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Asia Pacific Career Dev Assoc - January 2016
Natalie Kauffman, Editor; Esther Tan, Assistant Editor
Are You Ready for Taiwan???
by Cheri Butler

Happy New Year from APCDA! We are getting very excited about the jam packed activities and wonderful presentations planned for the 2016 APCDA conference in beautiful Taipei, Taiwan. Our keynote speakers are top notch and the list of presentations includes well-known and knowledgeable leaders in the field of Career Development. I am personally also very excited about the wonderful tour to end the conference visiting the Taipei National Palace Museum which is full of national treasures of Chinese history. We will have lunch at the Silks Palace. We hope that you will join us for this all day tour.

In the individual sessions we will be treated to presentations on such topics as: "Training Clinical Career and Life Design Counselors in China" by Brian Schwartz; "Chinese Returnees' conceptions of positive career outcomes after graduating from Australian Universities" by Serene Lin-Stephens; and "Adapting USA-Based Career Development Tools and Techniques for Use in South-East Asia" by Dick Knowdell and Timothy Hsi.

We will meet up for a dinner on Wednesday evening to enjoy local cuisine and visit the famous night markets near the National Taiwan Normal University, our conference venue.  This conference promises to be one to remember in years to come and I look forward to seeing you all there.

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APCDA's Professional Development Institutes

by Marilyn Maze

When you attend a conference, do you ever feel as if you learned a little bit about many things, but you want more depth? Professional Development Institutes are designed to satisfy that need. This year APCDA has asked 2 of our Keynoters to go into depth on important topics in career development. When such talented speakers are available, why not learn as much as possible from them?

The first day of APCDA's 2016 Conference, Wednesday, May 18, consists of optional activities. In the morning, a tour of Taipei Kai Ping Culinary School is offered. After watching these young people learn their craft, we will enjoy eating the food they have prepared.

In the afternoon, Dr. Y Barry Chung will conduct a 3 hour workshop on International Skills for Career Advancement. This workshop will focus on international collaborations and cultural differences. Using a worldview conceptual framework, participants will develop techniques for managing cultural differences to achieve success in international work. These skills are useful in the participant's career advancement as well as in helping clients who have global aspirations.

The main part of the conference, from Thursday morning until Saturday at noon, will include three keynoters and many breakout sessions with presenters from around the world.  Dr. Spencer Niles, who provides the Saturday morning keynote about the role of Hope in career planning, will provide a 3 hour workshop in the afternoon, going into depth on the techniques and strategies for hope-centered career counseling. His workshop will include learning the skills used in this approach and experiencing assessment tools which measure the level of hope in clients. Case discussion will be used to apply this approach to career counseling.

Each of these optional Professional Development Institutes cost only $100. For more details, review the information in the Program. To register, go to If you have already registered for the conference and wish to add these optional institutes, send an email to

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Thinking about a Career Credential? An up-to-date resource to help in choosing!
by Constance J. Pritchard

Credentials are valuable tools for career professionals. Credentials can help us gain competencies about specialized topics or current practices in our profession. Credentials can also help us gain credibility with our various stakeholder groups.

An important consideration for a credential is its value in a particular area. For example, someone working primarily with job seekers may find a specialized credential in that area (such as a Certified Resume Writer) helpful in gaining skills, knowledge, or employment. On the other hand, someone who is moving into a career field or needing a refresher, a more comprehensive training such as NCDA's Career Development Facilitator certification experience (leading to the Global Career Development Facilitator certification) can be valuable.

Secondly, considering the investment of time to cost of a credential is also important. Before embarking on any credentialing process, it is key to completely understand the learning, timeline, and delivery requirements. Author Paula Brand writes about considering a certification: "You may wish to speak with others who have previously attended a particular program or completed the certification process in which you have an interest." A credentialing process is an investment of time and money, so a careful analysis of what is required and the timeline can provide valuable information for decision-making.

Finally, another critical consideration would be what a particular credential can mean in the marketplace. Some credentials have international recognition and value while others could be nationally- or regionally-recognized. For example, across the United States, recognition of a credential can vary widely from one region of the country or within one industry sector. What the education sector may value could be different from business or government sectors. Asking around to see "what matters" can add more information for decision-making.

