This past Wednesday, I went to a social event hosted by the Cape Fear chapter of the Association for Fundraising Professionals, of which I am a member. I was in Wilmington for work and it was good to catch up with other professionals in a setting that wasn’t the cutthroat Triangle (the chapter’s members themselves aren’t but the environment is because there is so much affluence in the area and, therefore, so many nonprofits). We chatted, had a few beers (blogging about this on Monday), and just told fundraising horror stories (with a few successes that allow us to remain employed).
Networking is critical to your professional development. But don’t just network your way into a job; network your way through one. You won’t grow in any profession without the ideas of others. Even Kanye got big doing what?Sampling beats. So find others who do what you want to do and pick their brains when you have a chance. It’s the only way you’ll win in this game called life.
Oh, and one ironic thing about networking: The gentleman who introduced me to the field of development is now a member of the Cape Fear chapter. He recently got a major promotion. I was grateful to have the opportunity to thank him for helping me find a career I could be proud of. You never know where your network will take you so be ready for anywhere.
Make professional development a priority.