Introducing our new CareerLocker staff

Welcome Nelse and Julie!

Please join us in welcoming two new employees to the CareerLocker team!

Nelse2Nelse Grundvig, who joined us in June as a Researcher, will be involved in the analysis of career assessments, career readiness,  CareerLocker data, and related topics. Nelse’s experience as Labor Market Director and a Policy Initiatives Advisor for the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, will be a valuable addition to our team’s expertise in workforce and career development.

Julie M. Hau PhotoJulie Hau, Ph.D., joined us in August as the site Content Manager. She will manage all parts of the site content. Julie brings over 15 years of expensive experience in the field, including positions at Madison Area Technical College; University of Wisconsin-Madison; University of California, Santa Barbara; University of Illinois at Chicago; and California State University, Northridge. She has served as assistant professor, instructor, advising dean, advisor and counselor. Her research focuses on Social Cognitive Career Theory and its applications to underrepresented students.

We are delighted to have Nelse and Julie as part of the CareerLocker team and look forward to working with them to provide you with the best career information site possible.

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What are Hiring Managers Looking for?

Woman holding a hired sign.The newly released 2014 Job Preparedness Indicator Report prepared by the Career Advisory Board at DeVry University indicates a job skills gap, as well as findings on how hiring managers make their selections of candidates.

The report shows that at the entry-level the greatest gap between what hiring managers are looking for and what candidates possess occurs with adaptability and written communication skills. When it comes to tools that hiring managers use to evaluate candidates, 69% of respondents indicated that they use measurable criteria when evaluating candidates, an indication that more hiring managers are systematizing the evaluation process.

Whether you work with students or adults, this information may be helpful as you work with them on developing employability and interviewing skills. To read the report’s Executive Summary, go to http://careeradvisoryboard.org/public/uploads/2014/12/2014-JPI-Executive-Summary.pdf.

Academic and Career Planning Has Great Potential

students around a computer

You have probably heard about the state initiative that will require an Academic and Career Plan (ACP) for every Wisconsin student in grades 6-12 beginning in the 2017-2018 academic year. Sometimes referred to as Individualized Learning Plans (ILPs), ACPs are intended to empower all students to travel the road to adulthood through education and training to careers in an informed manner.

Keep in mind that the ACP is a process, not a product.  As such, it will will evolve as the student matures to reflect their growing knowledge of themselves, their interests and their goals. The process will involve supportive adult relationships, a personalized approach to career planning and education, and student empowerment.

I believe the ACP is is great news for those of us who are involved in career development and planning! It incorporates many activities that schools and educators are already doing… and I believe it can have a great impact on students, especially those who currently lack direction or motivation.

To date 38 states use some type of ACP or ILP, with  21 of those states mandating them for use with all students.

To help explain the need for ACPs and the ACP process, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has created a web page with news, resources, and communication tools. You can find that information at http://acp.dpi.wi.gov/ .

Exciting Changes Coming this Fall!

We are very excited to tell you that your Wisconsin Careers website is being redesigned with a more attractive design and easier navigation that will be released in Fall 2014.

Watch for our new page design, as well as our new name (we are changing Wisconsin Careers to CareerLocker). Plus, we are adding a number of new features that will make the site even more useful for you and your students or clients.

Among these new features are additional reports for professionals. And–we’re also working on a portal for parents… which will be ready later in 2014.

CEW’s Fran Breit Wins Award

Fran Briet's photoWe are pleased to announce that Fran Breit, the Assistant Director of Wisconsin Careers, has been awarded the prestigious Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Service to the University (of Wisconsin-Madison)! Fran has been involved in Wisconsin Careers for the past 27 years and considers it a joy to have affected the careers of so many individuals through her work at CEW. Fran has been involved in numerous committees on campus throughout her career at UW and describes her work as “a career of careers”.

Fran received her award at a reception with the UW Chancellor on May 23rd. Be sure to congratulate Fran on her achievements!

It’s mid-January… how are you doing on your resolutions?

ResolutionsAmong the many articles, blogs, and news links that have crossed my screen over the last few weeks are quite a few with advice on how to set and stick with your New Year’s resolutions…

6 Tips to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions (Huffington Post),

Making Your New Year’s Resolution Stick (American Psychological Association), and

7 New Year’s Resolutions for a Stronger Career in 2014 (US News & World Report)…

to name just a few.

I didn’t set any resolutions at the beginning of this year. Maybe my brain and will were frozen in the extreme cold weather we had. But I’ve been thinking about it over this last week and I realize it’s not too late. The key (as most of the articles say, and as my personal experience proves) is to set small, measurable goals, to not expect perfection, and to persevere even after a slip.

So, I resolve to take at least two mini-breaks per day where I get up and leave my desk. It’s small, it’s measurable, I think I can really stick to it. The increased health benefits and refreshed mental focus when I return to my desk should help increase my efficiency and enjoyment of work.

What about you? Did you make any resolutions this year? How is it going? Is there anything small you can do on a regular basis to improve your work performance–or to better serve your clients or students?

Is there any way using your WISCareers resources could be part of one of those goals?