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Career Trends

Creating Unicorn Careers: Navigating the Future of Work with STEM

By Tam Nguyen

Having delved into the intriguing Forecast of Canadian Occupational Growth that we shared in last week's newsletter, what truly captivates my attention is not just the sectors that are expected to flourish by 2030, but rather the emphasis on the skills, trends, and strategies that are more likely to be resilient in the future. This emphasis on a skill-based approach is considered foundational in this era of the rapidly changing world of work.

The research revealed a pivotal realization: what we, as workers, educators, advisors, and policymakers need to prepare for or help our clients prepare for lies not within a single realm of expertise, but rather in the multifaceted cultivation of skills. "This highlights that training policies and programs should not focus on any one area of knowledge, skill, or ability to best prepare people for the future of work, but instead support skills development on multiple fronts."

One example is STEM – a sector undoubtedly expected to grow. Yet the report highlights the fact that not only highly technical skills are required; interpersonal skills and creativity are critical in the landscape of 2030. How could career practitioners help our clients chart their careers with science-focused skills and other creative career interests?

Our upcoming October speaker – Alaina G. Levine might have an answer for your STEM career questions. With a background in mathematics, Alaina grappled with what other career choices she could pursue aside from being a math professor. Despite being told "nothing" by her career advisor, she embarked on a remarkable journey, ingeniously interweaving her mathematical prowess with an unexpected passion—comedy. Today, she stands as a well-known STEM career coach, professional speaker, corporate comedian, and author.

Her unique data-driven approach in career practice has helped scientists and engineers design meaningful careers, combining the love of science and creativity to solve problems and serve the community. Have you ever wondered how the love of physics and dance can spark a unique career path? Or how baking and chemical engineering can turn into a joyful impact-driven career choice?

Our journey as workers and career practitioners toward the future of work beckons us to go beyond conventional boundaries. The horizon of 2030 requires not just specialists, but versatile trailblazers who embrace diverse skills and the adaptability to craft careers that are not only economically fruitful but also resonate deeply with our inner aspirations, ushering in the era of the "Unicorn Career."

To know more about Alaina and our fire chat session in October, click this link and register for the event. And most importantly, share your pressing questions directly with our speaker to enrich the conversation.

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New Career Development Term: Intersectionality

By Dr. Marilyn Maze

You have probably heard of DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion), but Intersectionality is a slightly less-known term defined as an analytical framework for understanding how a person's various social and political identities combine to create different modes of discrimination and privilege. Intersectionality relates to gender equality and social justice and identifies multiple factors of advantage and disadvantage.

GenderLab of India gave APCDA two webinars on this topic.  In the first webinar, we experiences Intersectionality by applying it to ourselves (available here). In the second webinar, we looked at ways it applies to work settings (available here).  The term "DEI" (Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion) is in common use today, but Intersectionality helps us to experience and understand these terms in a very personal way that helps us a counselors and practitioners to be more in tune with the feelings of our clients. 

We began by completing our own Social Identity Wheel which asked us to list various types of identities that make us who we are, including Age, Gender, Sex, Sexual Orientation, Religious/Spiritual beliefs, Caste/Race/Ethnicity, Physical/Emotional/Developmental Abilities, and Languages. We were asked which of these identities we think about most often? Least often? Which identities have the strongest effect on how we perceive ourselves? How others perceive us?

How much do labels affect us? It is important to see our identity as we perceive it and as others perceive it. The term Intersectionality was developed in the 1980’s by Kimberly Crenshaw (see TED Talk below).  Intersectionality relates to stereotypes and binary thinking of all kinds - disabilities, ethnic background, social-economic background. Through various examples, the group explored how different identities we hold make us experience different feelings in life - it could be those of pride, shame, anger, joy, etc. These feelings influence how we interact with those who hold the same or different identities.

The presenter asked us to think about our own identities which made a difference in our career paths and have impacted our ability to reach our goals or to prevent us from reaching our goals. She shared that while we are attempting to be inclusive and open to creating space for all identities, a critical step is to understand what it means to have an intersectional lens. It is when we learn about intersectionality, that we are able to acknowledge and learn about the various kinds of identities in connection with each other. That will inform our practices towards inclusion. Each of us must take responsibility to learn the feelings of others who have had different experiences than we have had.

GenderLab provided a number of materials and a Toolkit to us to help us use and continue to explore these concepts with our clients.  These materials are available on the recorded webinar pages, and all APCDA Members are encouraged to watch these webinars and consider adding this concept to your practice.  Please let us know how this works for you.

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Insights from Gallup

State of the Global Workplace, 2023 Report


The State of the Global Workplace 2023 Report, compiled by Gallup, offers a comprehensive analysis of employee engagement worldwide. As career professionals, it is helpful for us to understand the insights provided, especially as they relate to the Asia Pacific region.

Engagement Rebound and its Significance:

According to the report, 23% of the global workforce now report being in a thriving state at work, representing a significant recovery from the decline observed in 2020. This resurgence highlights the intrinsic motivation and fulfillment experienced by workers worldwide and reinforces the link between engagement and positive work outcomes. However, the remaining 77% of employees who are not fully engaged pose crucial questions that demand our attention.

Key Findings and Implications:

This article highlights the key findings from the report and presents questions on  which members can reflect.

1. The Cost of Low Engagement:

Low employee engagement had a staggering economic impact, amounting to $8.8 trillion or 9% of global GDP. This finding emphasizes the critical connection between engagement and business outcomes, underscoring the need to create work environments that foster purpose, meaningful relationships, and development opportunities.

2. Overcoming Quiet Quitting:

Research indicates that 6 in 10 employees quietly disengage but can be re-engaged with a few workplace changes. This finding emphasizes the positive correlation between engagement and productivity, highlighting the importance of investing in human capital, upskilling initiatives, and inclusive economic policies to nurture a thriving workforce.

3. The Role of Leadership and Management:

Leadership and management directly impact workplace engagement. Organizational culture, leadership styles, and transparent communication are possibly some of the key factors in employee satisfaction. Inclusive leadership styles, autonomy, and a supportive culture that encourages growth play a vital role in fostering engagement.

4. Regional Contexts and Disparities:

While the overall engagement numbers are encouraging, there are significant disparities across regions. Data from different parts of the world shed light on the diverse aspects that influence workplace engagement. From a sense of purpose and pride in work to strong camaraderie and friendships with colleagues, social connections and meaningful experiences play a crucial role in fostering engagement.

Comparison by Region


East Asia

South Asia

Southeast Asia

Australia/ New Zealand

Thriving at work






Quiet quitting






Loud quitting


















Job climate good






Intent to leave






In this table, we see that US/Canada and South Asia have the highest percentage of workers who are thriving, while Southeast Asia and Australia/New Zealand have the highest percentage who have quietly quit. The number of workers who have quit loudly is fairly similar, but East Asia and South Asia are tied for highest with Southeast Asia the lowest.  Stress is much higher in the US/Canada, East Asia, and Australia/New Zealand.  Anger is higher in South Asia.  Workers in Australia/New Zealand feel best about the job market (although all regions feel positive about the job market) and the intent to leave is similar across these regions but lowest in Australia/New Zealand (in spite of the get outlook for finding a new job).

Conclusion and Call to Action:

The report provides valuable insights into the current state of employee engagement, highlighting its drivers, challenges, and potential solutions. Career professionals must prioritize employee well-being, foster inclusive cultures, and recognize the transformative power of engagement.

As we contemplate the report's findings, let us ponder the following questions together:

  1. How can we unlock the untapped potential within the remaining 77% of employees?
  2. How can we redefine work cultures to cultivate purpose, growth, and fulfillment?
  3. How can we collectively shape a future where employees thrive, and organizations flourish?

By considering these questions and implementing the report's recommendations, career professionals can play a crucial role in creating a workforce that is engaged, productive, and satisfied.

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    Biggest Challenges in Our Region

    Based on Member Meeting Discussion

    At the Annual Member Meeting, we used breakout rooms to ask attendees to talk about the biggest challenges they are facing in providing career services right now.  Six major themes were mentioned:

      1. Lack of resources, including lack of trained professionals
      2. Lack of common understanding of and respect for career services
      3. Lack of quality standards for career services
      4. Social Justice Issues
      5. Conflict between personal preference for working remotely and corporate preference for working in-office
      6. The casualization of the workforce

    We will describe each of these separately.

    1. Lack of resources, including lack of trained professionals

    In many areas within our region, training in providing career services is not widely available, which means that few professionals are available to provide career services.  For example, in Cambodia, the profession of career practitioner is still new and not many people are working in this field. Tools in Cambodia to support people to find the right career are still lacking. Vietnam reported a similar situation. 

    Among our Not-high Income Areas, the lack of resources was especially frustrating.  One attendee from the Philippines said, “My biggest challenge is to deliver career development programs to all stakeholders of our institution since the number of Career Counselors/Practitioners is not enough. At this time, we are only 2 licensed professional counselors with more than 11 thousand students at our university.” Even if people are eager to get training, the ability to pay a professional salary with benefits is limited.  One way to deal with the shortage of staff would be to develop more techniques for delivering large-scale services rather than one-on-one.  This is a challenge that APCDA hopes to address by asking our members to provide webinars explaining how to serve groups of clients more effectively. 

    In most of our region, it appears that career services are not readily available for people who are not in universities.  While some of our areas have good university career services, there are far fewer services outside of this setting.  Attendees from the US, Australia, and several other areas reported this issue, with a special concern about the lack of services for immigrants.

    2. Lack of common understanding of and respect for career services

    Another widespread issue is that the public does not know what career services are and does not recognize a need for such services.  One attendee gave this example: “In Indonesia, especially in less-developed areas, the awareness and knowledge about career practices is still very low. People who don't know about career development won't be able to understand how much they need it.”  The whole concept of career management is not well-known.  Often, the public thinks it is a service to find jobs for people.

    In other areas, there is a stigma attached to the concept of “counseling.”  One attendee reported, “When parents think about “counselling,” they view it as a mental health issue rather than a career support.” Others agreed that the misconception around bringing issues to a guidance office is that it has a negative connotation. One attendee said, “In Philippines, there is a cultural mindset that career counseling is not useful.” We need to make career services more popular. 

    Technology is rapidly changing what clients are looking for and how they expect to find it.  First, many people find their own answers online and never consult a professional.  Second, many career practitioners have little expertise or resources that assist youth to identify potential careers.  Most career practitioners know how to guide youth in their exploration, but unless career practitioners can provide assistance that is more trusted, attractive, and widely available than Google, we can’t expect clients to come to us for help.  We all face the problem of gaining the respect of the general public.  Recognizing Social Media as a major competitor, how do we gain the respect of potential clients? And how do we compete with Social Media related to cost? 

    A related concern in China is that millions of young people learn knowledge and techniques online.  This is a very popular way to gain skills. We need to enhance the reputation of career services so young people seek advice before jumping into a field that is recommended on social media. Some of the negative attitude toward career services may be caused by lack of training.  “In the Philippines, the recognition of the expertise of career practitioners is limited as this is delegated to licensed guidance counselors.” Guidance counselors do not always have career counseling expertise.  All agreed that we need to find better ways to attract youth to career services.

    3. Lack of quality standards for career services

    The idea of standards of quality in the provision of career services is very complex.  Many areas in our region are just beginning to face the issue of standards of training for career practitioners. Several areas have training programs with no quality standards set up to guide them.  Others are seeking people with more experience in our field who have developed expertise and leadership skills to lead and advance the state of career services. 

    Related comments include:

      • “In Philippines, we need training of staff (guidance counselors) in K-12  schools – this is a training issue.”
      • “In Singapore, the need is for career practitioners to step up and be more productive, and use the government initiatives more effective.”
      • “We need to communicate better.  We need more consistency.  Now that everything is moving online, we are losing control of the results.”
      • In Pakistan, a more systematic approach is needed.
      • “We need a standard for qualified career practitioners in each country/area. Making policies that state how important career development practitioners roles are can be another solution.”
      • “Professional development of practitioners in the region, in developing and developed countries alike, as changes and updates in career services are urgent.”
      • “In India, it's the difference in standards, access and cost/affordability. We have A or B Class cities. Career counselling has a good reputation in schools, but not in the small towns.”

    Many areas in our region are just beginning to define what training of career practitioners involves.  As these areas expand the number of professionals who consider them career professionals, certification of quality becomes an issue.  Several countries have multiple training programs with no quality standards to guide them.  While some countries have standards in place, these standards may not be uniformly enforced. The process of developing the field of career development practices is very complex and takes time.

    4. Social justice issues

    Career services can be very helpful to people living on the margins, but do these people have access to career services?  One attendee explained, “In Australia: career work is quite systemic and available nation-wide available, but there is a need to reach out to the marginalized. We still have a big issue with lack of access to quality career development for marginalized people. In Victoria where I live the government has just cut funding to many services.”  Attendees want to see the promotion of global citizenship and UN SDGs among youth, strengthening the concept of career development as a lifelong process beyond jobs/occupations. 