The Essential Guide to Career Certifications by Paula Brand and Shahrzad Arsteh is a comprehensive and easily-to-read review of over 40 key career-related credentials. This book, with an electronic version readily available, has been revised in 2015 with updated descriptions of certifications, eligibility requirements, and pricing – all with verified links. In addition to information about the credential, each entry includes continuing education and renewal process and costs. The book is an excellent starting point for understanding what is available and for beginning the matching process. For more information and to purchase, contact Paula Brand at or

Dr. Constance J. Pritchard, NCDA Career Facilitator Master Trainer and Instructor, Master Career Counselor, and NCDA Fellow. Dr. Pritchard is the owner of The Pritchard Group, which for 23 years has worked in the career and organization development fields. She provides career management consulting and training in the United States and internationally.

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The Career Development "Pill" for Singapore
by Gerald Tan

This article aims to explain the latest career development initiative introduced by the Singapore government and why it is timely to embark on it. It also explains Singapore's social context impacting employment mindsets and possible barriers preventing the people from embracing career development.

Singapore is a tiny island nation of over 5 million people that went from third world to first world in just 50 years. In early 2015, our government introduced the SkillsFuture initiative, which brought together multiple government agencies to develop interventions to facilitate career development and planning as well as skills upgrading. SkillsFuture is only a set of tools and interventions put in place by the government. The success of it relies heavily on how our people understand the purpose behind career development and use SkillsFuture to further their own careers.

Click here to read more about this exciting initiative.

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State of the Academe in the Philippines: On the Wings of Change*
by Florence T. Ladion

The academic calendar 2015-2016 ushered the transition of some major colleges and universities to a new school year. Instead of the usual June start that many institutions have been used to, this year saw schools align their schedules with the rest of their ASEAN neighbors-and maybe even to a large extent, the whole world. From a more local standpoint, however, this move may also be indicative of the strategic response that higher education institutions (HEIs) will likewise need to implement, as a result of the changes that the K-12 system will bring about. With the K-12 system in full swing by SY 2016-2017, many opportunities and challenges are expected to impact how HEIs will fare in the crucial next couple of years.

Other than the obvious enrollment drop that HEIs expect to happen as a result of the K-12 implementation, there are implications for career development initiatives. From a macro perspective, challenges include having to quickly orient career counselors and teachers alike about the myriad of opportunities in the technical-vocational sphere. As most Filipino families put a huge premium on college education, a massive paradigm shift has to happen as career practitioners need to educate both the students and their parents about the reality and viability of nontraditional careers. While many parents still dream of seeing their children become white-collar professionals (e.g. doctors, engineers, lawyers, teachers), they need to be reminded of the variety of equally gainful employment – that is, separate from obtaining a bachelor's degree. Career initiatives, especially at the basic education level, might need to be revisited in order to make welders, computer technicians, medical transcriptionists, butchers, Business Process Outsourcing/Offshoring (BPO) professionals, among others, equally worthy of consideration as viable job options. In fact, labeling these tracks as "alternative careers" may need to change, if only to raise the dignity of workers in these fields. After all, there is demand for such workers locally, in the region, and in major business hubs of the world. dialogues and forums are needed on both degree and non-degree career opportunities.

The ASEAN integration represented by aligning our academic calendars must signal the beginning of the free exchange of trade and talent. Now, more than ever, we can expect an influx of Asian nationals to compete for the same posts that our university graduates do. Also, we can anticipate our best and brightest wanting to seek offshore career prospects. Millennials are exposed to many opportunities and dream bigger than their post-war/hippie parents. The concept of portfolio careers – doing many things for a living all at the same time – for Gen Y has replaced the "my-first-company-is-my-last-company" approach of baby boomers. This tension may give rise to conflicts both at home and in the work place because of the cacophony of cultures amongst generations. The chasm and clash that these cohort differences effect are real issues that career development practitioners need to be able to handle well. Our response to these new realities makes our formation work truly integral to education in general. We need to constantly retool, maybe unlearn, relearn, and recharge. Credentials such as global career development practitioners (GCDF) may even be appropriate for those of us who are working to steadily professionalize the field.

The academic sector seeks to achieve a careful balance in responding to the changes that the K-12 system poses. Our role as career development professionals behooves us to keep moving along with the tides – but without losing a firm grip on the essentials of what we love to do: the work of forming globally competitive Filipino professionals who have our nation's best interest in their hearts. In the final analysis, if our hearts truly beat for this field, then non-negotiables in our professional practice must include integrity, life-long learning, unity in diversity, and, yes, even magnanimity – to keep giving to the students we value. We have to keep believing that the work we love doing is far bigger than ourselves. To continuously give to our stakeholders, we need to always go back to the basics… even as the world around us is moving forward at lightning speed.

