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Asia Pacific Career Dev Assoc
February 2018
Natalie Kauffman, Editor; Julie Neill, Assistant Editor
I Keep the Ends Out for the Tie That Binds
by Brian Hutchison, PhD, LPC, CCCE

Ask yourself the question, how am I an influencer in my professional career practice?

The title of this article is from the American folk/country singer Johnny Cash song "I Walk the Line." The meaning of the lyric describes an expression of keeping ourselves free and open to become connected to others with whom we will develop deep, meaningful relationships.

This lyric serves as my perfect metaphor for what APCDA is when it achieves its greatest potential. Your choice to be a member is how you are keeping your "Ends Out" looking for deep, meaningful professional connection with the hope that APCDA provides the "Tie" to others' "Ends." The "Bind" is when this connection becomes deep and meaningful to you as a career services professional.

Keeping one's ends out for the tie that binds is not a passive process. It requires you to extend yourself to the organization and other members in ways that expose your professional talents and deficits; often without knowing if what you give to the profession is a talent or a deficit when compared to others!

This process is scary! Yet, like any important meaningful relationship, it takes vulnerability to achieve closeness therefore I am writing today to ask each person reading this to extend themselves further to APCDA and its membership so that we can continue to grow. I would like to recognize some members who have done just that since my last newsletter column.

The Member Engagement through Technology Task Force is being chaired by Ms. Satomi Y. Chudasama (USA) and includes Hector Lin (Singapore), Dr. Eric Anctil (USA), and Elvo Sou (Macau). Each Task Force member responded affirmatively to the invitation after sharing their technology vision during presentations and meetings at the annual conference in Manila. This 6-month appointment is tasked to explore global best practices and make recommendations to the APCDA Board pertaining to increasing the frequency, effectiveness, and scope of engagement activities for APCDA members via the use of technology.

Dr. Lisa Rauffman, chair of the Membership Committee, is hosting Membership Orientations on-line to welcome new members into the organization. This creative and welcoming idea is an exceptional example of the steps we are taking to "tie those ends that bind."

Drs. Regina M. Hechanova (Philippines), Eric Anctil (USA), and Rich Feller (USA) have all hosted webinars to bring cutting edge career topics to our membership while also giving us an opportunity to connect around problems of career services practice.

A special 'Shout Out' to our Glossary Project Work Group; their ongoing efforts are much appreciated. As an organization, we continue to "Grow Our Wow" (see October '17 newsletter), increase our "Spheres of Influence" (see December '17 newsletter), and provide opportunities to "Tie the Ends that Bind." Even though our organizational structure includes Country Directors, board members, Committee Directors and committee members who have begun to engage or have been engaging or with APCDA for some time, I invite each and every APCDA member to reach out to someone in APCDA whom you appreciate for their work and thank them today. If you like, copy me on the message ( so that I know their good work and can thank them too. Your time, effort and energy helps us all keep our "Ends Out." Thank you again.

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News of the Association
by Dr. Marilyn Maze

Beijing Conference: This year's information-packed conference includes 97 presentations, with 20% more simultaneous presentations than ever before, plus over 20 Poster Sessions. Presenters represent 23 countries and cover an amazing diversity of topics.

Webinars: We have offered one webinar each month this fiscal year. The next one will be on February 12/13 and address the question: How can a career professional identify students with potential for a STEM career nearly a decade before they pursue it? Click here for more information.

Scholarships: The deadline for applications from Emerging Leader Scholarships (graduate students and new professionals who completed degrees within the last 5 years) is February 15. The scholarships cover the cost of registration at the conference.

Awards: Nominations for the 3 APCDA awards are due by March 16.

APCD Journal: The first edition of the Asia Pacific Career Development Journal will be released in March. Authors are invited to submit manuscripts for the second edition which is planned for September.

Glossary Project: The Glossary Project Work Group has been meeting regularly and expects to have an initial glossary in English available in time for the conference. We hope to find volunteers in each of our member countries to develop translations in the local languages so that we can share a common understanding among many cultures.

Current Board Discussion Topics:

1.  What is APCDA's role in assisting member countries?

Our original mission was to facilitate networking among individuals from countries in the Asia Pacific region. We believe it may be time to expand our mission. Our Newsletter and Country Pages provide a wealth of information about career planning around our region, our webinars allow people from various cultures to meet virtually and discuss timely topics monthly, and our conferences allow career development professionals to meet face-to-face and learn from each other. In addition, we have been asked to provide help in organizing Career Development Associations (CDAs) in countries that did not previously have them, assist with speakers, and provide other types of assistance to needy countries. APCDA and many of our member countries struggle with serving professionals in a variety of settings and locations over a large distance. We are looking for ideas for better meeting these needs. We are also working on policies to guide our development and activities.

2.  What are our expectations of Country Directors?

The Job Description for the position of Country Director is in the process of being reviewed. When APCDA started in 2012, we were delighted to have volunteers to represent the countries where our members are located. As we continue to grow and expand, we are considering defining standards and goals for our Country Directors. Although we realize that our policies always need to be flexible and adaptable because each country faces different challenges and each Director has different strengths, more clarity might be useful.

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UNDP India Initiative for Career Development
By Dr. Narender Chadha

The 2-day international Workshop on Models for Career Guidance and Counseling in Schoolsamp;Colleges in India was held December 13-14, 2017 at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) India Conference Hall, New Delhi. The 2-day workshop brought together national and international practitioners in an effort to mainstream career guidance and counseling efforts in terms of scaling up and implementation, as well as to discuss on-going challenges of female workforce participation, the role of technology/data, and effective ways in which to involve multiple stakeholders - including the private sector. The following key points for national policy development emerged.

Clement Chauvet, UNDP, reported "out of 10 students only 4 are employable, and 6 cannot start working directly. A lot can be done for informed career choices, and for us to groom them to reach that stage. We don't know what technical skills will be required. But, in the next ten years, 25% of jobs won't be ones that exist today. So, more skills are needed to adapt, to change - to learn, and to learn faster." Harsh Singh, UNDP, told the conference attendees about their work with many state governments and shared results of several pilots.

In Employability as a Tool for Empowerment, Sunita Sanghi, Economic Advisor - NITI Ayog (National Institute for Transforming India) talked about the interventions like apprenticeship training programs and on-the-job work training. The Delhi Government is focusing on expanding and upgrading the infrastructure so that the ambience in the schools can improve and the capacity development of teachers and leadership (i.e. principals) can be done. An Overview of Career Guidance and Counseling Centre (CGCC) Models in Disha was presented by Dr. S.K. Shanthi. Disha has data of approximately 240,000 girls and women who have participated in the career guidance and counseling models.

The Country Case Study: India was presented by Prof. N.K. Chadha, Dean of Social Sciences, Manav Rachna International University, in the form of a base paper. He proposed a model of holistic education and career development. Compulsory pre-primary and primary education is there until grade 5. At the elementary level and secondary level, the compulsory education should be parallel with vocational programs, labor-oriented programs and contextual, career-based, learning projects. Students joining universities (BA to PhD) need to be exposed to career/industry connect programs and those going for polytechnic, skill-based, vocational degrees should be offered work-life programs.

Employability Baseline According to India Skill Report 2017 was presented by Nirmal Singh. He reported, "employment in India is a challenge. It is also hard to be unemployed in India." COIGN, the Telangana Case was presented by Dr. Neeraja. She narrated the job placements to students with the support of Disha in Telangana. Students are now getting an amount of 15,000/month and COIGN is looking forward to more placements for girl students.

The international case studies included several presenters. Carmelo Siojo, Director, Office of Placement and Career Services, Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines, delivered the topic of Gender Employment and Career Development in the Philippines . She spoke about Youth Employment Programs like Job Start that assists out-of-school youth by providing them with a set of integrated services. Alberto Puertas, Career Advisor, Brigham Young University, USA, shared information about Career Guidance and Counseling in South America. His discussion centered on Chile where teachers play an important role in career guidance in terms of citizen participation, pregnancy prevention etc. Secil Kinay, Vehbi Koç Foundation, Turkey, focused on Career Counseling and Guidance in Turkey. She reported the counseling and guidance system is throughout the schooling life of a person in Turkey. Allan Gatenby, Principal Consultant, OneGroup Leadership, Australia, discussed Models of Career Counseling & Guidance: Enabling Happiness - Standing on the Shoulders of Giants . Australia is a benchmark for career development practice. Dr. David Reile, Executive Coach, The Career Development Alliance, and Managing Director, R/S Foundation, LLC, USA, focused on helping students in high school understand what the local market is like, working with industry to connect with the labor market and training students for employment areas. Barbara Suddharth, Executive Director, The Career Development Alliance, USA, reported the Best Practices in Women's Career Development . She narrated the importance of connecting family and work; valuing pluralism and diversity; exploring spirituality and life purpose; and managing transitions and organizational change.

