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NEWSLETTER - September 2021


PACDA’s December event was wildly successful. We celebrated PACDA’s 2021 achievements, member benefits, and 2022 plans.
In addition to entertainment and breakout sessions for networking, the session provided the following:

Intro to PACDA (it was a first-time event for many registrants)

We used the story telling approach of answering What, Who, Why, When, Where, and How questions to describe PACDA:

  • What: A state Division of the premier professional organization for career coaches: National Career Development Association (NCDA).
  • Who: Career Practitioners in outplacement, talent development, higher ed, K-12, workforce development, private practice, public/private agencies,
    and NFP settings.
  • Why: Offer high quality, accessible, affordable professional development and networking opportunities to career services practitioners.
  • When: Monthly programming.
  • Where: Virtual for now (regional onsite programming post COVID-19).
  • How: Committees and project teams governed by monthly Leadership Collaboration meetings (open to all volunteers).

Overview of PACDA Member Benefits

We offer our members an array of opportunities to develop, lead, and grow professionally. See a great infographic here: Why Join.

Future and Past Event Summary

  • 2022 Plans: at least five events already posted to our website.
  • Offered 11 PACDA programs in 2021: across four key categories (Labor Market Issues, Resources for Career Coaches, Support for Targeted Client Populations, and
  • Job Search Best Practices) – Visit our Store.
  • Discounted access to 40 partner events in 2021.

Ways to engage with PACDA

Regardless of your areas of interest or skill set, there are myriad ways that you can engage with PACDA as noted below. Learn more by completing the Volunteer Interest Survey
or email

  • Committees (Programming, Communications, Finance, Membership, Partnerships, Technology)
  • Special Projects (Career Coach Directory, Volunteer Engagement, Fundraising, Sponsorships, Member Survey)

Recognition of PACDA and Partner Volunteers

Like many professional organizations, volunteer participation drives PACDA’s success and we recognized the 35 volunteers who contributed to our 2021 achievements as well
as those who contribute to our 10 partner organizations’ operations.

Plans for 2022

PACDA’s strategic focus in 2022 is on member value enhancement (membership growth, exceptional programming, and expanded resources).
We remain committed to:

  • Diversity in membership/presenters along every dimension: geography, age, gender, orientation, ethnicity, religion, etc.
  • Delivering positive value to career practitioners throughout PA, border communities, and, for virtual offerings, nationwide.
  • Responding to constituent needs – if you haven’t yet responded to our survey, please do let your voice be heard!

By enabling robust interactions, deepened relationships, and impactful programs, PACDA continues to magnify the significant positive impact its members
have on career services delivery to individuals and their families, communities, colleagues, and employers.

Wishing you a happy, prosperous, and healthy 2022

– Choose to make a difference!

Safiya Edwards

President, PACDA



Insights for Coaching LGBTQIA+ Clients

1/24/22: 12– 2 PM

Registration Opening Soon!

Alternative Employment Options in Pennsylvania: 
Relaunch, Internships, Apprenticeships, E
xternships, & Transitional Jobs

2/24/22: 4:30 – 6:30 PM

Social Media 101: Leveraging LinkedIn

3/28/22: 12 – 2 PM

Alternative Theories of Career Development

4/26/22: 4 – 6 PM

Networking & PACDA Jeopardy!®

6/21/22: 4 – 6 PM

If you have someone to recommend as a speaker/presenter/panel member for future events, please email


Check out our PACDA Store



What topics would you like to see in 2022?

You recently received an email with a survey link.

If you have not completed the survey,
please click on the link below.


          VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT                     

Jessica Visek, CPRW, NCOPE

What inspired you to join PACDA?

I joined PACDA to network and become part of a dynamic community of career coaches to learn and develop my expertise.

What motivates you; why you do what you do?

I love helping people. I found a career where I directly impact someone's life and make a difference.

How have you been impacted by the pandemic professionally and personally?

Professionally, I persevered and continued to provide top-flight bespoke services to advance my client's career journey. Personally, I gained a deeper understanding of what truly matters, my family and health.

What are your plans for the next year?

I am strategizing ways to grow my business and identify new revenue streams. In 2022, I will complete my career coaching certification course. I plan to continue to take advantage of CEUs that benefit my clients and me, as well as ongoing networking to optimize my professional brand. I will participate in podcasts, online forums, create content, and blogs to increase my online presence and SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Colleen Paulson, MBA, CPRW

What inspired you to join PACDA?

I joined PACDA as a way to expand my network and stay up on trends within the career development arena.

What motivates you; why you do what you do?

I love helping people transition into new roles. Often, my clients tend to sell themselves short - they don't give themselves credit for the great work that they do. My mission is to highlight their strong experience through new resumes and LinkedIn profiles and give them the confidence to go for new roles.

How have you been impacted by the pandemic professionally and personally?

I am a resume writer and career coach in private practice. My clients span all backgrounds, but I tend to work with a lot of mid-career clients who are looking to work at the next level (Director, VP roles). The services that I offer haven't changed, but I am trying to stay on top of trends in order to give my clients the best advice as they consider changing jobs. With the constant changes that we have seen in the past 18 months, being part of a group like PACDA has really helped me to stay grounded. I am trying to teach myself and my clients to stay optimistic through these dynamic times.

I have 4 school age kids (ranging in age from 6-15), so frankly the uncertainty regarding school has been hard for me professionally and personally. I am hopeful that the new school year will be a little more "normal" than the last two have been. My personal goal has been to be as patient as I can be with myself and my kids. It has been hard at times to make any plans - especially with quarantines and school shutdowns with little or no notice. Hopefully we have been through the worst of it and we can teach our kids that they are resilient - they certainly have demonstrated it in the past 18 months.

