Here's what is happening in the MCDA.
View this email in your browser

The MCDA Wellspring April 2017

A Message from MCDA President,
Ronda Ansted
Now that the season is feeling appropriately seasonal, I'm delighting in all the signs of spring: new growth, young blossoms, and longer days. Spring is when transformation happens and there is a sense of joy and optimism, of increasing energy, and an expanding to-do list...

MCDA's major contribution to our members is our support of your growth and transformation as a professional. Our upcoming conference promises to provide cross-pollination of your ideas, work, and practices. During the busy-ness of spring, it's important to take time to prepare your soil for what's to come. And the MCDA conference is the place to do that!

What will you learn?

Well, the newly expanded conference almost doubles the number of speakers from last year! Dick Knowdell from the Career Development Network will be on hand to demonstrate how to determine which skills will bring people joy. Jenn Long, with Rich Feller & Associates, will give Thursday evening's keynote address on preparing clients for the rapidly changing economy. You'll learn how to help navigate career shame, clarity blockers, and sticky ethical questions. For the first time, we have a designated private practice track that includes visioning, managing finances, technology, and marketing.

But that's not the best part! The best part is YOU, the opportunity to connect and re-connect with your colleagues, to share ideas, and remember why you got into this field in the first place.

I can't tell you how excited I am for this year's conference and to see everyone there! If you've been before, you know how valuable it is. If you've never attended, this is the year to start! 

Happy Spring!
Ronda Ansted
MCDA President

Featured Articles 

In honor of the MCDA 2017 Annual Conference, the theme of the April Newsletter is the joy of work, and we were fortunate to receive two article submissions (one from a keynote speaker at this year's MCDA Conference!) exploring the value of professional development and finding workplace bliss. Enjoy reading! 
Who You Are Matters! - Maryland Style
By Jenn Long & Rich Feller
Game On! Narrative Assessment Career Intervention
Here’s what we’ve learned: narrative assessment techniques are the most effective way to help clients, students, and employees gain clarity and confidence in designing, “what’s next." And, clients respond positively to hands-on, highly engaging interventions that empower and hold them accountable. Career development needs are increasing, resources are often stable, at best, and scalable interventions are in demand. Professional development needs to be localized sustainable, and inexpensive.

Blended & Collaborative Delivery Model-Getting to Scale
Meeting career development and life planning needs at any level of scale, and helping clients find their VOICE in navigating a lifetime of transitions, is essential. We’ve found that a blended delivery model using peer-to-peer support, creating a written career statement, and integrating technology within a structured process works.
Who You Are Matters! is a facilitated game experience, played in groups of 3-300, with high levels of feedback, accountability, and post-game access to online tools and connections to site-based coaches, counselors and advisors. The two-hour interactive discovery experience helps career professionals facilitate meaningful peer conversations. Storytelling and “intentional probes” help players generate promising future possibilities, receive feedback, select inspired actions, and identify accountability partners.
“This career exploration approach is extremely impactful and empowering. Participants discovered opportunities for new growth and development in their own life. I hope this game becomes a staple on college campuses," shared Kelli Rapplean, Internship Advisor for CU Denver’s Experiential Learning Center.
Check out the next Who You Are Matters! Facilitator Training, hosted by the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, to be held April 19th in Baltimore.
For more information and access to an introductory video and outcome study article, visit One Life Tools or email
Rich Feller, Ph.D, LPC, JCDC is the Co-Founder of OneLifeTools, Inc. and the Who You Are Matters! game, President of Rich Feller & Associates, and Professor Emeritus at Colorado State University. With 30+ years of contribution to the career development field on a global scale, Rich works to bring innovative career interventions and collaborative alliances to the field.

Jenn Long, ME.D, NCC, JCDC, is a Consultant to OneLifeTools, Inc., Director of Career Development Programs with Rich Feller & Associates, and recent Past-Team Member of the CSU Career Management Center. Jenn is committed to expanding the reach, access, and impact of career development resources globally.
Seeking Workplace Bliss 
By Janet M. Ruck
"If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are — if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time." ~ Joseph Campbell

In my work as a career coach, I have discovered a variety of errors that people make at work. Sometimes they follow the advice of others that fits them like a too-large suit. Often, they fall into patterns not conducive to achieving their own goals. Other times they get bored, comfortable, burned out or they just stop caring. My wish for my clients is the pursuit and attainment of what I call “workplace bliss,” which is my personal philosophy of finding joy at work.

