that her average time spent on initial resume review is eight seconds per resume.  Alberts is quickly scanning for the skills she is seeking on a well-developed, well written resume that is free of typographical errors.


At this stage, federal regulations are important- the American Red Cross is a federal contractor.  Legally, any federal contractor with more than 50 employees must meet metrics for hiring of protected classes of candidates. Therefore, federal contractors and their subcontractors are actively seeking veterans, people with disabilities, and people in protected categories of race, gender and sexual orientation, to name a few. Employers don’t necessarily see this data in the application, and that keeps them up at night. Therefore, it can be helpful to a recruiter if the job seeker does disclose their status in their application materials. Alberts recommends job seekers conduct research on employers to determine if such disclosure would be helpful- a clue would be if they have information on their website that discusses diversity hiring.


Once candidates pass the resume review they are invited to interview. An increasing trend is video interviewing, which provides savings in cost and travel.  Video interviews are used in two formats: live, via a tool such as Skype, or pre-recorded, which is helpful when it’s difficult to nail down time for an interview.  Alberts cautions applicants to dress appropriately and to check their surroundings, as well as video and audio quality.  And if you are only dressed for an interview from the top up, be sure you don’t stand up during the interview!  


After a successful round of interviews, Alberts is focused on closing the deal and bringing the candidate onboard. Depending on the position, she may be willing to negotiate salary, but for many entry-level jobs, she cannot.  The job seeker should be careful in how they request a salary adjustment, she recommends beginning with a question such as “Is there any room for negotiation?” – if the answer is no, Alberts would prefer the applicant not push it- they could lose the offer if they do.  If the answer is yes, she is interested in working with the candidate to close the deal.  Starting the search over would definitely keep her up at night.


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