Take Our Quiz | Are You Ready to Transition to the Nonprofit Sector?

woman in meeting

If you’re considering changing careers and joining the nonprofit or social-impact sector, there are quite a few things to consider before taking the leap.

Take our quiz and find out whether you have covered all of your sector-switcher bases, and find a few tips on how to ensure that you understand what your new professional world may look like once you land your nonprofit dream job.

What is the main thing drawing you to the nonprofit sector?

Related Posts

As a seasoned communications professional with 15 years of nonprofit experience and 6 years of experience creating engaging content and copy, I love the idea that a thoughtfully crafted piece of content can spark social change. Here at Idealist Careers, I'm eager to offer job seekers, game changers, and do-gooders actionable tips, career resources, and "social-impact lifestyle" advice.
A Seat at the Table | An Interview with Leadership Coach Rachel Brownlow Lund One Thing I Wish I Knew Before ... Becoming a Manager


    • Marina
    • February 11, 2019

    Hi Alexis,

    I have recently taken an early retirement package after 20 years in pharmaceuticals. My roles included Sales Representative,Sales Leader, and Marketing Director. I have been fortunate to work with patients across multiple disease states and in my marketing role I was part of a team that developed a patient engagement model to be used company wide.

    I consider myself as a high energy person and I am looking for a part time role in the non profit sector. I have been fortunate enough to make a great salary during my career and I do not need a major salary at this time.

    I have been networking and applying for jobs but I have not been very successful in getting responses. I have been honest about my situation and I truly believe I can add value to the right organization. Do you have any advice regarding how I can position myself with hiring managers so let they will look at my accomplishments in the private sector and envision how I can contribute to thier goals. I am afraid that I am being looked over because I am not a traditional candidate .

    Thank you in advance for any advice, feedback or support you can offer.

      • Alexis Perrotta
      • February 15, 2019

      Hi Marina. This is a great question (and one that comes up A LOT!). A few things for you to consider in your search:

      *Have you identified how/where you can add value? A general interest in the sector is a great place to start, but you want to be confident that you’re looking at a specific inroad (that makes the most sense for you and your experience).
      *When you say that you’re honest about your situation, what does that mean? I wouldn’t lead with “I don’t have experience in the sector,” nor would I kick of a cover letter or an interview with something like “I want to work in the nonprofit sector because I want to give back.” The former is completely underselling your skills while the latter can come off as a bit patronizing to a hiring manager who likely has a very specific interest in his or her role and issue area.
      *If you haven’t considered where you can add value, I’d recommend creating a Target Employer List (https://idealistcareers.org/target-employer-list/).
      *Have you considered volunteering or pro-bono professional work (through an intermediary organization like Taproot or Catchafire)?
      *Are you interested in contributing your skills at an organization that is somewhat adjacent to the work you have done in the past? For example, there are plenty of nonprofits out there that sit in the issue area of public health, rare diseases, etc.

      Lots to think about, but hopefully considering some of these questions will lead you to your best next step!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.