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.
If you look at your career and the various jobs you have had, think about the cycles of your biorhythms. This analysis may prepare you for new adventures as you plan your next position, which will most likely occur sooner or later.
My prescription for you is to stay in the best physical condition possible, try to keep your emotions in check and hope you are in a position that intellectually stimulates you each day. I wouldn't be concerned with reviewing a monthly chart of biorhythm cycles to predict the future. I would strive instead to give 100 percent each day as you are a role model for others to emulate. Give it your best shot, for at the end of each day, that is all you can do.
Duke Haddad, Ed.D., CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis. He also serves as president of Duke Haddad and Associates LLC and is a freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO since 2008.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration plus a dissertation on donor characteristics. He received a master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis on public administration plus a thesis on annual fund analysis. He secured a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) with an emphasis on marketing/management. He has done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
Duke has received the Fundraising Executive of the Year Award, from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Indiana Chapter. He also was given the Outstanding West Virginian Award, Kentucky Colonel Award and Sagamore of the Wabash Award from the governors of West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana, respectively, for his many career contributions in the field of philanthropy. He has maintained a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation for three decades.