This post was contributed by Heifer Staff Writer Brooke Edwards
I read a post on Brazen Careerist this morning titled, “11 Reasons Why New College Grads Should Pursue Nonprofit Careers.” The author, Rosetta Thurman, reflects on how many young adults, fresh out of college, might do well to consider the nonprofit sector as their professional entry point. Having worked almost exclusively for nonprofit organizations, I would say that Thurman’s advice applies to just about anybody looking for a job. Here’s a quick look at her 11 reasons.
1. Nonprofit doesn’t mean “no money.”
2. Nonprofits are still hiring.
3. It’s easy to know where to start your job search.
4. Your degree is transferable to the nonprofit sector
5. Entry-level nonprofit salaries are similar to for-profit ones.
6. You’re more likely to get a fancy job title.
7. You gain experience outside of your job description.
8. You get access to higher-ups.
9. Your organization will have a better reputation than most for-profit companies.
10. You’ll have an instant network of peers.
11. Your work will matter.
I think the shining star on this list is number seven. Gaining experience outside of your position is what makes working at a nonprofit a great idea for folks looking to branch out of their for-profit molds, whether voluntarily or out of necessity brought on by a reduction in work force. In every position I have held at a nonprofit, I have had the chance to take on projects outside of my job description from the very start. While it’s always fun to try your hand at something completely new, the long-term benefit comes when you’re applying for your dream job and find that these little, extra experiences pave the way for a new career. Or you just might find that you’ve landed your dream job already.
Ms. Thurman’s post mentions Idealist.org as a resource for starting your job search in the nonprofit world. Here are a few more to add to your pile.
• Your local craigslist.org site;
• And, of course, http://www.heifer.org
Have you found your dream job at a nonprofit? What tools did you use to find your position? Or, are you currently looking to get into the nonprofit sector? What challenges have you encountered?