Patricia Woods is a career advisor for the Lazarus Center for Career Development at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and an independent career coach who has held the GCDF credential since 2013. She is passionate about collaborating with individuals in their career-development process. Woods is a graduate of Smith College and received her master’s from Columbia University/Teachers College. Recently she spoke with us about her career as a GCDF and how the credential has helped her to do her best work.
Tell us about your current role at work and in your private practice.
I primarily help undergraduate students, from choosing a major to navigating life after graduation in terms of jobs, fellowships, internships and opportunities to work abroad. I utilize a variety of career assessment tools as well as design thinking to help students better understand their skills, interests, values and personality. In my independent career coaching, the type of individual I see typically is middle-aged and looking for a career change. The process is similar, but different, based on their life experiences.
Why did you decide to pursue the GCDF credential?
I had been in the field of career development for several years, and there were not a lot of professional development opportunities. I obtained my master’s about six to seven years prior and wanted to connect with professionals to see if I was implementing best practices, and still being effective and efficient. I wanted to be more comfortable and confident in knowing I was doing my job as best as I could, and it was the perfect way to refresh my knowledge.
How has obtaining the GCDF credential helped you in your career?
It’s definitely helped me feel more connected to resources that I had fallen behind on utilizing. It really opened my eyes to more global resources that are being used worldwide. The GCDF credential provided me with a breadth of resources I can better utilize to help students reach their goals and make informed career decisions.
What would you say to others who are considering pursuing this credential?
I would encourage anyone, because it’s absolutely worthwhile. It’s a lot of content in a short amount of time, almost like a mini boot camp for career development. The curriculum is delivered in a clear, practical and condensed way, so that you easily begin utilizing what you’ve learned right away in your work as a career development professional.
© 2020 | Center for Credentialing & Education. All rights reserved