J. Harry Tregoe




Stay involved and communicate your success stories to the key players in your career. Marketing can truly be the key to a successful career.




Paul Mignini came to the national headquarters from the Chesapeake Chapter, which he served as president since 1986. Joining the affiliate in 1975 as secretary/manager, he moved into the executive vice president position in 1979.


Mignini, who holds a bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Baltimore, was certified in association management by the University of Maryland Executive Management Program in December 1985.


He has served on a number of NACM committees, including the National Board of Directors and the National Executive Committee. In addition, he has served as chairman of the Adjustment-Bankruptcy Committee, the Secretarial Council, and NACM's Eastern Region.


A frequent lecturer on association structure and management, Mignini is a member of the American Society of Association Executives and the Greater Washington Society of Association Executives.


Before joining NACM, he was a credit manager for Union Trust Company of Maryland (now Signet Bank) from 1970 to 1975. Mignini was born, raised, and still resides in the Baltimore, MD, area.


PAUL J. MIGNINI JR., CAE President, 1990-2002


Marketing Can Be the Key to a Successful Career


Being competent is not enough in today's competitive work environment. With leverage buyouts, mergers and acquisitions, and international competition, you need the added edge that professional certification and involvement in your professional association can bring. You must market yourself and constantly remind others of your achievements and contributions.


Most of the time credit managers (and all of us) suffer from what management consultant Patrick Lynch calls the Rodney Dangerfield syndrome-"We don't get no respect." This is a condition created by our self-image or the mental picture we carry around of ourselves. We rise to the level of the label we create for ourselves.


How do you see yourself? As a bill collector? Or as a credit professional? The image you have of yourself is the one that you convey to others.


Unfortunately, many of us also suffer from believing that hard work and competency is enough to get us to our goals and beyond. We believe that others will see our good works and reward us with advancement or prestige.


But this is a fairy tale like waiting for the fairy godmother or believing you are the frog prince. No one can "rescue" us. You must market yourself and tell others what you have done. You are the stage manager of your own career.


You may wish to apply Lynch's approach to your own situation. The first step in the process toward achievement and recognition, Lynch says, is to write down your goals. If you want to obtain a CBA or CBF designation, put it down in black and white. If your aim is to get a promotion, do the same. Decide what you want, when you want it, and what path you will take to get it.


Secondly, find the power source who can help you attain your goals. Discover what he or she wants and give it to them. Probe to find out what problems the power source has and work to solve them. By doing this you will stand out and look unique. Create the impression that you have what it takes to get the job done. If you find out what the power source needs and give it to them, you can take dual strides, gaining the confidence of the power source and providing them with a glimpse of the talents and skills you possess.


Finally, tell people about your contributions and goals. Research indicates that someone must hear something at least four times before they respond. Find ways to help the key people regularly rediscover you. Memo them about your achievements. The only way to let people know of your accomplishments is to tell them.


Make sure in all of your communications, you indicate your willingness to help the people that could help you. Keeping lines open may eventually provide the boost to get you where you want to go.


Marketing must be an integral part of any professional development plan. Your achievements will mean nothing if they are not recognized. Involvement in not only your job but in your local and national associations will help you obtain your career objectives.