PDC POST Volume 1 Number 3
Presidents’ Report & Summary of PDC Post Spring 2015 Issue
By Larry Elle, President of Professional Development Collaborative
The Professional Development Collaborative (PDC) is “of, by and for” the unemployed, although since our first workshops in 2010, scores of working professionals and area businesses have taken advantage of our course offerings. Our point of pride is that participants gain important 21st century work skills, taught by industry experts, at a price point found nowhere else. In 2015, we have more participants, more visitors to our Facebook and LinkedIn pages, and more buzz about our course offerings. Today we continue to grow, serving more people, adding new courses, partnering with new career centers, all with the intention of fulfilling our motto: “Training Today’s Professionals for Tomorrow’s Workplace.” And we do this with volunteer labor!
This issue of the PDC Post looks at other professional growth resources available to those in transition for free or at a modest cost. PDC training is the “teacher in the classroom” model, a format we believe best serves the needs of most students. This issue highlights other approaches, reporting on on-line resources and professional development videos on TED Talks.
Online Options for Increasing Knowledge and Skills
by Robin Feinland and Jacquie Clermont
One of the best ways to explain those troublesome resume gaps is to say you’ve been “taking courses to update my skills.” Fortunately, there are more options today than ever before for updating skills and picking up new ones. Online courses cost little to nothing and can also provide resume-enhancing certifications.
Online courses usually combine a mix of video lectures, quizzes, online discussion forums, and peer-assessed assignments. They can be live, with new modules appearing at regular times and assignment deadlines, or available on demand. The live classes, which also include interaction with instructors and the sometimes thousands of other students around the world, fall under the category of Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs. Both types of courses offer a good amount of flexibility, and you typically have a week to listen to the lectures and complete the assignments.
Volunteer Spotlight: Jacquie Clermont, PDC Post editor
As you may know, the PDC is always looking for volunteers, and some new volunteers have recently joined the Collaborative. Among the new volunteers is the current editor of the PDC Currents newsletter herself – Jacquie Clermont. Jacquie’s extensive background in writing and marketing make her an ideal person to take on this role. In this issue of the newsletter, we decided to interview Jacquie to get an inside look at a PDC volunteer who is also a stellar example of someone who has made amazing use of her time to explore many new career options, increase her knowledge and skills, and even pursue a lifelong dream. Hopefully, she will inspire some of our readers to do the same!
TED Talk Reviews
By Jacquie Clermont
TED Talks bills itself as “1900 talks to stir your curiosity”. In general TED Talks run around 18 minutes and draw upon some of the most interesting topics and personalities on our planet. The talks vary considerably in theme, but some relate to professional growth and development. I’ve highlighted four that are worth watching.
Book Review: Flawed System, Flawed Self by Ofer Sharone
By Jacquie Clermont
What ever is wrong with us that we are, or are still, out of work? Is it our resume? Our cover letter? Not enough networking? Age, education, presentation?
Ofer Sharone, an assistant professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, says none of the above in his insightful look at how the games the un- or under-employed play affect their perceptions of themselves and their society. Sharone compares joblessness in two countries and two classes—the United States and Israel, American white collar and blue collar, to support his conclusion that “different labor market institutions give rise to different job-search games” and “playing these games generates very different unemployment experiences.”
“Re-Boot Camp” at MIT for Career Transition
By Debbie Lipton
On May 2 and May 3, 2015, something special happened for individuals who have been out of work for six months and often much longer, people identified as “long-term unemployed.” This “Re-Boot Camp” (RBC) at MIT brought together more than 100 job seekers between the ages of 40 and 65+, to participate in an intensive and untraditional job search support and educational experience.
Volunteer Your Skills- the benefits are many!
Skills-based volunteering is a great way for you to make a difference in your community while at the same time, it allows you to gain new skills and apply your current skill-set in different ways. In a recent survey on LinkedIn, 42 percent of hiring managers stated they consider volunteer work equivalent to full-time work experience. 20 percent said they’d hired someone because of their volunteer experience. These statistics clearly illustrate how beneficial volunteering can be as part of your overall career development strategy. So, whether you’re looking for work, changing fields, or somewhere in-between, keep in mind that volunteerism is good for the heart and your resume!