Because, as one top-rating local TV soap (entitled "On the Wings of Love") has for its recurring theme, "Kapag mahal ka, babalikan ka" (Translation: "If someone loves you, he/she will surely go back for you"), we, too, in the academe resonate with the same premise.

We are on the wings of change.

*This article originally was featured in the November 2015 issue of the Career Development Association of the Philippines (CDAP) Newsletter for its 2015 Annual National Convention.

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Employment Service Centers in Taiwan
by Rong Lin Wu

I began my vocational counseling journey with the Employment Service Center of New Taipei City in 2011. The clients we serve can be categorized into four groups: young people (age 15-24), mid-level managers with experience seeking career transition, middle-aged or elderly long-term unemployed workers, and people with physical or mental disabilities. In the past, we provided employment services mainly to middle-aged and elderly workers and people with physical and mental disabilities. Now, we also provide services to new graduates and career changers. We assist individuals with supported employment services and also with creating career path plans. Although most vocational counseling services in Taiwan are related to self-exploratory, goal-setting, job-searching, interview simulation, analysis of labor market, resource inventory, career adaptation, and psychological support, some assistance differs based upon the varying needs of the clients.

The majority of our Employment Service Center clients are young people without work experience and professional skills. Their parents always want them to find stable jobs (e.g. as government officers or workers of hierarchy companies). However, 2015 data revealed that more than 800,000 of the available jobs were temporary jobs. Furthermore, this atypical employment has been increasing rapidly since 2008. We facilitate their school to work transition through providing self-exploratory and goal-setting activities, job-person fitness analysis, information about the labor market, job-searching assistance, and interview skills practice.

When Taiwan underwent industry structure transformation and experienced economic recessions, middle-level managers tended to be laid off. Although the clients in this category possess workplace knowledge, skills and experience, they face the challenge of fierce competition and the reality of fewer opportunities. Sometimes, they discover that they need to relocate to other regions or countries, such as China, that can provide a bigger job market. Sometimes, they find that they need to change their career identity and/or acquire new knowledge and new skills to compete more effectively. Maintaining a balance between work and family is an important issue for them.

Middle-aged or elderly workers with limited abilities and low educational background have even more challenges and fewer job opportunities. They often look for entry-level or labor-intensive jobs in traditional industries. Our vocational counseling services help this population focus on learning new technical skills, enhancing self-efficacy, extending flexibility of jobs, and developing workplace flexibility.

People with physical or mental disabilities are vulnerable groups in the labor market. Those with a manual disability tend to be more frequently declined during job interviews. We have discovered that practice with job-seeking behaviors and accepting part-time jobs were good rehabilitation exercises for this group. Thankfully, both local government and NPOs provide supported jobs in sheltered workshops, too. Our vocational counseling services further assists this population in enhancing self-efficacy and psychological recovery through helping them acquire new or further develop skills such as their ability to interact productively with others in the workplace.

Initially, vocational counseling within employment service centers was established in Taiwan to support vulnerable groups. As multiple groups with different needs emerged in 2008 due to the global financial crisis, their role has become more critical to ensure employment success across the varied needs of Taiwan's unemployed.

Rong Lin Wu earned a PdD in Psychology from Fu Jen Catholic University and works as a Psychological Counselor at United Psychological Service in Taiwan. He is registered with NCDA as a Career Development Facilitator Instructor.

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Parents – Advocates for Career Counseling and Career Guidance
by Raza Abbas

According to UNESCO and leading global institutions of excellence, Pakistan's current population is comprised of 60% youth. Career counseling and career guidance is needed for our youth to be competitive in national and global economies. Considering Asia's regional cultural context, parents are the key decision-makers in Pakistan when it comes to helping their children decide career fields. Realizing the importance of parents' influence, a pioneering parental career guidance research study is currently in progress. The pilot study was designed to instill hope in parents and share ground realities of various career fields in Pakistan so that their youth select career fields leading to meaningful and skilled jobs or to fields which help them establish start-ups and promote regional entrepreneurship.

The focus of the pilot research study is on parents whose son/daughter's are currently studying in 8th or 12th grade at public and private schools in Pakistan. The research is aimed at informing them about diverse career fields commonly known in the country and also sharing information about emerging career fields which will have bright future career prospects. The study provides career awareness to parents about the significance of some fields and how career selection influences career transformation for youth, their respective families and the Asian region as well.

