Community Manager's Minute: Start getting real about your career

Managers Minute with Julie Adamen: 60 seconds to being a better community association manager

This month, Julie Adamen helps you get real about your career growth in the first two parts of her new 12 step program to help you get out of your career funk and focused on your future.

Let's face it. As much as you love your job, you aren't always going to be where you are today. At some point, you are going to want to grow your career. Perhaps growth for you exists in starting your own Management Company. Or maybe you would like to become a consultant.

Step 1: Pay Attention!

How can you grow if your head is buried in the sand? Short answer, you can't. So pay attention to the industry: where you are and where you want to be. Find people who have found success and learn what they've done to get there - how they found success.

This is great advice! But if you're asking how, here are a few tips to get you going down the right path:

grow your career in community association management
  • Plug in - The Internet is full of helpful blogs, discussion groups and other media. All you need to do is plug in to these resources. Here's a great place to start.
  • Network - One of the most effective things you can do for your personal growth is networking. Take advantage of industry events, user groups and forums to connect with other industry professionals.
  • Mentor - Not only does sharing your knowledge with someone else make you feel good, it can also come around to help you in the end. You never know when that young property manager you mentored comes into a great opportunity where your name is the first on their lips.

Step 2: Get Real!

Do you want to be a consultant when you 'retire' from community management? Then it's time to stop kidding yourself about where you are and get real. There are a lot of steps that you need to do before you can be a successful consultant - you cannot afford to wait until you're 65 to get started!

As a general rule, there isn't enough money locally to support consultants, so you need to develop a national presence. Here are some of the things you can start working on today to get your name out there and begin preparing for a consulting career:

  1. Publish in industry media
  2. Be an Expert Witness
  3. Develop a great professional history
  4. Serve in professional organizations (ex. CAI National committees)
  5. Teach professional classes

What do you think?

What have you done to prepare for your future? Do you have additional tips? Let us know in the comments!

Case Study - Spring Hill

Click here to see a what your community looks like in TOPS [ONE].