This week, Lisa and I talked about the part that luck plays in one’s career development.

So, what do you think? What is the “luckiest” thing that has happened in your career?

Are there any topics you would like us to talk about in the future? Jump in on the comments section and let us know!


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.

Lisa joined the Michigan State University Alumni Association as Director of Alumni Career & Business Services on May 1, 2012. Her primary focus is to develop effective networking and resource channels for experienced alumni interested in professional development and job search strategy assistance. Additionally, Lisa works directly with corporate, education, foundation and government partners seeking to attract qualified talent, retain and develop good employees, and establish collaborative relationships in line with their established goals and objectives.

With 15+ years’ experience in third party recruiting, Lisa offers a balanced understanding of both employee and employer perspectives.

Lisa is a firm advocate of the networking process and considers it a vital element in a successful job search. In addition to helping job seekers develop and best utilize networking contacts, Lisa shares her knowledge and insigh-gained aiding corporate recruiting efforts-to give Spartan job seekers an edge in terms of lead sourcing, resume presentation and interview strategy.

Among Lisa’s notable accomplishments: Prima Civitas Foundation Scholar; Michigan Works Association Volunteer of the Year; Pink Slip Mid Michigan Planning Committee; career content blogger.



  1. spartanshelpingspartans 2 November, 2012 at 13:19

    Absolutely, this is one of my (and Lisa’s) favorite topics! The short answer is you have shown them what you can do, but if the capacity in which you are volunteering is not one in which you are able to shine as an asset that provides a unique value to them then why would they hire you? So it might mean to change your value by changing your role. It also might mean that you might need to find your own funding for them to hire you because it is likely that even if they wanted to hire you the budget may not allow it. That means either writing a grant, doing some fund raising, or helping them to be more productive in someway where they can cut something else to hire you. Finally, you need to just ask them to hire you! You’d be surprised at how often people just don’t ask. This is especially the case for volunteers. But, if they only see you as a volunteer how could they ever possibly even know that you would want to be employed by them? Lisa wrote a post about this a while back. You can see that here: Stay tuned, we will tape that conversation soon so maybe we’ll come up with some ideas that we don’t even know we have yet!

  2. pgroszko 2 November, 2012 at 13:01

    I just happened by my compute and saw your post, Upon refection, i think changing the perception that I am everyone’s favorite volunteer is the mystery question.
    Do you the references have some insight?

  3. spartanshelpingspartans 2 November, 2012 at 11:38

    Thanks for the question Pat. I’m going to bring this to Lisa and we’ll talk about it in an upcoming discussion together. As I wrote a response, I decided to turn it into a blog post so watch for it next week!

    Go Green!


  4. pgroszko 1 November, 2012 at 15:40

    Dave and Lisa, I am currently seeking employment in events services, writing and editing, after serving many years as a volunteer in the Holland, MI area for the Holland Historical Trust, Holland Garden Club, and City of Holland. I have found your posts to be very helpful in creating my resume and LinkedIn connection. My question to you is What is the next step? Networking? How to alert volunteer colleagues that I am searching? Thank you, Pat Demmer ’72 Groszko 616-399-0652

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