Leadership Priorities for Career Services

Chaim ShapiroChaim Shapiro, Assistant Director of Career Services at Touro College
Website: http://chaimshapiro.com/
Twitter: @chaimshapiro
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/chaimshapiro
Blogs from Chaim Shapiro.

The new school year is the time for a new beginning. For that fresh start, I wanted to share my view on the priorities for career services leaders.

Any current statement of leadership priorities in career services has to borrow extensively from two excellent articles on the future of the profession—”Thriving in the Brave New World of Career Services: 10 Essential Strategies” by Manny Contomanolis and Trudy Steinfeld and “10 Future Trends in College Career Services” by Farouk Dey and Christine Y. Cruzvergara.

Career services, as a profession, is in a state of flux. The long term stagnant economy brought the work of career services to the forefront among college administrators, parents, and other stakeholders. There has also been a significant paradigm shift within the profession. While many balked at the word “placement” just a few years ago, it is now accepted that “career outcomes is everybody’s business” (Contomanolis and Steinfeld, 2014).

Demonstrating career outcomes and career services’ role in producing those outcomes is fundamental. Collecting and producing a solid first-destinations report based on the NACE standards is a crucial means to allow career services to tell its story and, in a larger sense, demonstrate institutional success (Dey and Cruzvergara, 2014).

The role of career services must be “elevated” (Dey and Cruzvergara, 2014), so it becomes clear that career services is part and parcel of the mission of the university. Career services leaders are collaborative in attaining that goal, thus creating allies and “buy in” across the institution, especially among senior administrators (Contomanolis and Steinfeld, 2014).

Career services leaders must remain flexible, adapt to rapidly changing realities, and take “thoughtful risks” that lead to innovation and bold new initiatives (Contomanolis and Steinfeld, 2014). They embrace technology (Dey and Cruzvergara, 2014) and seek to incorporate it everywhere it can enhance their services.

Even with the radical changes in career services and the new priorities competing for a professional’s time, it is imperative that an adviser still focus on the students. Career services leaders believe that every student has infinite potential and endeavor to encourage each student to be proactive in achieving it to their fullest, both in the career services realm and beyond.

Times of change are really times of opportunity. True leaders refuse to sit on the sidelines while the career services world reinvents itself. One of the greatest ways to “elevate” career services, demonstrate its foundational value to our institutions, and provide more effective services to students is by being an active part in charting the profession’s future.

Buckle up!


1) Contomanolis, M. and Steinfeld, T. (2014) Thriving in the Brave New World of Career Services: 10 Essential Strategies. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140506212412-2872947-thriving-in-the-brave-new-world-of-career-services-10-essential-strategies (Accessed 7/28/15)

2) Dey, F. and Cruzvergara, C. Y. (2014) 10 Future Trends in College Career Services. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140715120812-11822737-10-future-trends-in-college-career-services (Accessed 7/28/15).

NACE15 Networking Tips

Chaim ShapiroChaim Shapiro
Website: http://chaimshapiro.com/
Twitter: @chaimshapiro
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/chaimshapiro
Blogs from Chaim Shapiro.

We are almost there! NACE15 is so close that I can almost taste the salt-water air in Southern California.

The NACE Conference is the best time of the year for networking. All the leading professionals, both on the college and the employer side, will be in one place. Here are five tips to maximize your networking opportunities at NACE15.