    5. Conflict between personal preference for working remotely and corporate preference for working in-office

    There has been a cultural shift, debate, and radical change in the workplace surrounding allowing remote work or requiring in-office work.  COVID caused widespread immediate remote work for extended periods, and many people don’t want to return to the pre-COVID style of working. It appears that this issue affects our region broadly.

    6. The casualization of the workforce

    Casualization of the workforce refers to the process in which employment shifts from a preponderance of full-time and permanent positions to casual and contract positions. Employers tend to feel less commitment to the well-being of part time or temporary workers.  Often temporary workers are forced to work strange schedules which do not allow them to plan their own lives.  They cannot go back to school to improve themselves because they have no fixed schedule.  Part time and temporary workers have fewer benefits and often experience higher levels of illness with less access to health care. Several countries reported an increase of casualization of the workforce.

    7. Country-specific Issues

      • Japan: the challenge is the cultural shift from having a stable job for life (HR guiding) to needing more self-direction.  This is related to the casualization of the workplace, but the Japanese situation has a unique aspects.
      • Canada: International students struggle to find a job in Canada for Residency.  We need more effective job placement for those students to assure they find jobs compatible with their qualifications.
      • It was very interesting to hear about the family influence in Pakistan which is something career practitioners need to adapt to in their work.

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    Is Climate Change a Threat?

    By Lloyd’s Register Foundation

    As it heats up across the Northern Hemisphere, the seasonal chatter on climate is likely to make an appearance in your conversations. Here's a global look from the Lloyd's Register Foundation World Risk Poll at who is most concerned about climate change. People in Latin America and the Caribbean lead the rest of the world in describing climate change as a very serious threat to their country in the next 20 years.

    APCDA is offering a webinar about how climate change can be mitigated through Green Jobs on July 20, but according to the above poll, Asian countries are not too worried about this issue.  Could this be true?  Learn more about the data upon which the above graph is based.  It was collected by Lloyd’s Register Foundation.  To learn more: The Lloyd's Register Foundation World Risk Poll

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    Work Locations for U.S. Employers with Remote-Capable Jobs

    By Gallup

    With kids out of school and workers eyeing some vacation time to enjoy the warm weather, summer is arguably the time of year when employees need their work schedule to flex the most. Today, half of America's workers can happily juggle all of that more effectively due to their hybrid work arrangements — but it may also be a time of talent loss for those employers who refuse to flex with their workers.

    These data only refer to remote-capable jobs.  We know many jobs, such as manufacturing, hospitality, and retail, must be done in-person.  This graph shows how the work location for these jobs was changed by the pandemic and is still changing as we attempt to find a new normal.  In the United States, the new normal appears to favor hybrid work.  What is happening in your area?

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    These are the 5 Fastest Growing Jobs in the World

    Reprinted from the World Economic Forum

    These fastest growing jobs are predicted to expand as automation and the energy transition transform the way we work.

    1. AI and Machine Learning Specialist: 39% growth
    2. Sustainability Specialist: 33% growth
    3. Business Intelligence Analyst: 32% growth
    4. Information Security Analyst: 31% growth
    5. Fintech Engineer: 31% growth

    Meanwhile, these five jobs are expected to decline the most.

    1. Bank Teller and related clerks: 40% decline
    2. Postal Service Clerk: 40% decline
    3. Cashier and Ticket Clerk: 37% decline
    4. Data Entry Clerk: 36% decline
    5. Administrative and Executive Secretary: 34% decline

    These figures cover 673 million workers, a subset of the International Labor Organization dataset and not the total 3.3 billion people in work globally.

    The energy transition could add an estimated 30 million jobs by 2030 in clean energy efficiency and low emissions technologies and 3.5% a year to the global GDP.

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    How can Chat GPT be Used by a Career Practitioner?

    By Marilyn Maze and Chat GPT

    Today I was talking to a friend about my part of the conference presentation called “Demystifying AI.” He told me that no career counselor would be interested in what I have to say.  Instead, I should address the question “How can Chat GPT be used by a Career Practitioner?”  So, I decided to ask Chat GPT that question.  Below is the answer it provided. 

    i could have written a better description of a Career Counselor - i am sure you could have also.  But it provided a well-constructed place to start.  if I had to write a description of a career counselor, I would have been happy to begin with that description and edit it, rather than starting from scratch.  Many people recommend this use of Chat GPT - let it provide a first draft, then improve the document.  

    I would like to hear your answer to the question, “How can Chat GPT be used by a Career Practitioner?”  After reviewing the list of uses provided by Chat GPT about how you might use it in your work, I believe that you could offer a few more ways to use it. Please let me know other ways you have used it or could imagine using it in your work, and I will add your responses to this article.

    The following is my conversation with Chat GPT, verbatim:

    Me: What is the job description of a career counselor?

    ChatGPT:  A career counselor, also known as a career advisor or career consultant, is a professional who provides guidance and support to individuals in making informed decisions about their career paths. Their primary goal is to assist clients in identifying and pursuing suitable career choices based on their interests, skills, values, and goals. The job description of a career counselor typically includes the following:

    • Assessing clients: Career counselors assess clients' skills, interests, abilities, and personality traits through interviews, tests, and assessments. They use this information to gain a comprehensive understanding of the client's individual strengths and preferences.
    • Providing guidance: Based on the assessment results, career counselors offer guidance and advice to clients on potential career options. They help individuals explore different occupations, industries, and educational pathways that align with their interests and goals.
    • Offering career planning: Career counselors assist clients in creating personalized career plans. They help clients set realistic and achievable goals, develop action steps, and provide resources to support their career development journey.
    • Assisting with job search strategies: Career counselors aid clients in developing effective job search strategies. They may provide guidance on resume writing, interview preparation, networking techniques, and job application strategies.
    • Providing educational information: Career counselors stay updated on educational programs, training opportunities, and industry trends. They provide clients with relevant information about educational and training programs that can enhance their skills and qualifications for specific careers.
    • Conducting workshops and seminars: Career counselors may organize and conduct workshops, seminars, or group sessions on various career-related topics. These sessions can cover areas such as resume writing, interview skills, career exploration, and job search strategies.
    • Offering support and encouragement: Career counselors provide emotional support and encouragement to clients, especially during challenging times such as career transitions or job loss. They help individuals overcome obstacles and build resilience in pursuing their career goals.
    • Collaboration with other professionals: Career counselors often collaborate with educators, employers, and other professionals to gather information about job trends, industry requirements, and educational programs. This collaboration helps them provide accurate and up-to-date advice to their clients.

    Overall, career counselors play a vital role in helping individuals make informed decisions about their careers, navigate job markets, and achieve their professional aspirations.

    Me: Which of these tasks can be assisted by Chat GPT?

    ChatGPT: Chat GPT can assist with several tasks related to career counseling, including:

    • Providing information: Chat GPT can offer information about various careers, educational programs, job market trends, and industry requirements. It can provide a wide range of information to help individuals explore different career options.
    • Answering questions: If individuals have specific questions about careers, job search strategies, or educational pathways, Chat GPT can provide answers based on the knowledge it has been trained on.
    • Offering guidance: Chat GPT can offer general guidance and suggestions based on common career development principles and practices. It can provide insights on factors to consider when choosing a career, evaluating skills and interests, or developing a career plan.
    • Assisting with resume writing: Chat GPT can help individuals with basic guidance on resume writing, such as formatting suggestions, key sections to include, and tips for showcasing skills and experiences effectively.
    • Providing interview tips: Chat GPT can offer general advice and tips for interviews, such as how to prepare for common interview questions, strategies for presenting oneself confidently, and tips for effective communication.
    • Exploring career options: Chat GPT can assist in exploring different career options based on an individual's interests, skills, and preferences. It can provide insights into various industries, potential job roles, and educational pathways associated with specific careers.
    • Offering motivational support: Chat GPT can provide encouragement and support to individuals during their career exploration or job search journey. It can offer general motivational messages and tips to help individuals stay focused and resilient.

    It's important to note that while Chat GPT can provide useful information and guidance, it should not be considered a substitute for personalized advice from a professional career counselor. Career counseling often involves a deep understanding of an individual's unique circumstances and requires tailored guidance that takes into account specific goals and aspirations.

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    Can ChatGPT be an Effective Career Coach?

    by Han Kok Kwang, 1st NCDA Master Trainer in Asia & 1st APCDA legacy partner

    Forget all the noise and rage about ChatGPT!

    Have you tried it yet?

    If not, you are missing out on the next big thing, like when the Internet and smart phone first appeared!

    If you are not convinced, just look at the impressive statistics of how fast ChatGPT took to reach 100 million users:

    • the telephone took 75 years
    • mobile phones took at least 16 years
    • World Wide Web took 7 years
    • WhatsApp took 3.5 years
    • Instagram took 2.5 years
    • Twitter took 5 years
    • TikTok did it in nine months after its global launch

    And ChatGPT?

    2 months!

    It actually reached 1 million users in just 5 days!

    According to chatGPT itself, it is "an artificial intelligence language model designed to communicate with humans using natural language."

    While ChatGPT's abilities seem impressive, it is critical to remember that it can't understand the nuances of human language and conversation. As a result, its responses may seem a bit shallow or lacking in depth and insight. The risks of misuse and misinformation are there, so it's vital to be aware of the tool's limitations and weaknesses.

    This is where you make the difference. Use ChatGPT to supplement (not replace) your effectiveness at work and you’ll be streets ahead. If you use it to do everything for you, then you risks becoming redundant! Be forewarned.

    In the wise words of Bill Gates, "AI can magnify the best and worst of humanity. That’s why we need to be thoughtful about how we use it."

    Bottom-line: it can make you a better or worst person, depending on your core self.

    There’s no doubt ChatGPT is a very powerful tool.

    The scary part?

    It is learning and improving every day, 24/7, on its own!

    Playing the role of a “career coach”, it can help you do the following with ease:

    • Brainstorm and research ideas for you
    • Find the best keywords by analyzing thousands of resumes and job descriptions
    • Get ideas about industry, jobs and salary trends
    • Summarize and reword your stories for desired impact 
    • Create your LinkedIn profile for you!

    It is a master of “content aka what”!

    But it cannot

    • Journey with you through good times and bad
    • Appreciate your qualities and strengths beyond your resume
    • Guide you on how to career plan & job search successfully
    • Support you when the chips are down 
    • Cheer you on every win, big or small.

    With ChatGPT, career coaching is now a “high-tech high touch” business!

    If you think “high touch” alone can keep your role relevant, think again.

    The winners of the future are those who combine the best of themselves and technology to provide “pain relief” to their candidates’ concerns.

    Do that well, and you will always be in demand!

    You cannot learn how to swim in a classroom or by reading books.

    You must get wet.

    Now take a chance and discover the power of ChatGPT, hands-on!

    As a community service, I’m running a ChatGPT 101 class via Zoom on Saturday, 13 May from 9.00am to 12noon Singapore time (GMT+8) via Zoom.

    Topics include

    • ChatGPT basics (for beginners)
    • Getting started (getting your own free account and playing with it)
    • Getting the right responses (prompt design)
    • Which professions are at risk from ChatGPT? (must know) and much more

    For APCDA members who are keen, email me at by 10 May 2023 for the Zoom invite link.

    Please send me a question or topic on ChatGPT that you’ll like me to address.

    You can either ride the wave, or be swept under.

    Choose wisely.

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    Sustainability/Social Justice in Career Development

    By Tam Nguyen

    Local and Global Sustainability

    In November 2022, more than 100 Heads of State and Governments and over 35,000 participants from all over the world gathered in Egypt for the UN conference COP27 on climate change. The conference was concluded with a historic decision about loss and damage fund – in other words, whether developed countries will support vulnerable and developing countries in addressing loss and damage associated with climate change impacts. While richer countries are speaking the language of the future, poorer countries are feeling devastating impacts in the here and now. This got me thinking about the career development outlook in different countries in which our APCDA members reside. What are the roles of career development practitioners in the context of a country’s sustainability and global sustainability?

    Is our role only linked to Sustainable Development Goal 8 - decent work for all?  

    Career Practitioners’ Role

    In experiencing a deeper shift in the public consciousness about work and sustainability, do we – CDPs- choose to prioritize the needs of individual students, hence, protecting our professional impartiality; or, do we care more about the needs of wider society, by doing that we involve in influencing students’ choices? This article by David Winter from “Career guidance for social justice” did a great job using socio-political ideologies to help us structure our thoughts and redefine our roles as career practitioners.

    It might be overwhelming at first for career practitioners to actively involve in bringing sustainability and social justice into career guidance, on top of their daily practices and responsibilities, but I believe the involvement itself is a way to help us (and our clients, students) stay hopeful amid the uncertainty of the future.