I have been inspired by Joseph Campbell, American mythologist, writer and lecturer, best known for the expression “Follow your bliss.” In interviews with journalist and political commentator Bill Moyers, Campbell noted that following one’s bliss isn’t just doing what you like. It is equally important to first identify what you are passionate about and then giving yourself to it. You will achieve your potential while also helping your community.

I’ve compiled some tips to help people find workplace bliss by pursing work lives on purpose and finding what excites them every day. Of course, there will always be those mundane tasks, but one person’s mundane is another’s exceptional. If we can help our clients identify what motivates them and “floats their boat,” every day at work can be blissful. (Psst, it works for us counselors and coaches, too!)

I have personally seen my clients flourish when they followed these tips. Even more personally, my own work life changed for the better when I took stock of my own purpose, passion and position in life. It’s nice to practice what I preach!

Tips to Make Your Work Life the Best Part of Your Day
  1. Don’t let your job get in the way of your career. Many of my clients, dedicated federal employees motivated by public service and a sense of mission, have told me that they often become so caught up in the daily expectations of their job description, that they lose sight of the career they planned. And, since their work is impeccable, no one stopped what often became a runaway train to a dead-end job. It’s easy to become shortsighted and focus only on your current job.
Tip: The grindstone is not the best place for your nose (Ouch!). Lift your head up and keep sight of the big picture. Let your vision point you in the direction of where you want to go. Remind yourself regularly why you chose your career and find ways to continue to progress and grow.
  1. Fall in love with your work. Find your passion and be true to it. Never give up on the thrill that comes from being in love with what you do. Feeling like the romance is over? Grab your notebook and assess what is going on. Write your work love story. Perhaps you are in a rut, burned out or bored. As in any long-term relationship, sometimes a little spice is needed to get those juices flowing. Perhaps getting reacquainted with your motivated skills is just what you need to add a little zing to your work life.
Tip: Consider what jumps you out of bed in the morning, rather than keeps you hidden under the covers. Pursue it with passion. Right now! Before you know it, afternoon delight will be back.
  1. Don’t fall in love with your job. A job is that cute guy or gal who is fun to be with, but you know there’s no future in it. Your work is the long-term relationship, where you weather the ups and downs because you’re in it for the long haul. Jobs are fleeting, often dependent on the whims of someone else. Those of us who have been through downsizings, upsizings, rightsizings and sizings for the sake of it know that jobs come and go, often for no logical reason. Whereas your work, ah now, that is where your heart is. Steadfastly commit to your work and your passion, while you perform your job to the best of your ability.
Tip: Make sure you are keeping your eyes on your prize: where you are going, not just where you are. Use some low-tech techniques like yellow sticky notes all over your mirror to remind you. Write yourself notes in the blackest Sharpie you can find.
  1. No more beige. Speaking of yellow Stickies and black Sharpies, remove boring beige from your behavioral repertoire. Stand out from the crowd through bold and relevant workplace actions. Be exceptional and remembered. Resist the urge to hide in your comfort zone. Nothing exciting happens there. Start small, maybe by making that presentation you’ve been putting off. Get in the habit of taking risks with your comfort.
Tip: Have them at Hello. You know that friendly guy who acknowledges people all day, every day? Maybe the one who drives you nuts? Be that guy. Make eye contact, smile and be approachable. Even on the days when you don’t feel like interacting with a human, especially in an elevator, a small personal gesture can go a long way to establishing a contact that may form connections for years to come. In this high-tech world of work, the high touch approach of personal interaction is appreciated and remembered.
  1. Listen to the voices in your head. The helpful ones, at least. Those that are connected to your intuition. On a regular basis, do a “gut check” to see what’s up with you. Feeling unappreciated or undervalued? Figure out how to change what’s happening. Being proactive has its own power. Create your own culture of excellence, where resting is not an option. No matter what happens in your work environment, you are in charge...of you.
Tip: Action begets action. Check in with yourself on a regular basis, and be ready to jump into action at any time. Is it possible that your job has gotten in the way of your career? Just asking.

Workplace bliss is yours if you keep yourself excited and interested in your work. Remember, you have only one life. Give yours a chance to be exceptional by nurturing your work life.

Ask yourself every day: what lit my fire today? If you don’t like the answer, do something different tomorrow. Fan the flames of your career passion and let joy be your parachute to a happy landing.
Janet Ruck is a career coach, trainer and writer. A lifelong journaler, she enjoys laughing and injects humor into situations where possible (and appropriate). Her philosophy is embodied in the quote by late humorist Erma Bombeck: “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say ‘I used everything you gave me.’” Learn more about Janet and her work by visiting her website.
Upcoming Professional Development Opportunity 
Job & Career Transition/Development Coach
3-Day Certification Training
Coming to Baltimore, MD - BWI
April 24 | 25 | 26
Facilitated by Rich Feller & Jenn Long 
MCDA members, make it a professional development week! Join in advance of the MCDA Annual Conference and receive a $200 DISCOUNT.

