Maureen Nelson is a workforce development professional in the San Francisco Bay Area and has been guiding individuals and organizations in assessment, change management, process improvement and outreach communication for over 15 years. ("Workforce development" is a narrow label for a broad range of services to both individuals and businesses and goes beyond the traditional activity of training job seekers; modern WFD recognizes that businesses are our customers, too — its long-term goal is strengthening the local economy by supporting employers, without whom there would be no jobs.) Previously, Maureen worked in publishing as an editor, writer and production designer.
Her roles as career coach and corporate trainer have allowed her to work both one-on-one and with large groups to bring career and life lessons to thousands of people. Though the lens of content changes, the themes are constant: the importance of seeing others' perspectives; continuous self-appraisal and self-correction; humility, including owning your mistakes; honesty and integrity in all dealings; pride in service excellence; a Buddhist-like detachment (also expressed in the serenity prayer); self-confidence that expands to "lift all boats" around an individual; and "owning" expertise that ends in a sense of obligation to share and create legacy. All of these are either prerequisites for, or expressions of, success. Maureen believes we are on earth for one purpose: to make each other's journeys easier, and the extent to which we do that, simply and without fanfare, determines whether we have been useful and successful or have just taken up space.
Maureen serves as Assistant Administrator of the One Stop Consortium of Contra Costa County, with oversight of the four federally funded One Stop Career Centers of San Pablo, Concord, Antioch and Brentwood — all part of the two-county consortium known as EASTBAY Works. (Prior to this position, she worked at the Oakland Private Industry Council, another agency in EASTBAY Works, as a senior career counselor and manager.) In her present position, she assists in implementation of special grants (multi-sector, on-the-job training), supports daily operations, develops relationships with businesses, education and community entities, leads teams, represents the Workforce Development Board (WDB) to the community and local/state government and works on special communication, training and performance projects.
Maureen either leads or serves on committees covering management, business services, training, site leadership and safety. In addition, she serves on several cross-agency collaboratives, such as Progress Concord, three Workforce Integration Networks (East, West and Central County), and business-focused task forces with partner agency EDD and other local entities. (The Employment Development Department is co-located at the Concord site.) Maureen's current efforts include leading the business services and economic data team to construct a portion of the WDB's strategic five-year plan.
As an instructor in the Global Career Development Facilitator program, she has taught career theories and models, employability skills, ethics, tools (such as Powerpoint), technology and career assessments. Teaching in the GCDF program affords her the opportunity to interact with and educate fellow workforce development professionals from a variety of organizations involved in training and employment, business services and human services.
Maureen's work life has spanned web development, human resources, real estate, customer service, higher education, non-profit, technology, and management consulting (Six Sigma, Lean Process, Continuous Improvement). Her favorite? Anything that lets her use her communication skills. Maureen has been an editor for Career Convergence, the online magazine of the National Career Development Association, has contributed substantially to a book on internships, and led conference classes on working with transgender clients, working with reentry (formerly incarcerated) clients and using writing to advance one's career. She has guest-lectured at colleges on using creative assessments, creating web portfolios and improving one's professional presence. For several years, she worked as a freelance writer, career coach and resume writer. She has been involved in public relations, marketing and advertising via projects, professional organizations and volunteer work, but now focuses most communication on the government sector.
An avid photographer, Maureen finds no end of subjects in her valley community of Rossmoor, a part of Walnut Creek that is known for its park-like beauty. Some of her photos have been published locally and she has also participated in group art shows as a pencil and watercolor artist. A published poet who favors traditional forms, she has given public readings and won awards for her poetry.
Maureen has been a lifelong volunteer and strongly encourages everyone to give of their time as their life circumstances allow. Maureen's own volunteer activities have ranged from leading blood drives for banks to processing donations for ballet companies to prep cooking for people with AIDS. She has produced church newsletters, cleaned up beaches and zoos, and taken care of exotic animals in the SPCA's educational program. The most memorable volunteer work she did was going inside state prisons to write resumes.
CREDENTIALS AND TRAINING
- M.A., Career Development, John F. Kennedy University
- Global Career Development
Facilitator (GCDF) - Program Instructor
- Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)
- Distance Credentialed Counselor (trained, not certified)
- Career Coaches Institute (trained, not certified)
Qualified to administer:
- Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
- Strong Interest Inventory (SII)
- Campbell Interest and Skills Survey (CISS)
- SkillScan and various values card sorts
- Contributor, "You Want a Promotion, But Do You Deserve One?" CareerBuilder.com, 2011
- Contributor, "Cool Careers: Look for a job in an industry with growth potential," Cents, Fall 2011 (magazine of American Airlines Credit Union)
- Contributor, “15-Minute
Resume Makeovers,”ADVANCE for Medical
Laboratory Professionals, January 31, 2011
- Contributor, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to The Perfect
Resume, 5th ed.,by Susan Ireland, 2010
- “30 Tips for New Career
Counselors,”Career Convergence, NCDA, 2007
Enter "Maureen Nelson" in "Search Archives" at Career Convergence for more articles. Career Convergence is the online magazine of the National Career Development Association.
- Getting Your Ideal Internship, 2nd ed. WetFeet, San Francisco, CA, 2006
- “Beyond Training: Mentoring
for Skills Transfer,” cover story of Support
World, November/December 2003
Several of Maureen's un-bylined articles on career are in the ezine archives of The Creative Group; others appear in
publications of Robert Half Technology; email for
links or text of articles.
- "Reinventing Yourself," Public Relations Society of America, San Francisco, CA 2011
- “Crafting Your Elevator
Pitch,” East Bay Professional Experience Network, Oakland, CA, 2011
- “10 Ways to Avoid Cookie-Cutter
Resumes,” Graceworks, Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA, 2010
- “Career Counseling
Transgender Clients” (roundtable), National Career Development Association
Conference, San Francisco, CA, 2010
- “Working with Formerly
Incarcerated Clients,” Unison in Industries Conference, Palo Alto, CA, 2009
- “Job Hunting Advice from
Employment Experts” (panel), LGBT Center, San Francisco, CA, 2008
- “Projecting A Professional
Image,” brown-bag talk, Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill, CA, 2006
- Global Career Development Facilitator credential program, sponsored by EastBayWorks (2009-Present). Topics: career theories, professional
ethics, resumes, and Powerpoint
- Basic Employment Specialist Training Program (BEST Pro), sponsored by Jewish Vocational Service (2008-2009); advisory board. Topic: Resumes
- 4-Day Job Search Skills Workshop, sponsored by the Oakland Private Industry Council
- Trainer, EUREKA career management system and occupation database, used at California community colleges, (2006)
- Guest Lectures: UC Extension, John F. Kennedy University, Diablo Valley College,
Contra Costa College
INTERVIEWS AND MEDIA
Tele-Interviews. Topic: Coaching Clients to Write their Way into a Job, March
- Work with Marty Nemko, KALW,
FM 91.7. Topic: Government Programs for the Unemployed, July 23, 2010
- How I Got My Job (podcast), Maureen Nelson: Career
Counselor, March 14, 2010
- Work with Marty Nemko, KALW,
FM 91.7. Topic: Transgender in the Workplace, April 30, 2008
- Other interviews appear in
the Contra Costa Times, WriteSuccess, Campus Teknik. Quoted in the Wall Street
Journal and Chicago Tribune.
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
- Author with the Most Impact,
National Career Development Association
- Outstanding Student, School of Management, John F. Kennedy University
- Celebration of Scholarship,
John F. Kennedy University, Pleasant Hill, CA
- First Place, BrassRing.com’s
Writing Contest, Category: Careers and Technology
- National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP)