Karen Lederer

FALL 2003
Herter 204
Monday 2:30-4:10
2 Credits
Mandatory PASS/FAIL

Office location: 208 Bartlett Hall, I'm in the office most of each day, call for an appointment, 545-1922, or email me at lederer@WOST.umass.edu. Don't hesitate to contact me if you have a concern.

This is a challenging class, while non-traditional academically. The class requires commitment, thought, and mandatory attendance. If you can't give quality time and mental energy this semester, please don't enroll. This course will give you the chance to do the things you know you need to do as a senior: write resumes, create a budget, investigate career options. You will clarify your values and goals, and through that process, prioritize what is most important to you. The class is particularly focused toward career questions for Women's Studies students: what are the options if you want to help the world and have a reasonable life besides? The first part of the semester is self awareness, and the 2nd part of the semester focuses on workforce information and practical job search skills.


  1. Job Notebook/Journal - Look through the want ads at least once a week and clip out jobs in which you have some interest. Be sure to vary the newspapers you look in-choose large city papers like the Sunday Boston Globe and Sunday New York Times, the Washington Post, and large on-line bulletin boards, (idealist.com, wetfeet.com, monster.com are a start) and ads in professional journals for the fields that interest you. Keep a job notebook which contains these clippings and notes on what is specifically interesting about some jobs, what is challenging about them, things you don't like about them, further training necessary for you to do the jobs, and any other thoughts or feelings you have about them. Any other information you gather about jobs from people you meet or research you do (www.bls.gov )has great information, including the occupational outlook handbook with up to date info on careers) can be kept in this notebook. Please bring your notebook to class regularly as periodically we will take a few minutes of class for people to share what they have gathered. The first set of ads and comments is due at the 2nd class and ads will be collected 1-2 times after that.

  2. Budget - A budget form must be completed and turned in. This budget is the projected realistic budget for the lifestyle you hope to have once you finish your education, and are in a job and location you want. Due Oct. 15.

  3. Information Gathering Interviews - Each student must conduct at least two interviews with individuals (preferably women) in careers she has chosen to explore. The purpose of these interviews is to gather information about what it is actually like (good and bad) to work in such positions, skills needed, career paths in the field, etc.

    Written Assignment - A 2-3 page paper for each interview discussing the implications of the information gathered in the interview for a possible career for you in this area. The paper is not a transcript of the interview-it is your reaction to what you learned. Information learned in the interview should be related to what you learned in the exercises. 1st interview paper due Oct. 27. 2nd interview due by Dec. 1 at the latest.

  4. Resume and Cover Letter - Using information about yourself gathered during the self awareness section of the class and the material from the class on resumes, create a resume for a position selected from your job notebook or for a current position you are interested in. Write a cover letter as part of your application for that position. Turn in the ad with resume and cover letter plus 2 additional copies of each. Due on Nov. 3 to receive feedback from others. Classroom feedback due Nov. 10. Final copy to be turned in Nov. 17 in class.

    Integrative Paper - Throughout the course you will be collecting information about yourself in relation to work and life preferences and career/job opportunities which match your needs. This paper is a discussion of what you have learned about your values, politics, skills, work environment preferences, life style, career, etc. Synthesize the insights gained from the exercises, readings, assignments, and group work. What is most important to you? Where are you willing to compromise? What is next? Include an action plan in which you discuss the concrete steps you will take to pursue the career you have chosen, or to further clarify your choice. Length - 3-7 pages. Paper due at last class or to my office Dec. 15.

  5. Optional Additional Assignments: This course can be customized to your needs. If you would like to submit graduate school application materials, a networking journal, a resume/cover letter for an actual position, or business plan, please see Karen.

Successful completion of this course depends on class participation and written work. It is essential that you complete the required exercises when they are due as we will be processing them in class. You are expected to be a productive member of your small group, giving careful feedback to other members of the class.

To pass the course you must turn in all the assignments and attend class. ATTENDANCE AT EACH CLASS IS MANDATORY---MORE THAN 3 ABSENCES RESULTS IN FAILING GRADE

Worksheets and handouts available in class.
Boldt, Laurence, Zen and the Art of Making a Living, Arkana, Penguin Books, New York, NY, 1999. The 1999 edition has internet information. If you get an earlier edition see me.
This book is available at Food for Thought Books, 106 N. Pleasant St., Amherst.
If purchasing this book is a financial hardship, see me.
*Michelson, Maureen, R. Women and Work: Photographs and Personal Writings New Sage Press, Pasadena, CA 1986 Women and Work, In Their Own Words, 2nd edition, same author and publisher, 1994. *Read this book on reserve in the library.

