I admit it; once in a while I watch those "Funniest Video" television programs. What's the attraction? Usually seeing someone get hit or hit themselves suddenly, when they least expected it. It's embarrassing to admit that I chuckle – sometimes audibly. Maybe it's being human, but there is a perverse pleasure in seeing someone run into the unexpected. "Oh, that hurts!" But you know that the guy was thinking more than that when it happened. When it happens to me – I suffer greatly. I'm sure you feel the same.
This is especially painful when it happens in our career. After being hit enough times, we make a decision to leave (or was was given the final blow and asked to leave). We pick ourselves up, brush off and find what we think will be a perfect match – working in a nonprofit organization supporting a mission we love. We have a great idea of where we want to work and what we can do for an organization that looks like the right fit, but boom! We're hit with something we totally did not expect. We get another blow, but this time we do it to ourselves. Maybe not so funny, huh?
So, despite the calls other than the big-wigs in Hollywood and New York (who certainly see a "Funniest Career Videos" in the offing) I give to you the six obstacles to getting a job in the nonprofit world:
o "I'm from the private sector and now I'm here to help." Right. That'S going to get you far. Your own attitude toward working in a nonprofit ("I've been successful, now I'm here to save you") can dampen the enthusiasm of even your biggest flag waving fan on the nonprofit's staff. They've processed in these conditions for a long while. Why do you think that you can parachute in and "fix" the nonprofit world?
o Catch 22 – Want to feel like 22 again? Re-start your career at a non-profit! You'll have all the energy and enthusiasm of a 22 year old for your new work applied to a mission you love. But you'll have all the experience, too. Yes, it may feel like you're starting your career over again – with all the good and bad that come with it. Like in any work, there is a bias against hiring those who have not done the work before. At first you'll recall that old feeling "I need experience to get the job, but can not get the job without experience." Take heart. It's likely your experience is transferable, but it's up to you to find out how, and to show them.
o It's a culture thing. Nonprofit personnel are probably more culturally sensitive than you are used to. Do I mean that they discriminate? Yes! Their bias is often against people from the private sector. They are somewhat better accepting of those from the government sector. As a former person in business, to many you represent the "evil empire." …
We are a society of information junkies. We thirst for information every single day. When we consider our own buying habits, where do we go? If it is a big item we might go to Consumer Reports or search for information online. We will certainly go to Google or Yahoo and search for whatever it is we want.
One of the very best examples of "Education Based Marketing" is seen at http://www.askthebuilder.com . That web site is packed full of information on the how to's of home improvement. People gravitate to vendors who supply the greatest amount of information.
A Simple Example:
If we were going to buy a pizza and we were standing right in front of two identical pizzerias, side by side, and one of them had a big sign in the window that read: "FREE Pizza Recipe Book," which one we would walk into first? We would probably all be interested in what ingredients are in the pizza and how the pizza is made.
What comes into play here? First of all we probably would never see two pizzerias side by side and we will more than likely NEVER see a pizzeria owner "divulge any secrets." The fact is, not very many people are going to ever try and make a pizza at home and it will certainly never taste the same as it does when you buy if from your favorite pizza vendor. The pizza vendor could have a business card with his web site address taped to the box with instructions on how to claim your free "Pizza Recipe Ebook." Of course there are "More Coupons" inside the ebook.
Many restaurant owners do not have much time to spend online. If the owner just had a printed recipe every week, (with his next week's coupon on the other side) he would create a customer loyalty and a following. All of his customers would look forward to the next recipe and would have to come into the restaurant to get it.
Most of us that have an e-mail address have bought something online or subscribed to an e-mail invitation for "specials" that the vendor offers. When we get their e-mail, all it includes is the items that they are selling and often times it is quickly deleted. If we were to buy something from the local craft store and they asked for our e-mail address and said: "We will be happy to send you the free" how to project of the month, "along with some coupons. up? Most likely we would if we had an interest in crafts. Of course that e-mail is going to include the "Special of the Month!" We might just head right back to the craft store to grab the new set of paint brushes that are on sale.
Yes, we are playing in the digital age. That brings up the power of educational ebook marketing. Ebooks are being made all the time and distributed freely all over the Internet. Along with …
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