Saturday, July 24, 2010

Be a Professional (Pro)

Some advice from Expert Grant Writer, Derek Link on being a professional:

I was given sage advice as a young man, "Whatever you do in life, be a Pro, because there are so few Pro's". Like much advice I’ve received in life, it was given without asking; but this once I was happy to receive it. I was on a balcony, outside a classroom where I was taking a class for my Master’s, taking a break. The instructor’s elderly husband had come along with her for some reason and was also enjoying the afternoon sunshine outside the room with me, and we were chatting.

He was a successful man; although, the details of his success I’ve long forgotten. He saw an opportunity in our conversation about the class I was engaged in to share a wisp of wisdom with me.

“Be a garbage man,” he said, “Be anything you want to be, but be a Pro at it”. Be a professional. I thought a lot about that conversation over the past 25 years or so that have gone by and I’ve tried hard to live my work life as a Pro. I haven’t always succeeded, I’ll admit. At times I get lazy, distracted, unmotivated, timid, or dissatisfied; and it is at those times that I merely plug along at my work. When I merely plug along, I am never doing my best work.

To be a Pro means the following to me:
  1. Be honest (with discretion)
  2. Show Up (always and on time)
  3. Work until the job is done right
  4. Be brave enough to take risks
  5. Constantly grow and seek opportunities to improve
  6. Attend to the details
  7. Be well-groomed and well spoken
  8. Keep petty personal events private without being cold
  9. Be supportive of the growth of others
  10. Contribute positively to the professional climate
  11. Be loyal
  12. Be helpful
There are likely components I am forgetting to mention in here but these are the first twelve that come to mind and which - when I live by them – have served me well in my career. Please feel free to comment and add other ideas to the list.

Click here to get a free copy of the e-book 12 Secrets of Successful Grant Writers.


Kara said...

Great post!!

Phil said...

Great reminder of what it means to be a pro. Thanks!

Phil Johncock
The Grant Professor

Esther James said...

I love this -- I'm printing it out for my inspiration wall at work! Thanks for a great post.

Grant Goddess said...

Thanks everyone for the kind comments; we're so happy you enjoyed the post and took the time to comment.

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Creative Resources and Research is a consulting firm specializing in grant writing, grant seeking, program evaluation and professional development training. We have worked with hundreds of clients including public and private schools, school districts, universities, non-profit organizations, and social service agencies throughout California, securing over $155 million from federal, state and private foundation funding sources over the past decade. Our primary grant writers and program evaluators have over 50 years of combined experience in the education and social services fields. At CRR we prefer a personal approach to the clients we work with; by developing long term relationships, we are better suited to match client’s needs with available funding sources. We provide a variety of services to help assist you, including grant writing, evaluation consulting, professional development opportunities, and workshops.