Staying ahead of the game is essential for maximizing one’s potential for success in any career. There are a number of methods those in the nonprofit sector should keep in mind to achieve a successful and rewarding career:
- Change jobs once in a while. You’ll keep yourself fresh, as well as change your perspective.
- Network. Don’t rule out contacts that are not involved directly with your current duties.
- Care about your cause.
- Join a professional association and get involved. It’s a good way to make contacts and get name recognition.
- Keep your resume up to date. Have different versions of your resume available so you are prepared for various opportunities.
- Dress well. Fernando Lamas said, “It’s better to look good than to feel good,” but if you look good, you’ll feel good too.
- Keep your skills current. Read up on current affairs, attend conferences and be on the lookout for new trends and technologies.
- Never burn a bridge.
- Develop professional relationships with volunteers. They can be a great source for references and referrals.
- Formulate a career game plan. You can’t get what you want until you know what you want.
- Don’t resist the right lateral move. Moving sideways can often lead to moving ahead.
- Find a mentor. It helps develop partnerships and friendships.
- Develop your one-to-one solicitation skills.
On the other side of the desk, employers have an obligation to help staff members develop their careers. Many of the organizations recognized in the 2020 Best Nonprofits To Work For from The NonProfit Times have international professional development systems in place. Many paid for staff members to pursue advanced degrees.
What staff also appreciate, according to surveys over the years, is comparable salaries, generous benefits, tuition reimbursement. They also appreciate the things that are more intangible and can’t be quantified, like other forms of professional development, or simply consistent and genuine communication from organization leadership.
Among the 10 key drivers in the 2020 Best Nonprofits To Work For report were: “I can trust what this organization tells me,” “I have confidence in the leadership of this organization,” and “I feel I am valued in this organization.”
Registration is now open through October for the 2021 Best Nonprofits To Work For, brought to you by The NonProfit Times and Best Companies Group (BCG). There is no fee to participate online. Nonprofits must have 501(c)(3) status with a facility in the United States, and in business a minimum of one year. and at least 15 permanent employees.
The annual survey and awards program is dedicated to identifying and recognizing the best employers and providing organizations with valuable employee feedback. The process includes two surveys to gather detailed data about each participating nonprofit. BCG conducts the surveys, analyzes the data and determines the winners and rankings. The top 50 organizations are revealed in The NonProfit Times’ April edition and broken down by small, medium and large categories.