Fundraising Careers and the Biorhythm State of Mind
The word biorhythm is a Greek word meaning any regular recurring motion like a rhythm. A biorhythm is an attempt to predict various aspects of a person's life through mathematical cycles.
Scientists state that biorhythm cycles affect a person's physical, emotional and intellectual cycle throughout his or her life. There are charts that denote one's positive or negative days each month. These cycles are based upon one's birth date. Many people believe in this concept while others do not. That said, your total well-being can affect your work in either a negative or positive way.
I recently had breakfast with a colleague I've known for many years. We were talking about the fact that fundraising professionals' careers take them into and out of many jobs. We noted that many in our profession do not stay in a job longer than four to five years. Over a 35-year career, that may equate to more than 10 jobs. What a variety of experiences each of us acquire in so many various settings. I know one individual who has worked in seven positions during her career in the same city. She is currently looking for number eight. Job change and the dynamics associated with this process go hand in hand with the nonprofit sector.
My associate and I talked about jobs and specifically why we left positions. He said at first he would be excited about the new job and was physically, emotionally and intellectually positively focused. Over time, however, he would feel emotionally spent and knew in his heart it was time to go. Unfortunately, he was forced by circumstances to stay in positions at times for several more years. He finally left work positions literally burnt out. His view of organizations negatively changed over time.
His comments made me wonder about biorhythms and cycles. Our jobs in the nonprofit sector are amazingly demanding. While many outsiders to our sector only view us through rose-colored glasses, we know the pressure at times is intense. We have metrics to achieve in the form of time, talent and treasure, and it never ends. One fiscal year rolls into another fiscal year, and goals rarely decrease. Whether we like it or not, we must go to work each day with our uniforms on. We continually strive to show our positive features to others even if we feel differently. I contend our job biorhythms affect our job satisfaction, which ultimately determines how long we are in the nonprofit positions we hold.
Duke has extensive experience as a nonprofit practitioner, author, lecturer and consultant. He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the last 11 years. He has been a long-standing member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals where he was previously named the AFP Indiana Chapter Fundraising Executive of the Year and has held the CFRE designation for many years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in education administration, master's degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also completed post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
He is currently executive director of development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. Contact Duke at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-224-1029.