Monday, May 7, 2012

Rise Through The Ranks At Your Nonprofit Job

You will likely be content for some time once you get the nonprofit job of your dreams. It won't be too long, however, before you will want to start thinking about moving up the food chain.

As good as your job may be, it's not the best thing for your career development to stay in one position. That's why you need to do everything in your power to rise through the ranks in your office. These can range from very little gestures, such as helping your boss out with an errand, or something big, like taking part in an important business trip.

In their book "Great Leaders GROW," Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller wrote about the various things you can do to improve your chances of an eventual promotion. They came up with 16 items in all, so take out your notebook:

  • Shadow someone from another department or team.
  • Work at a client’s facility for a day or longer.
  • Listen in on donor calls.
  • Travel with senior leaders from the organization.
  • Serve on a cross-functional team.
  • Begin collecting best practices from top performers.
  • Interview recent retirees and seek their counsel on current issues.
  • Attend the premier of a new program or the grand opening of a new office.
  • Go back in the archives and watch presentations from the past decade.
  • Meet with leaders from other departments to understand their issues.
  • Have lunch with someone different every day until you run out of people, and then start over again.
  • Travel to visit your must successful chapters.
  • Find a mentor from another department.
  • Ask others who best embody the nonprofit’s core values and spend most of your time with them.
  • Attend open enrollment training events that will broaden your perspective.
  • Lead anything you can, be it a project team, ad hoc group, work group, fundraising campaign, or any other event. Chances are good you’ll learn more by leading than anything else.

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