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How to Navigate Finding a Job in the Nonprofit Field

Pursuing a career in the nonprofit world can lead you on a non-traditional path. A more traditional career path may include climbing the corporate ladder and expecting higher pay as you go along. While this happens in the nonprofit world, many times people find themselves in this field due to a passion or void they see needs filled rather than financial pursuits. For this reason, you can find lengthy work hours with sometimes non-competitive pay structures. Still, for those where it’s a great fit, nonprofit work is a tremendously rewarding experience. Here are three things to consider as you pursue a job in nonprofits.

Find your passion. You may already be considering a nonprofit career because you’ve found your passion. Perhaps it’s in immigration issues, or alleviating poverty or helping animals. There is a nonprofit organization for just about any passion you may have. Once you know what issues light your fire, this makes you a much more desirable job candidate during an interview. Dig into the area that interests you and learn about how one of their organizations run. Join their newsletter and follow their social media. Immerse yourself in what’s trending in your area of interest.

Volunteer. Seems obvious, but if you’re wanting to work for an organization centered upon volunteers, you want to make sure you are volunteering yourself. Likely, you may have made this move already, so now use this time to see how a group is organized, did they train you well and how well the charity seems funded. It would be most helpful to volunteer for the group you’re interviewing for first to gather this information. You’ll also build a network of contacts this way to grow the roots of the organization and also help you find job opportunities.

Show your skills. By the nature of the way they’re organized and funded, nonprofits might not always have enough resources to hire people for every need. They may also be too small to have someone fill every position, so in these cases, you may be called upon to wear several hats while working for a nonprofit. Multi-tasking is going to come in handy. For example, are you a web designer who also likes to give presentations? Get ready then, they may ask you to go on a fundraiser with them to talk about the organization. Showcasing these multiple skills will also help you land a nonprofit job.

When you’re ready to look for that nonprofit job, there are positions are available in just about every field. Whether your interest is healthcare, education or any kind of social service, one of the best things you can do is just get your feet wet. Start going to meetings and attend conferences that address the topics you’re passionate about. Start building multiple skills set and network your way into your dream nonprofit position.

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