    New Look at Sustainability/Social Justice in Career Development (APCDA Conference 2023)

    These upcoming sessions at the APCDA conference this year guarantee to offer a holistic look at sustainability and social justice in career development:

    Session 111 “Professional Development Institute: Career Development for Social Justice” by Dr. Tristam Hooley challenges career practitioners to think outside of the traditional approach and foster world changes alongside individual changes, using a practical framework on career guidance for social justice.

    Session 626b “Case Study of Career Counselor’s Social Justice Advocacy in Japan: International Students’ Job Hunt” by Rie Takanuma will provide a great example of how career practitioners embrace their roles in social justice in Japan through advocacy work for international students.

    Session 723 “Do you know the UN Global Goals? Travel around a rapidly changing world with the SDGs” by Danita Redd, Leah Goforth-Ward, Candy Ho would be a fun and informative presentation that helps us quickly learn 17 UN SDGs, what matching careers for each, how different countries are doing around that. This is also a chance for each of us to play an advocacy role in a collective effort of promoting UN International Day of Career and Livelihood.

    Session 733 “Career development and sustainability: Using system thinking to address a complex systems problem” by Lizzie Knight, Dr. Mary McMahon will help us untangle the complexity of SDGs through system thinking and system mapping and how they can be used in career development practice.

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    Mental Wellbeing and Career Development

    By Tam Nguyen, News Committee Co-Chair

    There is no doubt that career development and mental wellbeing share a strong connection. Though not yet enough research attention has been put on relationships among mental health, mental illness, career development and work, we as career professionals, for a long time, have seen positive mental health outcomes from career development intervention. However, due to perhaps the complexity of navigating through boundaries of competence when supporting our clients both in career development and mental wellbeing, we often find ourselves avoiding the conversation about mental health as well as mental illness.

    With Canadian Mental health week approaching (May 1-May 7), I would like to share some resources to start with on this topic:  

    1. CERIC ‘s Strengthening Mental health through effective career development (Free ePDF available) Strengthening Mental Health Through Effective Career Development: A Practitioner’s Guide - CERIC
    2. WHO’s Mental Health resources (including fact sheet and guidance about mental health at work) Mental health (
    3. Mental Health 101 free courses  Home: All courses (
    4. Canadian Mental Health Association resources Mental Health Resources l CMHA National
    5. Language matters by Mental Health Commission of Canada  language_matters_cheat_sheet_eng.pdf (

    Our APCDA conference this year (May 16-26) will focus on “New Look at Careers in a Rapidly Changing World”, where we gather to exchange knowledge, discover and discuss new perspectives and innovations in our career development field.

    Some sessions on the topic of wellbeing and career development to add to your watch list this year:

    Session 514: 5 Steps to Help Clients Self-manage Their Career Path Based on Practicing Mindfulness by Nga Nguyen

    Session 526b: Exploring the Well-being of Guidance Counselors in the Philippines: a Phenomenological Study by Maria Theresa B. Gallardo

    Session 533: Remaining Hopeful in a Rapidly Changing World- Hope Centered Intervention by Raza Abbas

    Session 735: Is Mindfulness Helpful for Career Development? by Lily Tran

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    How Can An HR/PEO Consulting Firm Help Me Improve My Business?

    by Elena Stewart

    Image via Pexels

    In the world of human resources, things change often. There are taxes, employment and recruitment laws, employee benefits, and more. As a business owner, you either have to be fully versed in these all the time or you have to rely on a company that can do it all for you. Today, let’s look at a few of the benefits of outsourcing human resources management.

    Address Post-Pandemic Problems

    In a post-pandemic world, the collaboration between HRPs (Human Resource Planning) and CDPs (Career Development Planning) can play a crucial role in addressing workforce challenges. While HRPs focus on recruiting, retaining, and managing the workforce, CDPs specialize in individual employee development and skill enhancement.

    By working together, HRPs and CDPs can identify skill gaps, design training programs, and create career development opportunities to ensure that the workforce is equipped with the necessary 21st century skills. The collaboration can result in a more resilient and adaptable workforce, ready to tackle the challenges of the changing work landscape.

    Cost Savings

    Working with a PEO (professional employer organization) you can save up to 35% on your admin and HR expenses. These professionals know what to do, how to do it, and when, and you’ll benefit from the full-service and resources offerings and personal service. Anytime you can save money without sacrificing quality is an easy decision to make.

    Access to Global Talent

    Some human resources firms work with recruitment agencies to help their customers find talented professionals outside of their commute area. By branching out, you can find someone with the skills you need in all areas, including IT, design, and marketing. As an added bonus, when you diversify the workplace, you’ll promote cultural awareness and give your business a positive reputation.  The Ability Options website also asserts that having a diverse workforce gives you more marketing opportunities.

    Better Recruiting

    Human resources professionals can help you create a better recruiting plan, which might even include starting an internship program. As an intern host, you not only help up-and-coming professionals gain job experience, but you are in an excellent position to turn your interns into ideal employees.

    Access to Training

    HR compliance is a big deal, and you must continually stay on top of rules and regulations at the local, state, and federal levels. Utilizing an HR consulting firm means that you can stay informed. More importantly, the right firm can help keep your staff in the loop of compliance for important topics, such as Age Discrimination and the Fair Credit Reporting.

    Happier Employees

    Your human resources department plays a major role in your employees’ happiness. According to Nectar, employees need self-development opportunities, rewards and compensation, and a purpose. These, among other essential needs, can be better met by human resources professionals or having your own in-house HR team trained to best cater to the people on your payroll.

    Ask your team to send out employee satisfaction surveys to keep tabs on your company culture. You can even encourage your staff to complete them through a small incentive. Use a system that distributes digital gift cards in order to easily reward respondents and increase participation. 

    Better Support

    Small businesses can have trouble keeping up with the needs of their staff, especially during times of growth. A human resources firm can guide you into ways to better offer your staff everything they need when they need it.

    Goal Tracking

    Part of the human resources department’s responsibility is to track your employees' success and whether or not they are meeting your expectations. Your human resources consulting firm can help you do just that without being intrusive into your workday.

    Staff Augmentation

    If you typically have your own human resources team but have staff that is out for maternity leave or other long-term needs, your human resources consulting firm can fill in temporarily. Although this is likely not the least expensive route to go, it can keep you out of sticky HR situations until your staff roster returns to normal.

    Consider Using an HR/PEO Firm

    Ultimately, the human resources department plays a major role in your business's success. From finding a company that can help you source talent from across the globe, refine your recruitment process, and better support your employees, the benefits of a helping hand in this arena may go further than you expect.

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    How to Create Success by Playing by Your Own Rules

    by Sharon Redd

    According to the United Nations, women continue to earn around 20% less than their male counterparts. While the wage gap is closing in some countries, we, as women, can’t just sit around and wait for the men that make the decisions to change things. It is up to us to put ourselves in the position to be the decision-makers, and that begins by taking the reins of your career in your own hands and playing by your own rules.

    A Conscious Decision

    It's first important to understand that a growth mindset is needed to achieve everything you desire. It is simply not enough to believe in your current capabilities, you have to know in your heart that you can do more and be more. 

    It’s Time to Write Your CV

    If you haven’t updated your resume and curriculum vitae while, now’s a good opportunity to do so. Not only will this showcase your strengths and successes to your employer, it will help you put your own value into perspective. You can use a template for a CV so that you can focus on the content and not the design. A template gives you access to plenty of different options, all you have to do is plug in your academic background, accolades, achievements and, if applicable, a photo.

    Enter Into Entrepreneurship

    If you truly feel stuck in a dead end at your job, now’s the time to start your own business. Begin by forming a private business, which involves choosing a business name and confirming you can register using that name. A private business can also protect your personal assets, but these protections as well as formation requirements are different from country to country. Use a formation service to save money instead of paying an attorney.

    Learn to Manage Your Mental Health

    Your mental health matters now more than ever, especially as we enter a new post-pandemic era where the world isn’t always certain. Asia Pacific Career Development Association offers many mental health webinars that address everything from trauma to stress management.

    Celebrate Small Wins

    As women in the workplace, our achievements are often overlooked. This is also true for those of us who chose to stay home and raise our families. But now’s the time to stand up to what MindBodyGreen calls your inner critic. Get rid of self-limiting beliefs, and, most importantly, don’t listen to what other people think.

    Be Assertive

    When you work in a male-dominated industry, you have to learn how to be assertive without being aggressive. Fortunately, there are several ways to do this, and it begins by forging one-on-one connections with your coworkers. You can also make your voice more heard by asking questions that naturally segue into your perspective. Avoid playing the blame game, and don’t accuse any particular coworkers of sexism, but don’t be shy about voicing your opinions and exerting your expertise in areas where it’s needed.

    Fortunately, the gender pay gap does seem to be closing in many parts of the world. But it’s not closing quickly enough, and women are not always given the opportunities they deserve. Today, it’s time to play by your own rules. So, spruce up that CV, form your own business, prioritize your mental health, celebrate the small wins, and don’t be shy. Today’s the day that you take control of your present and future successes.

    Sharon Redd created Live All the Way to help others live life to the ABSOLUTE FULLEST. She believes life all the way is a life with all the toppings! It’s ordering guacamole and queso at the restaurant. It’s wearing those bright pink shoes, no matter what anyone else thinks. It’s using your formal china for every meal and hugging your friends every time you see them. It’s eating ice cream for breakfast and so much more. Her goal, each and every day, is to live all the way and her mission is to help others do the same.

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    The Future of Jobs Report 2020 Preface

    Reprinted from The Future of Jobs Report 2020 published by the World Economic Forum.  The full report is available for download.

    After years of growing income inequality, concerns about technology-driven displacement of jobs, and rising societal discord globally, the combined health and economic shocks of 2020 have put economies into freefall, disrupted labour markets and fully revealed the inadequacies of our social contracts. Millions of individuals globally have lost their livelihoods and millions more are at risk from the global recession, structural change to the economy and further automation. Additionally, the pandemic and the subsequent recession have impacted most those communities which were already at a disadvantage.

    We find ourselves at a defining moment: the decisions and choices we make today will determine the course of entire generations’ lives and livelihoods. We have the tools at our disposal. The bounty of technological innovation which defines our current era can be leveraged to unleash human potential. We have the means to reskill and upskill individuals in unprecedented numbers, to deploy precision safety nets which protect displaced workers from destitution, and to create bespoke maps which orient displaced workers towards the jobs of tomorrow where they will be able to thrive.

    However, the efforts to support those affected by the current crisis lag behind the speed of disruption. It is now urgent to enact a Global Reset towards a socio-economic system that is more fair, sustainable and equitable, one where social mobility is reinvigorated, social cohesion restored, and economic prosperity is compatible with a healthy planet. If this opportunity is missed, we will face lost generations of adults and youth who will be raised into growing inequality, discord and lost potential.

    The Future of Jobs Report provides the timely insights needed to orient labour markets and workers towards opportunity today and in the future of work. Now in its third edition, the report maps the jobs and skills of the future, tracking the pace of change and direction of travel. This year we find that while technology-driven job creation is still expected to outpace job destruction over the next five years, the economic contraction is reducing the rate of growth in the jobs of tomorrow. There is a renewed urgency to take proactive measures to ease the transition of workers into more sustainable job opportunities. There is room for measured optimism in the data, but supporting workers will require global, regional and national public-private collaboration at an unprecedented scale and speed.

    The Platform for the New Economy and Society at the World Economic Forum works as a “docking station” for such collaboration on economic growth, revival and transformation; work, wages and job creation; education, skills and learning; and diversity, equity and inclusion. By leveraging this publication and other insights, the Platform supports a range of consortia and action coalitions, including the Reskilling Revolution Initiative to provide better jobs, skills and education to one billion people by 2030. We are deeply grateful to the New Economy and Society Stewardship Board members for their leadership of this agenda, to the over 100 partners of the Platform, and the expert guidance of Global Future Councils, the communities of Chief Economists, Chief Human Resource Officers, Chief Learning Officers and Chief Diversity Officers, and to a range of national ministries of economy, education and labour.

    We are also grateful to the many partners whose views created the unique collection of insights in this report. It presents the workforce planning and quantitative projections of Chief Human Resource and Strategy officers through to 2025, while also drawing upon the qualitative expertise of a wide range of World Economic Forum executive and expert communities. In addition  The Future of Jobs 4 the report features unique data from LinkedIn, Coursera, ADP and FutureFit.AI, which have provided innovative new metrics to shed light on one of the most important challenges of our time.

    We would like to express our appreciation to Vesselina Ratcheva, Insights Lead; Guillaume Hingel, Insights Lead; and Sophie Brown, Project Specialist for their dedication to this report. We would also like to thank Ida Jeng Christensen, Eoin Ó Cathasaigh, Genesis Elhussein, Till Leopold and SungAh Lee for their support of this project at the World Economic Forum.