As the research is currently in process, if other countries in the world have done similar parental career guidance research for middle school and high school parents and students, collaboration is still possible. In summary this pilot research study will be a paradigm-shift in the career counseling and career guidance profession. Parents will be strengthened in career education and they will be facilitated as an enlightened bridge for Advocacy of Career Counseling and Career Guidance in Pakistan and in the greater Asian region. For mutual collaboration and for supporting the pilot research study kindly contact Mr. Raza Abbas at

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Need for Career Counselling: An Indian Perspective
by Harpreet Bhatia

A person's career is one of the most important life activities and occupies most of the adult life. In our growing-up years, all of us have faced the question of what we want to grow up to be. The choices seem endless and added to that is the unavailability of a proper career counseling system in India. So we often depend upon our friends or other people in our lives for deciding this very important aspect of our life.


To a great extent, work determines our individual identity and worth and can influence our self-concept (George & Cristiani, 1995). As suggested by Cook (1991), work is a means by which adults connect with the world around them. When we enjoy our work, it can bring us great satisfaction and happiness and contribute to a healthy life adjustment. However, if we dislike the work we are doing, we can experience stress, boredom, and frustration. This often leads to low self-esteem and sometimes even physical illness.

Career by Choice Not by Chance

Informed choice has been shown to help us find satisfaction in our work. It also helps motivate us to succeed.

Parental Expectations

Parental expectations play a huge role in making career choices that are not our own. Right from early childhood, some of us are told by our parents what goal we should work toward – the situation that Marcia refers to as 'foreclosure'. In India's collectivist society, parents and close relatives play an important role in decision making.

What Career Counselling Does:

  • Provides career exploration
  • Matches aptitudes and interests to career choices
  • Establishes a career plan/assists with course selection
  • Explains entrance requirements
  • Explores strengths and weaknesses
  • Develops soft skills
  • Develops skills for balancing academics, social life, & work
  • Provides work skills certification/training/on-the-job training /entrepreneurship
  • Facilitates resume writing
  • Helps with completing application forms/cover letters
  • Develops interview skills
  • Facilitates understanding and development of workplace attitudes, expectations, responsibilities

The three most important things a career counselor can give to the client is hope, opportunity, and choice.

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School Career Counseling in the USA
by Ellen Weaver Paquette

The US educational system, K-16, attempts to educate all children to the fullest degree possible; an admirable goal but one which has experienced many problems.

The United States is an very heterogeneous society, with many cultures, languages, religions, socio-political and economic variations. All children are mandated to attend school, whether attending a public school run by each state, a private school with selective entrance requirements, or home schooled under specific state guidelines.

Under President George W. Bush, "No Child Left Behind" legislation was enacted to assure that all children achieve a minimum level of competency, a laudable goal that proved difficult to achieve. Classroom teachers, who favor individualization, especially with students who had academic challenges, felt restricted by the need for everyone to achieve at the same level. "No Child Left Behind" focused on testing, which had taken a lot of time from assisting students in the learning process. Recent adoption of "Common Core" (students learning the same topics throughout the US) has taken the requirement of uniformity to a whole new level and further distracted teachers from meeting individual needs.

Private school enrollment soared, as parents wanted an alternative-learning environment that encouraged diverse learning styles. "Charter schools" (selective schools authorized to emphasized themes in education such as STEM, performing arts, etc.) have uneven track records of success.

Where is school counseling in this formula? Many school counselors are consumed by the demands of parents seeking help in college admissions policies, parents of students with special needs, students without parents in need of guidance and referrals from classroom teachers, school administrators and police who grapple with the needs of adolescents trying to find their way in an adult world.

Very often, career guidance is last on the list. School counselors were strongly encouraged to send as many students as possible to college and had minimal training in career counseling. They perceived that colleges were a place for students to mature, while colleges expected students to be decided, focused and ready to plunge into an academic life.

Alternatives to the “fast track to college” exist, but are less well known to students in high school. The needs of the US workforce have convinced some decision-makers to highlight careers that do not require a four-year degree. Entities well placed in business and industry, trades, and government have called for an awakening and reform in the process. In our US President’s last two State of the Union addresses, he suggested that community colleges be FREE to all graduating high school seniors. We will see how their efforts and his suggestion are represented by action with the next elected president and across the next 10 years.