What are your plans for the next year?

I am based in Pittsburgh and things had seemed like we were inching closer to normal here, so my original operating plan had been to advise my clients to prepare for a more normal job search climate. However, things have been changing on a daily (and sometimes hourly!) basis, so I'm advising my clients to stay flexible and optimistic as we can continue to work through constant change in what their work will look like now and in 2022. PACDA has really helped me to continue my professional development - I especially enjoyed our July networking event as a way to share industry information and meet like-minded people.


Partnership Committee welcomes April Higgins

April Higgins joined PACDA in May. Wanting to become an active contributing member, April brings creative ideas to expand PACDA Partnerships.

As Assistant Director, Career Services at Rosemont College, April is also earning her Masters in Clinical and Applied Psychology. She is passionate about helping young adults develop their confidence, take charge of their career searches and selections, and understand how to best market themselves.

She also has a deep passion for advocacy for people with diverse abilities.

April joins Beth Wilson and Tanya Sheldon on the Partnership Committee, which develops mutually beneficial agreements with other professional associations.

Want to suggest a Partner organization? Contact

Please check out programs hosted by our Partners. Members can register at a discount for many programs by using the code on the Member Resources page!

5 Steps to Help Job Seekers Reach Their Goals

By Colleen Paulson, MBA, CPRW

As career coaches and counselors, a question that we must always ask ourselves is how we can add value in aiding others’ job search. It isn’t just about writing a resume or LinkedIn profile – we add value through delivering a comprehensive job search plan to help our clients achieve both their personal and career goals. Whether our client is an experienced executive or undergraduate student, we can not only provide tangible deliverables, but we can help them to make better choices regarding their careers. Here are some thoughts on how we can do this in a thoughtful way:

1. Initial consultation: The initial consultation is a great time to understand the client’s goals. Sometimes, the client may not even know what they want to do next, so it may be helpful to ask questions such as:

a. Do you prefer bigger companies or smaller companies?

b. Would you prefer a start-up or more established company?

c. What industries have you worked in and what type of industry would like to work in?

d. What type of culture or work environment would you prefer?

e. Do you prefer working in-person, remotely, or hybrid (a mix of both)?

f. Are you looking to manage a team or do you prefer individual contributor work?

g. Are you open to traveling for work? How often would you like to travel?

h. What are your salary goals (consider PTO and other benefits)?

2. Update the client’s resume and LinkedIn profile/online presence: We can use the information that we can gained during the initial consultation to update the client’s resume and LinkedIn profile (I typically ask the client clarifying questions via email to quantify their results and build a strong job search marketing package). Stronger LinkedIn profiles generate more interest from potential recruiters, so it’s important for job searchers to update their LinkedIn profile, including growing their LinkedIn network for an expanded reach.

3. Network and utilize the “known” and “hidden” job markets: Networking is key to a successful job search, so encourage your clients to talk with those who work for goal companies or others who can connect them with potential opportunities. Job searchers should also subscribe to alerts from top job sites such as LinkedIn, Indeed, CareerBuilder, and Glassdoor. One of the newest trends in the job search process is reaching out to target companies on LinkedIn.

4. Interview Preparation: You can help your client prepare for interviews with a mock interview and/or behavioral interview questions such as: Tell me about a time when you had to influence your team to do something that they didn’t want to do. How did you go about doing that? Job searchers should always send a Thank You note (email is fine) outlining the reasons that they are best suited for the potential role.

5. Assess the Offer: Once the job searcher receives an offer, they should review the offer versus the goals stated in the initial consultation to make sure that offer makes sense based on their personal and professional goals. For example, a higher salary offer may not make sense if the candidate’s commute is doubled.


A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives. - Jackie Robinson

We aren’t meant to be perfect; we are meant to be faithful. - author unknown

When your adversaries tell you that you can't go any farther; just tell them to look behind you and see how far you've come.

The thing that counts the most in the pursuit of happiness is choosing the right traveling companion. – Adrian Anderson

Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value. - Albert Einstein

Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there’s love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong. – Ella Fitzgerald

If you can dream it, you can see it and if you believe it, you can achieve it.
– David Bach

Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens. - Carl Jung

These affirmations were provided by PACDA members. If you have a favorite you would like to share, email



Work with the best – our Treasurer Craig Toedtman – and learn what it takes to oversee PACDA’s finances. When you’re ready, you’ll become the organization’s Treasurer, with Craig nearby to answer any questions.


Latara Jones, PACDA Newsletter Editor, seeks an individual interested in working with her to develop ideas, gather content, and lay out the quarterly newsletter using our membership software, Wild Apricot.


We are looking for volunteers to contact presenters and work with them to plan and implement events of interest to PA career development professionals.


We have two dedicated team members; we just need someone to lead our work to  develop strategic initiatives with other professional organizations to expand the visibility of our association and our members.


You may be a tech geek, or someone who wants to develop their tech skills further. Learn how to use our membership software Wild Apricot and other tools such as Google Drive, JotForm, Mailchimp and Zoom.



PACDA is looking to create a new committee to develop a strategy for sponsorships by organizations that want to get their product or service in front of career development professionals, as well as explore other fundraising opportunities.

PACDA is a state division of the National Career Development Association (NCDA).

Through NCDA you have the opportunity, to further develop yourself as a career development professional through the Leadership Academy, credentialing, annual conference, and other member benefits.

Each year NCDA recognizes and honors its excellent members by presenting awards at the annual conference. We encourage you to review the award categories and consider if you would like to nominate your colleague from PACDA. Nominations are open November through January. Nominators and nominees must be NCDA members.

© 2019-2023 The Pennsylvania Career Development Association | Chartered State Division of NCDA, All Rights Reserved.

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