The Importance of Having Support on the Job
Fundraising can be a tough job. There’s usually more to do than we can get done, and there’s a constant need for increased funding. Even in a prosperous year, working in fundraising isn’t for the faint-of-heart. This year, with the unsteady economy and the sense of gloom hanging in the air, it can be downright stressful.
Smart fundraisers know that they must invest in themselves so that they can continue to be effective in raising the dollars their organizations depend on. They know that they need to be continually learning and take care of themselves. Most importantly, they know they sometimes need personal support to help them reach their professional goals and handle their stress.
We all enjoy having someone who understands us. Don’t you love the opportunity to “vent” when life gets tough, especially on the job? It’s a particularly precious thing when there’s someone around at work we can talk to when we’re afraid, frustrated, angry or anxious.
Instead of taking a chance on getting lucky and stumbling across someone you can lean on, why not purposefully choose a support partner and be ready for those times you need it most?
Being proactive with a support partner can bring big benefits. You’ll have someone to bounce ideas off of and think out loud with. You’ll have someone who can help you think through the consequences of actions before you take them, thus helping you make better decisions. You’ll also have someone to celebrate the victories of overcoming personal obstacles and creating new habits.
It’s important to find someone you can trust and have confidential conversations with. Be sure to set this ground rule. Tell your support person that you’re going to call on him or her when you get frustrated or scared and need a word of encouragement. Offer to be a support person for him or her in return.
Make sure when you are getting or giving support that you are doing it in a constructive way. Don’t get into “corporate agreement” with the other person and flow into gossip or destructive, unhealthy venting. Keep your intention on personal progress, not tearing someone else down.
What should you look for in a support person? Obviously, you need someone you can talk with and have confidential conversations with. You want someone you can trust and who will keep your best interests in mind.