Share this training and certification opportunity with your colleagues!

*Discount for MCDA members only
  • JOB & CAREER DEVELOPMENT COACH (JCDC) designed for Human Resources Specialists, Career Coaches and Career Counselors who help Employees develop within their Organizations and Careers
  • JOB & CAREER TRANSITION COACH (JCDC) designed for Career Advisors and Career Coaches who help individuals make the Transition from College to Work or to change Jobs or Careers
For more info or to register, contact: 
Upcoming MCDA Events
MCDA 2017 Annual Conference 

 "Bringing Joy into Career Development" 
Registration Now Open 

When: April 27 and 28, 2017
Where: Columbia, MD 
How: Register Online

The annual MCDA conference is THE place to be to stay on the cutting edge of your profession, network with colleagues, and earn NBCC-approved CEUs!

In response to your feedback, we've added workshop sessions on Thursday afternoon, followed by a networking reception, dinner, and a keynote presentation by Jenn Long.

New in 2017 are four sessions specifically designed to help private career development practitioners launch and/or grow their businesses.

David Reile, PhD is joined by Barbara Suddarth, PhD to kick off Friday's program as our keynoters. A full day of different workshops and Round Table sessions from which to choose follows. Continental breakfast and lunch is included.

Register for either day, or both days.

Registration questions? Contact Lisa Oliver at 

2017 Conference Schedule at a Glance 

If you are interested in Advertising Opportunities at the conference, please visit the Sponsor/Exhibitor Prospectus
Automating Your Private
Practice for Growth

Skill Builder  
*This skillbuilder has been approved for 4 CE Clock Hours.

WhenMay 31, 2017 | 11:00AM - 3:30PM 

Where: Washington Adventist University | 7600 Flower Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912 

How: Register now by visiting the Event Registration page

Cost: Member - $185 | Non-member - $200 | Student/Retired Member - $150 

When private practitioners spend more time with business administration than with our clients, we become removed from our sense of purpose and the reason we started our own business. With this hands-on technology session, you'll set up an automated, integrated, low-cost scheduling, emailing, CRM, and mailing list building system to grow your business while you do what you love. You'll learn how automation can lay an important foundation for your business' growth, as well as which low-cost commercial products can best support your private practice. Best of all, you'll set up this system during the class, which can immediately start working for you! This class will save you countless hours of trial-and-error and hundreds of dollars in costly mistakes. Lunch will be provided. This presentation is a special preview of the Professional Development Institution that Dr. Ansted is presenting at the NCDA conference in Orlando.

Three Learning Objectives

  1.  An understanding of how automation can lay an important foundation for your business' growth. 
  2. An understanding of which commercial products can be combined for a robust, low-cost system that supports your needs as a career professional. 
  3. Hands on experience with setting up and integrating these automated systems that can start working for you as soon as you leave the classroom.

Who: Ronda Ansted, DMgt, MSW, ACRW has first-hand experience in setting up, dismantling, and re-creating invoicing, customer management, emailing, and website creation systems. She is the President of MCDA and founder of Be the Change Career Consulting. For more than 20 years, with a primary focus on international development and social services, she has worked with staff, organizations, and clients helping them to translate their skills and services into rewarding work and inspired lives. She also enjoys working with those seeking non-traditional employment like social entrepreneurs, private practitioners in health and wellness fields, and socially conscious small business owners (like career coaches!). Ronda holds a Doctor of Management from University of Maryland University College, a Master of Social Work from University of Maryland, Baltimore, and Bachelor of Arts in World Studies from the School for International Training.

Newsletter Contributions

"We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect."
~ Anais Nin

As Ronda pointed out in her opening message, spring is the time of transformation. As it so happened, I attended a Women in Business Leadership conference this past Friday and the theme of the conference was reinvention, transformation, and finding a new you. And I thought: That would be the perfect theme for our May Newsletter! 

What does reinvention or transformation mean to you as a career professional? Consider sharing your story, experience or insights in an article for the upcoming Newsletter. Send submissions to 

In addition, career professionals love to celebrate each other. Have an accomplishment you are proud of? Let us know so that we can share with the rest of the MCDA community.

Krasi Shapkarova 

Copyright © 2017 MCDA, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp