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Career Planning & Advancement

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Are You an Advancement VP of a Different Stripe?
CURRENTS Article Even if alumni relations professionals are leaders in their field, they often hit roadblocks on the path to the advancement vice presidency. Despite these candidates’ qualifications, search committees rarely gamble on someone lacking fundraising experience. Learn how exceptional leaders in alumni relations can prove their philanthropic prowess and become executive leaders of an advancement team.

Life Advice for Getting Promoted
Advancement Weekly Article “Dress for success” isn’t just a cliché. According to one career expert, your appearance could lead to promotions---or hold you back.

5 Ways to Nurture New Talent
CURRENTS Article Despite a growing need for fundraisers, recruiters are struggling to find talent. Degree programs in advancement remain rare (although notable ones include the U.K.'s University of Chichester's charity development degree and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University), and the field is frequently misunderstood. "Advancement, especially development, is often viewed as a sales profession," says Zachary Smith, a senior partner and deputy managing director at the recruiting firm Witt/Kieffer. "Most people only see advancement professionals schmoozing donors at coffees, lunches, dinners, and events. They don't see the work that takes place in between." So how can institutions attract talented graduates to the field—and how can they keep them there? Read on for ways to grow and retain your team's newest advancement professionals.

Negotiate Your Way to Management Success
Advancement Weekly Article Doing a good job and accomplishing goals and objectives aren’t enough, a management expert told attendees at this month’s CASE Summer Institute in Advancement Services. To achieve professional success, she said, managers need to actively participate in “office politics.”

3 Ways to Make a Good First Impression
Advancement Weekly Article A strong first impression in an interview or meeting will not only have an immediate positive impact, but it will also affect your work relationships beyond that initial meeting, writes one business expert.

6 Tips to Learn Anything Faster
Advancement Weekly Article Staying competitive in the workforce means constantly learning new skills and processes. If you can become someone who learns new tasks quickly, you will gain an edge on your peers, according to one workplace expert.

Don't Let Fear Hold You Back
Advancement Weekly Article If you don't confront your insecurities and fears, you never have the opportunity to work to your full potential, advises one entrepreneurial expert.

Office Space: Is It Time to Pursue an Advanced Degree?
CURRENTS Article Pursuing additional education is almost always a good thing, but time, money, family, and professional workload are important considerations. Given our relationship as both employees of and passionate advocates for our institutions, it's natural to reflect on our own education—and whether earning an advanced degree may be advantageous for our careers. If you work for a college or university that offers tuition reimbursement, cost may be less of a concern when answering the questions above—but that's only one factor in the equation. Other considerations for busy professionals include work travel, family responsibilities, and community commitments.

5 Career Dos and Don’ts for 2016
Advancement Weekly Article Many professionals struggle to find career fulfillment—and some fail because they aren’t taking the right approach, according to one entrepreneur.

So You Want to Be the VP?
CURRENTS Article Search firm executive Dennis Barden shares what institutions want—and need—and how aspirants can prepare to be the vice president of advancement.

Putting Success in Succession Planning
CURRENTS Article Michael Eicher, senior vice president of advancement at The Ohio State University, has a strong track record of cultivating advancement, fundraising, and communications vice presidents and vice chancellors. He talks to CURRENTS about succession planning.

Grappling with the Authenticity Paradox
Advancement Weekly Article Authenticity can sometimes be an excuse to stick with what’s comfortable, writes a leadership professor.

SOS: 6 Distress Signals of Overworked Employees
Advancement Weekly Article There’s a fine line between challenging employees and overburdening them, writes a career and management author.

A Guide to Providing a Great Reference
Advancement Weekly Article The secret to providing a great reference is to be honest, specific and enthusiastic, according to two business professionals.

Future Advancement Leaders Should Seek Best-Fit Job
Article,  Advancement Weekly Article Advancement professionals seeking to become senior leaders should assess their fit for an institution's culture, say successful advancement vice presidents.

