Expert Q & A: How Can a Young Professional Prepare for Advancement?

By: Karen McNeil-Miller, former president of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust

  • Identify a potential role/level you would like to attain and seek out several people who already have those roles.  Find out the competencies/behaviors/skills needed to be effective in the role currently and in the future
  • Be intentional in your career to seek roles along the way that can offer you an opportunity to develop those skills and competencies.
  • Join relevant philanthropic associations such as EPIP (Emerging Professionals in Philanthropy), ABFE (Association for Black Foundation Executives, HIP (Hispanics in Philanthropy), communications networks, etc.
  • Volunteer inside and outside your organization to develop your skills
  • Look for internal developmental assignments such as task forces, workgroups, committees, etc.
  • Network with the people who you’d like to become rather than solely with your own peer group.  It’s what you know, who you know, AND who knows you.
  • Don’t get discouraged that things are not moving as fast as you would like.  Sometimes it’s not that your talents and potential aren’t recognized, but rather that there was someone just as talented in the queue ahead of you.

Content Partner: LearnPhilanthropy

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Publication/Event Date:

2018 -- updated from original post in 2014

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Karen McNeil-Miller



Individual Professional Development 
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