In a nonprofit organization, the mission, not the profit is the driving force behind the organization. Many of the smaller nonprofit organizations usually also have a founder’s leadership and vision to keep in mind, fiscal constraints and fewer opportunities for career advancement simply due to their size. To many these conditions may be perceived as a negative, but this is what makes nonprofits excellent training grounds for millennials, women and/or sector switchers who want to add some skills to their career toolbox, or advance to a leadership role.
There are always LOTS of tasks and roles that need to be filled and completed. However, there is often not enough human capacity on staff or someone with the right skills to get the job done. This is a great opportunity for a staff person to stretch their skills, volunteers to assist, a consultant to be hired and/or for someone to get some valuable hands on training in that area to ensure that the organization is able to get the work done. I truly attribute my many talents to working in the nonprofit sector and having to learn on the job or during a time where we did not have enough hands on deck to do things I never thought I’d ever have the chance to do (or want to do for that matter) and glad I had the opportunity. Continue Reading »
Are the nonprofit and private sectors really that different or just doing the work differently?
As a career coach focusing on millennials, women, entrepreneurs and sector switchers, I get asked about my experience working in the nonprofit sector all the time, from all kinds of people. They are either curious, interested in changing their career path or trying to find out if the various things they heard about the nonprofit sector are true.
If you have never worked in the nonprofit sector, you might not know how different a career experience in the nonprofit sector can be from one in the corporate world—both in culture and in structure—but depending on the type of organization and position you desire, you’d be surprised just how similar they can be. Most people who come from the private sector don’t believe that you can make money in the nonprofit sector and those from the nonprofit sector believe that just about anything that is not nonprofit is evil or the “dark side.” Continue Reading »
A year ago I launched Awaken Your CAREERpreneur, both as a way to give an overview of my book of the same name as well as to shift consciousness about the fundamental way career development, and as a consequence, job hunting has shifted. I’m thrilled by the ongoing conversation that has unfolded around how to leverage one’s understanding of the new job market in one’s career development strategizing.
In his new book, Job Searching with Social Media for Dummies, Joshua Waldman has done a stunning job of showing first-time job seekers through to seasoned executives the new rules for using technology to get yourself in front of your prospective employer. I was pleasantly surprised not only at Joshua’s ability to distill LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter down to the basics for those looking to use these most common social media platforms to connect with recruiters and hiring managers, but also at his comprehensive look at more of the up and coming relevant job hunting and resume sites, e.g., VisualCV, Innovate CV, Simply Hired and job hunting apps for Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter such as BranchOut, Jibe and CareerAmp.
What I like best about the book is Joshua’s entrepreneurial approach to career development and his compilation of strategies that put the reader in the driver’s seat. Joshua spends a lot of time giving tangible tools for authentic personal brand development. He looks at how to use blogging to develop one’s expertise (both through the strategic development of one’s own site as well as the specific ways to get featured on others’ blogs). Joshua explains the significance of managing your online presence–how to boost it and how to keep it clean and employer-centric. And he really gets inside the mind of hiring managers. Whether you skim the book or read it cover to cover, you walk away understanding exactly what hiring managers are looking for, where they’re looking for you and how to make sure you pop when you get face-time.
Job Searching with Social Media for Dummies is one of those books every person needs in her library whether she is actively looking for a job, wants to position herself for a promotion, runs her own business and simply wants to continue to use social media strategically or dishes job advice to job seekers. I couldn’t believe how many pages I found myself highlighting either because Joshua introduced me to a site I hadn’t heard of or provided a new way of looking at a best practice.
Recently I read a post on PCWorld.com called Leaving Your Job? Take Your Data With You and I posted it to my Facebook wall because I realized that it’s something a lot of people don’t think about. We spend hours a day on the computer at work sending emails and creating files. Very few people think about what they should do if they get fired or decide to leave because of a new opportunity. The only group of people I know that seem to keep their contacts are recruiters. We could all stand to learn something from them in that regard.
The three things the author pointed out as key are:
Recent work files
If you aren’t already you should be connecting to your contacts outside of work. If you’re using Microsoft Outlook export your contacts regularly to a comma separated values or cvs file.
To export your contacts from Outlook
- Open Outlook and choose File -> Import and Export.
- In the dialog box that appears, choose “Export to a File”.
- Select “Comma Separated Values” in the next dialog box. You may need the Microsoft Office CD, if the import-export feature is not installed on your computer.
If you’re on a Mac using Microsoft Entourage
- Open Microsoft Entourage.
- Select File/Export.
- The menu box that appears asks you what you’d like to export. Select Contacts to a list (tab-delimited text).
