Recently a colleague asked me to give one main reason WHY a member of the local CDA, such as MCDA, should join NCDA. I gave him several reasons that he liked, but I thought about his question since then and realized that there are probably lots of CDA members out there who are not members of NCDA. They probably ask themselves the same question, only privately. And there are many more counselors and career services providers who are NOT members of either their local CDA or NCDA. They aren't reading this article but YOU are.
So friends, here's some food for thought. (I'll get to the cake and cupcakes later!)
First, joining NCDA means you are associated with the premiere association in the world and receiving the important support of a vibrant group of individuals who highly value promoting excellent career development. We have about 4000 members, mostly located here in the USA and some wonderful colleagues abroad. We have very hard working volunteer Board members who have many work responsibilities in addition to their NCDA role. They put in countless hours each year to keep NCDA the premiere association it is. This Board is supported by a very dedicated and talented staff that also puts in many hours to keep the NCDA engine running smoothly and efficiently. There are other NCDA members who are involved in numerous activities throughout the year, which support YOU and your profession
Secondly, NCDA offers a first-class global conference with excellent speakers, informative materials, and the opportunity to network with some of the nicest people who become more than colleagues; they become friends for life! NCDA members receive more than just a monetary discount when attending the conference! And local CDA's support each conference whether it be located in Seattle, Chicago, Orlando or other city worth traveling to!
Thirdly, NCDA has the best staff. Every phone call, every email and every personal interaction is handled professionally, promptly and with the goal of serving the career development profession as a whole.
Finally, this organization is the heartbeat of your local state CDA. Regardless of their state, all CDA's have members who are doing some pretty terrific work with their clients, students and programs that reach many people in mostly quiet unassuming ways that go un-noticed, and change lives for the better. Being part of the national association links you to the heartbeat of NCDA's efforts to reach out nationally and internationally and make a difference. As a national organization, NCDA has the opportunity to have great visibility and strength in numbers. Those numbers are made up of local career development professionals!
So friends, now back to the cake and cupcakes. NCDA is the cake. CDA's are the cupcakes Cupcakes are great because they are made from the same good stuff. .Enjoy your cake and cupcake! Don't settle for cookie crumbs; life is too short, and you have much to accomplish in your special calling to deal with career development issues and ideas. Here's my recipe for a great cake and cupcake baking and eating experience.
two pints of your personal involvement
one cup listening skills
one teaspoon each: knowledge of career resources, ethical responsibility, and assessment skills
two tablespoons NCDA participation
two-thirds cup CDA activities
1) Mix two pints of your personal involvement to promote excellent career development with one cup listening skills and several teaspoons of whatever special ingredients of career services are needed where you are presently employed or doing an internship as a graduate student.
2) Share what you are doing with your colleagues. This way they hear about your involvement and may also get involved! Add to this by reaching out and becoming active in an NCDA Committee.
3) Stir up your local CDA with vigor to produce a silky smooth textured batter ideal for baking. Use your enthusiasm to talk about NCDA and stir up some local interest in joining this association.
3) Bake at 350 degrees until the aroma just beckons you to open the oven and eat a delicious piece of both the cake and the cupcakes. This recipe yields more than just an active career development professional -- we now have a great CAKE and many CUPCAKES to enjoy! Just keep on doing the great work you are doing in our profession and be as active as you can with your local CDA and NCDA. Thank you for your help to further build this association with a great membership and budding new leaders!
Edward Anthony Colozzi, Ed.D.,
NCDA Membership Chair/Teleconference Chair
Career Development and Counseling Services
NCDA Website Editor
Editor, Career Convergence
NCDA: Inspiring Careers. Empowering Lives.