Career Transition Articles

Are you an experienced professional thinking of moving to the non-profit sector? Look first at the Internet. Here are some links.

Good short general articles to start with are NGO Careers: How to get a job in an NGO by Robin Toal (UK) and  Panoramic Glimpse of Development Sector by Swati Chhibber (India). You might also try    Case Study: Switching from the Private Sector to the Third Sector by Kate Wolfenden  (Childreach International), except that you have to go through a very long boring registration process to access it.  You can get 17 tips, nothing very startling (e.g. “trade-off money for meaning”) but good all the same for getting your thoughts in order.

 More substantial is Nick Macdonald’s blog Why you might want to work in relief and development (and why you might not) goes into much more detail, and has a lot of comments. He has also published a book Getting your first job in relief and development.

You should examine your reasons for wanting to change. Perhaps you  are ”stressed out, burned out, or just plain bummed out” in the words of Pamela Skillings. If you want to make a more serious reflection, you can get a lot of advice on this in the book  Change Your Career: Transitioning to the Nonprofit Sector by Laura Gassner Otting, very American but useful all the same.  One piece of advice is join an NGO Board, but make sure you follow the four “Gs”.

If you want to know what MBAs who have transited think, look at Changing the World, One MBA Graduate at a Time.

Once you have decided, how do you go about it. There are various strategies possible: you can be a “bridger”, a “switcher” or a “slasher” (don’t worry, nothing to do with sharp blades).

We will be regularly posting other links. Let us know if you find something interesting, courses@ngomanager.org, or send us a mail if have any questions (like what are the 4 “Gs”, or what is a “slasher”?).