    Human ingenuity is at the root of all shared prosperity. As the frontier between the work tasks performed by humans and those performed by machines and algorithms shifts, we have a short window of opportunity to ensure that these transformations lead to a new age of good work, good jobs and improved quality of life for all. In the midst of the pandemic recession, this window is closing fast. Businesses, governments and workers must plan to work together to implement a new vision for the global workforce.

    Useful Infographics:


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    Reinventing Higher Education: What the COVID-19 Pandemic is Teaching Us

    By Shigeo Katsu - President, Ilesanmi Adesida - Provost, Loretta O'Donnell - Vice Provost, Aliya Kaimoldinova - Head, Global Relations

    Nazarbayev University, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan

    Reprinted from: IAU (International Association of Universities) Horizons, May 2022

    Where to start?

    The COVID-19 pandemic that erupted globally some two years ago has wrought havoc on the higher education (HE) landscape and forced sudden and far-reaching changes. It is often said that universities are conservative institutions that deeply resist change, but yet from time to time do come up with radical ideas. Maybe this is one of those times that usher in real changes. What are some of the changes HE has experienced?

    Some changes HE grappled with included (by no means exhaustive):

    • Digitalization and online delivery of courses was forced upon higher education systems, but then actually accepted and even embraced.
    • Most campuses emptied out and deeply affected student experience; the building of communities, a central element of campus life has become a huge challenge.
    • At research universities, laboratory-intensive research skidded to a sudden standstill.
    • Online course providers suddenly became credible alternatives to traditional higher education institutions (HEIs).
    • Student mobility took a major hit, and with it the exchange of young talented minds.
    • Many HEIs have been forced to invent different business models to ensure survival.
    • There is hope that society’s trust in science has been rekindled through the real-time response to COVID-19 (vaccines and treatment protocols).
    • But devastating mental health issues leave a long-lasting legacy for the global society as well as HEIs.

    What will Higher Education X.0 look like?

    Post-COVID higher education cannot and will not be simply a return to the pre-COVID world. HEIs must draw lessons from the above and countless other experiences to ensure their survival in a VUCA world (more volatile, unpredictable, complex, and ambiguous). Whether the outcome of the reflections will be called HE2.0 or 4.0 or something else is not really important, but the underlying principles and path-determining elements are.

    So, what are some of the signposts?

    • HEIs will continue to be value-driven:  Integrity (both research and academic integrity), intellectual curiosity, tenacity, resilience, persistence, and open access to knowledge will remain essential as  higher education’s vocation to educate and nurture citizen in a holistic way will endure.
    • The need for more diversity is plain to see. Society will call for a variety of HEIs:
      • Some to mainly offer skills development for the labor market (a utilitarian view of HE), while others will focus on knowledge generation and dissemination through both blue sky and applied research. The implication is that society has to be willing to foot the bill for research with its costly and long gestation period from laboratories to industries and households.
      • Diversity in thinking calls for inculcating both STEM and non-STEM disciplines. The pandemic showed us that we are not robots. Technology is essential but we need to understand human nature and human behavior. The best vaccines in the world are only useful when citizens believe in them and are willing for themselves and their families to be vaccinated. The best online teachers cannot completely replicate the high-touch, high-impact, deep collective learning which can be achieved within a classroom experience.
      • Innovative pathways towards obtention of degrees will emerge. Some HEIs already offer “stackable” degrees by combining certification courses (especially in technology sectors), internships, and thematic courses. Whether HEI can sustainably rely on this form of degree-offering is still an open question, though.
      • Global challenges such as Climate Change and Sustainable Development increasingly force interdisciplinary thinking, learning, and teaching.
    • HEIs will form international alliances, where students will be anchored at their home institutions while attending courses offered by alliance partners, receive degrees from multiple universities, and participate in research led by professors from alliance institutions. Technology developed and utilized during the COVID-19 crisis has shown that distance hardly matters. Indeed, HEIs will be driven to form international alliances as a matter of survival.
    • Evidence that good ideas come from everywhere, not just from established institutions, and that talent can be found in all corners of the globe will fuel the emergence of alliances and networks to liberate human capital - intellectually, professionally, and with integrity. Governments and policy makers must minimize barriers to these deep collaborations.
    • Higher education will be increasingly student-centered, with faculty becoming facilitators and guides along the students’ individual learning journey.
    • HEIs’ role in fostering economic mobility at the intersection of education and the economy and supporting the development of a middle class will remain. But access issues, including financial affordability, will continue to loom large.

    HEIs need to be seen as communities: if it takes a village to raise a child, it takes the entire University to educate a student, and it takes a network of collaborative Universities to educate a global society. Student-centered learning models, fostering social interaction, and serving as the locus for civic debate and intellectual exploration are essential for HEIs to impart value. Integrity and intellectual curiosity have proven to be elemental, universal, and timeless, and are the glue to hold the HEI community together during difficult times. Knowledge creation and dissemination must accelerate and at the same time be more creative than ever before, stretching across disciplines, generations, and geographic boundaries. The ability to reframe problems to create opportunities, especially in a VUCA world, will be a critical hallmark of success for HEIs.

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    The Voice of Industry

    By Dr. Pooja Singh

    The educationists today have more on their plates than they could ask for. Up till the pandemic, counselors still had the responsibility of keeping themselves abreast of the latest trends, but after two years of lockdown in which everything was online, the whole scenario changed and there has been more to learn than before. The global economy as well as career trends have changed.

    From STEM to STEAM, from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0, the metaverse, blockchain and advances in every field imaginable. To top it, there are careers (the rhetorical ones) that have disappeared from the current job market. In all, the voice of industry has tremendous tribulations and as educationists we are trying to keep our students in alignment with the needs of the market. The pandemic has massively affected the education, training and employment of young people, making it difficult for them to find decent work* and “raising the bar” on their employability. 

    The Changing Face of Industry

    The online interface transformed the needs of Industry. The magnitude of the changes was humongous. To help children adapt to it will be time consuming and will require immense immersion in the new reality. According to recent trends reports of the International Labor Organization (ILO), there’s a job gap of a staggering 52 million jobs and youth unemployment will double in some areas. Data indicates that more men will find employment in comparison to women.  These figures sound all the more astounding.

    By 2030, jobs in the service sector are expected to increase to 49% in comparison to 29% in agriculture and 22% in industry. Sustainability is another major concern and is promising to cater to the youth of today. The Sustainable Development Goals were established in 2015 and were expected to be achieved by 2030. With youth lacking employability skills and proper education these goals may be in jeopardy.

    Industry experts' grave concern is that graduates lack skills to manage their careers.  The people around them also lack the ability to negotiate the labor market. Another profound concern is that basic technical skills these days include coding, programming, data handling and analysis.  These are areas in which youth are generally not proficient.

    Many people believe that the graduates who have already interned are in a much better space as compared to others. The Pandemic has had a great toll on student development. Employers are looking for people who can keep pace with their work setting, communicate effectively and possess the required technical skills.

    Changing Employability Norms

    Apart from what the industry demands, employees have set themselves some new norms post-pandemic. Most of the news channels have commented on a massive resignation going on. People do not want to move back to office spaces. These 2 years of lockdown with ample use of online work has created a dramatic shift in the expectations of the employees. What China experienced early on was call “lying flat,” the Global economy is currently calling “The Big Quit.” It appears to be caused by expectations of employees who do not want to work any more hours is specified in the offer letter.

    According to Mercer, before the pandemic, executives believed only 45% of the workforce could adapt to the new world of work. Of course, COVID-19 has now shattered that belief. Today, over 90% of employers say productivity has stayed the same or improved with employees working remotely. This has encouraged flexible working hours. A “pro-health” environment can work wonders for employee well-being and enhanced work commitment and also it can attract the best talent. The organizations need to revamp their working conditions.

    Skills for 21st Century

    In this VUCA world, the skills needed have also transformed. Educationists are trying to revise their teaching in cognizance that new skills increase students’ chances of a better college experience, career, and life. These skills prepare them for a career that does not yet exist or a career that has just emerged. A plethora of information is available online on various social media channels which has changed the way people think and communicate. Though communication skills, problem solving skills and working in groups or teams have always been on top of list of required skills for any industry, the culture today has added many other important skills for navigating within modern industries.

    Framework of 21st Century Skills

    The framework of 21st century skills was created by Partnership for 21st Century Learning. It focuses on the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in work, life, and citizenship in today's world. These skills have been divided into 3 main areas.

    A. Learning and innovation skills: critical thinking and problem solving, communications and collaboration, creativity and innovation
    B. Digital Literacy Skills: Information and communication technologies, digital literacy, media literacy
    C. Life and Career Skills: flexibility and adaptability, initiative and self-direction, productivity and accountability, cross cultural interaction.

    The majority of industries today are seeking employees who stand tall on these skills, making employees productive for their organizations.

    A Case Study

    As per Indeed (a job seeking platform), the topmost transferable job skills for any industry or profession are:

    1. Communication Skill
    2. Leadership
    3. Teamwork and Collaboration
    4. Self-driven
    5. Basic Technical Knowledge
    6. Upskilling
    7. Creative

    It is a well-known fact that there is soaring unemployment and youth today, despite having fancy degrees, are still unable to get a job. The widening skill gap has triggered the onset of industrial training campaigns in which companies train these youth for a year or two and then employ them in their own organization. Companies like HCL and Infosys, and many others, have adopted this strategy. As per Mr. Naveen Sharma, CEO, Everdata, a data center in Jaipur, “Students today are lacking the basic skills. Though they come armed with decent degrees, they fall short of the most required skills to be industry ready. Hence, we provide our own set of training to this young generation so that they can adapt, adjust and also be productive for our company.  As far as universities are concerned, they are academic institutions that should be preparing students for employment by supplying them with key skills and a real, practical insight into the world of work.”

    To embed the right kind of people in the right kind of jobs, industrialists should now step forward and work together with educators to invest in the graduate development programs affirming the growth of individuals with strong future driven skillset.

    Dr. Pooja Singh works as a Counselor in Saint Edmund's School, Jaipur, India. She has a doctorate degree in Commerce and has worked as an ELT trainer because of her passion for language. She has been in the Education fraternity for the past 19 years and believes she has evolved with the changes in the field and also looks forward to growing with it. She is a blogger, podcaster, and YouTuber. She is a counsellor by choice. She is a student enthusiast and has a penchant for working for the upliftment of the student community

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    Return On Investment for Career Services

    Many APCDA members work in a non-profit or social enterprise environment where doing good for others is its own reward.  Our clients tell us how much our work means to them.  That feels good.  We know we are making the world a better place.  Why should we take the time and effort to measure our success?

    In business, an important term is “Return On Investment” (ROI).  It means that we compare the cost of our work (salaries, facilities, computers, etc.) to the value they create and determine if the cost is providing a good return given the amount that has been invested.  Often, in our field, returns are not easy to measure in hard currency.  If we compare the cost if running an employment agency with the taxes paid by employed people who we helped to find jobs, that may convince government agencies that an employment agency is a valuable service.  But how does a high school convince the school administrators to spend money on career counseling?  How does a university career center convince the administration to spend money on a career center?  How do private career counselors convince clients to pay for their services?  Often, those services which do not have evidence of ROI get cut when budgets are tight. 

    On September 15/16, the webinar “Measuring the Value of Career Services” will help us find ways to gather this valuable data.  The data measuring our success can be used to convince others to fund our services and can also be used by us to determine which services are most successful and which services might need improvement.  The exciting thing about this type of data is that it has tremendous value in guiding our efforts as well as convincing others or our value.  Collecting this data can be one of the most beneficial parts of our work, helping us to understand our strengths, helping clients to value our services, and helping administrators to enthusiastically keep us funded.

    It takes time and effort to collect this data.  Come to this webinar to find out why this time and effort may be the most valuable use of your time and may provide unimaginable paybacks.

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    What are the Pros and Cons of Being a Criminal Psychologist?

    By Roy Lee

    If you have a passion for understanding human behaviour and an interest in applying that knowledge in a legal setting, criminal psychology might be the career for you.

    Psychology is an exciting career in its own right. But paired with a study of criminology and an application in potentially high-leverage situations in the courts, criminal psychology has the potential to be a thrilling job.

    Photo courtesy of Phoenix Waters Productions

    However, being a criminal psychologist isn’t all good, all the time. Like any other job, there are benefits and detriments that must be considered before making a career choice.

    Use this guide to the pros and cons of criminal psychology to develop a better understanding of this field and what might be expected of you.

    Pros of Being a Criminal Psychologist

    You Can Specialize

    As a criminal psychologist, you have the opportunity to specialize in a niche area. For example, some criminal psychologists work exclusively as jury consultants. This role revolves around helping shape the makeup of a jury for the prosecution or defense, depending on which side has contracted you for your services.

