Archive for February, 2009

Trying to reinvent yourself? You have to start with your driving forces.

Posted on February 26, 2009. Filed under: Careers | Tags: , , , |

A few weeks ago, my colleagues and I had lunch with a fabulous female Grandripidian, Christine Albertini.  Among other things we talked about the need to reinvent our workplace during these tough economic times.  We discussed the importance of keeping ourselves and our organization fresh and relevant for community benefit organizations in the area.

Christine mentioned the first step in the process of reinvention is to identify your driving forces for the change.  Over the past few weeks I have been thinking about this concept and how it may relate to the personal branding of emerging leaders. 

Each individual, according to what statistics I keep hearing, will have a possible seven or more careers in their lifetime.  So, as we are entering the workforce and finding our sea legs in which career we would like to stay in, it is important to identify our driving forces for each career change.

Driving forces can be anything from a shift in your environment to a passion to fix an issue to a need for more money.  Whatever it is, it is helpful to write down the list when making a major decision about your career.

I am currently going through a reinvention process. My goals are to reinvent or solidify the content on my blog, and find a career path that really works for me.  As I am making decisions about both of these changes I am going to keep my driving forces in mind.  By keeping these in mind I am hoping to avoid decisions that aren’t based on my needs.

My driving forces for the changes are:

  • A balanced and stable life for myself and my soon to be husband
  • Making infrastructure changes in the community benefit sector
  • Interest in the paradigm shift occurring right now around donation driven organizations to volunteer driven organizations
  • Interest in the paradigm shift of community benefit organizations to being more diverse in age and ethnicity
  • A strong community of sharing individuals
  • Challenge
  • Tough economic times, make for tough situations in my workplace
  • Learning

 What are your driving forces?  Do you think this method will help in making career decisions?

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Economic Stimulus Package – Nonprofits Need to Think Local

Posted on February 11, 2009. Filed under: Nonprofit | Tags: , , , , , , , |

The Independent Sector released a report yesterday with a break down of how each of the House and Senates plans would affect the nonprofit sector. Read the Economic Recovery Spending Comparison for details.  After looking at the breakdown it is becoming increasingly obvious that community benefit organizations are going to have to look to their local and state representatives to receive any benefit for their organization from the stimulus package.

As Heather Carpenter, PhD student and author of Nonprofit Leadership 601, says “Now is the time for nonprofits to come together.”  It is up to organizations locally to combine efforts with other nonprofit organizations and their state association to talk with their state congress and local representatives about how much community benefit organizations need stimulus dollars.

Paul Schmitz, CEO of Public Allies, reiterated the need to talk about the issues locally on a conference call with the Nonprofit Sector Workforce Coalition last week.  Schmitz has been working as part of President Obama’s transition team as a representative of the Nonprofit Sector.  He mentioned, that although there are two bills currently in congress to benefit the sector (Serve Act in the Senate & Give Act in the House), congress has yet to realize that community benefit organizations are at the lowest donation levels ever, and are going to need help too.  Schmitz says, we need to have “bold vision and immediacy of action” from everyone in the sector.

So, what can you do now?  Carpenter mentions many ways in her blog.  I also suggest talking with other community benefit organizations in your community to see what they are doing, and look for partnership opportunities.  Partnerships are going to be important when talking with local public officials.   I also want to echo what Carpenter says about c0nnection with your state association, many state associations have their own policy agendas.  In Michigan, you can check out the Public Policy department at the Michigan Nonprofit Association.

What are you doing now to ensure the nonprofit sector gets a piece of the pie?

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Personal Organization Tip of the Week: Break your To-Do list into digestable chunks

Posted on February 5, 2009. Filed under: Personal Organization | Tags: , , , |

from Evan S. Photography

from Evan S. Photography

To-do lists, to-do lists, to-so lists…  It seems like they never end.  I personally am addicted to them and do not know if I could function without one in my life.  If you are busy it essential to keep a list of what you are doing.  The hard part of keeping a list is knowing how to make it work for yourself.  There are many techniques I will talk about, but one very important one is to keep your to-do’s in reasonable chunks.

Here’s what I mean.  If you recieve a project, let’s say it is to write a grant for a program you are working on, don’t just put “write grant” on your list.  For me it is easier to look at each step I need to take in the process and then add those to the list.  I look at every project and break it down into digestable chunks, chunks that can hopefully be completed in less than 2 hours.

Breaking the to-dos down:

Helps me stay on task. It is harder to forget things I need to do when they are all written down.  Also, if it is planned out well enough in the beginning everything should get done on time or even early.

Keeps me from getting bored. As I talked about before I like to plan out my calendar with each task I want to be working on.  If my tasks are broken down into 2 hour time limits I can work on multiple ones through out the day.  My preference is to work on more than one project at a time so that I don’t get bored doing one task all day.  There are times that call for this, but for the most part it is sometimes better to come back to something with a fresh perspective the next day.

Helps me be underwhelmed. Well, I am never totally underwhelmed, there is always something going on, but I hate the feeling of sitting down with a project for the first time when it is due in a couple days and saying “where do I start.”  This is just never a good feeling and can be avoided if you break down your tasks.

How do you manage your to-do list?  Share some tips on how you best you manage your tasks.

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