Welcome to a new year and an extraordinary time to be alive. We just survived a calamitous year that will go down in the history books. Together, we have witnessed an unrelenting parade of disruptions, disappointments, and loss. These challenges, even now, demand much from us collectively and personally. Our stability and beliefs have been shaken and tested; we are living in a different world with different priorities and new rules. We now encounter lesser-known territories particularly in the economic, professional and career development realms. The world of work has indelibly changed, and it is up to working professionals to adapt as quickly and smoothly as possible.
In 2021, we find ourselves in a career field that is called on to support the workforce through this uncertain period. We are called on to inform, guide, and support individuals in navigating a highly complicated and ambiguous labor market. This is our opportunity to be a major pillar in the rebuilding of the many lives that have been upset in the aftermath of the pandemic.
But who helps the helpers? With this daunting task ahead of us, how will we manage listening to the countless heartbreaking struggles or help others navigate a seemingly impenetrable job market? I believe growing and cultivating a strong community of career development professionals will offer a major resiliency factor for our corner of the helping field in the years to come.
I also believe MACCA is perfectly positioned to accept such a task. My aim as president is to help us focus on building a lasting infrastructure of multi-faceted support for our members. MACCA is known for warmth and being person-centered, which is evidenced by the retention of many quality, multi-decade members. At our 50th anniversary conference and amongst the celebratory reminiscence, one attendee declared, “MACCA is the people!” And I couldn’t agree more. I felt so embraced and welcomed on my first day of my first MACCA event that on the second day I volunteered to join the board as secretary. MACCA offers an inclusive environment for people to engage, grow, and support each other in their professional journey. We take care of our own and we want to be good stewards of our community. This year we are reaching out to those who could use the motivation, social opportunities (still on Zoom for now), or our professional development sessions. We choose to be a positive force doling out reminders to our community about who we are, why we do what we do, and what a huge difference we make in people’s lives. It is easy for us to forget the powerful impact of the services we provide. When we forget our true value it is much easier to lose morale, neglect our self-care, and even burn out. Right now our workforce needs us and we need one another to support them well in the coming years.
With all of this in mind, I ask you as a member of this community, how can you help us accomplish this? What ways can you find to attend, participate, connect with, contribute to, promote, or invite colleagues to join in to help realize this vision of a strengthened support system for our community? What gifts do you have to share that your colleagues are waiting for in order to become better professionals? Please consider getting more involved with MACCA this year. Even at a micro-level, such as forwarding a newsletter to someone who may like it, your support makes a big difference and ultimately improves this community.
I am grateful and humbled by the task of serving as your president. Thank you for this opportunity. Please feel free to reach out to me or any of our board members to start a conversation about you and MACCA.