    As another example, you might specialize in profiling. As a profiler, you’ll work with law enforcement agencies to help identify possible characteristics of an unknown, yet wanted individual.

    There are many other areas in which you can become a niche expert. Criminal psychologists might concentrate in:

    • Witness preparation for court proceedings
    • Assessment of defendants
    • Providing expert courtroom testimony

    Furthermore, some criminal psychologists work in education settings, such as teaching courses at colleges or universities.

    Criminal Psychology Services are Likely to Remain in Demand

    Psychologists that specialize in criminology are currently in high demand. There’s a strong likelihood that this will continue in the coming years.

    There are two reasons for this: continued crime rates and a growing desire to better understand criminal behavior.

    First, as long as there’s crime, there is a need for criminal psychologists. While some cases are easier than others to solve, police forces need help from time to time to solve more complex cases. Criminal psychologists can fill that need and help shed light on who might have committed a crime.

    Second, there’s an incredible interest in human behavior and a desire of those in policing to better understand why people behave the way they do. Criminal psychologists have the unique training and skills to assist police agencies in learning more about the human condition.

    While crime is certainly not a good thing, wanting to enhance the understanding of criminals and their behavior is definitely a step in the right direction. With better understanding comes improved policing, more appropriate sentencing, and a commitment to addressing mental health issues among people accused and convicted of crimes.

    This is an Exciting Field

    One of the best parts of this job is that it’s so exciting. You might be involved in a high-profile court case, interview notorious criminals, or help police identify a subject, and that might all occur in the span of a few weeks!

    While not every day involves high-profile work, criminal psychology offers a lot of variety to keep you busy. No two days on the job will be the same!

    Cons of Being a Criminal Psychologist

    Niche Specialties Might Restrict Employment Opportunities

    While the opportunity to specialize is one of the pros mentioned above, it can be a double-edged sword. Once you specialize, you might restrict your employment options to a degree.

    Say, for example, that your specialty is conducting mental health assessments of people standing trial. As there’s a need for such services, you can build a strong career. However, what if that need decreases? Even if there’s a reduction in one or two assessments a month, it can have a significant impact on your income.

    That being the case, it might be prudent to specialize in a couple of areas of criminal psychology, that way you have a better opportunity for consistent work. In addition to providing mental health assessments, you might also teach at a university or work as a jury consultant.

    This Job Requires a Lot of Schooling

    If you want to be a criminal psychologist, you’ll need a master’s degree at a minimum. You’ll have better employment opportunities if you have a doctoral degree.

    Usually, a master’s degree takes a couple of years to complete after undergraduate studies. A PhD might be another three to five years on top of that. When all is said and done, you can spend the better part of a decade at university.

    Your education doesn’t end there, though. Many criminal psychologists work under the tutelage of more experienced criminal psychologists. Be it a practicum, internship, work study, or some other work experience, you will put in long hours working in a junior position, and likely for little or no money. After you graduate, post-graduate or post-doctoral studies might also be required.

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    Career News by Scott Dell

    What do you say when someone asks YOU for career advice, and possibly resources? Harvard Publishing has an answer! Professor Ralph Jagodka wrote a powerful article containing several amazing resources and answers to 7 key questions about seeking career opportunities that would help anyone looking to help others or even themselves. It can be found at

    If you are wondering why some folks are applying to 100’s (yes hundreds) of jobs online and getting 0 responses or offers, check out the 2022 Job Stats found at Highlights include “Less than 1% of candidates who apply for jobs through job boards and career sites are offered the position.” Also, “70% (according to Forbes) and 85% (according to LinkedIn) of jobs are NOT posted online.” This reinforces the NEED to effectively network – which is one of the reasons I wrote the book on LinkedIn !

    Get news from Scott Dell directly at

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    Conversations Do Matter!

    By Tam Nguyen

    This week passed with a couple of noteworthy conversations we had at APCDA as well as CERIC.

    2 Conversations Matter events at APCDA – a great chance for professionals, practitioners, and researchers… in the career development field to get to know each other at a deeper level, to share personal stories and aspirations. We learn about our work. We share our mission. We hold each other accountable. It’s truly inspiring to see such a connected community we have at APCDA no matter how different our cultures, backgrounds and experience might be.  

    2 webinars on a very hot topic at CERIC: Building a bridge between employers and CDPs. Over 960 professionals attending proved how important we all know this relationship is. Both sides are sharing the same mission to make this world of work better. Yet somehow we all face challenges and opportunities when it comes to communicating with each other. A bridge can start with a conversation like this – the first step to creating a compound effect on career development and career wellbeing for all.

    Conversation is our channel to learn, to connect, and to grow. It is social support that helps build the authentic connection we’re all craving. Technology facilitates conversation, at the same time makes it harder for a truly authentic connection to be nurtured. Yet if we choose the right community, we have the ability to trust, understand and support each other.

    APCDA is building such a community for members from over 30 countries and our May 2022 conference is the best way to learn through conversations. Below are some conversation tips for first-time conference attendees to make the most out of it and bring home memorable moments:

    Before conference:

    1. Create some space for your thoughts: set your goals, and what you would like to get out of the conference. When we understand better what we want, we bring more clarity to how we relate and connect to others.
    2. Show your care: Use Hubilo and APCDA member directory to educate yourself about others and their work. Plan which sessions you want to attend in advance and come with an understanding of the speaker’s work.
    3. Get a notebook and a pen.

    During conference:

    1. Be present: try to avoid multi-tasking or any distractions during conference time. You can try opening only one tab on Google at a time when someone is presenting. Stay mindful and present to fully absorb the knowledge and get the most out of the Q&A session.
    2. Two-sided conversation: Conversation lets you exchange thoughts with one another. It’s a two-way process. First, you listen, and then you speak. And remember to “listen with the intent to learn and to understand”.
    3. Add kindness and a bit of humor: smile, be patient for someone to finish their sentences, and be genuinely curious.

    After conference:

    1. Send a thank-you note: a lovely gesture to show your appreciation and strengthen the connection.
    2. Keep nurturing the connection and helping each other: it’s easy to get lost in our day-to-day jobs and responsibilities, but if the connection means something to you, give it the time and attention it needs.

    "Sometimes the greatest adventure is simply a conversation." - Amadeus Wolfe

    I wish you all a great experience and a successful conference this week.

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    Professional Direction: An Introduction to Mentorship

    by Sharon Redd

    For anyone looking to move forward constructively in their career, finding a mentor should be a top priority. Mentors can help to improve your knowledge of your industry, identify goals, iron out bad habits and make the right choices but finding the right people is not always easy - here are some factors to consider.

    Why Mentorship

    Mentors provide a number of key benefits that can provide long-term benefits for you in your career. The first of these relates to self-awareness - with experience in the same field, a mentor can view your work approach with objectivity and find areas for improvement that were otherwise unbeknownst to you. They can also help you to set and work towards the right goals that will result in your advancement. Best of all, someone of an elite status within the industry is likely to possess key, niche knowledge that is unavailable to others.

    Receiving the endorsement of someone with high status within your industry can be invaluable - mentors who are in leadership positions may be able to accredit your accomplishments and vouch for you when the time comes for a promotion.

    Finding Mentorship

    Ideally, you want a mentor who has followed and succeeded in a similar career path to your own. Finding this individual has been made easier by the advent of social media - Linkedin, for example, allows you to look at the career history of others so that you can gauge whether they’re an apt choice. There are also online platforms that streamline the process and link individuals from communities, helping you to network and find seasoned professionals.

    Beyond their professional history and reputation, you also want to find someone who has enough time on their hands to communicate regularly and who is located near enough that you can meet at a moment’s notice. Sometimes, even with similar professional backgrounds, a mentor and mentee don’t connect as people - it’s important that you find someone who you identify with in terms of personal values.

    Securing Mentorship

    The first and most important thing to consider when approaching others for mentorship is that securing a mentor is a privilege and not an entitlement. Successful professionals usually get where they are because they work hard and, for this reason, may not be able to share much of their time. To make your approach, remember to always be cordial and patient and avoid any pushiness. It will help if you have identified your career aspirations in a formal, structured manner with a plan of action for how to achieve your goals. You can use a free resume builder to refine your resume before meeting (these often have a library of professionally designed templates and allow you to add your own copy, photos, colors, and images).

    You should also aim to convey your expectations for the mentorship, including how often you’d hope to meet the person and the skills that you’d like them to help you develop. With transparency, you can avoid any unmet expectations and determine whether this is the right partnership for you both in the long term.

    The right mentor can often prove to be invaluable and it’s important to put time and effort into constructing meaningful relationships early on in your career. With the right network of experienced professionals, you’ll have access to more opportunities, exclusive knowledge, and support as you navigate the trickier decisions along the way.

    APCDA connects career development professionals who work in or are interested in the Asia Pacific region and provides a global forum for sharing career development ideas, research, and techniques that are effective in the Asia Pacific region. Join our upcoming Member Mentoring Webinar “Cultural and the Ethics of Providing Career Services” on June 13/14, 2022. More to come, subscribe to APCDA’s newsletter to stay updated:

    Image by Pexels

    Sharon Redd created Live All the Way to help others live life to the ABSOLUTE FULLEST. She believes life all the way is a life with all the toppings! It’s ordering guacamole and queso at the restaurant. It’s wearing those bright pink shoes, no matter what anyone else thinks. It’s using your formal china for every meal and hugging your friends every time you see them. It’s eating ice cream for breakfast and so much more. Her goal, each and every day, is to live all the way and her mission is to help others do the same.

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    Starting Your Own Practice?  Startup Costs You Might Miss

    by Elena Stewart

    Image via Pexels

    Spending money is simply a part of running a business. As a new entrepreneur, you are fully aware of this. However, there are many expenses beyond your employees and raw materials. Keep reading for insight into potential payments that you’ll have to make to keep the doors open.

    • Building upgrades. If you went all out and purchased a new building, perhaps an apartment complex or manufacturing firm, then it might be wise to update your building to enjoy energy savings.
    • Benefits. You already know that you have to pay your employees a salary, but to keep the best employees, you’ll need to provide benefits as well. These might include reimbursement for a gym membership, continuous learning stipends, or profit-sharing.
    • Credit card processing. Credit card processing fees can start at less than 1% plus an individual transaction fee, and these charges add up quickly. Make sure to set your prices to account for your expected monthly credit card fees.
    • Registering your business. If you’d like to register your business to protect your assets and gain tax advantages, there are fees involved. Fortunately, you can save when you work with a formation service instead of a costly attorney.
    • Hardware and software. The vast majority of businesses will need a hardware or software upgrade within the first year of operation. This is a good sign, and it means that you are growing. But, even a new laptop can cost $1,000 or more, and with the continuing shortage of PC components, computer costs will only continue to rise.
    • Advertising. Many of us like to believe that we can rely on word-of-mouth alone. The truth is that we must have a marketing and advertising budget, which can start as little as a few hundred dollars per month, but, depending on your goals, you may want to put aside much more.

    Capital For Your Cash Conundrum

    If you find yourself struggling for cash, as many new entrepreneurs do, you have options. A few of these include:

    • Grants. Depending on where your business is located, you may have access to small business grants that can help you pay various operational costs. Before you apply for grants, you’ll want to have your business plan in place and know what’s available based on your industry. When you are ready to apply, write your grant application carefully. It can help to use a template and to have someone else review the application after you do.
    • Small business loan. Another option is taking out a loan. Similar to applying for a grant, you’ll want to ensure you have a comprehensive business plan before looking for a loan. It’s also a good idea to take steps to raise your credit score. With a higher score, you'll have access to lower interest rates.
    • Crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is a popular way for many small businesses to get the money they need to launch. As a startup, you may be able to create buzz about your product, which will bring customers and their dollars to your doorstep. Your crowdfunding campaign should provide some type of reward to your “investors.” This might be early access to your products or equity in your business.
    • Cutting costs. There are some places where you don’t have to spend money. Employee lunches are one of these. In addition to cutting out extraneous costs, you can save money by keeping your staff engaged and ensuring that they are well trained during the onboarding process. One thing you likely do not want to do here is cut salaries or reduce important benefits, such as paid time off or health insurance.

    The old saying, “It takes money to make money,” remains as true today as ever. Unfortunately, you may not always be prepared for the ways that you’ll have to spend. A good rule of thumb is to always expect the unexpected and know where your resources are at all times.

    Elena Stewart is a certified life coach specializing in the teachings of Brené Brown, Danielle LaPorte, and Marie Forleo. Through one-on-one coaching sessions and career mentoring, she helps women (and men!) like yourself jumpstart their careers. Are you ready to reach your full potential? If so, I’d love to hear from you!

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    What Can APCDA Do for You?

    By Han Kok Kwang, Bestselling Author, 

    1st Legacy Partner Lifetime Member of APCDA,

    & 1st NCDA Master Trainer in Asia

    I first heard about APCDA in mid-2013. They just had their first Conference in Seoul, South Korea in April and I missed it. As a pioneer career practitioner in Singapore, no way I was going to miss it a second time.

