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Are You Ready for a Nonprofit Career?

Are You Ready for a Nonprofit Career?

Time to Exit?

Anjani Webb

So you’re burnt out and thinking about changing careers. Or have you been laid off and are now looking for something different?. The sudden change of the economy has left a lot of people wondering where they fit in. Years of steady growth and status quo allowed employees to maintain their daily life, without thinking about the details.

Now, after coming to a stand still, the nation is working on balancing what they think is most important in their lives. This change of thinking, and a desire to be fulfilled in one’s career, has emphasized the option of anchor nonprofit careers. According to a study from Independent Sector, nonprofit employment has doubled in the past 25 years, encompassing 10 percent of total employment in the United States.

So if you’re thinking a nonprofit career might be for you, you’re not alone! However, there are a couple of things you should know before you begin searching because the way you search and apply for nonprofit jobs is very different.

The first thing you want to consider is why you want to work for a nonprofit in the first place. Many will say the most rewarding benefit is that you get paid for making a positive change in the world. Other advantages include a supportive work environment and the opportunity to interact with community leaders. Many people also choose a nonprofit career because it aligns closely with their passions in life.

Once you feel that you’re ready to begin searching for a nonprofit career, figure out what kind of organization you want to work for. There might even be a nonprofit that is in the same field of work you’re currently involved with. Research the organizations you’re interested in, and also be honest with yourself about the possible disadvantages of working for a nonprofit. For instance, the hours vary widely, the pay isn’t necessarily equal, and you will be working across various sectors, as opposed to just consumers, buyers, etc.

Once you’ve found a “perfect match,” you might have to change your resume to better suit your new career path. Past volunteer experience is vital; it shows that you have passion for your causes and haven’t demanded to be paid for it. Also, convey your multitasking capabilities. Almost all nonprofit positions place high emphasis on one’s ability to work on multiple projects at once. The chances are the smaller the nonprofit organization, the more roles you’re going to have to fill.

I recently had to take my own advice when I was offered my current job. Unsatisfied with the toxic work environment of my former job, I decided to quit my marketing assistant position at a sports agency.

As I was working at a restaurant and looking for employment, I came across an opportunity with The Salvation Army. Even though I didn’t have a lot of previous interaction with the charity, my employer saw my extensive internships and volunteer experience. I was also able to prove that I could manage a large workload. I worked full-time in college while taking a full course load and maintaining good grades. I use this skill more than anything else in my nonprofit career. My coworkers and I are always pulled in more than one direction at a time but we all love what we do and see the changes we’re making in the community everyday.