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Marty knows careers

Photos and Story by

Marty Nemko, Presenter

Marty Nemko

You want to know about careers? Ask  – he’s had 11 of them.

He’s been a pianist (probably one of the world’s youngest bar-room piano players when he played in Irish bars in the Bronx at age 14), New York City cab driver, medical researcher, drug counselor, teacher, school psychologist, professor, talk show host, columnist, college counselor, and rose breeder.

With that as a background, it’s no wonder he’s good at what he does now – counsels people on finding a career.

“That’s helped me become a good career counselor,” explained Nemko, who holds a doctorate in psychology from the University of California-Berkeley. “I’ve always been fascinated with what people do for a living, in part because I saw how work was a great healer for my father, who was a Holocaust survivor. The final thing that makes me a good career counselor is that I work 70 hours a week – it takes time to become a real expert.”

Nemko, author of the book “Cool Careers for Dummies,” is the featured speaker at this year’s 10th Annual Cascade Job Fair. On top of his informative workshop, more than 85 employers will be showcased at this year’s fair, which will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1 in the Physical Education Building gym at the Cascade Campus. The event is free and open to the community.

He will be presenting “Cool Careers and How to Get One” at 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the auditorium of the campus’ Moriarty Arts and Humanities Building. Nemko, voted the San Francisco Bay Area’s best career coach, is also a contributing editor for the U.S. News and World Report.

Nemko says he’ll explore topics such as great careers most people have never heard of, how to figure out the right career for you, a smarter approach to landing a job than the usual networking, and secrets to getting off to a great start on the job.

Nemko has had quite a journey from his beginnings. He was born in a Bronx tenement and raised there for five years. The next 17 years were spent in an apartment in Flushing, Queens.

“My parents barely spoke English,” he remembered.

But now, he has a three-ring circus career – a career counselor, host of “Work with Marty Nemko” on an NPR station in San Francisco and is even a play director for the San Francisco production of “Same Time Next Year.”

Even with so much going on in his own life, Nemko will pack his bags and head to Portland May 1 to help job seekers at the PCC Cascade Job Fair. He says that he is really excited to be making this presentation. He believes it will help people find the right career for them.

Getting advice at last year's career fair

Getting advice at last year

“Because if you don’t come, you’ll probably end up just falling into a job, which is unlikely to be the right career,” Nemko added. “In today’s ever more competitive environment, if you have to change careers, you usually have to start at the bottom, and with lots of young people starting at the bottom, it’s often tough for career changers to move up. So, for all those reasons, it is very important to take the time to choose an on-target career path.”

The Cascade Campus and the 10th Annual Cascade Job Fair is serviced by Tri-Met bus lines 4 and 72. For more information, call 503-978-5600.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »


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