    The next Conference would be in Hawaii in 2014. I booked my ticket early but I had no clue what to expect!

    On my flight to Hawaii, the #1 question on my mind: “What can APCDA do for me?”

    On the flight back, I was a changed person.

    I saw the people behind the association up close. I had so much fun interacting with and learning from them. They really care about people and career development. If you don’t know who they are, please go check out APCDA’s history!

    At the conference, I had the privilege of meeting the giants of the industry, like John Krumboltz (Happenstance Theory), JoAnn Bowlsbey (DISCOVER software), Richard Bolles (What colour is your parachute?), and Richard Knowdell (Knowdell card sorts), just to name a few. Though they have passed on, their legacy lives on.

    I also met fellow practitioners from so many places, like the US, China, Japan, Canada, Taiwan, Macau, Philippines, Korea, etc… They were a really fun bunch, especially “off Conference”!

    Coming from a super-efficient and results driven place like Singapore, it was a life changing experience. It was where you were treated as a human being, not a human doing. You are defined by your human qualities, not grades, position or station in life. Their sincere belief in your potential makes you feel that impossible is really nothing! I even had someone asking me, “Why do Singaporeans work so hard?”

    It was a major paradigm shift. You have to experience it to feel it! By the end of the Conference in Hawaii, it is no longer about what APCDA can do for me.

    Instead, it is what I can do for APCDA?

    Knowing that they were a “start-up” where resources were tight, that’s one reason why I signed up to be the 1st legacy partner lifetime member of APCDA.

    I also continued to partake in the annual APCDA conferences where possible, be it as a speaker, panellist or PDI instructor:

    2016 – Taipei, Taiwan

    2018 – Beijing, China

    2019 – Ho hi Minh City, Vietnam

    2021 - Virtual

    John F. Kennedy said, “For of those to whom much is given, much is required.” 

    I’m privileged to have met the wonderful folks at APCDA. In the process, I have grown to be a much better career professional. I know I can count on them for whatever challenges that come my way, and vice versa.

    Thus, I’m donating 100% of the proceeds from the sale of my new book, “No Job? No Sweat! in April 2022 to support APCDA scholarships.

    I’m doing this because what we do in life echoes in eternity. Whatever you give will return to you multi-fold, as long as it is unconditional giving. In case you are wondering why I am doing this, I’ve actually done this a few times. I have donated over $110,000 (with Government fund matching) to charitable causes in Singapore through my book sales. This is one of the secrets of the tycoons who seemed to get richer every year because givers gain.

    You may not know it now but your contribution can really make a difference to those who need it. Simply check out the testimonials of those who have benefited from APCDA’s scholarships.

    Talent may be equally distributed but opportunity is not. You now have the power to provide the opportunity. Pay it forward and help a fellow career practitioner today. All of us have a strong affinity for people. That’s why we are in this helping industry.

    Donate generously today and be informed on the latest know-how on the future of work in my new book, so that you can empower yourself, your students and your clients.

    Ask not what APCDA can do for you.
    Instead, do what you can for APCDA and watch your career soar! 

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    Why Career Decision-making is so Hard

    By Tam Nguyen

    Last week CERIC and OnelifeTools launched a new tool where Experiential Learning, Career Development, and Reflective Practice blend nicely together. This new site offers tremendous help to practitioners on our journey of learning and helping.

    You can find the link to Wayfinder here:

    Today I would like to pick my favorite tool I got from Wayfinder: Career decision-making difficulties questionnaires  CDDQ (

    Why it’s important to understand why

    We can’t untangle the knot without checking tight clumps. We can’t help our clients to make their decision if we don’t understand what stands in the way.

    In one of the discussions with my clients, a young woman shared her stress working in a toxic environment and not knowing what to do next. She shared the pressure of making the right decision, the heaviness, anxiety, and fear she is having. Going deeper, it turned out she did have a solid idea of what she would like to do next, the only thing that blocks her way is the fear of judgment from her parents and society about leaving a government job.

    Another client shared that the transition was extremely difficult for them because they have no connections or experience in the new industry, and they worry if they can fit in with their current skills.

    One was simply a perfectionist and would love to procrastinate the decision-making until a full picture was painted.

    For each of those clients, the approaches will and should be different.

    And the tool from will surely help practitioners to identify which difficulties the client is having so that we can tailor our approach.

    The questionnaire is designed to identify the cause of career decision-making difficulties. Then feedback and recommendations are provided. The tool categorizes causes into 3 main groups:

    • Lack of readiness
    • Lack of Information
    • Inconsistent information

    Within each main group, sub-groups are introduced based on if the issue is internal or external: should we help clients go over the self-discovery process, or should we focus more on guiding them toward resources and information? That question will be answered.

    Let’s go into detail for each sub-group:

    Lack of readiness due to lack of motivation

    The client is not willing to make the decision now. If you are a fan of Daniel Pink’s “Drive” book, you would recall that lack of motivation stems from a lack of one of 3 things: autonomy, mastery, and a sense of purpose (I have a brief summary here)

    Do clients feel like they have a choice and freedom to make their own decision? Do they feel trapped - that if they make the decision now, they can’t change later? Do they clearly see a purpose for making a decision about their career?

    Lack of readiness due to general indecisiveness

    Why are they hesitant? Is there any fear that blocks them from believing in their choice? Do they need support and affirmation from others to be certain about their decision?

    Finance is also a big factor that often causes hesitance. If it’s the case, help clients to get prepared for what they fear. We have an article by Tuan Anh Le on how to do it here.

    Lack of readiness due to limiting beliefs

    Do they believe that they have to live with their decision for the rest of their life? Do they believe that passion is the only factor of an ideal career?

    As a career practitioner, simply ask them to go deeper. Listen to their response to fully understand - not to find a solution – but to create a safe space for clients to share their thoughts and for us to learn what our clients truly believe without any judgment.

    Lack of information about the decision-making process, occupations, and additional resources

    This is where a career development practitioner can help to guide clients toward reliable resources and information. Our job here is to help them sort out only information that’s useful for them and not make them feel overwhelmed with too much information. Too much information can cause the decision-making to be much harder than it already is.

    Help them to understand the process of making a decision, to organize information, and to reach a conclusion in a step-by-step manor.

    Lack of information about the self

    Do clients really know what they want? Are they aware of their interest, aptitude, skills…? This is usually the core of current career development services. With so many tools, assessments and approaches developed solely for this, it definitely plays a significant role in our guidance process. However, from what we have seen so far in this article, assuming that this is the only challenge clients have and ignoring the rest will potentially derail us from the help our clients actually need.

    Inconsistent information due to unreliable information

    It could be self-knowledge, could be industry and occupation knowledge. Our job is to point out the contradictions or gaps if there are any.

    Do clients view themselves the way their colleagues, their friends view them? Do they have accurate information about what is required to get into that industry? Perhaps the client loves using a certain skill, but they believe they are not good at it. Is that belief true?

    Inconsistent information due to internal conflicts

    Do clients have multiple values that clash with each other? Do clients have a set of criteria that are seemingly impossible to fulfill? Help them to sort out “must-have” and “nice to have.” It’s important also to remind them to have an open mind and remain flexible.

    Inconsistent information due to external conflicts

    Do the desires of the client conflict with what their parents want? This can be a source of stress. How about their own definition of success versus society’s definition? Is what they think different from what their peers think?

    To sum up, I think it’s important to always listen wholeheartedly and be culturally sensitive.

    When we take time to learn about our clients’ backgrounds, we understand what’s most important and should be taken into account in their decision-making process. Only then do we know better how to help. 

    On another note, News Committee is launching “Story Hub” - where we share life narratives, either from our personal experience or professional experience, and discuss how the interplay of cultures, backgrounds, etc. shapes our professional careers.

    More details can be found here.

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    Teach Students Basic Personal Finance to Help Them Feel More Secure in their Careers

    by Tuan Anh Le

    In career guidance, we often talk a lot about discovering strengths, passions, life values, and so on. The subject of money is rarely mentioned or discussed in a very confusing and complicated way. In fact, an individual who is strong in personal finance management skills can feel much more secure in career guidance, thereby spending more time exploring other topics. In this article, I want to share some personal finance basics so that career professionals can understand and talk to their clients about the topic.

    When it comes to personal finance, there are a lot of complicated terms and keywords like 401(k), credit, and mortgage - but everyone can start learning about personal finance by understanding these three simple steps.


    Ask questions and keep a record of spending

    First, a person needs to understand his financial situation. You need to be able to answer questions like:

    • How much cash do I have?
    • How many big assets do I have (phone, iPad, car, house...).
    • How much debt do I have?

    Then a person needs to know how much money he spent yesterday, on what. How much money did I spend last week? How much money did I spend last month, how much did I spend last year? We certainly cannot remember the details of each item without taking notes. So where are you recording your money right now? Currently, I am making daily spending records through the MoneyLover application, every time I spend a certain amount, I open this application to enter it.

    Taking notes with an application is more convenient than using your brain to remember. The convenience here is that at the end of the week or month, looking back, you will know which items you have spent, how many times spent on that item – all these things are recorded. Automation is very convenient. For example, when I look at a year ago, I see 60 spending items for KFC, 50 spending items for Texas Chicken - so I guess I ate 2 fried chicken meals a week on average, that's why my doctor told me that my blood fat is a bit high.

    When recording expenditures, there are also records of revenues. If you are a regular employee, you are likely to have only 1 fixed monthly income from the company. The question you might ask here is, are you satisfied with that income now? If not, what do you do next to increase this number? Suggest to the company to increase the salary, or do some other jobs to get more income (in the latter part of the article I will talk more about some of these jobs I am doing).

    Plan your spending

    Once you've gotten into the habit of recording your spending for about 3 months, you can start planning your next month's spending. People are busy talking about getting rich and investing, but in fact, the first thing you should do is keep the money you have. A month you spend less than you earn, so is progress on the path to getting rich.

    If, after looking at your recent spending months, you feel fine, keep spending. However, I guess most, like me, will find that they spend too much and waste too much. So the goal is that, next month, to spend less and save more. This is a good goal, but many people set the wrong goals. For example, if, for the past 3 months, you have spent 20 million each month, this month you could decide to only spend 10 million - that is not feasible. The most feasible path is to gradually decrease month by month, somewhere around 10-20% per month is very good. Last month you spent 20 million, this month determined to spend 18-19 million, so you are successful.

    When planning your spending, you need to list all the potential expenditures and estimate how the money will be spent in the next month. For example, here are the bills I usually pay each month, which you can refer to for yourself:

    1. Housing fees (rent, electricity, water, Internet, parking, house fees).
    2. Food and drink (buying food to cook at home).
    3. Money to go out (go to restaurants, watch movies, play this and that).
    4. Travel expenses (Taxi, gas, car repair, parking).
    5. Money for personal/family items (shampoo, shower gel, home decorations).
    6. Donations/gifts (weddings, funerals, parents, charity...).
    7. Pets.
    8. Fees and charges (phone, Netflix, Spotify, Canva...).
    9. Medicine.
    10. Study.

    The above are the basic categories.  There are other categories you might list, or combine.

    Once you've determined that you have a fixed amount of money each month, you can think of a few rules for how to divide it up accordingly. There are two easiest principles you can refer to.

    • The 50/30/20 rule. 50% for basic expenses (house, food, transportation), 30% for other needs (ie, it's okay if you don't have it), 20% for savings and investment.
    • The 6 jars rule. 55% for basic needs, 10% for learning, 10% for enjoyment, 10% for investment, 10% for saving and 5% for give-away.

    I have a rule of thumb if you to rent a house, which is not to spend more than 30% of what I earn each month on housing. For example, if you earn 1500$ a month, you can spend up to 500$ on housing – this is a common principle in the context of personal finance.

    When you have planned a 1-month spending plan according to the items above, you can break it down into weeks.  A month has 4-5 weeks. Set a fixed day every week and take 30 minutes to review whether you have followed the plan correctly.  If there are any areas where you have overspent, see if those areas can be reduced next week.

    2/ SAVING

    Once you understand and know how to plan according to the plan above, the next step is to plan on saving. As I said once above, we just have to worry about investing in what we do, getting rich in the other - but don't forget the generations of our grandparents and parents who know how to save money to buy a house, a car, and raise a family. So, in my opinion, before investing, know how to save. There are some saving principles that I am currently following and want to share with you.