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APCDA Webinars Reach Around the World
by Natalie Kauffman

APCDA strives to serve the large territory in our region through webinars. Although it is difficult to serve so large a region and communicate with an audience that is halfway around the world, modern technology, thankfully, makes it possible.

The first webinar of 2016, "Critical Ingredients for Career Interventions," is based on research that summarizes years of studies that identify the ingredients that make the most difference regarding the effectiveness of career interventions. Be prepared because this workshop is chock full of surprises for most career practitioners. Dr. Marilyn Maze will encourage practitioners throughout the Asia Pacific region to apply this research to their own practices. The webinar will be held live on Wednesday January 27/Thursday January 28. If that date has passed by the time you read this, the webinar will be recorded, so you can still find it on our website after the event.

Our next 2016 webinar will be conducted Wednesday March 2/Thursday March 3 by Dr. Mary McMahon of Australia and Dr. Mark Watson of South Africa. "Telling Stories of Career Transition through Scores and an Integrative Structured Interview Process" provides tools for objectively assessing the information clients provide as they tell the story of their life. This practical workshop was highly acclaimed at our 2015 conference in Tokyo and these two experts have graciously agreed to present it again for those who missed the conference or would like a learning refresher.

Both webinars provide useful tools every career practitioner needs. We hope you will take advantage of these opportunities.

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2016 CDAA National Conference
by Rosie Warner

25th May to 27th May 2016
The Sofitel Melbourne on Collins
Melbourne, Victoria

Some reports suggest 50% of today's occupations will be redundant by 2025. How can career practitioners best serve their clients and students in this radical context?

A well-known sales axiom urges "fish where the fish are." But in a rapidly transforming career world, we should instead ask "where will the fish be?" This mindset looks to the future and calls for preparation, now.

With stubbornly high unemployment rates in certain demographic segments, with record levels of youth unemployment, on the one hand, and industries unable to recruit candidates with the knowledge, skills, and attributes, on the other, there is a seriously wicked problem to be solved. International benchmarks indicate that Australia still lags behind other OECD states on educational performance with little improvement over the last decade. For example, Australia is ranked 12th of 22 nations in OECD's survey of adult numeracy skills, with nearly 20% of Australians assessed to be at the lowest skill levels.

Adult numeracy and literacy skills are critical for economic and social participation in the technology–rich 21st century. Proficiency in these skills is linked to workforce participation, employment outcomes and earning capacity.

This conference will explore the way that Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) are promoted as key pathway opportunities. Many commentators predict that jobs which require these skills will increase significantly in the future while predicting a shortfall in talent who possess these skills.

Does this wicked problem mean that STEM occupations are for everyone? How transferable across careers will STEM skills be? If very large numbers of career hunters develop STEM skills, could those fields become saturated? And how relevant are these skills for entry level positions when the projected areas of job growth for the next 5 years includes the services, business, retail and tourism sectors?

This Conference aims to address all of these questions, and much more.

For more information, visit our website:

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NCDA Conference Schedule

Are you planning to attend the NCDA Conference in Chicago June 30 to July 2? APCDA will be there, but our events are scheduled the day before the conference is scheduled to start (??!). So be sure to arrive early to join us. Here are Some of some of the events that include include APCDA members:

Wednesday, June 29

  • 6:00 - 7:30 pm - APCDA Membership Meeting, Grand Suite 2AB
  • 8:00 - 9:00 pm - International Reception

Thursday, June 30

  • 8:00 - 9:45 am - Global Connections Committee Meeting
  • 12:45 - 2:00 pm - #103 The Intersection between Meaning and Culture: Cultural Values Manifested in the Workplace in the Asia Pacific Region by Cheri Butler, Asia Pacific Career Development Association; Yuan Ying Jin, Korea University

Friday, July 1

  • 10:15 - 11:30 am - #306 Effects of the Hope-Centered Model of Career Development for College Students by Sungsik Ahn, Eun Hee Kang and Hyeuk Kim, Career Development Center, Korea University; Hyung Joon Yoon, Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane; Norman Amundson, The University of British Columbia, Canada; Spencer Niles, The College of William & Mary
  • 10:15 - 11:30 am - #308 Best Practices for Supporting International Students: NCDA International Student Services Committee by Satomi Chudasama, Princeton University; Elizabeth Knapp, University of St. Thomas
  • 4:00 - 5:15 pm - #613 CT1 Transforming Youth Future Workforce: Instilling Hope by Raza Abbas, Pathway Global Career Institute

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