Digital charity jobs: part two February 19th 2012

 

Trying to find a job that you love can be exciting and stressful in equal measures. In part one of my career change guide we looked at some first steps, so here’s part two to help you get a flying start on the road to your new career. I am focusing on the charity sector, but these strategies will also help if you’re working in other sectors.

Prevarication is the enemy of creativity

If you’re thinking about a career change, try to maintain the momentum by setting yourself targets until you reach your final goal. An effective way to do this is to develop a career change ‘activity plan’ to help you focus and track your progress. Changing careers can be stressful, so reward yourself every time you hit one of your targets.

Stay focused and flexible

We talk about a career crossroads as if you only come to it once, but during your job search you’ll arrive at lots of crossroads, t-junctions and dead-ends! So, don’t be surprised to find that your plans and goals change as you progress; the key is to find a career that fits with your values and really motivates you. If you stay focused and flexible, the process may reveal opportunities that you have never considered – and skills and strengths that you never knew you had.

Use your networks

What you know may get you the job, but who you know will often lead you to it. When you start to consider new career options, map out everyone that you know including friends, family, current and ex-colleagues. You will be amazed at the number of roles and sectors you’re connected to through your networks. And for an easy way to develop and use your connections during your job search, I’d recommend signing up to Linkedin if you haven’t already.

Feel the fear

A little fear is a good thing, but if you find that you’re pursuing a career that is causing you lots of sleepless nights and palpitations, there’s a good chance it’s not really right for you.

Let people know

When you decide what you want to do, let people know. I’ve often discovered or been referred to great people for charity digital comms and other roles over coffee! Let people know you’re available and looking for opportunities. You’ll need your ‘career toolkit’ ready for the next phase, which should include a powerful CV, a confident interview technique and an effective presentation style – all of which I’ll be covering in the coming weeks.

If it’s all about charity

If you’re interested in a charity job, you’ll find lots of support and advice online about jobs in communications, campaigns, fundraising and many other disciplines. People in the charity sector are very passionate about what they do and they are usually very happy to talk about their experience. I include myself in that group, so feel free to get in touch if you’re looking for a digital fundraising or communications role. Even if I can’t help, I usually know someone who can!

What’s the best piece of careers advice you’ve received? Please feel free to share it in the comments section.

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