    • The 20% rule & pay yourself first. For every dollar I receive, I always put 20% into my savings. This 20% can be used to save or invest (I will share more in section 3). The premise of this principle is that every time you receive money, you must first set aside the part you will save. My % is 20%, but you can set another number. When I receive a salary of 20 million, I save 4 million. When someone gives me 100K, I save 20K. Always follow the this rule. Paying yourself first creates discipline and your savings grow. Don't wait until you've spent most of your income and see how much you have leftover to save.  There's a high chance that you won't have any money left over.
    • Create an emergency fund. This fund is used in case you lose your job, or you have to go to the hospital. This fund corresponds to about 3-6 months of your normal spending. Depending on your situation, you can choose the appropriate size of the emergency fund. If you have family backing and can borrow easily, 3 months is enough. If you are a person who values security and you worry a lot, 12 months is recommended. For example, if you calculate that you spend at least 10 million a month on living expenses, then you need a fund of 30 million (3 months) to 120 million (12 months). You can base this on your minimum monthly spending, when you look back at the notes you made in the understanding step.
    • Create a 'sinking fund'. It's sort of a savings fund used to spend on something you have planned in the future. For example, go on a trip, buy a gift for your wife, buy a motorbike, and so on. This fund is like an emergency fund, but you are willing to spend it for your special goals.

    If you've already made money and don't have either of the above funds, start by saving enough for those two funds and postpone enjoyment spending until you have built up those two funds.


    Investing, I'm still learning, but I'm very familiar with having a lot of income sources. I myself am a person with many income sources. I want to share with you some guidelines for income that, no matter what profession you work in, you can use.

    • Do affiliate marketing. That is, you recommend products on e-commerce sites, and get % back from those products. The more people buy, the more money you receive. To do this effectively, a good personal brand or owning a social media channel with many followers is an advantage. For example, when you click on a certain page and buy anything on it, you will receive money.
    • Get ads. If you have a good personal brand or a social media site with a lot of followers, you can get ads for products. For example, when I post a promotional video on a Tiktok channel that I produce which has more than 100K followers, I can earn 150$ - 240$.
    • Sell insurance. You may be thinking negatively about insurance, but actually insurance is another good source of income. Insurance can be easier to sell than home sales and can be done online. A light insurance policy is about 300 USD, and you can receive 30-40% of the price in income. I'm going to sell insurance in the near future, I will guide you more.
    • Writing. This is my strength, so it brings me a lot of income. I write books and receive 20-30 million for 1 publication. I can write for brands and get 150 - 300$ for an article. If you like to write, this is also an option.

    Above is a little sharing of personal experiences to help readers better improve money matters. Good luck.

    Mr. LÊ TUẤN ANH, Career Consultant & Educator, is one of the first-generation career professionals in Vietnam. He is the author of 3 bestselling books on career and personal development topics. His strength is to use social media to interact and convey career messages to students. He currently manages the community of more than 100,000 vocational students on Facebook. You can reach Tuan Anh at

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    High-School Youth Building Projects to Win Internships

    On March 22/23. 2022, PilotCity CEO Derick Lee and six panelists from the program provided a dynamic online seminar for APCDA members: High-School Youth Building Projects to Win Internships.

    We want to thank the members of the PilotCity team and APCDA participants from all over the world for attending the webinar. Derick, a trained architect/entrepreneur, found what career specialist Jane Horan calls his "Genius Zone" by starting PilotCity and innovating the fabric of San Leandro, California – his hometown.

    Returning to his roots after college and a work-stint in placing USA university-bound international students into job-shadow programs in the USA, Derick Lee could see how the flow of talent out of his city of approximately 90,000 people led to stagnation. So, he set out to solve one of the most challenging problems of the small San Francisco Bay Area city near Silicon Valley by focusing on youth employment. One webinar participant chatted in agreement,

    “ My school district spends $130,000 US on one student’s education. After spending this amount of money and resources, we send them away to colleges. We then hope they come back, which they do not.”

    The six panelists included students Areeba Asaduzzaman and Eric Xie, two program alumni currently working for PilotCity. They each discussed their projects in the group “digital internships” inside significant companies and how they grew from that experience. The students hosted the discussion by asking provocative questions of the employers and teachers.

    Industry executives James Gardner from Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and Peter Tatischev, formerly from Uber and now working for Disney, provided detailed insights about their first reservations on hiring high schoolers. Although, at first, they both had doubts about managing the students' work-based internships, but they found that teachers provided terrific results interpreting the companies' requirements prior to the start of the project. After interfacing with local teachers to help guide the students, teachers provided project-based learning experiences in the classroom. This offered students new perspectives on what the companies needed to accomplish and motivated them to create solutions. Another example that makes PilotCity’s program work for employers is their efficient digital methodology of recruiting groups of students to match employer projects. This method streamlines and eliminates the traditional individual resume and hiring process.

    The students asked the two panelist educators, Jason Eber from Antioch High School, and Kristin Berbawy from Fremont High School, to explain how the PilotCity program works in their high school classrooms to help students prepare for the work-based internships. Both teachers confirmed the power of working directly with the companies. For example, Ms. Berbawy remarked that the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory brought real-life science problems into her engineering classroom. Executives came to schools to give lectures and talk about the skills needed in the workforce. While she had to accept the chaotic environment since students worked on different projects, the interaction with industry folks before the project begins gave the students a sense of purpose. And in the case of Uber, the transportation projects led to unique solutions the students produced proved to be valid for businesses outside of the taxi services.

    Mr. Eber hoped that many more of his students from economically challenged homes could get even more help from local industries because they were desperate to find meaningful work. The public school system transformed many students by increasing motivation for group internships that faced real-world problems. Although lacking confidence at first, many students begin to feel inspired to learn skills like taking risks, collaborating with others on a meaningful project, and talking directly to industry executives.

    The challenges among all six panelists included students learning to communicate with each other. For example, some students had very fixed mindsets with difficulties accepting criticism or even comments about their work, which leads to conflict and, hopefully, self-growth. Additionally, the key employers had to learn how to plan and manage the internship process; with extended deadlines, employers found they could give the student group the same pressure as they usually would with full-time employees and keep elevating expectations.

    In summary, PilotCity helps fuel meaningful, digital internships through students learning to communicate with each other and having opportunities to talk with adults such as crucial employers. Additionally, employers collaborate with teachers to create more extended deadlines for projects, giving the student group pressure. Students showed their absolute commitment and skills when doing their work – they made sure to get the job done and exceeded expectations. And finally, employers do more projects with PilotCity once as they understand how smart, willing, and ready high school students are for the new frontiers of the unknown, post-COVID workforce.

    Derick ended the online seminar with a lively demonstration of his onboarding flow-chart showing a range of all projects, how companies can sign up for a digital internship project and how interns can access that information and apply. One Webinar participant asked,

    “Is PilotCity open for only US students?”

    PilotoCity is open to working with APCDA members to see how these services can help in other countries. The employment services are ideal for high school, vocational education, and college students. If interested, please contact PiltoCity and Derick Lee directly at:

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    Career Satisfaction for Multi-passionate People

    By Tam Nguyen

    As a multi-passionate person myself and working with multi-passionate clients who struggle to achieve fulfillment at work, I started to collect all pieces and put together what I have learned to help them happier with their careers.

    What is a multi-passionate person?

    Multi-passionate personality is more common than ever before, however the term is quite misleading. It doesn’t mean the person has a lot of passions, rather it describes people juggling with some different interests, often unrelated. They have a wide range of interests, skills and usually have trouble settling down with just one. It’s the main reason why others might label them as confused, lack of commitment, indecisive.

    Why do multi-passionate people struggle with choosing a career?

    It’s quite hard for someone non multi-passionate to understand people who experience that. Outsiders might say “Lucky you, you have many options to choose from. Just commit with one and stop using it as an excuse for procrastination”. It’s unfortunately not that simple.

    The paradox of choice you might know. Professor of psychology Barry Schwartz named two consequences when people have many options “paralysis instead of liberation- with so many options to choose from, people find it very difficult to choose at all; unsatisfaction and regret of the choice being made – what if the one I didn’t choose is better?”

    When you have 6 jams and 24 jams to try and buy, which case do you think people will actually buy the product after trying? A famous jam study from Professor Sheena Iyengar Columbia Business School suggested that in the first case, 13% of shoppers will end up buying a jam; the second scenario only 3%. Just to be clear I’m not trying to compare between buying a jam vs choosing a career, but I hope you get my point. When people have many interests, choosing just one might make them feel like they have to give up the rest.

    Indeed, they quite struggle to set up a proper career path and build commitment around it just because juggling different interests is usually what brings them joy and a sense of fulfillment. It’s what they value in their life and potentially career.

    Society is part of the struggle as well when optimization means a specialist nowadays is more appreciated than a generalist. The lack of cross-department tasks, unfortunately, kills creativity and exposure space for multi-passionate people, leading to their confusion of value they can contribute and career dissatisfaction.

    Two types of multi-passionate people

    A multi-passionate personality can turn a person into either a powerful or confused career designer.

    A powerful one is when the person gains self-knowledge. They understand what they are looking for in the job, what’s most important to them, what is need to be met. By doing that they make sure they don’t neglect any hobbies/interests that nurture their souls and their authenticity. A powerful multi-passionate person will know what is the best way to balance all interests and give them room to be nurtured.

    A confused person doesn’t realize they have advantages, that they are multipotentialite (another name for multi-passionate people). In other words, they don’t see it as a strength so they never embrace the trait and let it shine. Juggling many interests means their energy can get drained easily, they get distracted often and find it hard to make a commitment. They will unconsciously try out a lot of things at once and give up before any hypothesis has been tested properly. A great lesson from a powerful multi-passionate person, self-knowledge and self-esteem is the key.

    A mindset to start designing a satisfying career for multi-passionate people

    Strength vs weakness

    Once people start to embrace multi-passionate personality as their companion, their strength, it will start serving its role. If they consider it as their enemy, it has no choice to play an evil role it has been assigned.

    Multiple lives vs one life

    Confused people are so caught up in the idea that we only have one life to live, meaning what we choose today will decide what we do for the rest of our life. Saying it out loud perhaps help them to realize it’s nonsense. A press release by BLS even though limited to a small subset of the population, revealed that individuals held an average of 12.4 jobs from ages 18 to 54. What we do today doesn’t decide what we do 10 years from now. Keep an open mind and instead of just thinking one lifetime, how about multiple lives? We always have a chance to creatively write a new chapter of our life every day.

    Life is nonlinear

    It’s never a straight line when we describe life. That’s what makes it worth living. It’s okay for us to try, to test and then if we see turning left seems wrong, we stop and be happy that now we know what would be the right direction.  

    3 ways to achieve career satisfaction as a multi-passionate person

    Having experience with quite some multi-passionate clients (myself included), I notice there are 3 ways we can help those people gain a sense of fulfillment:

    Umbrella: some interests and hobbies seem unrelated on the surface, but if we help them to think out of the box, dots start to be connected and we might find many cool combinations among those interests. Who knows, people might give birth to innovative ideas for current world challenges, or create a new industry/new position that has not yet been born.

    Job and side hustle: they might have jobs that have nothing to do with their interests but help them pay the bill. If the job brings them the security or advancement that’s part of their career values, why not go ahead. But make sure they have time and work-life balance to tap into other interests outside their working schedule. As long as people don’t sacrifice their career values and authenticity, career happiness can still be achieved in this case.

    Turn one interest into a passion: To turn one interest into a passion and grow a career with it, people have to make sure they prepare themselves with dedication, devotion, and determination. And never forget to book some time for other interests. Interests feed the souls of multi-passionate people, so avoid neglecting them which can further cause burnout and unfulfillment.

    Considering those 3 ways is not an either/or but different strategy. We can help clients try different ways in different stages of their life. But before starting to design appropriate strategies, help clients to learn about themselves first.

    Take-away message

    I constantly mention the importance of self-knowledge before designing a career and this is no exception. The very first step is to help multi-passionate people gain access to their self-knowledge. A person who values financial stability over creative freedom might find a stable well-paid position, even though it couldn’t provide room to express themselves creatively, still worth pursuing. They can then find an outlet for their creativity outside the office. Or they might talk to their boss to see if they can utilize the current environment to activate their creative stimulation.

    There is no one size fits all, but if we take time to attentively listen to clients and help them to listen to themselves, career satisfaction is within reach.


    Tam Nguyen, JCDC, JCTC, CLC, is a career and life coach based in Montreal, Canada. She helps professionals going through quarter-life and midlife crisis reclaim their voices, discover their career purpose to lead a meaningful life and career. Find Tam online: Empurpose’s website, LinkedIn.

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    Finding a Good Job: A Case Study

    A composite case study that embeds eight key principles and practices.
    By Dr. Marty Nemko

    Reprinted by permission of Dr. Nemko from Psychology Today

    Here is a first-person report that's a composite of my clients' experiences. It embeds eight key principles, practical and psychological, for landing a good job. After, I call those out.

    Hello, my name is Jeremy.

    The one thing I promise you is that I’ll be honest with you. For example, I’m not that smart. I felt lucky to get into a four-year college. And it took me six years.

