I believe that ALL sectors have MANY pros; however, the nonprofit sector has more pros than cons. The nonprofit sector offers:
- A LOT more exposure because it allows for the opportunity to interact with individuals from all types and levels of organizations, such as government, corporate, and the community at large.
- Nonprofits also offer more flexible working conditions and environments, which can be favorable to sector switchers, women and those just starting their career journey. Although the government and corporate sectors are looking at alternative options for its workers, and has started making some changes to their work cultures, the nonprofit world is light years ahead of them on such issues as working from home, flexible scheduling, job sharing, various types of leaves of absence, and other benefits.
- Bright individuals who are passionate and committed to their cause. They are working for their nonprofit organization because they believe they are making a difference in the world, or because they believe in the direction of their organization, or that they have a lifelong passion for the work that their group does. This is not often the case in the private sector, where money always is the bottom line, and many co-workers can be unhappy with their salaries, work conditions, and upward movement (or lack thereof) within the company. Continue Reading »
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 »
I do not know about you, but I am getting more and more annoyed by ALL of the fees that airlines keep adding. I travel a lot for work and what used to be an enjoyable part of my consulting business is now something I wish I could avoid. Airline fees grow more intrusive every month. New baggage fees are implemented and increase more quickly than most travelers can keep up with. Fees for additional bags–or bags that are too heavy–are two examples of costs that can be avoided.
To be sure, there are some fees that must be paid: departure taxes, change fees when plans go awry and those awful fees to redeem frequent flier miles. But here are a few of the fees you can and should avoid whether traveling for business or pleasure, which will allow you to stay within your budget. Another issue that continues to cause problems and fees for travelers is the inconsistent weather patterns we have been experiencing around the world. The weather is beyond anyone’s control, but it always tends to cost travelers more money–if they have to stay longer than they planned, pay for traveler’s insurance in anticipation of something happening or fees for changing the flights, etc. Continue Reading »
Can Work/Life Balance Occur Between Technology & Time Zones?
I am about to take some much needed time off of work for an extended trip to visit my mom in Europe. As I was packing my luggage, my mom called and told me that she plans to hide my BlackBerry and laptop because this is a vacation and no work is allowed. I didn’t hesitate to quickly respond to her laughing by letting her know that I will need to make one important call to one of my clients and use my laptop to write one of my blogs. It is much more difficult to just turn everything off and just relax when you are an entrepreneur. When I worked for a nonprofit or corporation, it was a much easier thing to do to shut off my company mobile phone and leave my laptop at home. Now, as the owner of my own business I think that someone might need me, and since I am the business, I need to be available. It wasn’t until later that weekend, when I’d been exchanging texts with a client late at night and then another on my way to the gym the next morning that I realized the boundaries between my work life and my personal life had blurred so significantly that it felt normal to be working on a weekend and that I should listen to my wise mom and NOT allow this to happen during my trip to Europe.
As great as it may seem that technology allows us to work anywhere in the world, at any time of the day or night. With many businesses being on the world wide web, never closing and others opening and closing at all hours, and in different time zones across the globe, it’s a surprise we ever get any downtime at all. I truly know that I REALLY need and deserve MY downtime, but often I do not find it. Although my mom threatened me about my BlackBerry and Mac Book, she also told me to make sure that I sleep on the plane on the way over to Paris so that I do not “waste any time sleeping” when I get there. I chuckled to myself—what happened to the restful vacation she wants to make sure I have? Can we really relax and just enjoy? Are we working until the next vacation, or just simply working because we are supposed to? What do we really work for—what is the payoff? Continue Reading »
We ALL have SO MUCH on our to do lists and rarely get them all done. Often there are those things on our lists that take us away from what we are really passionate about and want to be doing. Here are seven things that I do not do, so that I can do the things that I really need to do:
1-I don’t spend a lot of time watching TV
2-I don’t always cook from scratch–use natural/organic ingredients, but often semi-prepared meals from Trader Joe’s or Fairway
3-I don’t do laundry-I have a wonderful housekeeper who does this, which frees me up from hours of time being spent playing laundry roulette with my neighbors in my building’s laundry room
4-I don’t do my own hair—I learned early on that I did not have hair skills, so I get my hair done, and have been going to OUIDAD to keep my curls in check for 10 years now.
