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Sunday, July 20, 2014

7 Signs It's Time to Look for a New Fundraising Job

Over the past year, we've worked with several people who have been in job transition--sometimes by choice, many times not. All of those who were job hunting not by choice were highly qualified, seasoned professionals who were actually accomplishing their goals. In some cases, they were even exceeding the expectations set for them.

So we started thinking--what were the signs that things weren't going to end well? Here are seven red flags:

Your goals are moving targets. As you approach achieving what you're told to do, your manager changes the goal or changes the way your accomplishments so far have been measured. You're set up to never achieve closure on your projects.

No one shows an interest in your work. Yes, they'll glance at your reports, and question your tactics every now and then, but on the whole, they don't seem to think what you do matters. "I don't do fundraising" or "fundraising is not my responsibility" are common refrains among your staff and volunteer leaders.

You can't identify a single person that you work with that you trust and feel is a genuine friend. There may be people you like, and people that you sometimes hang out with, but you can't name anyone that you trust to truly have your back. They won't stand up for you if something goes wrong, especially come budget time. They are also people who talk about your friendship, but you know in your heart that if you went away, they would not just go to lunch with you for fun.

Your ideas don't seem to be valued. Every time you bring up a new strategy or idea, your suggestion is "put on the back burner," never to be seen again. New ideas that you manage to implement are not acknowledged as your idea.

Your organization doesn't invest in your advancement. You don't get promoted or get increased pay or recognition even when others do. You've hit a "glass ceiling" of sorts.

You don't feel like you fit in with the organization's culture. Perhaps you did at one time, but for some reason, on a gut level, you don't feel like you do now. Maybe there was a change in leadership on the staff or board side. Maybe there's a change with your peer group. Maybe there's a change in organizational direction. Whatever the reason, you don't feel like you fit in.

Someone's out to get you. Okay, this last one is rare. But sometimes it's obvious that someone important doesn't like you.

If you have several or all of these red flags, take the time to quantify what you've accomplished at that position, and make them as concrete as possible. Brush up that resume and update your LinkedIn and other online profiles. Rev up the networking machine and talk to your personal supporters. Good luck finding the next job which hopefully will give you the respect and recognition that you deserve!

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