By: Alysia McGlone, Career Advising Fellow at Elon University & NCCDA Newsletter Intern
I left the 2020 NCCDA Annual Conference full of hope. I was inspired to reimagine
personal wellbeing, identity, and how to add value to the conversation of inclusive career
development. There are many adjectives and phrases that come to mind when thinking
about the annual conference. Some of them include brutal honesty, evolution, and legacy.
Brutal Honesty and Evolution
Having difficult conversations like the ones sparked by the multiple pandemics of 2020 can
be a way to boldly go forward in our work as career educators. After attending the
conference, I felt that there was no time, energy, nor space available for palatable
conversations surrounding our work as career educators. I realized that in order to make our
intentions a reality, we must first examine whether our decision making is grounded in ethics.
If this ethos is present, then our reality will be grounded firmly in tangibly equitable practices.
As discussed in the conference, are we really using this time for quarantine to improve our
wellbeing, and how we make an impact in our work with students? Or are we pretending -
unable to engage in reflection to inspire real change from the micro- to the macro-levels of
service provision? I truly feel the community was in agreement with the former as the method
for individual and collective evolution.
As I reflect upon my legacy, I wonder about the impact of what I currently make space for in
my life. I realized during the conference that I can sincerely benefit from dedicating more
self-care and more self-compassion into my pie of life. This ideal design for my life can only
come from getting brutally honest and holding myself accountable for what I allow to take
up space. It also involves drawing inspiration from new sources to stay fresh and serve a well
of resources for my students. For my ideal legacy as an individual and as a professional to
manifest, my wellbeing is vital. I am excited at the possibilities for showing up for my
students in new ways. By disrupting myself and sources of inspiration regularly I will be able
to advocate for their wellbeing, thereby aiding their own process of self-discovery, evolution,
Going Boldly Forward
I am hopeful that we as career development educators and practitioners are committed to
not letting this moment fizzle. I am hopeful the magnifying glass laid on inequities in the
field of career development will not end in this moment of the year 2020. I am hopeful that
we are committed to moving forward in our individual and collective development - inspiring
a legacy for inclusivity, accountability, and action.