Life Reimagined by Richard Leider and Alan Webber


Life Reimagined is a great read for those who are searching for new life possibilities, either in their work or personal lives. As we welcome in 2015 and consider goals and resolutions, this book’s roadmap may help.

The American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) recently started offering “Life Reimagined” workshops in the Twin Cities. Since we offer a “Midlife Job Search” webinar and many of our students are navigating career changes, Career Advisor Denise Pranke and I recently attended one of these workshops. It was very well-attended and interactive. The possibilities that attendees were considering covered a wide range, from empty nesters looking forward to selling their homes to pre-retirees looking to travel to career changers and those looking to add new volunteer roles or expand their present careers to new areas.

The most valuable takeaway of this book is its roadmap of six “practices” (Leider & Webber, 2013, p. 43) useful for moving forward in exploring different types of possibilities. The six practices are:
1) Reflect – conduct a self-assessment;
2) Connect – get advice from trusted friends and guides;
3) Explore – test different possibilities with curiosity and courage;
4) Choose –narrow your options by taking a deeper dive and reality check with a few options;
5) Repack – deciding what is essential for the road ahead – what to pack and what to keep – both the tangible and the intangible;
6) Act – take action towards making the possibilities real.

The map is pictured as a circle rather than a straight line so if you think this model would be helpful, pick the practice that best fits where you are in considering various possibilities. These six practices will help you ask questions and keep you on track through your journey of exploring various options.

This map syncs well with our 3 pronged “EPS” approach in the Career Services Center. We advise our students advancing their careers as follows:

“Try new Experiences; connect with new People; and tell your new Story.”

When our students gain new experiences where they stretch themselves and connect with new people – whether it’s volunteering or taking on a leadership role in their work or personal lives or presenting at a conference or joining Toastmasters , they start to view themselves differently, broaden their career identities, and tell new stories. These actions move them forward on their career paths far more effectively than other strategies.

What new possibilities will you reimagine for yourself in 2015? Would you share your thoughts on our Facebook page? We’d love to hear from you!

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for a Wonderful and Healthy 2015 from the Career Services Center!

Written by Senior Director of Career Services Lisa Cook

8 Tips for Starting a Nonprofit

Have you ever thought about starting a nonprofit organization?  A Walden Master of Public Administration graduate did.  In 2001, Steve, a native of Maine, relocated to Cambodia and was offered a contract as a Property Management Specialist where he built a database of non-expendable/personal property for the US government.  Ultimately he was tapped to do the same in 18 developing countries.  While traveling, Steve was exposed to many organizations and began noticing ways to mine their data to explain variances and improve processes.

Building upon his background in database and real estate management, Steve worked with his Walden University instructor, Rebecca Martin, to design Excellence In Public Service (EPS) as part of his graduate coursework.

Established two years after completing his MPA, EPS helps existing nonprofits connect with communities and volunteers.  It also introduces donors and investors to innovative and emerging organizations that may not otherwise have appeared on their radar for years to come.  EPS does this by promoting capable, transparent, and accountable public service plus ensures greater civic engagement and empowerment through education and technology.  Steve achieves this by collecting performance, program, and demographic data on local and international nonprofits and public service contractors.

Below are 8 tips Steve offers to Walden students who are considering starting a nonprofit:

  1. Strengthen your research and writing skills while you are pursuing your degree at Walden.
  2. Think critically and try new ways of doing things.
  3. Allow yourself to daydream! It is a leadership characteristic and helps you generate new ideas.
  4. Take advantage of social media, such as LinkedIn, to be exposed to a broader world of ideas and critical thinkers.
  5. Don’t waste time reinventing the wheel. There is a lot of information available for free if you do your research.
  6. Talk to people! You never know who you will meet with the same passions as you who can be a resource.
  7. Avoid burnout by remembering that you do not need to solve tomorrow’s problems today.
  8. Actively seek out inspiration to stay motivated.

One quote that has inspired Steve for over 20 years comes from W.H. Murray: “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”

What serves as your inspiration?

Written by Career Services Advisor, Andrea Obrycki

November Walden Career Services Webinar Offerings

Mark your calendars for our upcoming webinar offerings.  We hope to “see” you there!