From left: Alberto Puertas, Harsh Singh, Allan Gatenby, Narender Chadha, and Clement Chauvet

Many panel discussions were held to see career development through a variety of lenses. The panel discussion on Career Counseling and Gender voiced that girls have to understand what they themselves want. The panel discussion on Career Counseling and Policy Framework suggested that career counseling policies should begin with schools, move on to a college and university focus, continue to training institutions like trainings and public employment and then finish with a workplace focus to avoid the midlife crisis. The panel on Application of Technology for Career Counseling and Guidance reported the technology-based application for career counseling services. India is almost a continent in terms of population and yet only 24.3 or 25% have access to internet. The panel discussion on Private Sector Engagement for Robust Career Counseling and Guidance in Schools and Colleges explained how the private sector can get engaged in many different ways: placements, internships, apprenticeships, etc. The panel further shared that there is a clear disconnect between the education system and the labor market. Once bridged, it's an easier transition to make progress.

Overall, the two-day workshop presented an epitome of knowledge for all who attended. The insights gathered from the key points that emerged will be integrated to recommend a policy framework to meet career concerns of and mainstream career guidance for Indian students as well as address current and potential workforce issues.

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The Career Development Association for Singapore!
By Sing Chee Wong

Singapore has its own Career Development association!

Launched on Jan 11, 2018, the People and Career Development Association (PCDA) aims to promote and advocate for career development in Singapore among career practitioners, and those who have keen interest in career development, but may not offer direct services in this profession. They include Human Resource professionals, Talent Managers, C-suite Executives, Line Supervisors, Teachers/Instructors, Recruiters and even parents! These groups of people exert significant influence on the career planning and development of individuals, especially in career choices of their clients, co-workers, students and children.

We also want to enhance the practice of Career Development in Singapore among our members.

It is therefore PCDA's mission to:

  1. Promote and Advocate for Career Development in Singapore
  2. Advance Career Development Practices in Singapore
  3. Ensure Sustainability to Promote Members' Interests and Benefits

Although the focus is on developing career development in Singapore, PCDA also has a vision to reach out to the Asia Pacific region. Through the Association, we hope to exchange knowledge, best practices, resources, as well as visits with career practitioners and career development associations in the region.

Our mission is to:

"Impact Societies Through Career Development"

At the recent PCDA's launch, hosted by Prudential Insurance, we were pleased to have with us Ms Ono Motoko. She is currently residing in Singapore, and was referred to us by Mr Yoshimi Sasaki, Director-General of Japanese Career Development Association (JCDA). She is our first overseas visitor. We look forward to more of such visits and exchanges.

PCDA has ambitious plans to initiate many projects and activities this year. They include organizing Townhall meetings, Community of Practice activities, Master Classes, conferences, webinars, local research projects, development of action-based resources for use in Singapore, e-bulletins, website development... The list goes on. Finally, we hope to form more relationships and elicit support from friends and Career Development communities in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Macao Career Development Association held its first activity and looks for its professional development activities for the year of 2018
by Claire Ouyang

Macao Career Development Association (MCDA), a young professional association, has been established to promote the professionalization of career planning services in Macao.

Career services have appealed to the Macao government and local non-government organizations for years. School teachers, social workers, and psychological counselors have been spontaneously providing career services and educations in various setting in the last decade. MCDA's goal is to meet the needs of professionalization. The association hopes to accomplish this goal by focusing on two kinds of activities: 1) providing training that combines established international resources and local best practice experiences and 2) facilitating exchanges among local and overseas practitioners.

On September, 23, 2017, MCDA successfully held its first professional development gathering. According to the audience feedback, this event was impressive and satisfying beginning with its key speech and continuing through the many provided interactions. The key speech was delivered by Prof. Hsiu-Lan Shelley Tien, the former president of Asia Pacific Career Development Association. Her speech covered several important topics including challenges of career education in local high schools, referrals of cases, and screening clinical trends behind career issues. A small group of 32 participants from education, industry and social welfare helped deepen the exchange process. As a result of the gathering, many attendees expressed their interests in becoming a member.

