Recently, we introduced you to Connie Lewin, Director of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships at Sustainable Health Enterprise (SHE). It took Connie two years to make the switch from for-profit to nonprofit and she has some helpful tips on what it takes to make a career change.
Know what you want to do: Connie wanted to use her business acumen in a way that could generate revenue, and help socially-conscious organizations create sustainable solutions to the problems. If you’re having trouble identifying your transferable skills, follow Connie’s lead by doing your research on Idealist. Thoroughly read the job descriptions. For organizations that you are most interested in, even read the older listings to really get a strong sense of what they look for. Perhaps you (like Connie did about jobs in international development) have an assumption about the types of skills needed for a job, but you are actually already equipped!
Ask around: When she began her job search, she looked into her own network and reached out to a former boss who was also a career switcher looking to use her marketing skills to make a difference. This interaction helped Connie learn how to navigate the process. Think about your own connections and their career paths. If you have someone in mind who has the knowledge to help you, but you feel skittish about getting in touch after a long hiatus, follow our suggestions for reconnecting with dormant ties.
Stay organized: Connie realized that she needed to stay organized especially since she was already working a full-time job. It’ easy to focus on your day-to-day work and let your transition fall to the side. To stay on top of your career change, here are some strategies for staying organized and setting aside time to do thorough research as well as customizing your resume for the jobs you really want.
Stay motivated: Two years is a long time to make a career change. Even the most tenacious among us might become frustrated. To stay motivated, reconnect with your intentions for job searching: Why do you want to make a career change? Also, remember to tend to your interests and passions outside of work.
By Victoria Crispo