CV Café

Did you know most higher education teaching and research positions request that applicants submit a curriculum vita, otherwise known as a “CV”?  A curriculum vita is an academic version of a resume, focusing more on your educational accomplishments.  Join Career Services for CV Café on November 7 at noon ET for an overview of a CV and how to highlight your accomplishments.  The rest of time will be spent answering your specific CV questions.  Register here:

Resume Cafe

Is it time to update your resume?  Join the Walden Career Services Center for Resume Café on November 12 at 3:00 pm ET!  During this interactive webinar, a Career Advisor will provide general resume tips and answer your specific questions.  Register here:

Webinar: Career Opportunities in I/O Psychology

Are you interested in a career in Industrial/Organizational (I/O) psychology? Join Career Services and I/O psychology faculty for a webinar discussing career options, trends, and growth areas.  You will learn proactive strategies including building experience, expanding your network, and actively engaging in professional development activities to maximize career success in this high demand field.  November 13 at 6:00 pm ET. Register here:

Webinar: Engaging with LinkedIn

Are you looking to take your LinkedIn profile and connections to the next level?  Join Career Services for Engaging with LinkedIn on November 19 at 5:30 pm ET.  You will learn strategies to leverage your network connections through engagement to promote your brand and uncover opportunities.  Register here:

Written by Career Services Advisor, Andrea Obrycki

Modeling Proactive Career Management

Have you ever discussed your professional development with a Walden Career Services Advisor?  A tip we often suggest is to attend a state or national conference.  Professional conferences promote life-long learning, encourage networking, and provide the latest resources, tips, and trends through presentations, activities, and knowledge sharing.  As career advisors, we make a conscious effort to model the activities we recommend to our students.   Here we share our takeaways from the National Career Development Association (NCDA) Career Practitioner Institute in Bloomington, Minnesota on October 3, 2014.

What was unique about this conference?
This event was a partnership between our state chapter and the national organization.  We mingled with local and national speakers, learned more about NCDA’s offerings, and brought new knowledge back to the Walden community.

How has the Career Services Center been involved in NCDA?
We have attended the organization’s conferences, used its web-based resources, and delivered a national conference presentation.  We recently submitted two conference proposals for the 2015 NCDA Conference in Denver, Colorado.

What topics did this conference cover?
The conference offered a broad gamut of topics including career development for specific populations of clients, theories and best practices, and LinkedIn for career success.

What was one highlight from the conference?
Carol Vecchio of Centerpoint Institute for Life and Career Renewal shared her Life-Career Self-Test and Career Process map.  Carol Vecchio’s map represents career management as a circular process, a concept strongly aligned with Walden Career Services Center’s holistic approach to career management.  To identify your career stage using Carol Vecchio’s model, take the short Life-Career Self-Test and review the Career Process diagram:

How can Walden students benefit from joining a professional association?
Follow our lead; join professional associations and attend events.  Professional associations provide opportunities to assume leadership roles, submit conference proposals, contribute to newsletters and journals, and tap into the member directory.  Find new outlets to increase your professional engagement and see what opportunities may arise.

Learn more strategies for managing your career by attending upcoming Career Services webinars:

  • Networking Cafe for the Underconnected:  Nov 6, 6:00 p.m. Eastern.  Register here
  • Curriculum Vita (CV) Cafe: Nov 7, 12:00 noon Eastern.  Register here
  • Resume Cafe: Nov 12, 3:00 p.m. Eastern.  Register here
  • Career Opportunities in I/O Psychology: Thursday, Nov. 13, 6:00 p.m. Eastern.  Register here
  • Engaging with LinkedIn: Nov. 19, 5:30 p.m. Eastern.  Register here

 Written by Senior Career Services Advisor Dina Bergren

Building Your Reputation and Credentials to Advance Your Career

Recently Career Services incorporated a survey question into our webinar evaluations asking if our webinar attendees would be willing to share their career success stories on our blog.  LeeTanya is a student in Walden’s Master of Public Health program who  shared how her work ethic and desire for lifelong learning advanced her career.

LeeTanya is the Academic Program Coordinator in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at a large hospital in Southern California.  In this capacity, she manages the Residency Training Program and also handles administrative functions for seven fellowship training programs for a total of 28 housestaff.

LeeTanya started her career in the healthcare field in high school where she worked as a file clerk in the nurse’s office.  From there, she worked her way into hospital admissions, insurance verification and patient registration. In 1998, she joined her current employer as a Management Assistant I responsible for scheduling, insurance verification and patient registration.

When a position opened for a Management Assistant II, she lacked the position’s academic program knowledge for the hospital’s residency program.  However, she applied and was hired laterally with the condition that she could be promoted to the higher position within six months.  The supervisor promoted her after six months because “everyone liked her.”

LeeTanya attributes her promotion to her active listening skills and willingness to handling fellowships in addition to her residency program workload.  After she was promoted, LeeTanya discovered that Human Resources had a job title and description already created for an Academic Program Coordinator.  She requested and was granted that new job title which was a better fit for her responsibilities.

In addition to her work responsibilities, LeeTanya makes a difference as an active volunteer in the hospital’s “Music for Healing Program” where she sings for patients.  In June 2008, she received an award for donating over 100 hours of service to the community.

A lifelong learner engaged in continuous professional development, LeeTanya is certified by the Training Administrators of Graduate Medical Education (TAGME) and served on the examination taskforce.  She has presented at 6 professional pathology workshops through the National Residency Evaluation Center (NCERP) on topics pertaining to program administration.

