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VOL. 129 | NO. 31 | Friday, February 14, 2014

Putting Your <3 Into Your Job

By Angela Copeland

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Angela Copeland

The season of love is upon us. Is it fair to say you love what you’re doing for a living? Do you find yourself putting in your all every day, or is it a drag to get up in the morning – or worse yet, to go to bed the night before, knowing your next day’s work is looming over you?

If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing for a living, it’s time to take stock of what’s important to you. Start out by ranking the following items in order from least to most important: Location, Career Fulfillment, Financial Stability and Career Field.

What’s interesting about this is that it often changes over the course of your life. When starting out, building up your emergency fund and investments might be the most important thing. If you start a family or if you have aging parents, location may become more important. For many who feel otherwise happy with their place in life, career fulfillment starts to bubble to the top.

In particular, many of my clients who have had long careers in the corporate world rank career fulfillment as No. 1. They are often ready to make a big change and move into the nonprofit world. It can be personally rewarding to work for an organization that represents a cause you believe in.

For those making the transition from for-profit to nonprofit, it can be a tricky journey. You must be prepared for lots of questions along the lines of, “Why would you want to work at a nonprofit? Your background is in for-profit.” And, “What could you know about my nonprofit with no nonprofit experience?”

Do your best not to be discouraged by these questions. Come up with answers in advance, and let them roll off your tongue just like any other. Try not to get frustrated by how shortsighted they seem. Remember many folks in nonprofit have never worked in corporate, just like many corporate folks have never worked in nonprofit.

Highlight your transferable skills. There are many pieces of your corporate job that translate into the nonprofit world such as creating a budget, project management and leadership.

There are other things you can do to help you transition. First, start volunteering at the causes you care about. Take the time to network and learn more about the organization. Then, seek out opportunities to be on nonprofit boards. Being on a board gives you a bird’s eye view as to how the organization is run and who the key players are.

And, most importantly, put all of your volunteer time and board memberships on your resume. If you don’t already have a section for it, add your volunteer time under a “Leadership” or “Volunteer” section. This will give you something to point to when you get the dreaded, “What could you possibly know about a nonprofit?” question.

If you keep these principles in mind, and don’t get discouraged, you will definitely find yourself waking up each morning to a job you love.

Angela Copeland is CEO/founder of Copeland Coaching, www.CopelandCoaching.com, and author of “Breaking The Rules & Getting The Job.” You can follow Copeland Coaching on Twitter (@CopelandCoach) and Facebook (Facebook.com/CopelandCoaching).

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