• Nonprofit Learning Lab

Advancing Your Nonprofit Career

Updated: Aug 1, 2019

This is a guest blog post and is being posted with permission from Jessica Vibberts of Full Potential Ventures. 


Lean Into Your Strengths: It is important to know your strengths. Why? Your strengths are what you are naturally talented in and these strengths allow you to do certain tasks and projects really well. Your strengths are what make you different and unique. Your strengths are the particular lens, perspective, and insight you bring to any situation, team, or relationship. Ideally, in your job, you should be able to spend your working hours on projects that allow you to lean into your strengths. Unsure of your strengths? There are lot of simple, free and fee tests that you can take to determine your strengths.


Build Authentic Relationships: Building relationships does not mean, sending out 1000 invite requests to people on LinkedIn but rather meeting people one-on-one and have authentic conversations this can be done at community events or professional #networking groups. Show up to networking events in the community and when you go, ask questions. Sometimes talking to people that you don't know can be awkward. So when you approach people, ask open ended questions that will get others talking. Simple questions like: How are you connected to this organization that is hosting the event? What is your favorite nonprofit in the community? Did you see the see the finale of Game of Thrones? Just kidding...


Spend Time Developing Yourself: Shadow or observe another professional that you think is talented and in a role that you would like to secure. See what they do well and take notes. Ask a potential mentor or more experienced professional to coffee and find out how they got to where they are in their career. When you ask someone to coffee --- ask them open ended questions. People like to talk about themselves. Don't ask them for a job because that request can be awkward and very transactional. Take the time to learn from them and how this person you respect got to where they are in their career.  Also, if you have an opportunity to showcase yourself as an expert by #leading a presentation at work or at a conference - do it. Preparing for the presentation will help you develop your facilitation or presentation abilities and push yourself to practice new skills. 

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