Ken Soper

“Desperately seeking jobs” article in local newspaper not good news

March 14th, 2009 at 8:02 pm by under Your Money

“Desperately seeking jobs” (The Grand Rapids Sunday’s Press 2-15-09, page B1) reporting on the job fair participants’ experience did nothing to help people understand what they need to do to find work and stay employable.  Job fairs are historically poor places to look for work in economic downturns, and, even in good times, are well known to be discouraging “cattle calls”.  The article did more to drive workers to think about leaving our beautiful state and region than help them with news to assist their locating new work.  Job fairs have never been seen as very effective means to help people find work, given the alternatives. (more…)

Writing resume when have education but not experience

March 12th, 2009 at 2:34 pm by under Your Money

From Your Money, Your Questions

I have been in the cosmetology profession for 15 years.  I decided I was ready for a change last summer and took the Medical/Chiropractic Assistant online program through Blue Heron Academy.  I completed it right before Christmas, and have gone through retooling my resume.  But, my question is, while I emphasize on my resume that i’ve got multi-line phone, computer and customer service experience, and that i’m reliable and willing to learn, how can I make myself more appealing when I don’t have experience in the medical feild and I want to really get in somewhere so I can get experience?

Thanks! Kathy, Grand Rapids

How to make career change: Janitorial work to illustrator/graphic design

March 11th, 2009 at 9:44 am by under Your Money

From Your Money, Your Questions

I am currently a small business owner in the janitorial field.  With the current economic state more and more people, and business’s are using our services less.   This is creating a economic hardship for myself and my business.  My God given talent is doodling/illustration although I have no degree it is my passion.  I am thirty six and I don’t have the income to support returning to school to get a degree.  My question is would it be feasible to pursue this area and how would I go about it?  Please see attached illustrations.
Thank You
Maggie in Grand Rapids

Kelli trying to make a career change at 40+

March 10th, 2009 at 1:27 pm by under Your Money
Dear Ken,
I really enjoyed your interview on TV-8 on  Monday, March9, 2009.  I hate to bother you, but I just have a simple question concerning networking.  I am 45 years old and have made the decision to make a career change.  From Consumer sales and Management to Human Service’s.   Since I I have become unemployed this summer, I decided to go back to college (on-line) to acquire another bachelors degree in Human Services for this change.  Can you give me a few tips on networking in a new career field to find a job.
Thank you so very much for your time,

Job clubs and transition support groups in West Michigan

March 9th, 2009 at 7:12 pm by under Your Money

Job clubs and transition support groups are helping job seekers find work in West Michigan.  These weekly or monthly sessions are open to the public and provide ongoing networking, support, group problem solving, and coaching for individuals during periods of work search and career transition.

Career coaches and human resource professionals lead them. Ken Soper, a National Career Development Association recognized Master Career Counselor and adjunct faculty member of Spring Arbor University / Grand Rapids, coordinates information for these groups.

Currently job clubs/roundtables are operating at these locations in the greater Grand Rapids area.  They do not meet the weeks of major holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day (some exceptions), and the 4th of July.  (Regular participants at these events are also able to take advantage of using the “Work Search Roundtable-Grand Rapids” Yahoo eGroup’s many capabilities for further networking, materials, and coaching resources.)

ALLENDALE / NE OTTAWA COUNTY – Thursdays, 9:00-10:00 am, “Work Search” ministry at Spring Valley Community Church Office, 4629 Lake Michigan Dr (just west of GVSU entrance next to Speedway), Allendale, Michigan. For more info, call 895-9150. This is a joint effort with the Allendale Chamber of Commerce. Link:

BELTLINE SE – Thursdays 8:30-10:30 am, Work Search Roundtable℠ meets at Spring Arbor University’s Grand Rapids Center, 1550 East Beltline, Suite 245/Executive East–just south of Lake Drive on the east side of the street. Parking is on the south side of the building. Contact Ken Soper, LifeSteward Group LLC, 698-3125,, for more information.

GRAND RAPIDS EAST – Fridays, 9:30-10:30 am, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 2700 E. Fulton at Robinson Road. Call Joel Grumm, h285-0437, to register and for more info.

GR DOWNTOWN – Wednesdays known as “Job Seekers Support Group,” 10:00-11:30 p.m., at Women’s Resource Center, 678 Front Ave NW, Suite 180, Grand Rapids. Registration requested; please call 458-5443 for Sandy Healey,  Open to women AND men. Website:

ROCKFORD – Wednesdays, NE Kent Employment Resource Group, Blythefield Hills Baptist Church, 6727 Kuttshill Dr. Rockford, MI. 49341, Room 300.   Every Wednesday, 8:30-10:30 am.  Use back entrance, lower level, room is by drinking fountain.  Call Frank Bettig at (616) 204-0215 (c) for more information.  This is a new group started in February 2009.

NE GRAND RAPIDS – a weekly Wednesday “Job Club”, 9:15-11:00 am at St. Jude Catholic Church, 1120 4 Mile Rd NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525 (on4-Mile between Coit and Plainfield).  Contact Joel Postma, (616) 550-7423 (c),  Enter by parish office, go upstairs to 2nd floor Brophy Center.  This club started in early March 2009.

SPRING LAKE – a monthly third Thursday job club that meets 7:00-8:30 pm at the Spring Lake Library,123 E. Exchange St., Spring Lake, called “Job Seekers Networking Group.”  Contact Bobbie Twa, for more info, (616) 846.9395, or

Know another job club that is regularly meeting at a church or non-profit organization’s facility? Or like to start one? Contact Ken Soper, for more information (616) 698-3125,

Career Ken is now on the blog!

March 9th, 2009 at 1:52 pm by under Your Money

Join me on this blog in asking questions and discussing the challenges you’re are finding in landing work and staying employable.