*This post is the first in a two-part series on how to advance from your entry-level nonprofit role into the next phase of your career.*
When you’re just starting out in the nonprofit sector – or your career – it’s easy to start imagining how your role might evolve. You may be a coordinator or associate now (common terms for the most entry-level roles in nonprofit), but you’ve got great ideas. And you’ve got dreams of moving up the ladder.
As you should.
Organizations benefit from ambitious employees, particularly if they’re jazzed about both the mission and their future at an organization. Your head is in the right space.
Last September, I set a lofty professional goal. By 2018, I would get my Salesforce Admin certificate.
For background, I was hired to support our nonprofit constituents by being a face for our organization. My 3+ years of database experience would be helpful, but I accepted this role because it wasn’t that. It was a chance to be external-facing and build relationships, something brand new to me. Salesforce wasn’t part of the equation.
In the nonprofit sector, there’s this joke (sort of?) that we are prone to multiple-hat syndrome: instances when we’re asked to do things that fall outside of our job description, to keep things running smoothly. This summer, I’ve definitely fallen victim.
I’ve been tasked with getting my team up to speed on our new CRM software. Though I’ve played a big role in the setup and implementation (already complicated in its own ways), training others presents an ENTIRELY different set of challenges. Continue reading →
I never planned to learn Excel. It sort of happened by accident.
At the end of my junior year of college, I was accepted into an internship program that placed me at a major nonprofit organization. Since the program was best known for its banking internships, every participant had to complete an Excel course as part of our training. I set aside one day after finals to walk through the modules, opened up my laptop, and got to work.
I can clearly remember the times in my adult life when I felt stuck and unsure of what to do next. It happened during my senior year of college while on the job hunt, and then again a few years later when I decided to change course in my career. There were even moments in between, where personal and professional concerns overlapped all at once (and yes, I’m still working on those).
I’m going to bet that you’ve felt stuck at some point too – because the feeling is a frustrating but very normal occurrence. Continue reading →