How to build a successful career in corporate partnerships

At Remarkable Partnerships, we love being connected to so many passionate individuals working in this sector. There is so much potential amongst the community, but sometimes we know that partnerships professionals are weighed down with the pressure of their long to-do list, rather than giving any time to their own professional development.  

If that sounds like you, and you want to build a successful career in corporate partnerships, here is our advice on how to do exactly that: 

It all begins with your purpose 

As you may know, we are passionate about purpose driven partnerships, but have you ever considered your personal purpose?  

If you were to write your personal mission statement, what would it say?  

Your personal purpose will help you define your unique drivers, and will help you focus on which role, charity and culture would be right for you. You may even want to consider articulating your personal purpose in job applications. This will help you stand out from the crowd. 

Find your passion 

We all have our own passions, and the emotional nature of some causes speak to us more as individuals than others do.  

Laura Solomons, Head of Donor Relations at the Sutton Trust, says “My top recommendation for building a successful career in corporate partnerships is to find a charity and cause-area that matches up with your skills and passions. Corporate partnership roles can vary vastly across different charities. You might need to try out a few different roles before you find the best fit for you personally – and that’s OK as you’ll learn lots along the way.” 

So why not take 10 minutes out of your day today, to list out the causes that really appeal to you? Like any list, we recommend keeping it short and focused, then you can keep it front of mind when considering your next move. For example, knowing that you are particularly passionate about homelessness or international development will help you focus on roles in those charities when they become available.  

If you don’t feel a burning fire inside you for the cause you currently work for, focus on re-igniting that passion by connecting with your cause once again – engaging with the people, environment or animals that you cause helps can often be the key to this.  

Take a moment to read stories, watch your own content, and speak to the services team to get motivated again. 

Set career goals 

By setting a goal, you can then create a plan to achieve it. A goal, without a plan, is just a wish!  

It is worth stepping back, to look at the role you are shooting for, and identify the steps you need to take to achieve it. One of the best ways of doing this is to look at the job description of the next role you are aiming for and see the skills and experience needed. By delivering against those key skills, whilst in your current role, you will have strong examples to take to that interview when it comes up.  

Our recommendation would be to set a time in your diary each week for personal goal setting – set the goal, check in where you are at, make a plan, and visualise the success. You can do it!  

Build your professional networks 

Especially in current times, building your professional network can feel like a challenge, but it is one of the most important factors in building a successful career in corporate partnerships. Relationships are the focus of partnerships, so why neglect this skill for our own benefit?

Updating your Linkedin profile, and connecting with current contacts and past colleagues can often be neglected, but Linkedin is truly the best tool for you to represent yourself externally. It is worth spending time updating Linkedin to articulate your purpose, passion and skills.  

Don’t forget to take up the offer of (virtual) coffees to do networking, and keep in touch with past colleagues. Past colleagues will often be the ones to advertise roles to their networks, and even if 10 years has gone by, you will still be remembered for your expertise.  

Skills match 

We recommend you spend time on your personal development – speak to your line manager about what training budget there is for you to develop your skills. Pick a course that strengthens your weakest area of knowledge, or pick a course that helps you become a specialist in a certain skill. 

Laura continues by saying “Have an honest conversation with yourself about how you enjoy spending your time – is it making calls, is it putting together project plans, is it motivating a group of fundraising employees, is it compiling a comms pack, is it thinking creatively about how a company might solve your charity’s problems? Or is it a combination of all the above? If you can either find or shape a role to spend your time doing what you love, you’ll be well on your way to success and – in my experience – smashing your income targets will follow. 

As Laura says, find or shape a role that can mean you spend your time doing what you want, and the results will follow.  

So keep up the good work, but don’t forget to focus on your future. Take 10 minutes each day to undertake a small action that will help you progress your career in this fantastic sector! 

If you want to hear more on this topic – you are in luck! At Corporate Partnerships Everywhereon the 25th February 2021, Georgina is hosting a panel discussion on this exact topic. Laura Solomons, will be sharing more, along with Ghalib UllahHead of Commercial Partnerships at Parkinson’s UK, and Christopher Mann, National Vice President of Corporate Partnerships, City Year. Early bird tickets are available until the 15th February.


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