Earlier this month, I had the wonderful opportunity to present a couple of evening sessions to many skilled charity events professionals.
This was for a Special Events Forum on the topic of career development, and I also participated in a panel Q&A at the illustrious Churchill War Rooms. The evening was well attended and generated some interesting discussion points!
Upskilling was a key theme of the night and with those that attended it was agreed that an upskilling mindset is something that many individuals need to adopt in order to enhance their career development.
Following these conversations, I have identified four steps (modestly) that ought to be considered for a positive upskilling mindset:
1. Believe in yourself and be ambitious
The charity events profession is traditionally very female dominant, and I was intrigued during my research to discover quotes such as “Men apply for a job when they meet on 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them” (Harvard Business Review). Now, this certainly is not a factor entirely reflective of men or women’s attitudes to the application process, but it did make me wonder if that is something that may be holding many people back in my industry from progressing. I always advise job seekers in my market to believe in themselves and go for things that are realistically within reach. You cannot always have experience of everything listed in a job specification, and often those that are starting roles that meet all the criteria are more likely to be less motivated when joining. This can then result in a low retention period rate as they leave in seek of more challenging roles. Short term contract roles can, of course, be an exception to this!
2. Be self-aware
When reflecting on our skill sets we need to be honest about what our strengths and weaknesses are. It is quite common for people to hide or subconsciously delude themselves on what they are good at or not good at, to avoid admitting any flaws. To advance it is pivotal to highlight areas in your profession that you struggle with to tackle this head on to improve and help fast-track development.
3. Create a career plan
Many do know what they want to achieve in their career, but few have this recorded in the form of a plan. I would advise having an open conversation with either your manager or a recruitment consultant sector specialist like myself to set a strategy. If you verbalise this externally to someone else and put this into writing, you are far more likely to make the efforts to achieve the goals you have set!
4. Discover your motivations
Motivations are very personal, and this is not something I as a recruitment consultant can identify for someone. However, I can have conversations with individuals to help discover these. Setting personal goals can really help shape a career plan and assist with knowing what will appeal best for when approaching new job opportunities. I would recommend establishing on what is wanted from each of the following areas:
• Family and social life
• Health and fitness
• Personal development (away from work)
• Community service
• Believe in yourself and be ambitious
• Be self-aware
• Create a career plan
• Discover your motivations
I work for Pro-Recruitment Group in the Charity and Not-For-Profit team focusing on mid to senior level Marketing, Communications, Fundraising and Events recruitment appointments across all levels on a permanent, contract, and interim basis. I welcome anyone to share their thoughts on this topic and please check out our latest roles!