Tough Choices Can Lead to Big Payoffs in Your Fundraising Career
Reading this week’s issues of Today in Fundraising, as well as posts, tweets and updates from my network, I’m convinced I am the only fundraiser who wasn’t at the Association of Fundraising Professionals annual conference earlier this week. But, it’s true — I didn’t attend.
I’m not mad at AFP, and I love San Antonio so that wasn’t an excuse, either. But it was a tough choice I made. I had another goal for 2014, and that requires any spare time and money I can scrounge up.
While I was commiserating that I was missing out on all the good learning and networking, I started thinking about what it would be like to achieve my personal goal later this year. And I thought back to how my career was often shaped with the help of others and by serendipitous events — but also by strategic planning for “me” on my part.
As fundraisers, we can get caught up with the strategic planning for our programs and achieving our quarterly goals — so much so that we neglect any intentional effort to manage our own careers. We still grow and get recognition, but it may be more haphazard because we couldn’t find enough time to develop a plan for our own career. If you’re stuck in that whirlpool, here are some non-time-consuming ways to manage your career and, therefore, impact your future.
Update your résumé every six months
Gasp! Quick, supervisors, hide this article from your team! Wait!! I’m not saying to update your résumé and start “shopping.” It’s just that the worst time to try to update your résumé is when you’ve just been laid off or told your company is moving to Siberia in six months (Nothing against Siberia. I’ve been there; it looks like Northern Wisconsin. But I don’t want to live there.)
Pamela Barden is an independent fundraising consultant focused on direct response. You can read more of her fundraising columns here.