How to Promote the Right People
Article,  Advancement Weekly Article Managers should develop career paths for employees based on their skills—not a predetermined job pyramid—writes a talent management expert.

Talking Points: Is Career Services Out of Service?
CURRENTS Article Colleges and universities need to do more than simply help seniors secure their first jobs after graduation; they should help students become employable for life. Everyone on campus must take part in creating a new ecosystem for this purpose.

Helping Causes Helps Careers
Article,  Advancement Weekly Article Leaders should donate their time to a cause that they are passionate about, say management experts.

How to Succeed as a New Manager
Article,  Advancement Weekly Article New managers can excel from day one by taking cues from their bosses and being respectful to their employees, says a leadership expert.

Talking Points: On Unequal Footing
CURRENTS Article While a degree improves earnings considerably for college graduates, women often do not reap the same financial rewards that men do from their degrees. A 2012 report from the American Association of University Women found that U.S. women working full time one year after college graduation were paid 82 cents for every dollar paid to men in their graduating class. The government, employers, and college women need to take action to bridge this gender gap.

How to Manage a Team of Former Peers
Article,  Advancement Weekly Article Transitioning from peer to boss needn't be awkward, says a leadership expert.

Be a Creative Problem Solver
Article,  Advancement Weekly Article Creative people aren’t born; they’re made, says an executive coach.

Speak Up for Your Work
Advancement Weekly Article Managers shouldn’t always believe the old adage that good work will speak for itself, says a leadership coach.

Confidence is Key to Career Success
Advancement Weekly Article A new study suggests that the biggest predictor of career success is confidence—not talent, hard work or education.

Follow These Essential LinkedIn Etiquette Rules
Advancement Weekly Article To avoid LinkedIn faux pas, “tailor your message, customize your posts and nurture relationships with people you know,” says one social media maven.

Boost Your Mental Toughness
Advancement Weekly Article An executive coach says that having the right mentalattitude will lead to better leadership decisions.

Face-to-Face Bests Social Networking
Advancement Weekly Article A communication expert says that leaders who focus solely on e-networking can hurt their chances to advance their careers and impair their social skills.

What Makes Chief Advancement Officers Tick?
Article,  BriefCASE Article Self-awareness is one of 14 competencies that successful chief advancement officers have in common, according to two fundraising experts who will share their research findings in an upcoming CASE Online Speaker Series.

Social Media Faux Pas to Avoid
Advancement Weekly Article Making sure you tweet, post or blog appropriate content on social networks takes time and consideration. However, the extra effort is well worth it as the wrong post could get you or your organization in trouble.

How to Manage Luck
Advancement Weekly Article Are great organizations and their leaders just luckier than the rest? A new study finds it’s actually what they do with the luck they get that helps explain their success.

The Leadership Ladder
CURRENTS Article How will you acquire the skills necessary to be a leader in our profession or a leader on your current team? An alumni relations leader reflects on the experiences that prepared her for leadership.

Research Shows Growing Link between Education, Employment
Article,  BriefCASE Article New analysis by the Brookings Institution shows a growing employment disparity between individuals in the United States with a post-secondary degree and those without one.

At the Fundraising Core: Strategic Public Relations in Fundraising Practice
White Paper This CASE white paper reports on a study exploring the views of chief fundraising executives about the relationship between public relations and fundraising. The research focused on how chief fundraisers define public relations; how they use public relations tactics and strategies in fundraising; and what they identify as the essential skills, training or academic degrees a fundraiser needs to be successful.

Destination: Alumni Relations
CURRENTS Article Historically, within advancement there has been a view that alumni relations is a good starting point—a place to cut your teeth before you move on to the “real” work of development or communications. Of course, that’s not true, either now or in the past. Increasingly today, with the growing and sophisticated skill set alumni professionals need to get the job done, alumni relations has become a destination career rather than a stop along the way.

Considering a Job in Fund Raising?
Jeffrey A. Schoenherr
Article This article, from the Nov. 20, 2009 Chronicle of Higher Education, discusses the outlook for jobs in educational fundraising and provides tips for those interested in entering the field. CASE shares this article with permission from the author.