MCDA plans to provide more professional trainings and opportunities to exchange ideas in 2018 for its members and well as to local career practitioners.

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Sharing Two Career Trends in South Korea: Understanding youth's struggles in South Korea
by Sungsik Ahn and Jinkyeong Yeo

In this article neologisms regarding internships will be introduced. Readers are invited to review our April 2016 APCDA newsletter article ( for additional backgorund information. Two neologisms were introduced in that issue to facilitate understanding of South Korean youth's struggles in employment.

Gold-tern vs Soil-tern, and Spoon Classes: The reflection of declining social mobility

Working as an intern in companies or organizations before graduation has become a necessary course for college students in South Korea. Internships help college students not only to gain some work experience but also to make a living. However, finding and being offered an internship opportunity is as hard as securing employment after graduation. Some companies provide good internship opportunities for college students which are generally paid and include training opportunities to learn about specific jobs and industries. Unpaid internship can be helpful as long as students (interns) can learn about jobs or industries and gain more work experience. Bad internships tend not to differ from a part-time job — no training opportunity and repeated simple chores. South Korean youth refer to good internships as Gold-tern and bad internships as Soil-tern. The economic inequality in South Korea needs to be considered to understand these neologisms.

The recent economic inequality in South Korea has become a social problem due to the rapid growth of the economy since the 1970's. Social and economic polarization makes youth discouraged when they begin their own career and especially when they are seeking internship or jobs. According to 2017 Korean statistics [1], only about 23.1% answered positively (highly or moderately possible) to moving (within one generation) to upper status and 30.6% for the child to move (between two generations) to upper status. The positive response has been declining since 2011 (a positive response to movement within one generation was 28.8% in 2011 and 23.1% in 2017). The perceived social mobility in South Korea has declined and a fixed socioeconomic status, which passes on to the next generation, has become a social problem.

Reflecting such social phenomenon, the new term of 'spoon class' is widely shared among youth [2]. Specifically, there are three classes of spoon people: gold spoon, silver spoon and soil spoon. Yes, the expression was from the English saying "Born with a silver spoon in one's mouth." The spoon class differs depending on the size of assets and salary of parents. There is no strict definition of gold-spoon, but generally those perceived as gold-spoon have parents with more than two billion Korean Won (about 2 million USD) in assets and more than 20 million Korean Won (about 200,000 in USD) income per year [3].

The expression of spoon class was adopted to describe the quality of internship: Gold-tern and soil-tern [4]. Although securing a good internship is very competitive, there is evidence that some gold-spoon students secure good internships by sharing their parents' socioeconomic status, not by marketing their own competencies. Many times, parent networking, itself, results in internships for their offspring at preferred employers such as government-owned companies, large companies, famous law firms, congressional offices, etc. [5]. Some of those employers do not offer regular internship and only create internship positions for children of their royal customers or important persons. Other college students cannot even apply for these internship from such employers. These internships also are referred to as gold-tern because only those who were born with a gold spoon in their mouth can secure them. In the very rare situations this practice gets uncovered, it becomes news. Such news and/or seeing such friends greatly frustrates other college students who try to do their best to secure internships or employment.

Internships provide a very important course or period for both college students and employers. College students can learn some work-related experience and explore their aptitude or interest for specific jobs before making a career decision while employers can have opportunities to attract and find highly competent and right employees for their organizations. Many large companies in South Korea offer job opportunities to their interns at the end of the internship and most of them recruit and select interns in a fair and transparent selection process. Regretfully, good internship opportunities still exist in small numbers compared to the number of students seeking them. Thus the resultant highly competitive process coupled with news of gold spoon students securing gold-tern at good employers through help of their parents cause youth to become discouraged and feel that social mobility ended.

With neologisms and related social phenomenon, I hope readers understand how hard South Korean college students struggle for internships and employment. I also hope readers do not misunderstand that all of gold-spoon students take shortcuts in seeking internships or employment. In fact, many privileged students also struggle to do their best to create a better future. The recent youth unemployment rate was 8.6 (November 2017), which was increased 0.1 percentage point from the previous year [6]. We, as career professionals, are trying to create more effective and quality services to help our youth to overcome this difficult competitive reality.