    I had no idea what to major in. So, because I was curious about what makes people tick, I majored in psychology but soon discovered that the major had little to do with what makes people tick.

    But I didn’t want to start over with some other major and spend more years in school, more thousands of my parents’ money. I did want a decent GPA, but to get one, occasionally, I had to cheat. I told you I’d be honest with you.

    After I graduated, I took a couple of months’ break. I traveled a little, hung out a lot. Finally, I felt guilty and because of my parents’ pressure, I looked for a job, sort of.

    The best I could get was working at a café. But I soon got tired of that and of having to kiss up to my boss, plus having to work weekends, so I quit. My mother was sad and my father, who rarely yelled, did: “Get a job, a real job in 30 days or your butt is out of here!” I yelled back, stomped to my room, and slammed the door so hard that a little paint came off the frame, and I got high.

    The next day, I laid in bed wondering what the hell I was going to do. I wasn’t going to go to grad school, which is what you need to get a real psychology job. I thought, “I like the idea of being creative but I’m only a little creative. I like to write, but mainly short things. I like books, but to be honest, easy books. In the required English course, I didn't understand Shakespeare or most poems.

    So I decided to apply for entry-level jobs in book publishers’ PR departments: I looked up how to write a resume and applied to jobs on LinkedIn, but I didn’t even get rejections. I got silence, or as my country friend said, “Crickets.”

    There were 10 days left in the 30, a fact that my parents reminded me of. No, they reminded me at 25, 20, 15, and now 10. I didn’t really think they’d kick me out but I needed something to motivate me, so I faked believing they would.

    Grasping at straws, I got an idea. Maybe I could use my just-okay creativity and cheating to actually help me: I’d Google [quotes, (book PR)] and append the best quote I could find to the beginning of my resume and LinkedIn profile.

    The best quote I could find was this: “Writing a book without promoting it is like waving to someone in a dark room. You know what have you done but nobody else does.” Then I realized I didn’t need to cheat and claim it for myself. I’d get as much mileage by saying who wrote it: Madi Preda, who wrote a book on how to market a book.

    That motivated me enough to apply for a lot more jobs in book publicity. And I got interviews for two! I bombed the first one: I said, “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure” to three, yes three, questions! I was so embarrassed I was tempted to cancel the interview for the other job, but instead, I used my fear to really prepare. And I did okay, although I have to admit that some of it was simply the luck that my interviewer was my age. We clicked, and I got the job, an actual PR job for a book publisher! Well, assistant to the assistant of the PR manager, and no, it wasn’t Random House, far from it, but it was okay. No, more than okay.

    Embedded principles in this example

    Beware an introductory course's seduction. Taking a major's introductory course, for example, Introduction to psychology, may not provide a valid-enough sense of the major. The intro course often emphasizes the field's fascinations rather than statistics, the history of psychology, and theoretical models. That's often done, at least in part, because intro courses are used to recruit students into the major. So, before choosing a major, look at the syllabi for the courses in the major. You might glance at the readings, perhaps online or even by visiting the campus bookstore.

    Only sometimes is support more effective than threat. A core psychological principle is that praise and positive reinforcement work more enduringly than do threats and punishment. But across my many clients, as with the threat that Jeremy's parents issued, a threat can motivate, especially if support and gentle encouragement have failed.

    Developing a custom niche can be key to getting hired. A clear-eyed look at your strengths, weaknesses, and preferences can elicit a custom-tailored career goal, which thus is more likely to make you happy and successful in your career. In this case, Jeremy's valuing books but whose creativity and reading ability were only moderate, led him to a reasonable career goal: doing publicity for books.

    Applications need to be distinctive without seeming desperate. Most ads for good jobs attract many applicants, so it helps to provide something beyond a recitation of skills, interests, and experiences. But it can't be cheesy like the person who FedExed a bottle of salsa to prospective employers saying, "I'm hot. Try me." Jeremy's attempt at differentiation was appropriately modest: He put a relevant and compelling quotation at the top of his resume.

    Replace undue rumination with a low-risk action. Jeremy's getting started on his job applications quickly helped him realize that he had nothing to gain and everything to lose by not citing the quote's author.

    Quickly suppressing a setback can help. Bombing a job interview can shake a job seeker's confidence, of course. After quickly asking yourself if there are any lessons to be learned, try to push forward. Like the young child who has fallen off a bike, it's usually wise to get right back on lest the fear build.

    Try to convert fear into preparation. When Jeremy's first interview failed, he was tempted to curl up in a ball but made himself convert his fear into better preparation for the next interview.

    Luck matters, perhaps more than we'd like to acknowledge. Jeremy happened to have an interviewer who clicked with him—that was the tipping point. Of course, the more jobs you apply for, the more likely you are to have good luck. Per the cliche, luck favors the prepared.

    Marty Nemko, Ph.D., is a career and personal coach based in Oakland, California, and the author of 10 books.  He is the author of 13 books, including Careers for Dummies, plus 4,000 published articles, including in TIMEThe Atlantic, the Washington Post, and Psychology Today. Find Marty online: Marty Nemko's website, LinkedIn, Twitter

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    Succeeding in Your First Professional Job

    A case study with four embedded practices.
    by Dr. Marty Nemko

    Reprinted by permission of Dr. Nemko from Psychology Today

    Key points

    • Youth, rather than being seen as inexperience, can be a career launcher...if used judiciously.
    • Beware of jobs demanding that you pay lots of dues. Too often, they're undue dues.
    • Meetings offer a chance to strut your stuff without appearing self-aggrandizing. Tact is key.
    • Develop a niche at the intersection of the market and you. Use your favorite communication vehicle(s) to build your brand.

    This post begins with a first-person report from "Jeremy," a composite of my clients' experiences. It embeds four important practices, and after "Jeremy's" report, I call them out.

    It’s me again, Jeremy.

    So, I feel I should tell you that my excitement about my first professional job has waned. If you’ll recall, I got a job as the assistant to the assistant PR manager at a small book publisher.

    It turned out that my job was mainly scutwork: proofreading press releases and telemarketing to media people, most of whom were annoyed that I called. Typical response: “Just send me an email. (Click.)” So after a month, I quit.

    Since then, I've done some things that have worked better. I share them with you in hopes they might be helpful.

    When I got interviewed for jobs, I didn’t just sit there answering their questions. I treated it like a first date—we both had the right to ask questions. Of course, they asked more questions than I did. But, not only did my asking a few questions help me vet employers, it avoided my appearing desperate.

    I have to admit that my job search took longer than I had hoped, but I finally got a job that I felt could be a career launchpad. It is at a well-established book marketing firm. My boss assured me that while I’d have to do some mundane work—everyone has to—even though I’d just be an assistant publicist, there'd be opportunities to draft press releases and participate in planning meetings.

    So, that job was a good launchpad, but to make my career take off, I did some other things:

    I took some extra time to prepare for meetings so that I could have, at the ready, a good suggestion or two. The beauty of offering suggestions at a meeting is that, without tooting my horn, people got to see that I had some value beyond the mundane.

    After a couple of “attaboy”s, I politely asked my boss if, even though I was just an assistant, I might be allowed to take charge of one book. My boss was noncommittal, but I had planted a seed. When one of the publicists went on maternity leave, he said I could take on one of her books.

    Nevertheless, I felt interchangeable. I needed to feel special, needed, marketable. To develop my brand, I tried to use my youth: marketing books to Gen Z. I checked out a number of articles and books using a Google search and learned some surprising things. For example, I wouldn't have thought to make an unboxing video and post them on TikTok and Instagram. I didn’t even know what an unboxing video was! It’s simply a video of the author taking the first copy of the book out of the shipping box.

    So, I branded myself as a budding specialist in marketing Gen Z books on social media. I got active on forums, followed people on Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, including successful Gen Z authors. I attended meetings, mainly on Zoom, where I occasionally got to chat with a speaker after she finished a talk. Then I gave a short presentation at a meeting: 4 ways to Use TikTok to Market Your Book. Next, I repurposed that talk into a short article, sent it to appropriate bloggers, and one posted it. I even made one podcast: Jeremy Tocks Your Book. All that gave me the confidence to submit a proposal to the National Book Expo, which was accepted, although in a bad time slot. But afterward, three authors came up and asked to hire me to market their book.

    That tempted me to think about starting my own firm. Jeremy Tocks Your Book, I thought, but that felt premature. I brought the prospects' contact information to my boss who was impressed and implied that I'd soon become promoted to full publicist.

    I’m not sure where I’ll land, but I feel like I have launched my career.

    Embedded takeaways

    “Jeremy’s” report embeds these keys to launching a career:

    Beware of paying dues. When starting out, it’s natural to feel insecure, and so you feel you should pay a fair amount of scutwork dues. But both in job interviews and in the first days on the job, ask for career-launching rather than dead-end work. If your query yields a discouraging response, it may be time to look for another job.

    Meetings are easy visibility. Review each upcoming meeting's agenda and try to come up with a likely helpful idea or two. Of course, especially if you're just starting out, you probably want to limit the number of your suggestions and propose them respectfully. For example, “I’m wondering if X might be a good idea. What do you think?”

    Develop your brand at the intersection of your strengths and the market. Jeremy combined his youth, knowledge of Gen Z social media, interest, and growing experience in book PR to identify a niche: social media marketing for books aimed at Gen Z. He used Google to identify good articles and videos, an efficient way to learn. He then applied his learning by giving talks, first in low-risk situations to gain confidence and competence.

    With clear eyes, weigh the pros and cons of self-employment. When a few potential clients say they’d like to hire you, it’s tempting to set up your own shop. After all, you'd be in control and keep all the revenue. But there are liabilities: You have to do or pay for everything from marketing to IT to accounting. You also need to be a self-starter. It's usually wise to defer deciding whether to try self-employment until you've done some learning on the employer's dime.

    So, does this post contain any ideas that might help you launch your career?

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    Work as a Way to Heal Yourself

    Finding well-suited work and the motivation to pursue it.

    By Dr. Marty Nemko

    Reprinted by permission of Dr. Nemko from Psychology Today

    Key points

    • There are relatively easy ways to identify well-suited work, including scanning ads to learn about myriad under-the-radar niches.
    • Fearful about looking for work? Low-risk actions, writing your resume, and having a goal partner may help.
    • Work can provide more than money, including meaning, structure, contribution, and a possible way to heal yourself.

    "Work is almost the best way to pull oneself out of the depths." –Eleanor Roosevelt

    Many people find that well-suited work not only provides money and meaning, but it also heals.

    The right work for you

    Here are four relatively easy approaches to finding well-suited work:

    1. Scan the indexes of the Occupational Outlook Handbook and my book, Careers for Dummies. Each profiles hundreds of careers. The Occupational Outlook Handbook’s profiles are strictly the facts, while Careers for Dummies includes some subjectivity. For any careers that intrigue you, each profile concludes with a link to more information.
    2. Scan the ads. Thousands of careers fall between the cracks of the few hundred that are profiled in the aforementioned books. So it's often wise to spend a little time browsing the job listings on LinkedIn and Indeed. Take advantage of their filtering tools. For example, if you’re good at and enjoy counseling, use that search term. If you want a job in New York City, use that as a filter. Do you have a dream employer or three? Search by employer.
    3. Query everyone who likes you. Sometimes, the specific job matters less than it being a career launchpad, not a dead-end job. Just as the best real estate often doesn't reach the open market, neither do some of the best jobs. Those often go to a person who was recommended by the employer's trusted colleague or friend. So make a list of perhaps a dozen people who like you and could hire you or refer you to someone who could.
    4. Try simple self-employment: I’ve offered a number of simple self-employment ideas previously so, here, I’ll mention just one that might appeal to some readers of Psychology Today: being a self-employed coach or consultant. That instantly moves you from unemployed to CEO. Just have enough competence in a niche to be in reasonable demand and be enough of a self-starter.

    Gaining the motivation to search with vigor

    Especially if you’ve been away from the workforce for a while, fears can build up: Will I fail? Have I lost it? If I go back to work, I’ll have to change so much. Might any of the following help?

    No need for drastic action. Just dip your toe in the water: browse the ads, chat with a trusted friend, or write the job description of your dreams. Sometimes, low-risk action is enough to increase your motivation to do more.

    Write your resume/LinkedIn profile. It’s easy to think that you bring little to the table. But many of my clients have found that writing their resumé reminds them of their value. That’s because it forces you to think hard about what you’ve done in your previous jobs, school, and volunteer work.

    Get a goal partner. Some people do well to have a check-in partner: perhaps a friend who has some goal: to lose weight, stop abusing a substance, or yes, find good work. You might want to check in with each other daily by email, phone, Zoom, or in person.

    The takeaway

    The Buddha said, “Foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.” That may be a bit extreme but a possible healer for what emotionally ails you is to follow Eleanor Roosevelt's summative advice on work: “It is not more vacation we need — it is more vocation.”

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