10 Reasons You Were Meant to Be in Advancement
Vol. 15 No. 2
Do you remember your first day on the job? That moment when you were scared and excited and thrilled all at once at the possibilities that struck you? That moment of inspiration may fade as the realities of a tough job take root, but don’t worry—we’re here to help remind you why you chose this job in the first place.
Reason #10: You get a kick out of showing off the great work that your school has done for its families and the broader community.
Whether that’s letting prospective parents peep into a fully engaged class with lesson material or discussing the massive impact last year’s annual fund made in the lives of your students, nothing feels better than bragging about the awesome work that your school does every day. Volunteering in the neighborhood or winning national awards, you believe that your students are the best—and you can’t wait to tell everyone you know about it.
Reason #9: You meet new and interesting people every day!
Sometimes, you form new relationships online when an interested parent or donor comments on a social media post. Other times, you meet with nervously optimistic families at Open Houses and other events. Whenever you have the chance to meet someone new and tell them about how fabulous your school is, you embrace it as another chance to change someone’s educational future.
Reason #8: You take your role as the “gate guard” of the school seriously.
Admission Directors, Marketing-Communications personnel, and Development Directors are the first line of defense every school has to ensuring their school communities remain mission-appropriate. You nurture the school’s environment through donorship opportunities and scholarship dispensations that attract and retain the right sort of people to continue a healthy, vibrant mission-driven community.
Reason #7: You love rewarding excellence as part of the financial aid team.
Awarding financial aid and scholarships to deserving young pupils who may have not had the opportunity to attend your fine institution rewards more than just the student and his or her family. It gives you a warm glow to work with a scholarship founder to select the most deserving recipient, to send that notice of acceptance and generosity to a place where you know such news will be celebrated and appreciated.
Reason #6: You get to stretch your creative muscles every day.
Whether you’re considering a new outreach campaign for prospective parents or donors, or experimenting with new social media platforms, or simply taking stock of decades’ worth of promotional materials, you have a chance to use your creative side to promote your school.
Reason #5: You thrive working long hours—if it means you made a difference.
Travel schedules, odd meeting times, and work days that last beyond the normal dinner hour are the norm during busy seasons, which wear on your body. However, you and your family understand that you work to better the students at your school, which makes these extended hours… tolerable, if not preferable. You understand working until you drop if it means that you positively impacted a student’s life in a way that no one else could.
Reason #4: You look beyond paperwork and statistics to see the person behind the outline.
Data and statistics offer you a great starting point, but you love digging deeper to find each donor, parent, and student’s story buried beneath the minutiae. Anecdotes of stifled dreams and triumph over adversity are the hallmark of your campaigns, allowing you to inspire your current school community and the next.
Reason #3: “Good enough” isn’t a phrase you know.
You always go that extra mile for the struggling parent, the confused student, or the skeptical donor. You arrange one-on-one interviews with teachers, dig into transcripts to understand the full student beyond the initial intake, and present reassurances and data that convince the wary mind. You go above and beyond the call of duty.
Reason #2: You truly believe in the mission of your school.
Out of all of the schools and jobs available, there’s a reason you picked this school to help with your unique skills and talents. You are part of something that’s bigger than just your career, picking up a paycheck and forgetting about work as soon as you clock out. No, you contribute to the next generation of young adults who will go on to change the world—and remember their school days with fondness.
Reason #1: You love your students, your families, and your colleagues.
… Because, at the end of the day, that’s why you’re in private-independent education: To do the very best you can for the next generation by delivering your mission with love and integrity.
Additional ISM resources:
The Source for Business and Operations Vol. 12 No. 5 How Personal Statements Can (Still) Work for You and Your Colleagues
The Source for Business and Operations Vol. 7 No. 5 Stress at Work
The Source for School Heads Vol. 10 No. 7 Characteristics (of Professional Excellence) Aren't Just for Hiring
Additional ISM resources for Gold members:
I&P Vol. 37 No. 1 Systematically Attracting, Developing, Rewarding, and Retaining Faculty: A Mission-Based Model for 21st Century Schools