Before we leave this world, we’d all like to think that we’ve contributed something to it besides supporting the flow of currency. Many of us, by the end of our lives, would like to have had some part in making our world a better place to inhabit. Sadly, depending on most people’s definition of “better”, this doesn’t happen often in the for-profit sector. If you currently maintain a corporate position, but you’re thinking of transitioning to the world of non-profits, there’s no need to fear. You just need to equip yourself with useful knowledge so that you’re prepared to make the leap into what many consider a more rewarding lifestyle. Read on to know when you’re ready to move on and do good.

Determining Your Readiness

Before pursuing any nonprofit position, you must determine the size of your heart because the nonprofit sector has no room for Grinches. Nonprofits operate solely on their missions, so if you are not fully passionate about a particular nonprofit’s mission, you will dread coming to work each day. Most employees of up and coming nonprofits have an extensive workload for a lower pay than one would receive in the corporate world. However, this shouldn’t matter if you’re one of the people working to see environmental and/or social change come out of your efforts.

Focusing Your Efforts

If you’re not sure exactly what you’d like to do, but you know that you’d like to make some sort of difference, start by assessing your own personal motivations for change. If you want to move to the nonprofit sector to escape your slavedriver of a boss, perhaps you’ll want to switch departments instead. But if you actually want to work towards ending some injustice you have taken notice of, let your nonprofit job search carry on.

Applying Your Skill Set

Next, you must be aware of the skills you developed in the for-profit sector and determine how you would put these skills to use with your new position. Fortunately, most everything you learned in the business world still applies to nonprofits. Just think of nonprofits as businesses that operate on time investment and change rather than monetary concepts of supply and demand. To get potential donors to support your nonprofit you still need to make your message, service, or product more appealing, and business negotiation skills will surely help you to achieve this. Putting your skills to use in the nonprofit sector is helpful to the company because it provides for a more effective way of social change. After his move to the nonprofit sector, Michael Curtin,  the CEO of DC Central Kitchen commented: “I’m still in the entrepreneurial world. I’m just working on a different product that happens to be changing lives” (Fast Company).

Helping the Helpers

Most nonprofits can use a little help from ex-corporates because of their skills in addressing structural concerns.  Some smaller nonprofits are ignorant about business models and how to tie them in with capitalization plans in the long run (Bridgestar). As a corporate immigrant, you might be a wonderful asset for nonprofits in terms of financial management. Of course, there are major differences that come with beginning a job at a nonprofit, however. Your output is not as measurable as it was in your corporate job because social impact is much more difficult to ascertain than is profit. Like with any big move, it will take a while to adapt to the nonprofit sector, but if you know you’re motivated and able, the transition will be well worth your time.

Taking Action

If after reading this, you’re ready to start looking for jobs in the nonprofit sector immediately, look no further than The Ultimate Non-Profit Job Guide: 97 Job Boards that Cover It All. This is your go-to resource for nonprofit positions with everything ranging from entry-levels to executive head honchos. We wish you the best of luck in your nonprofit endeavors, and sincerely hope our world is able to benefit from the positive change that comes out of them.

J. Jacobs is a guest blogger for Pounding the Pavement and a writer on the subject of earning your High School Diploma at Home for the Guide to Career Education.

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