Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Ready to Start or Advance Your Career? Meet Sharon Thompsonowak, Director of Career Development Services!

“Adult learners are among my favorite people: I love working with individuals who are figuring out their career paths – especially when they are ready to add a new degree to their resumes or transition from one career to another – and I am always eager to develop resources that support adults in taking steps toward success. “ –Sharon Thompsonowak, Director of Career Development Services

Director of Peirce College Career Development ServicesPeirce’s Career Development Services (CDS) Center is your go-to place for starting your job search process and the career that best fits you. CDS offers many opportunities for students to prep for interviews, build their resumes and cover letters, cultivate work-related skills, and so much more.

Our Director of Career Development Services, Sharon Thompsonowak, recently joined the Peirce team in November 2016 after spending many years working in education, fundraising, nonprofit management, economic development and workforce development. We spoke with Sharon a bit about her inspiration and her advice for utilizing CDS to further your future career.

What inspired you to want to be involved in career services?
Research shows that college degree holders still earn more money over their lifetimes than people with only a high school diploma. This coupled with the fact that many hiring managers list soft skills (like communication, time management, emotional intelligence, and conflict resolution) as the qualifications they value most in their candidates, made me want to get involved with career services.  In CDS, we create programs and resources that help Peirce students and alumni not only build these essential skills but also learn how to leverage them along with their college credentials. Your career should provide a return on your educational investment, and CDS provides support in making sure that you have the tools you need to maximize this return.

Do you have any advice for people who are ready to move their careers to the next level?
Whether you are looking for a new job or a promotion, get started now. It’s never too early to update your resume, inventory your workplace accomplishments, or get the word out that you are ready for your next opportunity.  CDS can help you practice telling your professional story so that you feel confident in presenting your skills and accomplishments as the best fit for a potential employer. And if you’re ready for a change but you’re not sure exactly what’s next, CDS has many resources that will help you identify options.

Additionally, spring is a great time to look for a new job! Many hiring managers post job openings starting in January, and the applicant pools generally become less competitive starting in February. Upcoming CDS workshops will help you take advantage of these opportunities: we’re offering webinars about online interviewing and the federal job application process, as well as sessions on emotional intelligence and the etiquette of business lunches. Our 7th annual Women in Leadership panel event on March 15 is open to all students and alumni, and provides a great opportunity to network with executives and other women from across the region.

Thank you, Sharon! The first CDS workshop is tomorrow, January 25th, from 5:30 to 7:30pm. Join the CDS Team for Part 1 of a two-part series called, Emotional Intelligence, where you can learn how to recognize feelings, motivate yourself, and manage emotions in yourself and your relationships to make all the difference in your professional life. To learn more and to RSVP, go to peirceCDS.eventbrite.com.