Screen Tests
CURRENTS Article Conferences and colleagues can provide some guidance, but sometimes it’s best to turn to that age-old source of truth and wisdom—television. Alumni professionals might be surprised at the lessons they can learn from reality television and game shows.

Career Path: Acting Your Age
CURRENTS Article A young fundraiser discusses what life is like as a development professional. Once you know the challenges a young person faces, perhaps you can encourage your own employees.

A Growing Field
CURRENTS Article As demand increases for experienced advancement professionals, recruiters in the UK have looked to North America to fill the gap. Some have made a successful transition overseas; others have not.

Career Path: Admiring the 'View
CURRENTS Article Interviewing for a job is an inevitable part of the professional world. However, what happens when the interview doesn't land a job? You may be surprised to find that it can still lead to positive results.

Career Path: Familiar Places
CURRENTS Article A former alumni association executive director was promoted to the ranks of advancement leadership. While the scope of the current work is broader, the basic job functions are similar to her job in alumni relations.

Work in Progress: Passing Up a Promotion
CURRENTS Article Turning down an opportunity to move up in the organization doesn't have to end your career. How you say no is crucial. This article has suggestions for making the decision and delivering it to your boss. You can still contribute, still grow.

Career Path: Perception Versus Reality
CURRENTS Article The author of this column sees a lot of people come to higher education fundraising from other careers. Frequently they initially have mistaken ideas of what the job will be like.

Career Path: Exiting Center Stage
CURRENTS Article How do you make the transition from volunteer fund raiser and school trustee to director of the new advancement department that supervises the development department you used to support? How do you introduce ways to improve the department? The answer, I have found, is cautiously, delicately, constructively, and, most of all, respectfully.

Career Path: Give Piece a Chance
CURRENTS Article Regardless of how you came to the advancement profession, career advancement requires identifying the skills you have and looking for opportunities to acquire the skills you need. Whether it's seeking more responsibilities in your current job, getting training, or finding a new position that will offer growth opportunities, piece by piece your career picture will take shape.

Career Path: Open Mouth, Insert Foot
CURRENTS Article Advancement work is hard enough without having to sidestep the landmines your CEO puts in your path through his or her inappropriate words or actions. As columnist Betty H. Meehan rightly (and wryly) observes, learning how to prevent such situations not only makes advancement professionals more successful, it also keeps them sane. This column suggests strategies for making such success possible.

Career Path: Branded for Life
CURRENTS Article It's important to pay attention to--and to shape, as best you can--others' perceptions of your reputation, character, and personality in the same way companies manage their products' identities. This column discusses why managing your personal brand is so important and offers tips to advancement officers who want to build their own brands.

Career Path: Up and In
CURRENTS Article Employees routinely think they are worth more than the salaries they earn, but they don’t necessarily deserve the raises to which they think they are entitled. This column explores the strategies one should employ when trying to negotiate a raise and suggests what to do if the answer is no.

Career Path: Assessing the Assessments
CURRENTS Article Will knowing that you are an ENTP, an Idealist, or a Rock Star really affect your job or career search? Jennifer Rodgers, a certified administrator of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, examines the usefulness of personality tests in assessing the match between personality type and advancement position. She argues that the tests' greatest value lies in the awareness they generate--"awareness of what makes you happy and productive … and of when the label fits or is best left behind." Tests examined include the MBTI; the Keirsey Temperament Sorter; Right Job, Wrong Job; the Strong Interest Inventory; and the Ultimate Personality Test.

Career Path: Right Profession, Wrong Discipline?
CURRENTS Article Advancement professionals who are dissatisfied with their work and considering a different career should give advancement another look, says the author. Davis argues that "chucking" years of practical experience and a Rolodex full of valued contacts can be terrifying--and is not necessarily the right move.