For important emails, there are several options for example put them into one pdf and either save them to a flash drive or upload them to a cloud account like SugarSync, Box.net or whatever cloud storage you currently use. Another option is to blind carbon copy (abbreviated Bcc:) yourself to a personal email account on emails you think might be important as they happen.
Personally I use Evernote for keeping track of important emails. I also keep a work log in there so I know what happened on a particular assignment and I can attach relevant files to the notes I create.
Recent work files
A folder on your desktop to save important work files is a must. I’d go a step further and organize the folder by project or something relevant so when you review it later you won’t have to go hunting for a file. I save work both in the cloud and on flash drives. My system may not work for everyone.
Since I’m a visual person I have one Mimobot I use exclusively for work – Swirl.
Use whatever method works for the way you work and think. But backup your digital life. Not just at work but at home.
If you aren’t doing regular data backups you are in for a world of hurt if something happens. Some idiot spilling liquid on your laptop when you’re out. Or heaven help if your computer is in your luggage and the airline mysteriously can’t find it. I’m all for redundancy …backup online and on multiple drives. Hardware goes bad and cloud sites go down.
Too much of our life is dependent on technology to not make an effort to protect it.
Technology… is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ~ Carrie P. Snow
…Are You Ready to Make the Switch?
There are many ways to switch sectors and transition with ease; however, I am going to focus on switching from the corporate to nonprofit sector. A number of roles in the corporate and nonprofit sectors are quite similar, and many functional skills are very transferable.
Someone who works in public relations can transfer their skills to a development, grant writing, marketing and/or communications position. A person with an operations or finance background can find similar positions in the nonprofit sector, also in development, and in roles like director of finance, chief financial officer or even director of operations. Continue Reading »
Recently, a friend called me out of the blue asking for help with a recent challenge within her business. I juggled a few meetings, we scheduled a block of time to speak ,and talked through a few possible solutions for resolution.
She updated me a few days ago to share that she had finalized all of her work with the client and received payment. She was happy to be moving on; I was excited for her and wished her well until we had a moment to work together again.
What’s interesting about this story was the valued relationship that we had developed over the years. I hadn’t heard from this friend in over six months – but as soon as she called, I was more than happy to jump in and spend the same amount of time that I would normally reserve only for clients or business partners. On several occasions, she has been willing to do the same for me – and more than happy to roll out the red carpet treatment for introductions or problem solving.
Why? Continue Reading »
I have still been thinking about our LOVE/HATE relationship with our careers from my last blog, so I asked some unemployed and employed folks what their relationship was with their careers to see if there is a difference. Those who are unemployed seem to be happier than those who are not—this does not mean that they aren’t frustrated, but they are free to now become who and what they have dreamed about, start over, or do something completely new. Those who are unemployed are finding creative ways to reinvent themselves, to make money, to use their resources and are trying new things based on what is available in this ever changing economy.
Most employed Americans are dissatisfied with their jobs, and even for those that like or love their jobs, they want to do something different or get more out of what they do. As part of the trend, the largest number of people who feel this way are women, since we make up 51% of the workforce and are taking risks and making drastic career moves. Continue Reading »
There are those of us who LOVE what we do and have chosen the career path of our dreams. There are others who have fallen into our professions or have even been chosen by others for the roles we now play in this world called work.
There are those that thought they were making ALL the right moves by listening to their parents, teachers and mentors tell them to do this or that. We ALL believed we did ALL the right things and some either LOVE what they do, some LIKE what they do, some HATE what they do and everyone else is somewhere in between these three stages or trying to figure it out. Continue Reading »
It’s that time of year when there are more parties per evening than there are minutes to attend them. You spend time scheduling the ones you want to attend (is it the work or the friends event?), wrapping gifts, buying holiday outfits – and measuring the time you’ll have to rest and recover from the celebrations.
This year I recommend that you use the opportunity of reconnecting with friends and family at Holiday gatherings from both a personal and professional aspect. It is a great time to reconnect with your warm, slightly warm and lukewarm network. Continue Reading »
Part of the challenge of growing a business or your professional brand is developing a system to organize all of the mountains of information that you receive daily.
- Emails sent with upcoming events. Can I attend? What’s on my calendar that week?
- Tweets with cool links that you want to read…but you’ll need 20 min and that’s going to derail you from your other work.
- And let’s not forget webinars and video content with their funny stories or valuable information. They are great but who has 20-30 min to sit in front of a screen and watch and listen?
This was my story yesterday. And it’s pretty typical daily. Before sitting down to work, there are 50 emails and 2 voice mails. And many of them do deserve my attention. That’s a minimum of an hour - not counting the research to answer the questions. How are you supposed to fit it all in? Continue Reading »