Posted 11/21/2008 - 04:35:52pm by Manasseh Franklin
A successful switch to a nonprofit career depends on your success in identifying work that feels personally fulfilling. Before you update your resume and begin answering hiring managers’ questions, take the time to explore what issues you are passionate about and identify the skills you have to offer to a nonprofit.
As one senior nonprofit leader explains in a Bridgestar article called "Self-Exploration: The First Step in the Job Search," "The issue of passion really matters. If the passion’s not there, ultimately the cultural fit’s not there."
Bridgestar offers these questions to help you clearly define your ideal nonprofit position:
- What specific skills/capabilities do you bring to the table that will be transferable to the nonprofit sector? How will you articulate this in conversations with potential employers?
- What is important to you at this point in your life, and what “rewards” would you like to get out of your next role (e.g., financial gain, work-life balance, intellectual stimulation, giving back)?
- Why do you want to move into the sector? Is it just a feeling, or have you had specific experiences with nonprofits that have led you to think this way?
- What particular issues are you passionate about? Is there a particular population you are most interested in serving? How much direct engagement with that group do you want to have in your work?
- Which of your volunteer experiences have been most fulfilling? Most frustrating? Why?
- What are the characteristics of your ideal nonprofit job (both specific types of responsibilities and work environment)? At what types of organizations (e.g., small/large, start-up/established, specific field, intermediary/direct-service) are you most likely to find them?
For more advice on starting the self-assessment process and additional exploratory questions, check out the complete Bridgestar article.