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Make Yourself Unique
May 5, 2008
Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.
-George Sheehan
One of the resources in Exchange's Center Manager's Tool Kit is a CD collection of Exchange articles on "Avoiding Burnout." Included on this CD is the article "Go For the Gusto Put Zest Back In Your Job," which offers this advice on making yourself unique...

"Joyce Brothers, writing on the factors of success in business in How to Get What You Want Out of Life (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978), observed, 'The more you can bring more than one facet or talent to a job, the greater your probability of success. You can make yourself unique. You can work to acquire a cluster of skills that no one else has.'

"Think about what excites you about your job and about your life outside the job. What are your prime skills? What other professional challenges interest you? Can you combine your current skills and interests into a unique and rewarding career?

"If, for example, you have mastered the tasks involved in administering a child care center, and now you find yourself increasingly intrigued by computers, maybe you can build a business out of helping child care centers enter the computer age. If your strongest suit is the marketing of your organization, maybe you could set up a marketing service for a network of centers.

"Overhaul your work day. Keep an appointment book with you for several days, logging in what you are doing every 15 minutes. Now take a close look at how your time is allocated. During what amount of your workday are you called upon to exercise your strongest professional skills? How much of your time is spent handling mundane clerical or administrative tasks that could just as well be handled by a lesser-trained individual? How much of your time is devoted to evaluation, development, and innovation? How much of it is consumed by maintenance activities and fire fighting? How much of your time is deliberately planned by yourself? How much is controlled by others through phone calls and drop-in visits?

"Now take a stab at fantasizing your ideal work day. How much time would you spend on reading and writing? How much time would you allocate to talking with your staff? When would you come in to work and when would you go home? How would you put your peak performance times to best use? How can you bridge the gap between how you really spend your time and how you know you should?"

Exchange has packaged six of its practical management resources into a single "Center Manager's Tool Kit" and is offering the entire set at a 33% discount. Resources in the kit include:

  • The Art of Leadership: Managing Early Childhood Organizations
  • Managing Money: A Center Director's Guidebook
  • Stick Your Neck Out A Street-Smart Guide to Creating Change in Your Community and Beyond
  • 250 Management Success Stories from Child Care Directors
  • Exchange Article CD Collection #4: Avoiding Burnout
  • Exchange Article CD Collection #5: Supervising Staff


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A New Career Helping Young Children Develop and Learn
Learn how to give a young child the very best foundation possible with a Bachelor of Arts Early Childhood Development at National University.

Comments (2)

Displaying All 2 Comments
Deborah Schein
Greater Cleveland Neighborhood Centers Association
Cleveland, Ohio, United States
05/05/2008 05:58 am

In my opinion, one needs to feel a sense of uniqueness. But, one must also work on establishing a sense of connectedness with others-teachers, children, families. This article missed the mark and does not offer helpful guidance for early childhood directors. Please be more thoughtful in what you choose to post. Most early childhood educators and directors need positive, helpful guidance. The field is so fragile right now and American children need strong, competent directors who understand the meaning of collaboration. I am an early childhood education consultant in urban Cleveland, and I really see such vulnerbility.
Deb Schein

Nelson Eagle
Colorado, United States
05/05/2008 03:10 am

I wonder why you would suggest that the reader, many of whom are center directors working with and for child care center owners, start a business outside of the center? It is tough enough to find quality persons to be directors, you should be supporting owners, not making suggestions that directors start their own businesses!

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