There has never been a better time to make the move from profit to non-profit. Limited resources and cash flow can often increase the requirement for creativity, innovation and commercial savvy.
As our resident specialist recruiting purely into the charity & not for profit sectors, I receive calls, emails and applications daily from experienced marketing, PR and digital candidates who are ready to transfer their skills and experience into a new sector and whilst it’s not easy, making the switch is doable.
Here are my top tips:
- Demonstrate the breadth of your skills – lots of my clients like (and need) a good all-rounder; someone who can come up with a solid strategy but also roll their sleeves up to deliver it.
- Be flexible – you’ll need to balance traditional considerations including salary, against intangible benefits like increased job satisfaction, better work-life balance and often more flexible working conditions and knowing that you’re making a positive contribution to society.
- Think about the bigger picture – don’t limit yourself to traditional charities; I work with various organisations including membership, social enterprises, arts/culture venues, non-governmental bodies, trade associations and educational institutions – all of whom offer their own individual challenges and attractions.
- Be giving – demonstrating relevant volunteer work is advantageous, offering to help a local charity with their marketing or fundraising is a great way of showing commitment and willing to do good.
- Consider temporary – interim roles are a great way to enter the sector. Requirements tend to be less specific in terms of sector background and due to restricted timescales recruiting managers can be more flexible with their requirements.
- Give it plenty of time – processes tend to be very structured, we know in advance closing dates, interview times and formats. It’s good to know timescales from the outset however it can be inflexible and can take a longer time than commercial industries.
- Keep updated - join relevant social media groups and sign up to publications to keep up to date with industry news. You could try : https://www.thirdsector.co.uk/digital https://www.linkedin.com/groups/887297/ https://www.charitycomms.org.uk/about
- Be realistic - don’t expect not for profit to be all ‘feel good factor'. I work with some hugely commercially minded operations whose targets are just as competitive as their for-profit equivalents.