Career Path: Memoirs of a Moonlighter
CURRENTS Article In spring 2002, Tom Stamp, director of public affairs at Kenyon College, was "itching for a change." The institution had been struggling to fill the vacant director of development position, so Stamp volunteered to step in as acting director for one year. This column documents Stamp’s 18-month experience in the role--the challenges, the successes and failures, and the lessons learned.

Career Path: The Tortoise and the Hare
CURRENTS Article Every professional will change jobs countless times in his or her career, but making the most of those changes requires careful planning. The author, a career services counselor, suggests that every professional can build a path to career success by developing a strategic plan, setting goals, embracing change, fostering professional connections, diversifying career goals, seeking the advice of trusted colleagues, building transferable skills, leveraging opportunities, and thinking creatively.

Career Path: When the Clock Winds Down
CURRENTS Article Every professional has a career clock that tells him or her when it is time to move on to the next challenge. It is important to formulate and follow a long-term career plan, refining it where necessary. Understanding career goals and objectives, inventorying skills and experiences, and researching available opportunities are just some of the ways to ensure that your next position is the right one.

Career Path: Making the Switch
CURRENTS Article Today's advancement professionals should not feel restricted to working in one discipline. Many, in fact, jump from development to alumni relations or communications (or vice versa) with relative ease. The key to success is conducting an honest self-assessment of needs and desires before making the switch.

Career Path: Dreamy or Dreary?
CURRENTS Article Advancement officers who may want to switch to consulting should first consider a number of factors, including whether they have marketable experience, a strong network, and realistic salary expectations. They also have to take into account the state of the economy and whether they’re temperamentally suited to an entrepreneurial career. This Career Path column is of interest to fund-raising, communications, advancement services, and alumni officers.

Career Path: Counter Measures
CURRENTS Article More nonprofits are making counteroffers to avoid losing good workers who are considering new jobs. For advancement officers receiving counteroffers, this article includes strategies for weighing the pros and cons, deciding expeditiously, and accepting or declining counteroffers diplomatically. This Career Path column is of interest to advancement managers and job hunters.

Advancing as an Advancement Officer
CURRENTS Article Nearly 100 U.S. colleges and universities offer graduate programs with a concentration in nonprofit management. Other advancement-oriented programs stem from higher education administration, public administration, or business administration fields. This article includes a list of graduate and certificate programs to help you take the next step along your career path.

Jack of All Trades
CURRENTS Article The success of your transition will rest on your ability to educate yourself and others about what marketing is and how it can work with public relations to benefit your institution. With education and persistence, people from traditional PR backgrounds can be well-positioned to lead the marketing discussion.

A Surprisingly Good Fit
CURRENTS Article Changes in the characteristics of corporate leadership, as well as in management styles in higher education, have wrought a different path to higher education leadership than formerly. Search committees now look for many of the skills a chief advancement officer possesses; seeking the campus presidency may now be a logical next step in a CAO’s career. But beware of the cultural obstacles that can lie in wait.

It's a Matter of Trust
CURRENTS Article The working relationship between the president and the chief advancement officer is one of the closest on campus. A CEO and CAO must develop together a shared, behind-the-scenes perspective to enjoy each other's company and the tasks they undertake together. The keys to a successful working relationship are respect, trust, and a common understanding.

Manager's Portfolio: A Sterling Reputation
CURRENTS Article A good or bad reputation among colleagues can make or break a career in advancement. Image reflects reality, so important steps are building strong one-on-one relationships with coworkers at all levels and engaging in campus life, as well as making the most of chances to connect with the president, trustees, and other key figures.

Workshop: New Kid On the Block?
CURRENTS Article The author offers valuable tips for first-time development officers. Visiting recent donors, reviewing your institution’s files on major gift donors, and making the easy ask first are just a few of the pointers offered.

In Advance: Is Your Job on the Line?
CURRENTS Article Seven signs for CDOs that it's time for a change.

In Advance: Hail to the Chief
CURRENTS Article The book, "The Advancement President and the Academy" by Mary Kay Murphy is reviewed.

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