Working for a non-profit organization can be a wonderful career choice. Not only will it challenge you in all the right ways but you’ll also find it to be incredibly rewarding, as you will be giving back to the community and its people. So what happens when you’ve made the choice to work in this field, but you don’t quite know how to break into it? There are actually a few steps and tips you can use that will help you realize your career dreams and goals.
Get the Proper Educational Backing
One of the best ways to ensure you get hired in your field of choice is to get the proper educational backing. Something such as an online masters in public administration will help you pick up all the skills and knowledge you need in order to excel in this field. When potential employers see that you’ve got your online master in public administration degree, it will automatically give you a leg up on the competition.
What’s great about these online programs is that they are flexible in terms of scheduling. This means you can work on earning your degree while you continue to work in your current job. Because you are learning from the comfort of your own home, you’ll also be saving money on the transportation costs associated with commuting to and from school.
Get Out and Volunteer
Sure, volunteering isn't exactly the same as having a paid career position in a non-profit organization, but it's a start. Volunteering will help you where networking and experience goes, and it will also help you to learn how these non-profit organizations operate. It may even shine a light on what kind (i.e. the cause it supports) of non-profit you want to work at.
Don’t forget, your volunteering experience will look fantastic on your resume.
Allow Yourself to Be Open to Project Work
Another way that you can get your foot in the door is to allow yourself to be open to the possibility of a project work. Project work means there is an end-date to your job since it involves completing the specified project. While this means it's only a temporary position, it will provide you with extremely valuable experience.
Make Adjustments to How You Search for Work
While you're probably used to the job search process in the for-profit industry, the non-profit sector works a little differently. Here networking is key, so the more you can get out and meet new colleagues, friends, and contacts, the better you'll be. Much of the hiring process relies on word-of-mouth and who knows who rather than a digital applicant tracking process.
The Right Job is Out There
For those planning to break into the non-profit industry, it can be a bumpy and sometimes painstaking process, but when that hard work finally does pay off you’ll be glad you stuck with it. Using these tips will help to ensure the process is as smooth and quick as possible.