[1] Korea Statistics (2017). Index of social mobility possibility perception. Retrieved from

[2] Jung, H. (2015.12.26). 2015 trend 'Spoon Class', a result of perceived inequality (Korean). Oh my news. Retrieved from (A direct link to this article:

[3] Kim, B. (2016.11.4). Soil-spoon theory and hell chosun (Korean). Retrieved from (A direct link to this article:

[4] Chun, J., Kwon, K., Hong, J., Kang, H., & Lee, Y. (2016.8.13). [Coverstory] Gold-tern vs Soil-tern… Intern polarization (Korean). The Dong-A Ilbo. Retrieved from (A direct link to this article:

[5] Noh, K. A. (2018.01.16). [Neologisms] Saddish… soil-tern, tissue-intern, manger-intern (Korean). Jungsogieopnews [Middle and small company news]. Retrieved from (A direct link to this article:

[6] Kim, J. (2017.11.21). Youth employment hits record low, senior jobs soar. Retrieved from (A direct link to this article:

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Inclusive Career Education Teacher Training Program
By Raza Abbas

Inclusive Career Education assists with improving global economic cooperation and helps with fighting global poverty and sources of social stress. It enables humanity to nurture across the globe and leads to social justice and harmony. The United Nation High Commissioner for Human Rights considers four key principles of inclusion: the dignity of every person, the right to self-determination, the intrinsic equality of all people regardless of difference, and the ethic of social solidarity. An institutionalized Inclusive Career Education Teacher Training Program has been strategically developed to instill hope and meet the challenges of multi-cultural inclusivity for youth. The Training Program involves all the relevant and key stakeholders, i.e. educators of schools and colleges (grades 8-12), employers, parents and most significantly the youth, themselves. Educators will learn to identify the hidden talent of youth at early ages, 12-16 years. They will become adept at exploring hindrances to youth inclusivity. The overarching goal of this innovative and holistic training program is to develop career educators with a long-term vision to ensure that today's youth will be able to meet the needs of the future workforce.

Raza Abbas is the Chief Executive Officer of Pathway Global Career Institute

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Two Significant Successful Career Milestones Twenty Years Apart
by Han Kok Kwang

The first significant career milestone occurred in my "previous life" as a corporate man with AIA Singapore in 1997. It was a forgettable year for many because of the Asian financial crisis, but 1997 was a memorable year for me. I won the National Human Resource Professional of the Year Award with my team and also earned a 2nd promotion. Little did I know then that I would be leaving to be my own boss just 2 short years later!

For a full-time employee, the anxiety of going out on your own is scary beyond words, especially with a hefty mortgage loan and 2 young kids. But I took the plunge anyway because I was finding it harder and harder to get up in the morning to go to work and began to realize that it was time to go. Painful as it was, though, I had to be responsible. I had to make sure that my loved ones didn't suffer simply because I was tired of being of an employee. I created a buffer of 12 months to maintain some sanity for my family while I began my adventure. I didn't just quit.

The statistics on becoming your own boss is not pretty. Roughly 20% of new businesses survive past their first year of operation. That was the case two decades ago and is still the case today. Around half of all businesses no longer exist after five years. Only one-third make it past their 10th anniversary. Even for Fortune 500 companies, the lifespan today is only 15 years, compared to a lifespan of 75 years in the 1950s.

2017 represented my 18th year on my own, which meant I beat the above odds! Yay!! Perhaps that is why I won the Marketing Institute of Singapore (MIS) Best Personal Brand Award 2017. The award honors individuals with the highest visibility on social media. It recognizes individual achievements in terms of personal assets, strengths and skills, and positioning.

After 18 years in the trenches, I developed my own cards (see below) to better help my clients and candidates, with a focus on the demand side of the equation. The supply side is good for self-discovery, but that alone will not get you a job if you don't know how the market and hiring managers think.

Being on my own has been a roller coaster ride, with no end in sight. Never knew that a cost-center person (aka support function) could survive and thrive on my own. For all the cost-center employees out there who are exploring coming out on your own, don't!

It takes a really crazy person and lots of guts to forego a stable career and "wake up unemployed" every day! And why I said don't is because in today's digitally disruptive world, you don't need to quit your job to be your own boss.

Having said that, it is time to get your Plan B in place, because there is no more job security in a smart economy that is driven by Artificial Intelligence.

Finally, run your reality checks regularly: How would you earn an equivalent income if you lose your job tomorrow?

As career professionals, we must lead by example and stay ahead of the curve. If we can't even stay happily employed (self-employed or employee), how can we help our clients to do so?

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