5-I don’t decorate-I keep decorating to a minimum–it’s not that I do not like design, paintings or fabric. However, my friends always make fun of me and often people ask if I just moved into my home or office, since I almost never have anything hanging on my walls or even colorful paint on the walls.
6-I don’t spend very much time on Facebook and when I do it is very intentional or when I have a little “down” time waiting in the doctor’s office, online at Whole Foods, or in a cab.
I want to do most of the things I listed above. I enjoy having homemade meals and seeing my apartment decorated. I would love to sleep past the sunrise and spend hours scrolling through photos of my friends and family on Facebook. But to do what is in store for me this day, I have to choose to NOT do some things. Continue Reading »
Want to make your small business look GREAT? Here’s what customers and clients are looking for when they visit your website.
So you want your website to make you look good—who doesn’t? Here are some tips to help you gain a better image for you and your business. Continue Reading »
As an entrepreneur, I often find myself thinking if I just had more money…I could x, y, z. Entrepreneurs can tell you their biggest, greatest, most pressing need: CASH FLOW. Right? CASH is essential. You’ve got to have CASH to pay vendors, purchase inventory, handle the costs of overhead, invest in marketing, pay employees, maybe even pay yourself. Without CASH, those are tough things to do.
But CASH is NOT the answer for an entrepreneur that is struggling, either to succeed or to take them to the next level, to make a profit, to increase the bottom line, the ROI or ROE, or to thrive rather than merely survive…there are LOTS of things that can make or break a business.
CASH alone will NOT save a business, or cause it to succeed. Entrepreneurs and small business owners need to possess not only a decent product, but the qualities required to take a product from its embryonic brain state to action, production and ongoing sales. That’s never an easy process. Continue Reading »
Nonprofits are always looking for the “right” individuals, companies and foundations to support their organization’s mission and vision to ensure that they are fulfilled. Corporations are looking for ways to bring corporate social responsibility and giving into their business because it works—it’s just good business. Similar to those looking for a career with a company they believe has a great brand, corporate culture and has the best product and service, many people have a more positive image of a product or company when it supports a cause they care about or have an emotional connection to.
Businesses in turn want to give back to communities, individuals and organizations for a variety of reasons, and your nonprofit could be exactly what they’re looking for. Some reasons companies give back is because it’s part of their culture, others have some regulatory reasons to give back, such as banks and financial institutions and must invest in certain communities and people as part of their diversity initiatives. An effective partnership is critical in building momentum for funding and brand awareness, for both the nonprofit and the corporation, but similar to finding the perfect job, you need to find a corporate partner that is the perfect match for your organization for a long-term partnership. Continue Reading »
There is a lot of advice from career coaches, on the Internet, consulting firms, and from HR Directors about preparing for interviews and how to answer specific questions, and while much of that is useful, there is not that much content out there that helps entrepreneurs or consultants with the tools and the behaviors that can make a difference after an interview. I’ve been hiring, firing, and interviewing people now for over 10 years and I have paid close attention to the signs that people exhibit in their phone and live interviews that reveal what they are really like. In many cases, I do not believe that most people are aware of how small actions, body language or tone can make or break the final decision of getting the contract or not.
The actions and behaviors of a person often speak a lot louder than their words, as it is very hard to change your behaviors on the spot. Not everyone is a master interviewer, but if you made it to the interview—you have something a company or person wants, and you must be ready to sell. Most people are a lot better with interviews where they can have prepared answers, and know what is going to be asked. Behaviors are extremely important. They are a part of your personality, culture and values, which take time to practice, and make a much bigger impact, so you must practice them in advance and learn the techniques as habits to sell your brand, products and/or services. Continue Reading »