The Importance of Having Support on the Job
Here are four specific criteria to look for in a support person:
- Someone who will listen and offer constructive feedback.
- Someone who will help you identify options when you feel stuck.
- Someone who cares about you.
- Someone who will hold you accountable for the choices you make.
Where can you find a support person? There are lots of places to look. Start with friends, family and co-workers. Consider colleagues at work or in professional associations. Or think about hiring a professional coach to help you navigate the stress of fundraising in these tough times. The kind of support you want and need will help you decide on the best support person for you at this particular time.
Here are some specific benefits of various types of support relationships:
A friend or spouse can offer you a loving heart and a listening ear. This type of informal support usually happens naturally as we develop relationships with those we care about. But you may need a little more. To be purposeful, you’ll have to look for the right person who can give you what you need.
A colleague or fellow fundraiser might be a great choice for a support partner, particularly if he or she has a good understanding of your organization. Through the sharing of common experiences, you can find hope, encouragement, and commonality. You’ll be less likely to feel like the Lone Ranger and more likely to handle stress effectively.
A mentor can provide more in-depth support through his or her experience in fundraising and can help guide you in developing your skills. A mentor can be particularly helpful if he or she already has walked the path you are now on and can give you insights and encouragement based on personal experiences.
A coach can give you even deeper support by helping you make changes that you are unsure of. A good coach can help you handle the difficult issues of the day and uncover answers for yourself. A coach can “draw you out” by helping you shed old behaviors and habits, bringing out what’s already inside you.
Having support in place can help you handle the times when you feel scared or uncertain about what to do next. Your support person can give you the confidence you need to keep moving forward and raising the dollars your organization depends on you for.
Sandy Rees is a nonprofit fundraising coach, author, speaker, and trainer. Reach her at email@example.com or via www.sandyrees.com