LeeTanya’s goal is to earn her Master of Public Health degree to serve the underprivileged through helping them obtain medical insurance.   She would also like to assist with establishing healthcare clinics and provide preventive healthcare.  We appreciate her sharing her career success story with us and wish her continued success in her career.

Written by Lisa Cook, Senior Director of Career Services

Interview Preparation Leads to Job Offer

Do you want to strengthen your interviewing skills? Curtis had sent out 20 applications for a higher education teaching position and had six interviews with no offers when he reached out to Career Services for help with preparing for his next interview.

His qualifications include his enrollment in the Ph.D. in Psychology with a specialization in Social Psychology program and his Psychology from Walden.  He also has 15 years of experience as a Violence Prevention Coordinator on a college campus where he worked to prevent sexual assault, stalking, and relationship violence. He also has three years of experience as an adjunct instructor.

So what did he do differently to prepare for his 7th interview that resulted in an offer?

  • He used the OptimalResume Interview Prep tool on the Career Services website to prepare. He practiced answering behavioral type questions and then watched the recording with a critical eye. He said: “by listening to the recording I realized I was not fully answering the questions.”  So each time he practiced, he focused on improving his presentation to show confidence and give a complete yet concise answer with examples.
  • For each interview, he was required to give a short, approximately 15 minute, teaching presentation on a topic related to his field. For his 7th interview, he practiced his presentation to show his style, ability to convey information, and connect with his audience. He also prepared to answer questions about the content of his presentation.
  • He prepared questions to learn more about the students and their expectations of the instructors.
  • His interview was over Skype, so he made sure that his surroundings were appropriate.
  • After the interview, he sent the interview panel an email with links to samples showing his use of social media and YouTube as an instructional tool.
  • The human resources representative told Curtis that it was helpful that his references were able to speak about and confirm his accomplishments on his curriculum vita.

We wish Curtis the very best in his new position!

For resources on strengthening your interviewing skills check out the following:

Written by Career Services Advisor, Denise Pranke

Book Review: Drive by Daniel Pink

In his enlightening book, Drive, Daniel Pink insists that most organizations rely on an outdated approach based on “rewards and punishments” to manage employee productivity.  He explains why this 20th century strategy, which he labels “motivation 2.0,” no longer works for a 21st century workforce, which requires a new, fresh approach that he calls, appropriately, “motivation 3.0.”

Motivation 2.0 is based on the notion that people respond productively to extrinsic motivators, such bonuses and promotions.  While this worked well for routine and automated tasks most prevalent in the 20th century workplace, it does not work well for heuristic work, the non-routine tasks of the 21st century involving artistic, creative problem-solving skills that depend heavily on intrinsic motivation. The reality is that 70% of job growth comes from heuristic work. (Pink, 2009, p. 30)  The consequences of continuing to rely on extrinsic motivators could be potentially devastating to the future of American business.

Pink references the most recent scientific research on human motivation conducted over the last half century. He finds that this body of motivation literature reveals a huge disconnect between how people are motivated and how businesses are currently operating to motivate workers.

The good news, he explains, is that this new approach to intrinsic motivation can be learned.  Pink provides readers with a comprehensive toolkit that includes a list of books, names of business thought leaders, a discussion guide, a free online assessment, and an invitation to subscribe to Drive Times, a free quarterly e-mail newsletter, to stay updated on the topic.

The research reveals that we all need to update our mindset to a new third drive, “motivation 3.0,” which shows that human beings also have a drive to learn, create, and better the world beyond themselves.

The three elements of autonomy, mastery, and purpose are the essential requirements needed to foster what he calls “Type I,” or intrinsic behavior, in individuals.  Type 1, intrinsically motivated individuals have a greater sense of fulfillment, happiness, as well as physical and mental well-being.  He defines these three essential elements as follows:

  1. Autonomy: “Our innate need to direct our own lives” (p. 211);
  2. Mastery: The urge to make progress and “become better at something that matters” (p. 207); and
  3. Purpose: The desire to do “something that matters, do it well, and in the service of a cause larger than ourselves” (p. 146).

Pink makes this reading interesting by sprinkling the book with real case studies and examples of organizations going in the wrong direction, as well as exemplary organizations, such as Google and Zappos, that have already been implementing motivation 3.0 and are way ahead of the game.

In a society so focused on extrinsic, monetary and material rewards, Pink provides a refreshing new challenge to move forward in one’s personal and professional life. Pink’s lessons can also be applied to a career development context to help professionals gain insight as to what types of work and organizational environments would yield the highest levels of productivity, growth and overall satisfaction.

Whether you are a parent, an educator, a manager or an organizational leader wanting to inspire others around you, you have real opportunities to implement the recommendations and knowledge shared by Pink.  Try putting “motivation 3.0” into practice to inspire and foster creativity around you and to contribute to a new and improved 21st century workforce and society.

By Career Services Advisor Nicolle Skalski