Move your career forward in the non-profit sector with these tips

Doing what that matters is a great way to achieve job satisfaction if you are someone who loves to do things that affect the society positively. Working in the non-profit sector can be often a thankless one where nobody, other than the ones who are touched by your work, appreciates you. Though it doesn’t look that colourful at first, non-profit jobs can be more than what it is often visioned as. Working in a non-profit sector does not always mean there is no career development for you. Never let the thought cross your mind that it is only for the belief that you have in the organisation’s mission that is keeping you in the job. There are a lot of ways you can develop your career in the right direction if you have the understanding and the passion. There are a lot of things that you can learn and new skills you can gather along the way. And there’s more than that which will push your career up the ladder of success.

Take a look at some of the ways which will help you to develop your career in the non-profit sector:

1. Do you communicate well?

It is no secret that to stand out in the non-profit sector your communication skills need to be immaculate. By immaculate, I mean you should be able to articulate your thoughts into words clear as crystal.

If you go out for fundraising and are not able to convince people about the organisation’s mission and your passion, which being the reason you are supporting it, then you can stop bothering about getting any donations.

If you want to provide new ideas that will help the organisation, you need to communicate well. There are no fixed KRAs in the non-profit sector to measure your contributions. You should make yourself be heard. In other words, you need to communicate.

So, a big chunk of your career development in the non-profit sector is all about your communication skills. This is something which you can always work on and it is easy to develop if you have the determination.

2. Take a special course

It is easy to be a volunteer in a non-profit organisation but to make a perfect career in the non-profit sector, you will need special skills. These skills are not often ones which you will be able to harness easily by being a part of a non-profit organisation. It will take years to get such skills, but, if you are looking to fast-forward your career in the field, there are courses that you can do.

Do you have to go back to school? No. There are online courses offered by reputed universities in sites like edX, Coursera, etc. which will help you to boost your opportunities and develop your career in the direction of your choice.

3.Be open to accepting responsibilities

Unlike in a for-profit organisation, you will not find anyone pushing you to take responsibilities in a non-profit organisation. It all comes down to how you react to any opportunity that is screaming out to be taken hold of. If you have a laid back attitude to such situations, you might have just missed an opportunity to move ahead.

Always be open to taking any kind of responsibilities that you feel you can be able to handle it perfectly. If you show your capability to handle bigger responsibilities, who knows, you might become a project leader or even a regional event coordinator.

4. Imbibe leadership skills along your non-profit journey

To move up the ladder one has to gear up his/her leadership skills and show that he/she is

capable of leading a team or able to handle larger responsibilities. Though there are nowadays

courses specially designed to teach you the basics of leadership, no one can make you a leader

unless you are ready for it. You have to understand the meaning of leadership and have great

confidence in yourselves. This will come with experience and the ability to understand the

functioning of different areas of a non-profit organisation.

5. Become geographically flexible

Being a person who does not give much thought to geographical boundaries can have a positive effect in relaxing the career growth boundaries. The works of many non-profit organisations are not restricted to any geographical boundaries. Thus, it requires the professionals to be flexible to location.

Some of the biggest non-profit organisations have operations almost everywhere across the globe. If you want to get an opportunity to work with such organisations, you need to be geographically flexible.

6. It’s all about the risks in the end

The start of the journey in a non-profit sector is not always a bed of roses. You will sometimes feel frustrated, unappreciated and your job meaningless. You will be working on weekends while your friends will be partying and having a whale of a time. But, as you gradually develop your skills and find your ground in this field, you will find that your work matters and the opportunities are numerous. It’s all about taking the leap of faith.

The common misconceptions about not getting good pay or not having growth in non-profit organisations should be chucked away for good. The non-profit market is growing at a fast pace and there are even venture capital jobs which are related to investing in newer non-profit ventures. The fact that non-profit jobs pay $332 Billion in wages in the US alone should come as a thing of inspiration to you.

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Hasib

Hasib is a professional writer working with one of top job sites in India –naukri.com. As a career coach, he helps professionals in making decisions related to career and job opportunities. He is an avid reader and lives for two things – football and food. If he is not involved in any of those, you can find him contemplating existential issues. Follow him @ twitter, Google+, LinkedIn