Program Recap: Managing Your Career in This New Normal

On March 1, 2022, attendees from the WIDGB community had the opportunity to learn from three executives about how to best navigate your career in this new normal. All three panelists navigated a career shift during the pandemic. The panelists included: Nicole Dumas, Director of Advancement Talent, Boston College; Sarah Krasin, Executive Vice President, CCS Fundraising; and Molly Richter, Associate Director of Development, Talent Management, Massachusetts General Hospital. The moderator was Wendy Wilsker, Managing Partner, Boyden. The advice was aimed toward fundraising professionals at all levels of their career.


Nicole encouraged listeners to reflect on their career interests, where they want to be, and where their strengths are. She gave the following advice:

  1.  You can chase money anywhere, but you can’t buy culture. She mentioned how applicants should focus on finding an organization with a better culture than you one that they currently have, noting that applicants are, and should be, inquiring about culture and diversity earlier on during their initial interview conversations.
  2. As an applicant, consider your transferable skills and expand your notion of what is possible.
  3. Women, remove “imposter syndrome” from your vocabulary, and read, stay curious, and seek a professional coach.
  4. During your job search, she urged listeners to consider these three questions, rooted in knowing oneself: 1) what brings me joy? 2) what am I good at? 3) where does the world need me?

Sarah shared her experience about taking on a leadership position during the pandemic.

  1. Her success would not have been possible without the team members who stepped up to share insights with her and check-in on her during her transition. As her organization grows, the people who stepped up to support her transition into the organization are those who are being considered for future leadership roles and opportunities.
  2. Sarah recognized that the people with whom she wants to work are the ones who are reading new books and learning new things – and she is always looking to improve herself and feed her insatiable curiosity.
  3. Sarah encourages fundraising professionals to find a sponsor, mentor, and a coach.

Molly noted that hiring managers have had to consolidate their hiring process within this new normal.

  1. Candidates are asking for benefits information earlier in the process, given how competitive the market is right now.
  2. People who have a gap in their resume are not alone! However, she encourages people to be honest and authentic during the hiring process as to sharing what they did during this time (i.e. parenting or caregiving responsibilities). She said that it is also normal to have a short stint in a position – though, she encourages applicants to share what they learned from that experience, what did not work, and how you are applying this to your future job search.

The panelists provided advice for women at various places in their career journey:

  1. Early career | staying in a job 1-2 years is appropriate and your boss/organization may not expect you to stay at your job for very long. This job does not need to check every box with what you want in your career, but you should be learning new things and developing skills you find important.
  2. Mid-career | applicants need to be mindful of the job tasks that they enjoy and of the job tasks that they want to deprioritize. The longer you move down a path, the harder it will be to pivot your career.
  3. Late-career | applicants likely fall in three categories: 1) Looking to go out on top 2) aiming to take a step back, or 3) starting a new act in one’s career. In any of the three, applicants are encouraged to be explicit about which category they fall under, providing clear context in their cover letter.

Additional insights included that recruiters prefer a reverse chronological resume, as opposed to a functional resume (put the most-recent and relevant experiences up front). The panelists emphasized that applicants should

  1. Check for typos, 
  2. Write a meaningful, tailored cover letter for each specific organization, and;
  3. Look up your interviewers on LinkedIn in advance of meeting with them.
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