Change is in the Wind

By Dave Isbell

Change. That is a scary word for so many people. Yet, in our office, we embrace it head on. Last week, you were introduced to our amazing new Director, Lisa Wiley Parker. At the end of the week, we said goodbye to John Mattos, who has been with me for two years, and Tiffany Gaston who has been with me for one year, both as  graduate student assistants.  They will be missed, but now that graduation is over for them, they are on to start their lives seperate from the moniker of  “student.” As they are both faithful Spartans, I am glad to welcome them to the family we call “alumni!” I’m 100% certain they will have bright futures, and I’m sure you will hear from them again sometime!

And that leads me up to you, dear reader. Thank you for your interactions with us during the first year (plus a few months), for sharing your stories with us, writing for/with us, and passing on what you read to other people. It has been a terrific journey so far! Yet, this blog is set for some big changes in the future, as Lisa and I work to develop a new strategic plan about how we do “career services” that will also include how we do all of our social media, including this blog. I’m not sure what that is going to mean just yet, but I can say it is only going to get better with Lisa on board.

For now, I am excited about the series that I will be running throughout the summer, starting this Friday! It was originally written last summer, and was meant to be a “stopgap” for the revamp of our web page this past school year, until we could expand on it. Well, that didn’t quite work out because the content has only just surfaced on our new web page (alumni.msu.edu) just a few weeks ago! However, I liked what Kim Medlock put together with me last summer (when she was still a student and I had a few dollars I could throw at her to write it with me) and decided to expand/edit some of our work and release it here for you.

I wanted to give readers a clear place to start to find relevant information at each career stage, and expand into the next stage as the reader is ready to do so. Obviously, there is much room to expand on the basics that we will be presenting, but that’s what we hope to do moving forward with the blog (and all of our public interactions) in the future!

So here is what you can expect this summer:

Since this series is being launched right on the heels of graduation, I started with young alumni (this is maybe graduation through five or six years out of school; but not necessarily young as in age, unless you consider yourself young when you are not technically young, but I digress.) These posts will go through mid-June and will cover everything from assessing one’s self to taking the next step in the career.

In mid-June, you will begin to see me expand on those basic concepts and aim content at mid-level career professionals. Finally, the summer will end with content aimed at you ever-so-patient late-career professionals. Each developmental stage will have something helpful for everyone, but I really wanted to get specific for those people who designate him/herself into a stage. (Though there is some relevance to different age groups having different needs, and we did have this in mind as we wrote, I never said “age,” I said “stage,” that means that a 55 year old who is starting over might benefit from young alumni content, or vice versa. I’ll leave it up to you, the readers, to decide how to categorize yourself!)

Once the summer is over, you will see the aforementioned changes. Lisa and I have already thrown around ideas, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise by giving those away just yet! As for those of you who have said you want to guest post, we are still happy to take your submissions during the summer and we will work them in when the summer series ends.

Thanks for reading, sharing, writing, giving, and caring!

Go Green!

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Dave Isbell is the Alumni Career Service Coordinator at Michigan State University. He has been a Career Coach since 1999. He is also pursuing a Master’s in Social Work/Family Studies at MSU.  When he is not working or studying, he is enjoying domestic bliss with his wife and kids, or playing rock music on his bass guitar. You can find him on Twitter (@helpingspartans) and sometimes he writes about compassion, collaboration, and career for this blog, which he owns and begs other Spartans to write for.

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