Bolles, R.N. What Color is Your Parachute? Ten Speed Press, Berkeley. There are many editions of this book.
Bolles, R. N. The Three Boxes of Life Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, 1978 and John Crystal Where Do I Go From Here With My Life? Seaburg Press, NY 1974
Catalyst, What to Do With The Rest of Your Life: A Career Guide for Women Who Want to Plan, Begin, Change or Advance in a Promising Career Simon & Schuster, NY 1980
*Figler, Howard. Path: A Career Workbook for Liberal Arts Students. The Carroll Press, Cranston, RI 1975
Michelozzi, Betty Neville. Coming Alive From Nine to Five The Career Search Handbook. Mayfield Publishing Company, Mountain View, CA 2000.
Michens, Ed. The 100 Best Companies for Gay Men and Lesbians, Pocket Books, 1994.
Ruddick, Sara and Pamela Daniels, Working It Out Pantheon Books, New York 1977.
Sher, Barbara, Wishcraft: How to Get What You Really Want 1986.
*Yeager, Neil. CareerMap Deciding What You Want, Getting It and Keeping It. John Wiley and Sons. New York. 1988.
*Terkel, Studs, Working Avon Books, New York 1972.
Zeitz, Baila and Lorrine Dusky, The Best Companies for Women. Pocket Books, New York, 1988.
*These books on reserve in the Dubois Library. I also have copies of most of these books in the office. Zen and the Art of Making a Living is also on reserve.

The campus career network has a website where you can search for jobs and find out about their other services http://www-ccn.acad.umass.edu. This site links to other career resources, and can email you about jobs that might interest you.

Assignments and readings are due on the day they are listed. There will be additional handouts, given out throughout the semester. Bring your worksheets to every class.

Sept. 8 Class #1 Introductions
Why Career/Life Planning

Sept. 15 Class #2 SELF AWARENESS #1 Small groups begin.
Reading due: Zen, Preface xii-xx, xxxiv, Doing the Work You Love xxxvi-li p. 215-228.
DON'T DO THE EXERCISES IN ZEN. Read these to whet your appetite for the more simplified exercises in the handouts.
Exercises due from the handouts: Interests; Inherently Special, page 1-2.
Turn in at least 2 job ads and comments, one for a job for which you are presently qualified and another for a job for which you would like to be qualified for in five years. This is the first entry in your notebook.

Sept. 22 Class #3 SELF AWARENESS #2
Exercises due from handouts: Autobiography of Achievements; Skills Inventory; Personal Qualities, Work Experience pages 3-10.
Reading: Zen pages 164-172, 310-316. DON'T DO THE EXERCISES IN THE BOOK.

Sept. 29 Class #4 SELF AWARENESS #3
Guest speaker: Emily Silverman-Women's Studies Reference Librarian
Exercises due from handouts: Work Values/Life Values; Job Chart; Wants/Don't Wants pages 12-14.
Read Zen pages 147-169, 173-178, 190-214. Four or more selections of your choice from Women and Work on reserve.

Oct. 6 Yom Kippur NO CLASS

Oct. 15 Oct. 13 is a holiday, Wednesday October 16 is a Monday Schedule

Check out websites for amortization calculators, monster.com salary center/wizard and cost of living information.

Oct. 20 Class #6 SELF AWARENESS #5
Focusing in on Career Choice
Read Zen pages 280-286, 317-325.
(last of self awareness section)
Also read: Zen pages 287-298 on Informational Interviewing/researching careers. Bring all your completed exercises and index cards to class.

Oct. 27 Class #7
Resume Writing and Cover Letter Workshop
Reading: Zen p. 429-474. Handouts.
Five College Graduate and Professional Schools
Information Day
Wednesday, October 29, 2003
Student Union Ballroom * 11 am - 3 pm

Nov. 3 Class #8
Interviewing skills
AD, LETTER, RESUME, AND 2 copies of each due for in class feedback.

Nov. 10 Class #9
Women in the Workforce, Affirmative Action Issues.
Read statistical information on working women in the handouts, and information on racism in workforce, affirmative action, and sexual harassment.
Zen on networking, pages 476-486.
Bring feedback on classmate's resume/cover letters.

Nov. 17 Class #10
Work and Family.


Nov. 24 Class #11
Assertiveness Training, Stress Management
Reading: Zen pages, 244-247, 326-345

Dec. 1 Class #11
Graduate School; Goal Setting/Action Planning
Reading Zen pages 528-532; 534; 566-576. Also read pages 348-428 as appropriate to your interests.
Future planning Zen xxiv-xxxiii.

Dec. 8 Class #12
Wrap Up and Evaluation