Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Moving Out The Troops

In simple terms, grants administration is not a field that I'm going to continue in. I went in with a good skill set but not enough background, and it just doesn't seem to be working out. The office is too fast-paced to allow my supervisor time to train me, and so there is a mutually agreed separation.

What does this mean for my career? I interpret this as an indicator that I should return to education and fundraising, where I've been for so long and have such a great working knowledge. To this effect, I've already begun mobilizing my network, from mentors and advisers to past colleagues and business contacts.

This is the value of maintaining a high quality network: The deal was settled on Monday at 5:00. That evening I scoured my professional networks' job pages and the field publication listings, looking for opportunities. Tuesday, yesterday, I made three phone calls, to my recruiter, to a previous contact, and to a reference. I sent out several emails. By today, I have two applications in, and two more good leads on the horizon. In two days, I've spawned four solid opportunities to pursue--because of my network.

Never underestimate the power of a network. When you're riding high, remember to help those in your network, because you'll never know when you'll want their help. Cyber-networking is a part of this--when I look up a job listing, I check the names of the current staff on LinkedIn to see if they pop up as a connection through my online network. One of my leads yesterday came from this.

Don't be afraid to ask people who you don't consider you "professional network" for help. I've received many words of wisdom and much help from my best friend, my husband, my mother-in-law.

I have three weeks left here, and my supervisor has said she will support a job search, giving me time for interviews. Even as I will continue working, I'll be continuing to reach out to those around me. In a time of crisis, it's always good to know that I have people to rely on, both professionally and personally.

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