5 Ways to Make Yourself a Sought-After Nonprofit Professional
Have you heard? Job-hopping is the new black.
On average, people these days are staying in their jobs for just over 4 years. And in the non-profit sector, this tenure can be even lower, as workers seek ever-elusive higher salaries and work-life balance.
When you’re looking for work, you need to stand out in a pile of resumes, and what you do while you’re employed can make a big difference. Now, obviously, you want to do a good job in your current role, but you shouldn’t wait until you’re ready to leave your job to start marketing yourself. You can leverage what you’re learning and doing in your current role to establish yourself as a leader in your field and to build your personal brand.
Follow these 5 tips and recruiters will come calling:
1. Regular networking
When people think of networking they often think about “working the room.” Any introvert’s nightmare. While throwing yourself into a room full of professionals is one way to get the job done, there are other ways to network that are less intimidating: network online using LinkedIn or Twitter, ask new or existing contacts to meet for coffee, ask for introductions from your existing network, join groups specifically geared to your profession, and even consider joining social groups with like-minded people (Meetup.com is a great way to do this). Make sure you’re prepared for these interactions so that you leave a great impression. And don’t forget to follow up – a simple thank you goes a long way.
2. Present on your area of expertise
There are a lot of conferences looking for fresh faces and subject-matter experts. Think about emerging trends in your field, or unique angles on your work and submit proposals for workshops. If there aren’t any conferences available in your area, or on your topic, consider creating an online webinar or podcast and share your expertise that way.
3. Keep a blog, and get active on Twitter and LinkedIn
Social media is a great way to get your name out there. You can also use Tumblr or WordPress to set up a blog where you can share ideas and information, tips, and commentary on current events. On Twitter and LinkedIn you can connect with other professionals, promote your blog, and share information from other users. This will help establish you as a leader in your field, and will help you develop more name recognition.
4. Become a mentor
Mentors share knowledge and expertise with mentee to encourage their professional development. Becoming a mentor will show that you are a leader in your field, and will give you valuable coaching experience. It will also open you up to new ideas through your mentee, and will allow you to pay attention to your own career path and goals.
Seems obvious, doesn’t it? Though many of us work in the non-profit field, few of us feel as though we have the time to give back. But volunteering your expertise is a great activity to add to your resume. Not only will you get the warm-fuzzies, but you’ll be sharing your knowledge with peers who might recommend your work in the future. Try to find a volunteer position with a smaller organization where you can really make an impact, and who have a gap that your expertise can help fill.