  1. Start Tweeting using the official #NACE15 hashtag. Conference-related conversations have already begun. Get involved and show your expertise! The correct, official hashtag is #NACE15. Make sure to use that hashtag for all your Tweets so everyone can see them.
  2. Download the NACE15 attendees list and connect on LinkedIn. After you register for the NACE Conference, you can see the attendee list under “Events” on the “MyNACE” tab. I recommend downloading the list to a PDF so you can study it carefully. Make a list of your must-meet and network folks from that list and send them a personalized connection request mentioning that you would like to connect and meet with them at NACE15. Feel free to connect with me: www.linkedin.com/in/chaimshapiro
  3. Engage the NACE leadership. I learned very quickly at my first conference five years ago that the NACE leadership is very accessible and open to engaging with NACE members. Make a list of the NACE Board Members and former presidents and introduce yourself at the conference.
  4. Reach out to workshop presenters. I always make a list of the workshop sessions I plan to attend. Create that list and e-mail the presenters of those workshops to tell them that you are looking forward to their presentation. Make sure you introduce yourself and thank them after their presentation.
  5. The old standby—meet for coffee! Nothing beats a face-to-face! Choose the top five folks you must meet and invite them to coffee. I am a bit biased here, because my favorite coffee shop (The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf) is an eight-minute walk from the conference hotel.

I look forward to seeing you at NACE15—and yes, I’d love to meet for coffee!

Chaim Shapiro will facilitate “Social Media Best Practices,” cone of the campfire conversations, 4:30 – 5:15 p.m., Thursday, June 4, Grand Ballroom J-H.


Top 10 Reasons to Attend NACE15

Chaim Shapiro

Chaim Shapiro
Website: http://chaimshapiro.com/
Twitter: @chaimshapiro
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/chaimshapiro
Blogs from Chaim Shapiro.

Excitement is in the air. NACE15 is just a few short weeks away! In honor of David Letterman, I present the “Top 10 Reasons to Attend NACE15!”

10) Tell your boss you can’t wait to hear Lindsey Pollak discuss her book Becoming the Boss.

9) Find out what a “recharging lounge” is and whether you can get one at home!

8) See how many times you can ride the “It’s A Small World” ride without falling into a trance.

7) Catch an Angels game! They are in town and a couple of blocks from the hotel!

6) Network California style. Goofy hats are encouraged (voice impressions are not).

5) Find out how we can have “campfire conversations” indoors!

4) Find out what “dry heat” REALLY means in California in June.

3) You should try to learn something by attending the GREAT workshops.

2) Join the debate—are those clouds or is that smog?

1) Match NACE Board members to their doppelganger Disney characters!

Find Chaim Shapiro, whose doppelganger may be Fozzie Bear, facilitating a campfire conversation on social media at NACE15.

Carpe NACE!

Chaim ShapiroChaim Shapiro
Website: http://chaimshapiro.com/
Twitter: @chaimshapiro
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/chaimshapiro

One of my favorite experiments when speaking in public is to ask the audience how many of them know the name Elisha Gray (without Googling him)?  To date, I have had some weird guesses (no, it wasn’t the guy who dated your roommates’ sister in college) but no correct answers.

I follow up that question by asking how many know the name Alexander Graham Bell.  As you can imagine, everyone is familiar with the name and replies that he is the man who invented the telephone.  That is a well-known fact that we all learned in fourth grade, right?

Only it is not that simple.  The truth is that a man named Elisha Gray filed a patent for a working telephone two hours after the patent was filed by Alexander Graham Bell!

Just 120 minutes, BUT those few moments were the difference between being a household name, forever ensconced in our collective memories, and being regulated to the dustbin of history.

I’m sure you will Google this now, and the story is a bit more complicated than that, but fundamentally, two hours made the difference between historical immortality and being an answer to a trivia question only known by the biggest of US history geeks (I confess).

Obviously this is a rare example, but I think it teaches an important lesson about the value of time.  Wasted time is a commodity we can never recover.  Chances are few, if any, of us will be remembered in perpetuity, but that doesn’t diminish the value of our time.

I can hear you asking, what’s your point (yes, I know you are taking TIME to read this)?  My point is carpe diem.  But don’t just seize the day; seize the moment, because we never know the full impact of any of our actions (or inactions). 

NACE is a great way for all of us to seize the moment.  I know there are great ideas out there, but unless we take the time to share them, they will be lost.  We all have the opportunity to take a leading role in shaping the future of our profession.  Don’t pass up on that!

