Your Complete Guide to Finding a Job in Non-Profit
So you’ve decided you want to work for a charity. But if you have no experience in the sector, how can you be sure where to start? Maybe you made a list of organisations you like and causes that mean something to you. But what’s next? Where do you even begin?
We’ve all been there. You have a career goal or aspiration but have absolutely no idea how to get there. Well, we’re here to help you make well-informed decisions, to minimise that fear of the unknown and to help you succeed in your job hunt and take that next step in your career!
First things first, take a moment to thank yourself. The first step towards change is accepting that there’s a need for it. You’ve identified what you want and now it’s all about the approach. So, let’s make it happen.
What do you want to gain?
Now that you’ve made the decision to make a change in your career, you need to think about what you want out of your next job. It’s helpful to compare what you’ve experienced in the past with your current position. Create a visual wish list that pinpoints what you want to learn and where you want your new career to take you. Then take a moment to think about what you liked and disliked about your old job and skills that could have been developed further. Finally, ask yourself how this career change will resolve those issues.
Do you want:
- A good work environment?
- To work in an organisation with a good cause or values?
- More responsibility?
- To develop more skills?
- An opportunity to progress?
- A stronger sense of purpose/fulfilment?
- Better work/life balance?
- More flexible working hours?
Make a decision
Changing your career can be an anxiety-ridden process. In fact, it’s one of the most stressful events we experience in our lives. In order to make the transition as smooth as possible, you have to remember that it’s not just one huge moment – it’s a series of small steps. If you see it as a process and break it down into manageable segments, the decisions will feel less daunting and you’ll rest easy knowing that you aren’t turning your career upside down in a single moment.
So, take it one moment at a time and approach each decision as it arises. You can break it down into the following easy-to-follow steps:
Be guided by your why: There’s a reason that you want a new role. Whether you need to be challenged, need a job that allows you to connect with your calling or want to support a cause you care about, let that reason be the fuel behind your job search. This, in turn, will help you focus to find a position right for you and your needs.
Start applying– The process of job hunting is no picnic. It takes time, energy and a lot of dedication. But, if you’re guided by your ‘why’ you’re more likely to find roles that will resonate with your calling.
Do the interview prep – You don’t have to be called into an interview to start sharpening those skills. As soon as you start creating applications, you should set time aside to do interview prep so that you’re completely prepared.
Don’t be deterred by past failures– You may have started applying already and been unsuccessful on a few occasions. It’s OK to feel upset and a little frustrated, but don’t stay in that place for too long. Think about what you could do differently next time and what you took from the experience.
What can you do in the meantime?
1. Keeping yourself organised
Split up your time healthily – it’s common to put all you have towards achieving something, but sometimes it’s overwhelming. Give yourself the time and space to be more productive by creating a realistic timetable for yourself with the steps that you have decided. It is always best to divide your time, take breaks and get back into the swing of things than to cram everything in.
2. Utilise social media
When looking for a job, social media can be your best friend (or your worst enemy). Start by making your friends and followers aware that you are looking for a job – and be as specific as you can be. You never know, they might know of similar roles available and think of you. Although Facebook may not be typically used specifically for job searching purposes, don’t overlook it as people you are friends and who you know personally will be more willing to help you.
LinkedIn is also a great resource because you can connect directly with recruiters and hiring managers at the charities you’re interested in. Don’t be afraid to send them a message and let them know you’re inspired by their cause! It may even work in your favour.
P.S. You may want to consider doing a quick social media clean up too! Don’t let potential recruiters stumble across your last night out on the town.
3. Get involved in volunteer work
Volunteering offers a range of opportunities which can benefit your job search greatly. Not only can you experience the sector and specific areas within it, but you can also gain transferable practical skills that look great on your CV. So you can impress recruiters with your new skills and gain charity sector experience, first-hand. This is a great opportunity to understand what areas interest you and discover the types of jobs you would like to pursue.
Ready to kick-start your job search? Join the discussion today and share your jobs search tips with us by commenting below.