None of us can hide behind the excuse that we are not well known or part of the NACE leadership because I can personally attest that NACE is open to the thoughts and ideas of all of its members, irrespective of job title.  Leadership and great ideas can come from anyone and at any time (my wife hates when I hop out of bed to write down an idea in the middle of the night).

So don’t hesitate.  Attend a NACE event, register for the annual conference, volunteer your time, join a committee or just share your thoughts with NACE and you WILL become an active part of charting the future.

Ironically, you don’t even have to use Bell (or Gray’s) invention to do so with e-mail, because phone calls are SO last century!

Chaim was a co-chair of the 2013-2014 NACE Principles for Professional Practice Committee and successfully completed NACE’s 2012-2013 Leadership Advancement Program. Find a listing of NACE committees on NACEWeb.

Top 10 Reasons to Attend NACE14

Chaim Shapiro

Chaim Shapiro
Website: http://chaimshapiro.com/
Twitter: @chaimshapiro
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/chaimshapiro

Excitement is in the air!  NACE14 is just a couple of weeks away.  If you are going to attend only one conference this year, THIS IS THE ONE.

David Letterman may be retiring but I decided to salute him with a “Top 10 Reasons to Attend NACE14”

10) See if your jeans can make more noise than the band as you dance the night away at the “Diamonds and Denims” celebration.

9) Everything is bigger in Texas—NACE14 is the biggest networking opportunity of the year.

8) Find out for yourself if the Alamo has a basement.

7) Learning is NOT just for college students.  Attend GREAT workshops (including mine on LinkedIn bit.ly/1aoFf3X .)

6) The powerful “keynotes” are not about your ability to sing “Deep in the Heart of Texas”

5) The Expo is so much more than an old mediocre MLB baseball team.

4) Adapt great programs from the “Great Ideas Showcase” and convince your boss that you are a genius.

3) Wake up to the “Early Show with Dan Black” and see if I can get him to laugh.

2) Solve the perplexing NACE14 mystery clues as featured on Twitter.

1) Find out if Dan Black will REALLY wear a ten-gallon cowboy hat.

How Do You Handle Student LinkedIn Invitations?

Chaim Shapiro

Chaim Shapiro
Website: http://chaimshapiro.com/
Twitter: @chaimshapiro
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/chaimshapiro

I wanted to invite you into a Twitter discussion I was having about an issue that most career services professionals have probably had to deal with this at some point: How do you handle LinkedIn connection requests from students?

To me, the fundamental question comes down to whether a LinkedIn connection to a career services professional provides a real added benefit to students.  If it does, then I would argue that benefit MUST be extended (or denied) equally to ALL students.  If it doesn’t, then it is simply a matter of personal preference.

How do YOU handle student LinkedIn invites?  Please vote in the Flash Poll!  Disagree with my analysis? Please share your thoughts in the comments section!



Chaim Shapiro

Black Friday…In April?

Chaim Shapiro

Chaim Shapiro

I know what you are thinking. It is finally April and that means baseball, warmer weather, taxes, and Black Friday.

Black Friday? No. You are not having a flashback to packed stores and stampedes the day after Thanksgiving and this isn’t an April Fool’s joke. I am talking about the #NACEBlackFriday chat with NACE President Dan Black scheduled for Friday, April 4th from 1-2 p.m. (ET) on Twitter.

Once again, Dan will lend his ears—and his last name—to a Twitter chat about all things NACE. Do you have questions or ideas? Are there any thoughts that you want to share about the conference or the future of the profession? This is your chance to bring them right to the top!

This time, you can e-mail your questions in advance to callen@naceweb.org or just show up and surprise Dan during the open forum portion of the chat (any guesses as to what I plan to do?).

So pull out that extra Black-Friday-Sale iPad you didn’t need and some of the  left-over turkey you don’t want to admit is still hiding in the back of your freezer and join us for #NACEBlackFriday because there are only  268 shopping days until Christmas (and 259 until Chanukah)!